Why This Matters


    Historians with an advanced degree can go on to teach in colleges and universities. Enrollment in post-secondary institutions is expected to rise in the next few years, increasing the need for instructors.


    Organizations have an increasing volume of information to manage and digitize, creating new opportunities for archivists. Job growth in this field is projected to rise at a faster-than-average pace.


    The federal government employs 23% of all historians, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The government employs historians in museums, foreign affairs departments, the military, and more.

Our Research

The most common graduate degree in history is a Master of Arts, as history is a humanities-related field. Master of Arts in History programs are typically research-intensive, and students often have the option of completing a thesis in addition to required coursework.

All of the programs on our list are offered by regionally accredited institutions. Regional accreditation ensures that the school meets high quality standards, is eligible for federal financial aid funding, and that courses are transferable to other institutions.

To provide a range of options for all learning preferences and schedules, we reviewed programs offered online, on-campus, and in hybrid or blended formats. Once we narrowed our list of programs, we evaluated their cost, course strength, faculty, flexibility, and reputation. We then calculated an Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100 for each program. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

  • 57 hours to write this article
  • 155 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 294 education programs we compared

The Top 29 Online Master’s in History Programs

Best Online Master's in History Degree Programs
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What You Should Know About This Degree

A master’s in history is a versatile degree that teaches a range of sought-after skills including research, writing, critical-thinking, and problem-solving. While there are specific historian jobs available, those positions are limited. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 6% job growth for historians by 2026, or 200 new jobs. As such, this degree is best suited for individuals who are willing to be somewhat flexible in their career goals. History majors often go on to work in education, government, law, communications, and other industries.

As you research programs, you will see that most offer a thesis or non-thesis track. It’s up to you which option you pursue. Completing a thesis is recommended for students who plan to pursue doctoral study, as a master’s thesis is usually required for admission into a doctoral program. Depending on the program, you may have additional time to complete the degree if you are writing a thesis. If you are unsure about the different options, talk to an advisor or faculty member before applying to a program.

Although some programs may be advertised as fully online, check the curriculum carefully to ensure there are no on-campus requirements for seminars, orientations, or thesis presentations. Even if all coursework can be completed online, some programs require occasional campus attendance for these special events. It is your responsibility to confirm that you can fit these requirements into your lifestyle and budget.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching Online Masters in History programs:

  • Does this program have the research opportunities I want? History is a field rooted in research. Delving into a specific historical topic is a large component of graduate study in history, so it’s important to select a program that will allow you to focus on a historical subject that interests you. This can mean attending a program in a particular geographic region or studying with faculty that specialize in areas that align with your interests. Some programs also offer financial support for research, so ask about these opportunities as well.

Once you have narrowed your list of programs that interest you, be sure to review their admissions procedures, deadlines, and eligibility requirements. Knowing this information will help your application process go smoothly. This information is typically available on the school’s website, or you can contact the admissions department directly.

Also consider how you will finance your master’s degree. Some schools offer assistantships to subsidize tuition. You should also explore scholarships and financial aid. If you are currently employed, find out if your employer offers any kind of tuition assistance benefits.