Fully online bachelor's degree programs in history are available. These programs typically cover a broad swath of history, though students can focus their studies on a particular subject, such as the history of a specific place or era, through online elective courses. A history major can prepare students for academic teaching or research; it's also a popular choice for students intending to pursue graduate study in fields like law and public administration.
Bachelor of Arts in History
While a Bachelor of Arts in History allows students to study and focus on past and current events, opportunities are also available to study English, sociology, literature, foreign languages and art history. Courses in a degree program are tailored to give students a working knowledge and comprehensive overview of world history from ancient times through the modern era.
Information and Requirements
A bachelor's degree program usually takes four years to complete. A high school diploma and acceptable scores on college entrance exams, such as the ACT and SAT, are pre-requisites. Distance learners are generally able to complete the degree program online. Instructors blend traditional texts with modern teaching technologies, such as audio and video presentations, webinars and chat rooms, to create a virtual classroom. Communication is conducted via a school's web-based system.
List of Common Courses in History at the Bachelor Level
Courses are designed to give students an appreciation and understanding of past and contemporary world events and civilizations through modern interpretation. Courses in this program include:
Women and History
This course looks at the ways women's roles have changed and stayed the same over the past five centuries. Students study the outcome behind various women's movements. Sources such as personal accounts and literary essays are examined.
World War II
Students receive a comprehensive education of the incidents leading up to the development and resolution of World War II. Special attention is paid to the Holocaust and its imprint on modern societies. Students study a variety of sources to gain an understanding of how historians record significant world events.
The Middle East
Students focus the ancient and modern history of the Middle East. Special topics of interest include the birth and growth of the Islamic faith and the history of the region's relationship with the rest of the world. Special events, such as the discovery of oil in the region and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, are studied.
While history majors can pursue graduate degrees in various fields, many graduates with a bachelor's degree choose to teach at the junior high or high school level. However, it's important to keep in mind that in addition to a bachelor's degree, aspiring teachers need to complete specific education coursework and a teaching practicum in order to be licensed. Other career opportunities for bachelor's degree graduates include working in museums, government agencies or battlefield parks. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, middle school teachers earned a median annual salary of $55,860, and high school teachers earned a median of $57,200 as of May 2015.
Continuing Education Information
Graduates with a bachelor's degree in history can enroll in law school or master's degree programs in public policy, history, library science or public administration. Those who want to teach history at the university level must complete a doctoral degree in history.
Online bachelor's programs in history are widely available. Popular courses include the history of women, World War II, and the Middle East, and students may be able to specialize in a time period or geographic area. Graduates often choose education as a career or go on to pursue professional or graduate degrees.