European History Degree and Certificate Program Overviews

Graduate degree programs in European history allow students to concentrate their interests on specific subjects or time periods, such as the Renaissance, women's studies or military history. These degrees prepare individuals to enter into careers that are research- and writing-intensive.

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Essential Information

For the most part, European history degrees are not available at the undergraduate level. Instead, students who want to learn about European history can enroll in graduate degree (master's and doctoral) and certificate programs in the discipline at a limited number of colleges and universities.

Subjects covered in a European history degree program include Ancient Greece, Renaissance Italy and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Applicants for a master's degree in European history must have a bachelor's degree and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. Applicants for a doctoral degree must have a master's degree in a related field, and some institutions require a demonstrated competency in Latin and at least one other foreign language. Individuals interested in pursing a graduate certificate in European history are typically required to have either a bachelor's or a master's degree.

Graduate programs in European history are research-intensive, and usually require the completion of a thesis for a master's degree and a dissertation for a doctoral degree.


Master's Degrees in European History

European history is the study of past events that shaped cultures and societies on the continent of Europe. A master's degree in European history may require courses in historiography or anthropology.

Other courses may include:

  • History of popular religions
  • Perspective of Byzantium and late antiquity
  • Medieval history
  • Modern European history
  • Practicum for teaching history

Doctoral Degrees in European History

European history doctorate degree programs may focus on specific locations or time periods in European history, such as Eastern European history, Western European history or early modern European history. Doctoral degree candidates are often asked to teach basic history courses to undergraduate students.

Classes in a European history doctoral program allow students the opportunity to concentrate their interests on specific areas and subjects, like political science or literature. Some courses may include:

  • Modern France
  • Jews in European history
  • History of European societies
  • A cultural history of Europe
  • Western European history issues

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  • American History
  • Ancient Studies
  • Asian History
  • Classical Mediterranean and Near Eastern Studies
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  • Historic Preservation
  • History of Science and Technology
  • Holocaust Studies
  • Medieval and Renaissance Studies
  • Museum Studies
  • Public History and Archival Administration

Graduate Certificates in European History

Some programs allow students to earn a non-degree graduate certificate in European history. Students can earn a graduate certificate independently or concurrently with a master's or doctoral degree. A graduate certificate programs allow students to explore various time periods in European history, like the Middle Ages or the pre-historic period.

Courses in a certificate program may include:

  • History of the Mediterranean
  • History of Europe to 1450
  • Ancient Europe
  • Early modern Europe
  • 19th century European history

Popular Career Options

After receiving a graduate degree in European history, students can seek employment in libraries, archives and institutions of higher education. Potential careers include:

  • Museum curator
  • Researcher
  • Archivist
  • Educator
  • Government diplomat

Individuals with European history graduate certificates might find employment with government agencies or non-profit organizations. Specific career titles may include:

  • Docent
  • Historical consultant
  • Policy analyst
  • Cultural resources manager
  • Writer

Employment Outlook and Salary Prospects

Individuals with a Ph.D. in European History may go on to careers in academia or historical research. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that employment opportunities for all post-secondary teachers are expected to increase 13% from 2014-2024. The average annual wage for post-secondary teachers was $72,470 as of May 2015, according to the BLS. Other career options may include:

  • Journal editor
  • Historian
  • University administrator
  • Historic preservation consultant

A European history graduate degree or certificate can lead to a career in academia, government, or non-profit institutions.

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