2020 Best Online Master's in History Degrees

By OnlineU Staff | Updated March 9, 2020
2020 Best Online Master's in History Badge

This list highlights the 19 best value colleges offering online master's programs in history. Graduates of the #1 school, the University of Massachusetts-Boston, report earning a median salary of $105,180. Tuition for the MA in History is just $8,625 annually. At #4, Fort Hays State University has the least expensive tuition on the list, charging only $4,316 per year. Students can choose between a Master of Arts in History and a Master of Arts in Public History.

Alumni salaries were provided by PayScale. View our methodology for more details or learn more about OnlineU.

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Rank School Annual Tuition Mid-Career Salary
# 1 #1 $8,625 $105,180
# 2 #2 $10,640 $104,728
# 3 #3 $7,704 $102,600
# 4 #4 $4,316 $99,100
# 5 #5 $11,849 $101,493
# 6 #6 $13,638 $100,300
# 7 #7 $54,900 $115,654
# 8 #8 $12,726 $98,000
# 9 #9 $13,500 $97,224
# 10 #10 $17,256 $96,552
# 11 #11 $5,310 $83,563
# 12 #12 $7,769 $71,400
# 13 #13 $13,560 $71,987
# 14 #14 $11,286 $70,212
# 15 #15 $13,500 $68,500
# 16 #16 $29,232 $66,900
# 17 #17 $9,272 $58,700
# 18 #18 $8,316 $55,300
# 19 #19 $7,193 $50,300
Salary data provided by Payscale Logo

2020 Online Colleges Offering History Degrees - Ranking Details

#1 University of Massachusetts-Boston

  • Annual Tuition: $8,625
  • Median Salary: $105,180
  • Locations: Boston (MA)
  • Accreditation: NECHE

The online Master of Arts in History at the University of Massachusetts-Boston is designed to provide a flexible and affordable education for students interested in pursuing advanced studies in history. The curriculum is identical to the on-campus program and is taught by tenure-track faculty. Required coursework includes critical theoretical approaches in history, research methods, and thesis prep and writing classes. A choice of electives allows students to focus their studies in areas of interest. Options include World War Two, Cold War America, Topics in European History, and Socialism. The program culminates with the thesis project, which requires students to complete original research.

#2 Arizona State University

  • Annual Tuition: $10,640
  • Median Salary: $104,728
  • Locations: Tempe (AZ)(and 4 others)
  • Accreditation: HLC

Arizona State University has an online Master of Arts in History that allows students to choose one of two curriculums depending on where their interests lie. Students can choose the North American history track, focusing on the historical elements of the North American continent and its historical relationship with other parts of the world. The curriculum of the global history concentration instructs students on the advancement of civilization throughout the world, exploring differences and similarities between the history of different countries and continents. With experienced faculty members, students graduate the online master's in history program with a well-rounded education in the discipline and practical skills in research and critical thinking.

#3 Louisiana Tech University

  • Annual Tuition: $7,704
  • Median Salary: $102,600
  • Locations: Ruston (LA)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Louisiana Tech University offers an online Master of Arts in History that aims to provide students with a versatile and flexible education that prepares them for a variety of careers. Upon completion of the program, graduates are qualified to teach, work in historical societies and museums, or be a historical landmark inspector. Graduates may also choose to further their education by pursuing a PhD in history. Louisiana Tech also offers a teacher certification program that can be combined with the master's in history to prepare graduates for teaching positions at the secondary level.

#4 Fort Hays State University

  • Annual Tuition: $4,316
  • Median Salary: $99,100
  • Locations: Hays (KS)
  • Accreditation: HLC

The online Master of Arts in History at Fort Hays State University provides students the opportunity to explore and research the period and area of history they are most interested in. The university offers research opportunities for a number of subjects, including western history, world history, local history, agriculture and rural studies, and the history of science and technology. Graduates of this 30-credit hour online history degree have the education to pursue careers in teaching at the secondary or college level, curating historical societies, and research writing.

#5 University of Memphis

  • Annual Tuition: $11,849
  • Median Salary: $101,493
  • Locations: Memphis (TN)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

The online Master of Arts in History at the University of Memphis instructs students in understanding and critiquing historical scholarly theories and writing. Students complete 11 advanced history classes in this 33-credit hour program, with coursework in early and modern U.S. history, African American history, modern European history, and ancient Egyptian history. The focus in academia qualifies graduates for teaching roles at the secondary and college level, in addition to preparing them for PhD studies if they choose to pursue further education.

#6 University of North Carolina at Wilmington

  • Annual Tuition: $13,638
  • Median Salary: $100,300
  • Locations: Wilmington (NC)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

The online Master of Arts in History from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNCW) is specifically designed for professional history teachers. This program requires 30 credit hours to complete and emphasizes research skills and professional development for educators. The master’s in history online degree runs for two consecutive years, with two classes taken each semester (fall and spring) and an on-campus, week-long summer institute each summer. The online work is all asynchronous, so students can continue working while completing their assignments. Online classes are facilitated by Canvas learning management software. Graduates must successfully complete a capstone project, which includes a written and exam component. Online services include disability accommodations, a career center, a writing center, a counseling center, Randall library resources, and technical assistance. The application for the online MA in History for educators includes a personal essay that specifically addresses why the online program is a better fit for the student’s professional goals. This is a cohort program with one enrollment period each fall. A complete application includes official transcripts, GRE scores, three letters of recommendation, and an academic writing sample. North Carolina teachers are preferred.

#7 Johns Hopkins University

  • Annual Tuition: $54,900
  • Median Salary: $115,654
  • Locations: Baltimore (MD)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

Master’s candidates seeking an online history degree from Johns Hopkins University have the option of a Master of Arts in Cultural Heritage Management. The program can be completed full-time or part-time in 12 or 24 months, respectively. The curriculum emphasizes management and technology-focused solutions toward conservation. The MA requires nine online courses and one, two-week intensive. There is also the option of an internship component. The intensive is a face-to-face requirement at a location determined by the program. Participants engage in hands-on activities and site visits. Online courses use Blackboard learning management software and Zoom video conferencing. Online students can access disability accommodations, 24/7 technology support, and resources from the Johns Hopkins library system. Students may enroll in spring, summer, or fall terms. Interested applicants must have a completed bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Undergraduate experience should be in a related field, such as anthropology, archaeology, or art history. In addition to the online application, admissions requirements include a statement of purpose, two letters of recommendation, a resume, and official transcripts.

#8 Western Kentucky University

  • Annual Tuition: $12,726
  • Median Salary: $98,000
  • Locations: Bowling Green (KY)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

The Master of Arts in History from Western Kentucky University (WKU) is designed for history teachers or those who intend to pursue a doctoral degree in history. The MA in History is available entirely online and can be completed over three years. It is a non-thesis degree. The full program is 36 credit hours, which includes a research class and concentration courses. Concentration topics include pre-modern Europe/world, modern Europe, non-western world, pre-civil war United States, and post-civil war United States. Successful completion of a final exam in one of these specialties is required to graduate. WKU's online history degrees are facilitated through the Division of Extended Learning & Outreach (DELO). Online classes run in four terms (fall, winter, spring, and summer), and rely on Blackboard learning management software. Most classes are asynchronous. Online learners have access to career services, tutoring, library resources, and the Writing Center. These are all explained in detail during the online student orientation. Online master’s candidates must have a completed undergraduate degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Admission requirements include a completed application form (with fee), official transcripts, a personal statement, a research paper, and GRE scores.

#9 Florida International University

  • Annual Tuition: $13,500
  • Median Salary: $97,224
  • Locations: Miami (FL)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Florida International University (FIU) has a Master of Arts in History available through the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs. Available entirely online, students have three tracks from which to choose: a report option, a thesis option, or a public history option. The program requires 30 credits to graduate, which includes a six-credit research seminar. The report option includes a final research paper, while the public history option includes an internship and portfolio. FIU’s online learners benefit from an engaging online experience with 24/7 support, real-time faculty feedback, and a personal academic coach for individualized guidance. Online learners use Canvas learning management software to engage in group discussions and complete assignments. Many classes are real-time and are not self-paced, so students are expected to meet deadlines and attend virtual classes. There is an online student orientation to acquaint students with the online learning environment. Prospective students must have a completed undergraduate degree with a 3.25 minimum GPA. A completed application (with fee), official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, writing samples, and a personal statement are also required. The GRE is not required, but students with high scores are welcome to submit those for consideration. International students are welcome, and FIU has been recognized for its support of students with a military background. Graduates are invited to attend the on-campus graduation ceremony.

#10 Norwich University

  • Annual Tuition: $17,256
  • Median Salary: $96,552
  • Locations: Northfield (VT)
  • Accreditation: NECHE

Norwich University is a private military college in Vermont that hosts an online degree platform with a range of services. Classes are offered asynchronously with 24/7 technical support. Students have weekly lessons and assignments and are expected to engage with faculty via discussion boards. Online students may access the writing center, library databases, electronic journals, and e-books. Norwich University’s 36-credit online Master of Arts in History has four concentrations for students to focus their graduate studies. Concentrations include Public History, American History, World History, and Legal and Constitutional History. Depending on the chosen track, students will be required to complete either a capstone paper, an internship, a research seminar, a capstone project, or an optional thesis. An online  Master of Arts in Military History is also available. Classes run for 11 weeks each. While mostly online, participants in both programs are required to attend campus for a one-week residency. The degrees take an average of 18 months to complete, and class sizes are limited to 15 students. Interested candidates must submit an application form, a letter of intent, a resume, one letter of recommendation, and all applicable transcripts. There are four start dates throughout the academic year.

#11 Missouri State University

  • Annual Tuition: $5,310
  • Median Salary: $83,563
  • Locations: Springfield (MO)
  • Accreditation: HLC

Those interested in a history graduate degree from Missouri State University have the option to apply for a 30-credit Master of Arts in History. Entirely online, the curriculum is designed for current teachers or those hoping to pursue a doctoral degree in history. The program emphasizes research techniques and professional development. Students may select a concentration in American Studies, Global Area Studies, or U.S. and World. A thesis is optional, though encouraged for those hoping to continue toward a Ph.D. Otherwise, a final seminar is required. Students may take courses on a part-time or full-time basis. Missouri State Online, the virtual learning platform for Missouri State University, provides students with graduate classes taught by the same faculty as the on-campus versions. Courses are asynchronous, and students engage in discussions on their own time. Distance education students have access to support resources, including career counseling, financial aid, tutoring, library resources, virtual research assistance, and help from the school's writing center. Interested applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.75 and submit transcripts, three letters of recommendation, and a writing sample. GRE scores are not required. Preference is given to applicants with 24 undergraduate hours in history. Students may enroll in either the spring or fall semester.

#12 Sam Houston State University

  • Annual Tuition: $7,769
  • Median Salary: $71,400
  • Locations: Huntsville (TX)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

The Master of Arts in History from Sam Houston State University (SHSU) Online is a 30-36 credit program that can be completed part-time or full-time. Many participants continue to work while completing their degree, and thus choose to complete one course at a time. Students may select either a thesis or final project option. The final project is a portfolio of written work. Individuals accepted into the online master’s program are required to select one of the following thematic concentrations: Rights and Identity, War and Violence, or Encounters and Exchanges. Online courses share the same faculty as the on-campus versions and are writing intensive. Class delivery methods include e-mail, discussion boards, and chat rooms. Students must complete work on the same timetable as the on-campus classes. Online materials are facilitated through Blackboard’s learning management software. Resources for online students include SHSU’s 24/7 online support desk, career services, online tutoring, library resources, and academic advising. Interested candidates must take the GRE and must complete at least 18 credits of undergraduate history coursework. Also required is a completed bachelor’s degree with a 2.5 GPA minimum, official transcripts, an academic writing sample, two letters of recommendation, a cover letter, and a completed application form (with fee).

#13 Liberty University

  • Annual Tuition: $13,560
  • Median Salary: $71,987
  • Locations: Lynchburg (VA)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Prospective students interested in a history degree from Liberty University have two graduate-level options: a Master of Arts in History or a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in History. The MA in History is a 1.5-year program requiring 36 credit hours and focuses on research methods and major topics in U.S. history. The M.Ed. is also 36 credits, taught over 1.5 years, and focuses on professional teaching skills and designing a history curriculum. This is a non-licensure program. Classes are entirely online and run in eight-week terms. Online learning is facilitated through Blackboard learning management software. It follows an asynchronous format, allowing students to complete work at their own pace without meeting specific login times for class. Online learners have access to Adobe products, an IT Helpdesk (with hours Sunday through Saturday), an online writing center, resources from the Jerry Falwell Library, and free tutoring. Applicants must submit a completed application and official transcripts showing the successful completion of a bachelor's degree.

#14 Southern New Hampshire University Online

  • Annual Tuition: $11,286
  • Median Salary: $70,212
  • Locations: Manchester (NH)
  • Accreditation: NECHE

The online Master of Arts in History from Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) Online can be completed without any residential requirement. The online history program can be completed in 15 months at a student’s own pace. Students will develop skills in research methods, writing, and presenting. Students may select a concentration in American History, Military History, or Public History. The full program requires 33 credit hours. It includes an internship, a research seminar, and a capstone course. Classes are asynchronous, allowing students to access materials and complete work on their own schedules. Coursework is available 24/7, and there are four consecutive terms throughout the year. Online resources include access to the Online Writing Center, tutoring services, career services, academic advising, 24/7 technical support, and an online library. Applicants can transfer up to 12 graduate credit hours and do not need to submit GRE or GMAT scores. SNHU offers rolling admissions so that candidates may apply anytime. Applicants must have a completed bachelor’s degree and submit official transcripts and a personal statement with their completed application form. There is no application fee.

#15 Regent University Online

  • Annual Tuition: $13,500
  • Median Salary: $68,500
  • Locations: Virginia Beach (VA)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Regent University, a Christian institution, provides online graduate degrees delivered through Blackboard learning management software. Most classes are asynchronous, though Blackboard Collaborative is available should a real-time lecture or discussion be required. Online students may access resources in academic advisement, career and talent management, disability services, and mental health counseling. Prospective students seeking a master’s in history online have three choices from Regent University Online: a Master of Divinity (M.Div.), a Master of Theological Studies (MTS), and a Master of Theology (MTh). Each of these programs provides a concentration in the History of Christianity. The M.Div. runs in eight-week courses for a total of 72 credit hours. It includes a capstone experience in the form of a thesis, a spiritual formation portfolio, or clinical pastoral education. The MTS courses run in eight-week sessions for a total of 48 credits. The MTh courses are 15-weeks long, and the degree requires 24 credit hours. Applicants can enroll in eight different sessions throughout the year but must have a completed undergraduate degree with a minimum 2.75 GPA. A completed application, an application fee, and transcripts are required for admission. Additionally, candidates must send in a personal goal statement and an academic writing sample.

#16 Rutgers University-Camden

  • Annual Tuition: $29,232
  • Median Salary: $66,900
  • Locations: Camden (NJ)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

Rutgers University’s Camden campus hosts a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies with a concentration in World History and Politics. It is an interdisciplinary program available entirely online, with a heavy emphasis on reading and exploring topics through multiple perspectives. The program is designed for professionals and requires 30 credits, including a final three-credit capstone research project. It can be completed on a part-time or full-time basis. Online class sizes are kept small, and students complete work on their own time and participate via discussion boards facilitated by faculty members. Typically, students log in weekly to review assignments and complete written responses. Online learning is facilitated using Canvas learning management software and Moodle. Online students can use resources from the Rutgers University library system, an IT help desk, and disability accommodations. Students interested in the MA in Liberal Studies may start in spring, summer, or fall. Applicants must have a completed bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 GPA minimum. The full admissions process requires official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, a writing sample, and a personal statement. The GRE is not required. 

#17 Wayland Baptist University

  • Annual Tuition: $9,272
  • Median Salary: $58,700
  • Locations: Plainview (TX)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Prospective history students may consider the Master of Arts in History from Wayland Baptist University (WBU). It is available entirely online through WBUOnline, which provides asynchronous classwork for a highly flexible schedule. Students may complete coursework on their own time at their own pace. Classes operate with Blackboard learning management software. Online courses run in four 11-week terms and allow students to continue working while completing their degrees. Online students are assigned an academic advisor and may use counseling services, tutoring services, and career development services. The online history curriculum is a total of 37 credits and includes courses in American history, environmental history, and history of technology. Students admitted to the MA in History program online may complete a research thesis in lieu of a final comprehensive exam. WBU is recognized as a Military-Friendly school, and credit may be awarded for military experience. Interested applicants to WBU’s graduate program in history should have a completed bachelor’s degree with at least six credit hours of undergraduate history coursework. Candidates must submit official transcripts and a completed application form.

#18 Jackson State University

  • Annual Tuition: $8,316
  • Median Salary: $55,300
  • Locations: Jackson (MS)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Jackson State University’s (JSU) Master of Arts in History program has either a thesis option or a project-based option. The thesis option is most appropriate for those considering doctoral-level work post-graduation. Hosted through the Department of History and Philosophy, the program requires 36 credit hours and can be completed in two years. Classes cover a range of subjects, including women’s history, the Middle East, public history, and African American history. Students may select a concentration in one of the following: Global History, Social and Cultural History, United States History, Public History, or African Diaspora History. Online learning is facilitated through Canvas learning management software. Students engage in class through e-mail, discussion boards, and chat features. Online students at JSU receive access to JSU libraries, a 24/7 technical help desk, and e-tutoring. Graduate school application requirements include a completed application form (no fee for in-state residents), three letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and two copies of official transcripts. All candidates must have a completed bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Those with lower than a 3.0 GPA must submit an academic writing sample.

#19 Emporia State University

  • Annual Tuition: $7,193
  • Median Salary: $50,300
  • Locations: Emporia (KS)
  • Accreditation: HLC

The Master of Arts in History from Emporia State University (ESU) has a thesis option, a non-thesis option, or a concentration option in Social Sciences Education. The degree is available entirely online and includes research seminars, internship opportunities, and extensive readings. The non-thesis option includes additional classes, a written exam, and an oral defense. The Social Science Education option is a teacher certification program that leads to Kansas state licensure to teach sixth grade through twelfth grade. This option includes a content-based project. Online education at ESU is asynchronous, allowing students to participate in class on their own schedules. Coursework incorporates weekly lectures and discussions with assigned due dates. Online tools and materials are facilitated with Canvas learning management software. Distance learners may access an IT help desk, library resources, an advising center, disability accommodations, and the Academic Center for Excellence and Success (for tutoring and workshops). Interested applicants must complete an online application form (with fee) and submit official transcripts. Candidates must have a completed bachelor’s degree with at least a 2.5 GPA.

Online Master's in History Overview

Program Requirements

Online history master's degrees usually take two to three years to complete and consist of approximately 36 semester credit hours. Applicants will need to have a bachelor's degree in a related field and will need to submit transcripts from their undergraduate studies as part of the application process. In addition to transcripts, some schools will also require applicants to submit standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, and/or personal statements.

Curriculum

Examples of core classes included in these degree programs include colonialism, cultural and religious history, diplomatic history, imperialism, historiography, Roman history, slavery, women's suffrage, and race, class, and gender history. Other common classroom topics may include research methods of historians, popular culture throughout history, early American history, analyzing historical data and samples, history of ancient Greece, and history of ancient indigenous people. Coursework will vary based on students' areas of interest and whether they choose to specialize in one aspect of historical studies.

Graduates of online history master's programs may go on to become museum administrators, teachers, archivists, librarians, and writers; many master's graduates become college instructors. Those who are interested in becoming consultants or scholars in the field should consider earning a doctoral degree as well.

This website offers school details to prospective students as an informational resource. The appearance of a school listing on this website should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the school by this site.