Online Master’s Degree in History

An online masters degree in history is an excellent option for professionals with their eye on an academic career. A graduate degree in history is a research-intensive program with a heavy emphasis on reading, historical document analysis, and writing. Most graduate degree programs in history are offered in traditional, on-campus settings. However, some online masters degrees in history are available. Most programs will take at least two to three years to complete if the student is enrolled full time. Some programs may take longer than others based on the individual degree requirements. However, a Master of Arts in History program usually requires approximately 30 hours of coursework.

Classes for an Online Masters Degree in History

The classes in a masters degree program in history will cover a range of historical periods, events, and regions. The periods and locations studied may vary depending on the program focus. Many masters programs allow students to choose an area of concentration, such as American history, African history, Latin American history, and more. Students will read secondary documents extensively in most of the courses. However, they will also study primary source documents and develop research methods and techniques that will be beneficial in a doctoral study environment. Common coursework in a graduate history program might include:

  • U.S. and Latin American Relations
  • American Indian History
  • U.S. Military History
  • The American Frontier
  • Historical Methods

While some students may not plan to pursue further graduate work, many history graduate students at the masters degree level plan to earn doctorate degrees in history or a related field. Many masters degree programs offer a non-thesis program option. However, any student planning to continue on to a doctorate program should consider completing a thesis at the masters degree level. The research experience is critical when preparing a competitive application for a doctoral program.

A Career as a Graduate with an Online Masters Degree in History

A graduate degree in history often leads to a career in education or academics. After completing a masters degree in history, many go on to teaching positions at the high school or community college level. A masters degree is not required to teach high school history, but it can make you a more marketable candidate in a field that is more competitive due to budgetary constraints. High school teachers can earn approximately $50,000 per year according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, many masters degree holders go on to complete doctoral degrees in history. A Ph.D in history can qualify graduates for faculty positions at colleges and universities where they can continue their academic research in the field.


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