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Best Online Master's in History
Top Online Degree Programs 2021

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Best Online Masters History 02

If you are interested in moving beyond the basics of being a history buff and opening the door to countless degree paths, maybe you are considering a master’s in history. There are a number of reasons you might consider this option. Those who love to read, write, and pick apart the historical events that brought us to the present moment are excellent candidates for this advanced degree pathway. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the career path of a historian is not going anywhere. In fact, it is projected to grow by three percent between 2019 and 2029. 

Deciding on the perfect online masters program in history for you might be a challenge. The good news is that at the masters level, many programs offer specializations that might help you pick a program accordingly. We have sourced many programs for you and ranked them according to the best online masters programs in history. We used the following metric to inform our ranking:

  • Cost
  • Reputation
  • Student Success Rate

Take a look at what is here and see if there is something that inspires you. Many programs are offered in flexible online formats that will enable you to continue working and accounting for your regular life responsibilities. 


Arizona State University

To kick off this list is a gold standard in online learning, Arizona State University offers a master of Arts in History entirely online. This Best online masters program in history advances the skills of finding and analyzing information, the key component of a historian. To further your learning in history individuals excel in their field by their ability to local and accurately name found artifacts, people, or places. Coupled with the planning and organizing of projects presentation and writing. Finding a notable artifact is useless unless you know how to document the process properly so it will not come as a surprise that the Master program will continue to build on those same foundational writing skills involved is the historical process as their bachelor program. The graduate degree is 30 credits and can be completed in 2 years. Students must complete a capstone project to graduate. 

Degree: M.A. in History


Florida International University
Miami, FL

The next best online master’s program in history is Florida International University’s Master of Arts in History that is offered entirely online. This program is broken up into coursework in five key geographical areas; Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin American, and the United States. The online MA offers one of the three options for degree completion called the report option, this means it will require a report to graduate as opposed to an internship or a thesis. Students are also required to attend a research seminar to complete the requirements of the degree, along with 30 credit hours of coursework. Applicants interested in the program are only reviewed once a year for admission in the fall. Graduates of this program have continued on to receive a Ph.D. in History, Law degrees, or landed high ranked positions within government departments like FEMA and the state department. 

Degree: M.A. in History


University of Massachusetts-Boston
Boston, MA

The University of Massachusetts-Boston offers a masters of arts program in history that can be completed in two years. This is considered one of the best online master’s programs in history for a number of reasons, including its emphasis on critical thinking in regard to the past and how it informs the present moment. This is considered one of the most affordable of its kind. One of the things that draw students to this program is their approach to learning. Not only is the learning schedule fairly malleable, but students can decide if they want to work on an accelerated full-time basis, or scale back to part-time learning. There are live session requirements, but the timeline is scheduled with working professionals at the forefront of the timeline. The same programming is offered for on-campus students as online. Some people in this program emphasize very specific topics like global food security. 

Degree: M.A. in History


American Public University

American Public University offers a Master of Arts in History out of the school of arts and humanities. This best online master’s program in history goes further than the examination of historical fact by analyzing its effects on society and how it has shaped the history that comes after. One exciting aspect of this program is the flexibility,  each course is offered every 8 weeks and with a monthly start time, this learning at your pace degree is just wanted professional students need to work and advance in their fields. Student learning outcomes depend on the concentration they choose, they have a choice of, Greek civilization, the civil war, Russia and soviet union, the history and culture of Latin America. The entire course of study is 36 credits with 27 credits dedicated to the concentration.  Another fact to note, the university is not requiring students to pay an application fee or submit a GRE score, some deciding factors to consider when choosing a program. 

Degree: M.A. in History


Louisiana Tech University
Ruston, LA

Louisiana Tech University offers a masters of arts program in history that is supportive of students with many different goals. Many students that participate in this program are specifically interested in achieving a Ph.D. upon completion. The coursework prepares students for such an endeavor as well as those who are interested in hitting the ground running on a career that is relevant. This program has a PLAN A and a Plan B. Plan A is for those who are interested in writing a thesis and Plan B is for those who are non-thesis. Those who pursue Plan B are generally not interested in a doctoral path. Non-thesis candidates are required to take a test in order to pass the program. There are many financial aid opportunities for students in this program, including scholarships. This is considered one of the best online master’s programs in history. 

Degree: M.A. in History


Sam Houston State University
Huntsville, TX

Sam Houston State University’s master of art in history program is the online option for individuals that need a more personalized educational experience. Online courses are offered in small class groups for an intimate online learning environment. This best online master’s program in history curates a course load that takes students on a trip to the past so as to prepare them for the future. To graduate students must complete 30-36 credit hours including defending a portfolio of written work or by completing a master’s thesis. The university’s history department is boosted by being one of the longest online MA in history programs in the country so students will not have to worry about the faculty experience. Another fact that feels important to note is that it will not say online degree on your diploma. Graduates of this degree will have experienced an innovative learning experience in support of their continued efforts to become a scholar. 

Degree: M.A. in History


University of Louisiana at Monroe
Monroe, LA

The University of Louisiana at Monroe offers a masters of arts program in history that is delivered online. This is considered one of the best online master’s programs in history as a result of many of its offerings. This program is built on critical thinking and knowledge that applies to many disciplines. Covered in the curriculum are subjects such as citizenship, politics, law, and of course historical discourse. The online program does not allow for a thesis option, which means all online students will be required to pass written and oral comprehensive examinations. There are a number of graduate assistantships available for students who are interested in working while completing their coursework. They suggest prospective students state their interest upon application. Applicants for the program must have a bachelor’s degree to apply, as well as eighteen hours of humanities and/ or social studies. 

Degree: M.A. in History


Eastern Illinois University
Charleston, IL

Eastern Illinois University offers a Master of Arts in History entirely online, the department of history’s graduate program focuses on learning outcomes connected to American, Premodern World, and Modern World History.  This best online master’s program in history has a popular area of study, Historiography a specialization on the methodologies and theoretical guidelines used by today’s historians. There are two other focuses within the graduate program, premodern and modern world history. There is a one-credit course requirement that can only be completed on-campus. The entire course of study is 30 credits, there is also an online 32 credit hour degree for teachers. The degree is rigorous and requires a written examination upon completion and a thesis depending on the program track you choose. Full-time students can apply for graduate assistantships to decrease the cost of their graduate studies. 

Degree: M.A. in History


Pittsburg State University
Pittsburg, KS

Pittsburg State University offers a masters of arts in history program that is delivered online. Those who are interested in diving deep into the events of the past are good candidates for this best online master’s programs in history. The faculty members of this program focus on the history of the modern world and American history. The program is made up of 30-33 credit hours. There are three options for completing this program that include: the thesis option, applied research, and coursework. The thesis option is expressly designed for those who are interested in pursuing a doctoral education, and therefore need to gain a research foundation. This option requires students to complete 30 credit hours. Applied research is generally for those who are interested in working in a public history setting. The coursework option requires the completion of classes and work that shows students have done extensive study in that particular discipline. 

Degree: M.A. in History


University of Memphis
Memphis, TN

The University of Memphis has a Master of Arts in history that can be taken online. Pursuing an online master’s program is a commitment to excellence as online students primarily choose an online degree so they can continue working while they attend courses at a flexible time and complete coursework at their own pace. To be certain that students are getting all the information needed to be successful university advisors will meet with each student to make sure their course schedule reflects what is required for the completion of their degree. Faculty members are tenured track professors that are committed to the university and the history department. So students can depend on the faculty to co-create their experience during their graduate program and then later as they begin to practice in their field. Course work will range from ancient to modern history and as it applies to the global scope. 

Degree: M.A. in History


University of North Alabama
Florence, AL

The University of North Alabama offers a master of arts in history program that can be completed from anywhere in the world. This feature is one of the aspects of this program that makes it one of the best online master’s programs in history. Students in this program will be prepared to teach at the post-secondary level as well as in high schools and junior high schools. The core courses in the program include: historiography and methodology, seminar in US History to 1877, Seminar in US History from 1877, Seminar in world history to 1815, and comprehensive exam. Research skills are a key competency in this program. Students will be required to complete programming in foreign language proficiency and reading, as well as division coursework. Students can choose to take a thesis option, in which case they will have to complete at least credit six hours. They will also have to enroll in a thesis defense. 

Degree: M.A. in History


Emporia State University
Emporia, KS

Emporia State University offers a Master of Arts in History is the middle man of our list as it is an online hybrid option for students living near the university or want to relocate to the area. The courses for this program are held on-campus with online options for some of the required course work. Students can choose from a non-thesis option or a thesis option. This program prioritizes students pursuing a teaching certification or planning to keep working toward their Ph.D. in history. An online degree in this field is convenient for historians working in one of the myriads of professional settings. Graduates of this degree will qualify to work as educators, museum curators, historians, or government officials. This program has a few specializations to select from; political science, history, or geography. Applicants must contact the school for enrollment and degree requirement information. 

Degree: M.A. in History


University of Nebraska at Kearney
Kearney, NE

The University of Nebraska at Kearney offers a master of arts in history prepares you for a future in history without leaving your home. This best online master’s program in history has inspired students to be passionate about historical evidence, thinking critically to connect events and ideas and communicate while documenting effectively. History is the foundation of civilization, and its keepers are tasked with a daunting task, this program is a compound of history coursework and research, including collaborative projects that will prepare you for the tasks of using these skills in a number of diverse settings. The entire coursework is 36 credits students decide their major course of study through their concentration; education, business, law, or government. Applicants apply for acceptance into the program must show at least 18 undergraduate credits in history prior to their application submission. Graduates of this program go on to work as Lecturers, immunity historians, political analysts, or history researchers, the opportunities are vast with this advanced course of study. 

Degree: M.A. in History


University of North Carolina Wilmington
Wilmington, NC

The University of North Carolina Wilmington offers a master of arts in history for educators. A top-ranked degree in education has a 30-hour credit masters program, that is creating professional educators. This rigorous program highlight the ethics of being an educator and strengths student knowledge of the process of making connections through historical data and current events. The future of the field is in the classroom, with advances in today’s technology everyone with a camera is a historian capturing events that are having a global impact on society, government policy and literally making history. It is the job of the educators to lead, shape, and teach these young historians, in schools and on college campuses.  Students are required to attend two one week summer institutes, on the UNC campus in Wilmington. All the coursework required for the course is online and students will meet virtually and review topics, discussions, and network with other graduate students.  

Degree: M.A. in History


Missouri State University-Springfield
Springfield, MO

Missouri State University has a master of arts in history program, offers three tracks American Studies, global area studies, US and World. With this clear direction in their curriculum, students get to focus on what they are truly passionate about. Graduate students can choose a thesis option or a non-thesis option. There are some benefits to applying to submit a thesis, students use their time creating a written and oral presentation that can be used to showcase the skills and critical thinking assessment used to get into a Ph.D. program to gain a position as professor or publication. Graduates should be aware that a written examination will be required for any concentration track before a degree is submitted. The entire course of study is 30 credits, students will need to complete all the required coursework before taking the exam, and prior to receiving their degree. 

Degree: M.A. in History


Fort Hays State University
Hays, KS

Fort Hays State University has a master of arts in history as a non-thesis option only, this online program is the next step for individuals intent on having a career rooted in the exploration of historical fact. The future is dependent on having leadership that is socially conscious and that starts with a background in history. A history MA can lead to some of the most successful and fulfilling careers in education, government policy, or the arts. This program requires the standard 30 credit hours for graduation, including US history, modern civilization, the classical world. The best online master’s program in history is one that includes an overview of the broader scope of the domestic and foreign leaders that has shaped our current society. One exciting part of this program is the seminars in which students get credit for participating by writing a major research paper. This type of collaborative project work is beneficial when building a body of work or applying to a Ph.D. program. 

Degree: M.A. in History


Troy University
Troy, AL

Troy University offers a Master of Science in social science – History is an online formatted program for professionals with an undergraduate degree ready to advance their careers in history. While Troy University is proud to offer one of the best online master’s programs in history their mission to educate future historians is a priority. They offer several different ways to achieve an advanced degree in history. The online format is convenient, courses are held every nine weeks with several choices for elective study students can choose courses that will customize their degree to topics they are interested in; anthropology, geography, sociology, history, political science, and psychology. The social science element clearly leads through teaching certification so for students who do not want to teach, they get a chance to broaden their scope with the autonomy to choose their elective credits. Graduates will understand the methods to technical writing critical analysis of history and have an interdisciplinary approach to problem-solving. 

Degree: M.S. in Social Science-History


Norwich University
Northfield, VT

Norwich University offers a Master of Arts in history program entirely online. This is a fast-track program that only takes 18 months to complete, with concentration options in public history, world history American history, and legal and constitutional history. If you want a small class format this is the best online master program in history. Although the entire course of study is online students are called to the campus for a one-week online residency. As this is one of the country’s first military programs so the college itself is full of history that has an effective impact on how the history program shares the passion of history with their students. Students upon graduation will qualify for diverse career options including education. Another option is public history which is focused on creating managers of the preservation and interpretation of visual artifacts. The entire course of study is 36 credit hours. 

Degree: M.A. in History


Liberty University
Lynchburg, VA

Liberty University’s Master of Arts in history program tackles history while keeping its Christian values in mind. The popular self-paced format makes students leaders of their education at Liberty University. Every eight weeks students take on a new course toward the 36 credit hours needed to graduate from the program. Liberty University offers this best online master’s program in history through a desire to incorporate the past in the future. It is commonly explained that knowledge of one’s past will lead to a prosperous future. Some of the learning outcomes for this program are to ensure students understand how to conduct historical research, development effects of Christianity in America, and how to properly use oral history and archival data.  History can lead students toward any number of career outcomes so as to match the diversity of their student’s liberty university offers a variety of courses to offer to students interested in a variety of topics. 

Degree: M.A. in History


Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania
Slippery Rock, PA

Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania’s master of arts in history program is the next step in pursuit of expert scholar status from aspiring historians. Slippery rocks are offering a comprehensive program, the best online master program in history. The flexible online format allows students to continue working while completing the degree. The entire course of study is 30 credit hours and the three written examinations required at the end of completing 21 credits as pass/fail. Applicants into the program should prepare for a rigorous application process, as this master’s program can help students prepare for careers in public business, historical societies, consulting, and law and government. The courses are structured to teach students how to think critically and excel at the historical process, such as creating narratives, and make arguments from the events of the past. This program is competitively priced, making it one of the most affordable programs on our list. 

Degree: M.A. in History


Indiana State University
Terre Haute, IN

Indiana State University offers a Master of Arts in history program that is breaking the mold of online learning. For future historians, this program will get individuals ready to shape the future of history, develop processes for cataloging the innovative ways our society is now collecting history, and adding a new lens on what qualifies as a notable event. This online degree is the best online master program in history for aspiring, archivists, curators, editors, and writers. This program can also help students become teachers but its central focus is creating historians to continue to write, and present the facts of our time and make historical correlations to history. Curriculum requirements are 33 credit hours that can be completed in 3 to 5 years with part-time study. There is a predicted significant growth in the need for historians, a reassuring fact when searching for a master’s program. 

Degree: M.A. in History


Western Kentucky University
Bowling Green, KY

Western Kentucky University is offering a master of arts in history program that is 100% online, for working individuals to return to school to advance in their career. Courses are held in the fall and spring semester each year, as a non-thesis program to culminate the 36 credit hours of coursework. To become a master of history students will explore the concepts associated with the recording, written, and oral history data. It is the proper utilization of this data that will allow students to create narratives of the connection they make to the data and the events. Preparing this research and ideas in a written format is the key purpose of historians, examining data handling artifacts and studying key events and their causation in public policy. The civilization is dependent on the accurate truthful articulation of events. Graduates of this program will pursue careers as curators, archivists, historians, museum technicians, and conservators. 

Degree: M.A. in History


Wayland Baptist University
Plainview, TX

Wayland Baptist University offers a master of arts in history. Many aspects of this program brought it to our list as one of the best online master’s programs in history. Students in this program will utilize the online platform to participate in all of the programming and coursework. They dive into content related to the interconnected globalized world for which we all live. This includes issues related to the government, military, education, religion, business, among others. Students have the option to write a thesis that explores a topic that is of personal interest to the student. They will have the opportunity to defend their thesis and build the skills that are necessary to be successful in a doctoral program. This program is considered an affordable option. In addition, they have many financial aid offerings. They pride themselves on the extra support they offer to military families. 

Degree: M.A. in History


Jackson State University
Jackson, MS

Jackson State University offers a Master in Arts program in history that is known to be one of the best online masters programs in history. There are many unique strengths about this program including an emphasis on African American History, the American South, Public History, and the African Diaspora. The faculty in the department have an interdisciplinary reach. In fact, they all also teach in other departments including film, women’s studies, the middle east, sexuality, Latin America, and disability, among other themes. All of the requirements are met for this program online. They also have a non-degree option designed to offer teaching certifications. There is a thesis option designed for students who are interested in moving into a doctoral program. This requires students to write a thesis and defend their work. All students in this program will be on a journey to create a discourse that is culturally relevant and historically accurate. 

Degree: M.A. in History


Southern New Hampshire University
Manchester, NH

Southern New Hampshire University offers one of the best online master’s programs in history. This course of study offers two concentrations including public history, American history, and military history. This program enables you to transfer up to 12 graduate credits from another academic institution. This program is known for being self-paced. You can take as long as you need. Though if you are trying to get in and out, you can complete the program in as little as 15 months. They wrote the book on flexibility at SNHU. You can log into your classes any time of day from anywhere in the world. The coursework emphasizes critical thinking and research skills. Students will be able to make interpretations of historical events using an array of secondary and primary sources. Also emphasized is looking at the social and economic frameworks for which to view history. 

Degree: M.A. in History

Why Should I Get My History Master’s Online?

There are many reasons students might want to achieve a master’s in history online. This includes an interest in teaching at the community college level. This is the first step in that particular career path. An online master’s in history is the perfect fit for someone who has goals to engage in a doctoral program that is history and/ or humanities-based. There are many career options that are available to graduates of master’s degrees in history online. Whatever the reason you choose to accomplish a degree like this one, it is important for you to know your specific goals. This way, you can choose a program that offers the resources you need to accomplish your specific goals. For example, if you have your eyes set on matriculating into a doctoral program, you probably want to choose an online master’s in history that offers a thesis option. This will be used not only for your application but also the skills you glean will be valuable for your next academic endeavor. You might not have goals of going into another academic program, in which case, you may not want to invest in writing a thesis. 

How Do I Choose a Good Online History Master’s Program?

There are many lenses through which you can look for the perfect masters in history online programs that meet your personal needs. For starters, look for schools that you know to be respected. A good way to do this is by focusing on an accredited online master’s degree in history programs. In addition, Many programs offer specific specializations that might meet your unique interests and needs. For example, if you are interested in creating discourse related to the African diaspora, you want to look at online masters in history programs that offer coursework and possibly archives that tie into that subject matter. You may be interested in a faith-based program, depending on your personal orientation. If that is the case, there are many programs that meet such needs. That is an easy way to refine your search and focus primarily on programs with a religious framework. In addition, if you are interested in going into a doctoral program, you should look into programs that emphasize thesis writing and defense. 

How Much Can I Make with a Master’s in History?

According to payscale, the average master’s degree in history salary is quite variable. A master’s in history salary is not one size fits all. You will see that a historian’s salary in military history is on average $94,000. This goes higher and lower. This is to say, however, there is no true average salary for a historian, as it is very much based on your specialization and the career path you choose based on your education and interests. The average salary for a master of arts in a public history degree is $41,799. The average salary for a master’s in history salary, with an emphasis on art, is pushing up against $60,000.


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Find Your Degree

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