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25 Best Online Doctorate in History Programs Top Online PhD History

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B.A., M.Div.
Jeremy Alder has spent over a decade researching and writing about higher education to provided students with the information they need to achieve their goals. He has significant personal experience with career transitions, working as a freelance writer and editor, non-profit director, community organizer, preacher, teacher, retail manager, and carpenter prior to founding College Consensus. Homeschooled from the second grade, Jeremy is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin (B.A., Philosophy) and Duke University Divinity School (M.Div.). He currently lives in North Carolina with his wife, five kids, and a Labradoodle named Hank.
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Carrie Sealey-Morris has covered bootcamps, careers, and higher education for College Consensus since 2017. Carrie is a graduate of the University of New Mexico where she earned a B.A. in American Studies. 
Best Online Doctorate History 02

If you are considering going all the way in history, you have probably already done so much to get to this point in your life. You are moving towards a dream and you want to, of course, take the right path, to access exactly what you are looking for. Most people who get their doctorate in history online are looking to go beyond their master’s degree to specialize in their career and/ or teach at the academic level.

Some people get their terminal degree to work in government or are even law. There are many places to go, and the best online history PhD programs will show you that this terminal degree generally comes with a specialized path. Generally, those who take this journey do it because they are incredibly passionate about a specific historical framework, period, and niche. Therefore, finding an online PhD in history program should not be as challenging. You’ll be attracted to the program that offers what you’re looking for. 

Recommended Online Doctoral Programs

Explore our featured online programs to find the right match for you today.

Methodology: How We Ranked the Best Online History Doctorate Programs

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, your academic investment in this field will most likely not be in vain. It appears that the field will grow three percent in the next ten years, which means its growth rate is a little faster than the average. We have ranked the best online history doctoral programs for you according to the following metric:

  • Cost
  • Reputation
  • Students Success Rate
cc history doctorate research
cc history doctorate methodology
RankSchoolTypeGraduate Tuition
1.University of FloridaPublic$10,770
2.Lehigh UniversityPrivate$27,810
3.Texas A&M UniversityPublic$6,885
4.Arizona State UniversityPublic$10,170
5.Indiana University-BloomingtonPublic$10,133
6.Florida International UniversityPublic$9,119
7.University of ArkansasPublic$7,092
8.University of HoustonPublic$8,723
9.George Mason UniversityPublic$13,726
10.University of Nebraska-LincolnPublic$6,318
Source: National Center for Education Statistics (March 2024)

To kick off this best online history programs list is, the University of Florida offers an Ed.D. in curriculum & instruction entirely online. What is standout about this program is it is structured with the practicing educator in mind. The online program has online specialization teachers, schools, and society. This program links up well with a history background, as a high percentage of history majors move on to educational settings.

Yet even if you don’t, some history majors want to move on to the educational sector in public policy in the state department so having this degree can pair up well with professionals in a variety of sectors with a historical background. History program applicants must have a master’s with a specialization closely linked to education and have at least three years in the field experience. There are several coursework requirements, TSS courses are 30 credits, research credits 12, and dissertation 18 credit minimum. 

Degree: Ed.D. in Curriculum & Instruction

School Type: Public

Graduate Tuition: $10,770

Lehigh University has an Ed.D in Educational Leadership. This course of study was created to enhance the skills of professionals aspiring to advance their standing and position in their company. Graduates of this program move on to accept positions as school administrators, faculty members, leaders with community organizations, research, leaders in government agencies, or educational analysts. This doctoral program is 60 credits of coursework, and students can decide whether they choose to pursue a full-time or part-time enrollment. Courses in history programs include classes in topics such as special education law, curriculum design, policy and politics in public education, and school law and ethics.

To qualify for acceptance into this history program, applicants must have a 3.0 GPA for undergraduate work and 3.6 for master’s degree courses at the time of graduation. A GRE and/or MAT exam scores are required. To become the future leader of our societies and communities needs stamina and hard work. 

Degree: Ed.D. Educational Leadership

School Type: Private

Graduate Tuition:$27,810


Texas A&M University

Texas A&M University offers an Ed.D in Curriculum & instruction,  this program is given in a cohort structure that takes students up to four years to complete. All 64 credits of the coursework tackle education in public or private settings instructional assessment, and curriculum building and instruction. This program requires at least 5 years of practice experience teaching, several writing samples, and applicants must submit GRE scores. This best online Ph.D. in history is the next step for a history teacher, or history master degree graduate once they have worked as a teacher for a while.

The exciting aspect of the program is the online format, allowing candidates to continue working until they complete a doctorate. The three core learning outcomes are broken down between leadership discovery and application of knowledge. There are internship hours required for this degree, the student must undergo 300 hours of a professional internship, which can be broken up between two semesters. 

Degree: ED.D. in Curriculum & Instruction

School Type: Public

Graduate Tuition: $6,885


Arizona State University

Arizona State University has an EdD in leadership and innovation is for the change makers, those that have a vision for the future of education and educational institutions. Having a firm understanding of the historical effects policy and notable events have had on the current educational institutions is helpful. This best online Ph.D. will pair well with a candidate with a foundation in history. There are 20 primary courses that total out to 90 credits with course periods lasting between 7-15 weeks. Featured courses of the program are, advanced quantitative methods, mixed methods of inquiry, systems change and leadership, and leadership for organizational change.

To change the system you first have to know how it got that way and the history of the people you are changing it for. Dive into the rigorous educational environment of this program will require a self-motivated learning practice, faculty members will be there to guide you, yet it is on the student to complete coursework on time. 

Degree: EdD in Leadership and Innovation

School Type: Public

Graduate Tuition: $10,170

Ed.d in literacy, culture, and language education offered by Indiana University is online and an expert program for students of culture and people. The entire course of study in 60 credit hours all online. This degree is structured in a cohort model to encourage networking, students will advance throughout the program together and in the process become career-long colleagues. This collaborative process within the program in a virtual format opens the door to diversity as online students will be able to share experiences from all over the countries they tackle the core learning outcomes.

The program’s purpose is for professionals to strengthen their knowledge of language and literacy in the current times, discovering the evolution of language as a result of the change in many cultures in our shared society. Students will take courses like theoretical issues in the language in education, doctoral early inquiry in literature. 

Degree: Ed.D. in Literacy, Culture, and Language Education

School Type: Public

Graduate Tuition: $10,133

Florida International University offers a Ph.D. in Atlantic History, an advanced study degree delivered entirely online. The whole course of study for this program is 45 credits if the student is accepted with a master’s degree, if applicants are accepted with a bachelor’s, 75 credits are required to receive a degree, with 15 of those credits dedicated to the dissertation. Which can only be earned once a comprehensive examination is passed. The study of the Atlantic world is an advanced study starting from pre-colonial times to the modern era. The learning goals are that students become experts in skills related to research, teaching, and innovative historical practices. Graduate candidates will have the opportunity to present papers at regional conferences and publish ongoing research. It is highly encouraged by faculty for students to take advantage of these opportunities. The history department also has concentrations related to Latin America, Africa, the United States, or Europe.

Doctoral History Programs Degree: Ph.D. in Atlantic History

School Type: Public

Graduate Tuition: $9,119

The University of Arkansas offers a doctor of education in educational leadership program a professional degree for individuals pursuing positions as principals superintendent or in federal and state government agencies. For those with a master of bachelors in history, this is the best online Ph.D. in history, education, and leadership. Although this program is only for history majors that have a desire to continue to pursue the educational sector, this may also lead to a position in government developing policy and curriculums for public schools and private schools all over the country. Becoming a part of the network of professionals connected to this institution of learning is often a reason enough for students to choose this program. However other key facts to note are that required coursework accounts for 42 credit hours. 

Degree: Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership

School Type: Public

Graduate Tuition: $7,092

The University of Houston offers an Ed.D in social studies with an emphasis in social education. Obtaining a degree in social studies is the next step in the educational career of history, while finding the best online Ph.D. in history is somewhat difficult this list has found several that will match up with the aspirational goal of those looking to become history teachers, educational policymakers, or a historian. The purpose of this program is to build educators who intend to root themselves in educational institutions. The entire course load is 52 credit hours and delivered via an online format, professionals can assess on their schedule. Graduates of this degree will obtain a doctorate of education in leadership, and be able to grapple with the issues of teaching in an urban setting. This program will help professionals teach students with developmental reading problems and assess collaboratively.

Doctoral History Programs Degree: ED.D in SOCIAL STUDIES

School Type: Public

Graduate Tuition: $8,723

George Mason University has a Ph.D. in history this professional degree will advance careers in digital media educational administration, and help students gain expert knowledge of technologies used online to store historical data and standard historical methods. Graduate candidates will have the choice to choose from full-time or part-time enrollment. Students will enjoy taking their degree courses based on their own interests from the major field choices, US history, European history, and world history. Minor fields can be chosen from areas of study such as public history constitutional studies and new media and information technology. The program will groom students for careers in academia museums and digital humanities centers. There is a new fellowship available to those that are passionate about investigating the digital history and its applications. The exciting facts of this course are that while this program is rigorous with a required 72 credit hours, there is so much to choose from, and a range of areas to build from that will allow students to shape their studies around topics that are meaningful to them. 

Degree: Ph.D. in History

School Type: Public

Graduate Tuition: $13,726

The University of Nebraska offers an ED.D in Educational Leadership and Higher Education in a hybrid program, the majority of the coursework is delivered online yet all the Ph.D. candidates are required to attend 6 credits of research seminars on campus. This is a leadership program that will guide interested individuals through to advanced standing in their field. Primary leadership roles in educational organizations. They offer three specializations, educational leadership, high education administration, college community leadership. Graduates of this program will not qualify for administrative certification, as some may assume. It is safe to acknowledge the correlation between a master’s in history and this Ph.D. leadership degree as a next step will coincide with the written and analytical skills that will work well with this program. There are 96 required credit hours necessary to receive a degree, 18 of which are research at a doctorate level of study.

Degree: ED.D in Educational Leadership and Higher Education

School Type: Public 

Graduate Tuition: $6,318

Texas Tech University’s online Ed.D in educational leadership, is the next step for those that aspire to become executive leaders in the educational sector. This online degree, focus on the excelling leaders in the K-12 public and private educational institutions. Applicants of this program must have taken the GRE and have 3 professional recommendations to submit with an application into the program. The Ph.D. course amounts to 66 credits hours, 54 toward the major topics of the degree, 12 for the dissertation, and 30 transferable master credits for a total of 96 credit hours total. Another notable fact about this degree is the extra opportunities, the doctoral summer institutes when students come to campus for the required research seminars, students get to collaborate on projects. As the school is partnered with the Carnegie project for an educational doctorate, students will have the chance to present work, publish, and network with other students in the program. 

Degree Type: Ed.D. in Educational leadership

School Type: Public

Graduate Tuition: $6,956

The University of South Carolina has an Ed.D. in Educational Practice and Innovation, which is the prime choice for history buffs that want to use their knowledge to innovate the educational institutions, and rewrite the way we teach history as a curriculum.  The learning outcomes for this doctorate degree are to instill principles and techniques of instructional systems design. Students will also become skilled in creating educational technology, and learn integration methods for introducing technology into learning and performance assessments. This program will develop experts in educational technology, which has become the common modality. Start times are spring summer or fall, and students will attend full time as course work is offered completely online with 8- 15 weeks per course. This best online Ph.D. in history is a perfect coupling for those aspiring to reshape how we receive information and disseminate historical facts. The entire degree consists of 60 credit hours of course work with a dissertation presentation and writing. 

Degree Type: Ed.D. in Educational Practice and Innovation

School Type: Public

Graduate Tuition: $13,374

Oregon State University offers an Ed.D. in Adult and Higher Education delivered via a hybrid, online coursework and in-person two weekends per term, with 108 credit hours required for completion. The program is structured in a cohort format, which allows for small groups and collaborative instruction. While pursuing a Ph.D. is extremely rigorous, making the choice of which program to take can be just as difficult. This program highlights its mission to support the educational sector by enhancing professional leadership from an advanced degree. This takes the compounding of key leadership skills, management, vision, and commitment to the mission. Graduates of the program will go on to perform as Deans, Director, vice president, and president of a public or private institution. It is worthy to note that this program is not a teacher licensure program. 

Degree Type: Ed.D. in Adult and Higher Education

School Type: Public

Graduate Tuition: 13,446

University of North Dakota Ph.D. in Teaching and leadership is preparing professionals to reach for the top echelon on their career path. History majors are leaders in every field they go into, seeking out the next step in their career. To be a leader in an educational institute, one would need to have a background in research, be excellent in a written and oral presentation, understand the importance of history and how today’s event has an effect on tomorrow. To complete this course of study candidates must undertake 90 credit hours of coursework. This best online Ph.D. is offered wholly online there are several concentration students, Childhood and Adversity Resilience, Constructivism in STEM Education, Family, School, and Community Engagement, Instructional Coaching, Leadership in Curriculum & Learning, Literacy, Language & Culture, School Reform & Public Policy

Degree Type: Ph.D. in Teaching and Leadership

School Type: Public

Graduate Tuition: $11,963 

The University of Kentucky has an Ed.D in Educational Leadership that is formatted in a closely structured cohort style instruction. This is an online program in which all the coursework is offered entirely online. Educational Leadership is at the foundation of great change initiatives in our country. In the last 70 years, civil rights movements and anti-war movements were all started on the campus of public and private institutions all over the world. Developing the future leaders of those institutions is necessary, and the mission of this advanced doctoral program.  Courses are online but the live discussion sessions within your cohort are also key to the learning experience. Candidates are required to complete 42 credit hours of postgraduate coursework. The faculty is dedicated to teaching within the values of the school and program, leadership, transformation, and collaboration are a few of the stalwart values at the core of the work. 

Degree Type: Ed.D in Educational Leadership

School Type: Public

Graduate Tuition: $12,967

Andrews University offers a Ph.D. in educational leadership that is designed to train students to be leaders in a variety of fields. This is an excellent complement to the Andrews University MA in Educational Leadership pathway. Both are offered through the Distance Learning Graduate Studies Department. Typically, students can complete this program in four years. It is made up of 64 credit hours. It is fully accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and it is nationally recognized by the Educational Leadership Constituent Council. Andrews is a Christian based school with a Christian worldview. Students have access to technical support throughout the program as well as academic support. It is critical that students are prepared to engage in such an online learning endeavor by ensuring they have a stable internet connection and a computer that can run all of their coursework. 

Degree Type: Ph.D. in Educational Leadership

School Type: Private

Graduate Tuition: $27,380

Drexel University offers one of the best online Ph.D. programs. This program was designed to foster leaders in the complex field of education. Students will learn how to develop the skills to lead in a myriad of contexts and sites, as well as colleges and other institutions of higher learning, government, foundations, school districts, and even non-profits. Students will choose from one of the following concentrations: athletic administrative doctoral concentration, creativity, and innovation doctoral concentration, educational administration doctoral concentration, global and international education doctoral concentration, human resource development doctoral concentration, learning technologies doctoral concentration, nursing education, special education leadership doctoral concentration. This online program still brings students together in cohorts, ensuring they have built-in support and collaboration opportunities throughout the entire course of the program. The coursework is known for being challenging and consuming, but worth its weight in the skills that you will step away with and overall experience. 

Degree Type: Ed. D In Educational Leadership and Management

School Type: Private

Graduate Tuition: $36,234

Fordham University offers the best online history Ph.D. program. The degree is technically an EdD in Educational Leadership, Administration, and Policy. This course of study is offered through their Graduate School of Education. They offer three distinct specializations including: problem-solving and design, social justice and ethics, and scholarly inquiry and research. The entire course of study is designed to be completed in three years’ time. It is made up of 50 credit hours. There is one start date per year, so it’s important to apply by the deadline and get prepared. There are many career paths that are applicable for those who complete this program including: administrator, public policy leader, school and district leader, nonprofit leader, superintendent, and assistant superintendent. The curriculum in this program consists of such courses as engaging and transforming schools, districts, and communities, leading teaching and learning, educational leadership and organizational change, and engaging and transforming schools, districts, and communities. 

Degree Type: Ed.D in Educational Leadership, Administration and Policy

School Type: Private

Graduate Tuition: $25,080

Liberty University offers a Ph.D. program in history that is delivered entirely online. The program can be completed in four years’ time. The entire course of study is made up of 75 credit hours. Students can transfer up to 50 percent of their degree from another academic experience into this program. Liberty University offers an evangelical Christian approach to education. Students will gain a Christian historical perspective in all of their teaching. This program is fully accredited by the SACSCOC. Liberty offers an affordable academic experience. They give a significant military discount and students have access to additional financial aid. The featured courses in this program include: historiography, American entrepreneurship since 1900, historical professions, and development of western freedoms. Students will be prepared to engage in a variety of career paths including museum curation, education, law, political science-oriented professions, among many others. 

Degree Type: Ph.D. in History

School Type: Private

Graduate Tuition: $7,740

Concordia University Chicago offers a Ph.D. in Leadership program that is delivered entirely online. This is a Christian oriented program that is designed to embed scripture in all of the coursework. The entire course of study is made up of 67 credit hours. There are many doctoral specializations that students can choose from including: curriculum instruction, teacher leadership, early childhood education, sports leadership, educational technology, special education, gerontology, reading, language and literature, health and human performance, organizational leadership, and higher education. Engaged in the curriculum are the skills to conduct complex research, communication, conflict mediation, decision making, communication, change management, among many other topics that are leadership-oriented. Students in this program will have options to study abroad and connect to other innovative field experiences. Graduates will be prepared to hold leadership positions in nonprofits, roles in government, professional roles in business, among many others.                          

Degree Type: Ph.D. in Leadership

School Type: Private

Graduate Tuition: $10,458

Regent University offers a Ph.D. in Education that is delivered entirely online. This is considered one of the best online history Ph.D. programs. The entire course of study is made up of at least 75 credit hours. There are several concentrations that doctoral students can choose from which include: special education, K-12 student leadership, higher education leadership and management, higher education, exception education executive leadership, educational technology and online learning, educational psychology, curriculum and instruction, Christian education leadership, character education, advanced educational leadership, and adult education. Those who have completed this program have achieved careers in positions such as principal researchers, university faculty, school administrators, and superintendent. A program like this is bound to build on a career you already have but offer higher earning potential. One of the things that draw students to this particular program is the Christian worldview that it offers. 

Doctoral Degree Type: Ph.D in Education

School Type: Private

Graduate Tuition: $16,128

Wilmington University offers an EdD in Organizational Leadership specifically in learning and innovation. This doctoral program is offered through its distinguished College of Education. The entire program is made up of eighteen classes, which equates to 54 credits. Doctoral students can complete the doctoral program in as little as three years. This history phD program pathway is considered to be interdisciplinary in reach. There are multiple concentrations to choose from including: workplace learning and talent development, strategic leadership, and the student-designed learning pathway. Students will all participate in research core courses including: disciplined inquiry and writing, assessment and evaluation methods, problem-centered research in organizational learning in two parts. Each student will undergo consulting field experience when they complete their coursework. This is one of the aspects of the history phD program that makes it unique and also desirable. Each year, students will participate in summer institutes, the third of which is where they will do their consulting reporting. 

Doctoral Degree Type: EdD in Organizational Leadership, Learning and Innovation

School Type: Private

Graduate Tuition: $9,432

Franklin University offers a doctor of professional studies in instructional design in leadership. It is considered one of the best online history phD programs for a number of reasons. Many doctoral students find this doctoral program because they are looking for a Christian foundation in the framework for which history is told. In addition, this is considered one of the more flexible history phD program options, as it allows students to transfer in at least 24 previously earned academic credits. There are accelerated ways to undergo this history phD program. For example, students can complete the program in a fast-paced three year time period. This includes a one-year dissertation experience. Another perk about this program is that it is very easy to customize and make it exactly what you want it to be. It is designed for those who want to expressly become leaders in instructional design. 

Doctoral Degree Type: DPS in Instructional Design Leadership

School Type: Private

Graduate Tuition: $12,060

The University of the Cumberlands offers a Ph.D. in leadership studies that is considered one of the best online history Ph.D. programs. Doctoral students in this doctoral program will learn the most advanced leadership skills that can propel them into a variety of career paths following program completion. Maybe people engage in programs such as this one because they are interested in administrative roles in education or within organizations on the community or corporate level. This can also feed into the career path of project managers or business professionals. This history phD program offers many options for specialization. Students will choose one of the following areas of focus: student personnel, religion, nursing, math, information systems, history, health sciences, English, education, criminal justice, and business. This history phH program is designed to be flexible and convenient, as all of the coursework is delivered online. You will have access to excellent faculty mentorship and networking opportunities with your peers. 

Doctoral Degree Type: Ph.D. in Leadership Studies

School Type: Private

Graduate Tuition: $4,260

Keiser University offers the best online history Ph.D. program that emphasizes educational leadership. This particular program is designed to foster academic maturity. This program is designed to support students to be change-makers in their communities and schools. The program was designed to lift up leaders through research, writing, critical thinking among others that will support K-12 environments as well as post-secondary institutions. This course of study was designed to be flexible and convenient, as many students will maintain full-time employment while participating in the program. Prospective students must already have a master’s degree in a related field in order to apply. They are also expected to have a full CV with significant contributions to education under their belts to be a good candidate for the program as well. Some of the coursework in the program includes: community relations, academia, research, educational law, and even school district administration. 

Doctoral Degree Type: Ph.D. in Educational Leadership

School Type: Private

Graduate Tuition: $33,390

Why Should I Get My PhD in History Online?

There are many reasons to go the route of achieving an online PhD in history. For starters, you are probably looking into this degree path out of a deep love for something you are already doing, and you want to go deeper, or you are interested in building an academic teaching career from a specialization that you can leave your mark on.

There are many online PhD programs in history, so why not find something that is screaming your name. This could be a program about just the subject you are passionate about, or a building block that will let you deepen a discipline that holds your passion. There are many online history PhD programs out there, and finding the right one can make all the difference in the path that you carve out for yourself and the contribution you are able to make in the world. Once again, this can be the path that will set you on track to embark on the ultimate career. 

How Do I Choose an Online History PhD?

The best online PhD programs in history vary greatly. First off, it is important to look at programs that are accredited. Accreditation means they have been properly vetted by reliable sources, and therefore, offer the credibility that you need to ensure that they are safe and will give you what they say they will. Not to mention, finding the right program for you, in particular, is critical.

What this means is that you should invest the time in finding a program that really touches on the field for which you want to expand your expertise. In addition, if you require a very flexible format, it is important that you pick something that will allow you to participate in coursework from wherever you are whenever you can.

Many best online history PhD programs offer such flexibility, but you have to do the research to determine if there are in-person requirements along with other potential obligations that you want to be sure you can meet. Many programs offer a myriad of related networking opportunities that might be pertinent to your intended career path. If this is something that is interesting to you, you should seek out programs that will give you such opportunities. 

How Much Can I Make with a PhD in History? 

A history of PhD salary is quite variable. According to PayScale, on average, you are looking at something to the tune of $56,000. Associate curators make something around $60,000, though a professor that teaches within a history department generally makes around $79,000. Some of the lower range salaries on this list are adjunct faculty who make around $37,000 and assistant professors who make around $50,000. A PhD in history salary is certainly not one size fits all, but you have some control, once you have your credentials, to go into the field that makes what you deem a comfortable salary.


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