Online European History Degree Program Information

Dec 03, 2019

While rare, there are some degree programs in European history that are offered online. Read about program requirements, course topics and degree levels, as well as career and continuing education options.

Essential Information

Bachelor's and master's degree programs in European history are rarely available in an online format; however, there are a few available. The available online programs in European history are offered in a fully online format that doesn't require on-campus visits. Educational and professional licensing requirements vary greatly by profession; when choosing an educational program, be sure to match your educational level to your career goals.

Bachelor of Arts in European History

History programs are closely related to liberal arts studies and are a division of a university's arts department. Degrees are not typically awarded specifically in European history. Rather, most universities and colleges award a general history degree but permit students to concentrate their studies on European history. Therefore, most bachelor's degrees in history contain some coursework on American history.

Program Information and Requirements

Earning a Bachelor of Arts in European History requires four years of study and 120-credit hours of coursework. Usually, the first two years of the program are dedicated to general education courses in the liberal arts and the final two years to specific history courses required for the degree major. Online degree programs in the field typically do not require any in-person campus attendance. Coursework, quizzes and tests are delivered through email or accessed via course websites. Most programs also involve Internet discussion boards.

Common Courses

Almost uniformly, history programs require a course on the methods and procedures used in the field, called historiography, and a course providing instruction on researching and writing about history and historical texts. All bachelor's degree programs require students to complete liberal arts courses prior to beginning advanced-level history coursework.

Russian and Soviet Union History

In this course students investigate the history and culture of the Russian nation. Particular emphasis is placed on the emergence of the Soviet Union, the Union's operation and its downfall. Some programs separate these topics into two courses.

England to the 1660s

This course focuses on the changes in British rule from settlement of the island through the Tudor reign and concludes with the takeover of the monarchy by the Stuarts. British culture, including literature and plays, are also discussed, as are the extensive changes in English religion that resulted in the institution of the Church of England. The multiple wars, particularly with France, that impacted and changed the British economy over the years are examined in detail.

World War II

This course investigates the triggers causing the Second World War, including the world political climate and events leading up to the onset of war in Europe. The Holocaust is discussed in detail. Topics include world mobilization, military tactics used during the war, the downfall of Berlin and the reconstruction of Europe. The course usually also incorporates analysis of the Pacific arena and American involvement.

Master of Arts in European History

At this degree level most programs permit or require a student to concentrate on one area of history but still award a general Master of Arts in History. Both modern and ancient European histories are commonly offered concentrations. Many schools provide a thesis option, in which the student must research, write and defend a thesis paper, and a non-thesis option. Thesis options typically consist of 30 hours of coursework; non-thesis options require 36 hours of coursework. Some programs offer internship or practicum options in lieu of lecture classes.

Common Courses

Napoleonic Era

Students in this course study the rise and fall of Napoleon, including the Napoleonic code, the wars and the political structures of the time. The culture and society of the era and the impact on future centuries are also investigated.

World War I

This course focuses on the causes, military tactics, and campaigns of the First World War, as well as the consequent reconstruction. Developments in politics, weaponry and the impact on subsequent generations, political structures, wars and societies are discussed.

Thesis Research and Paper Defense

Students who choose to write and defend a thesis typically take anywhere from 3-9 hours of course credits dedicated to the paper. Thesis classes are not spent in a classroom, but consist of the student privately working on the thesis.

Career Information

Students with a bachelor's degree in history can become a middle or secondary school teacher if they meet additional education requirements. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a middle school teacher earned a median salary of $58,600, while high school teachers earned a median of $60,320 as of 2018 ( The BLS also expects that over the 2018-2028 decade, the demand for both types of teachers will increase 3-4%, which is about average.

A master's degree in history can lead to a career as an archivist for a corporation or museum. As of May 2018, the BLS reported that archivists earned a median of $52,240 per year. The BLS anticipates that from 2018-2028, demand for archivists will grow by a faster than average rate of 9%.

A master's degree may enable an individual to work as an adjunct or college professor or an instructor at a college, community college or university. As of May 2018, postsecondary history teachers earned a median yearly salary of $74,590. The BLS anticipates the number of positions for postsecondary history teachers will increase 6% during the 2014-2024 decade.

Continuing Education Information

Bachelor's Degree

There is no additional certification or continuing education required for a graduate of a bachelor's degree program in history to become a curator or historian. To work as a teacher in a public school, however, most states require individuals to become certified as a teacher. A private school may not require its teachers to be certified. Teacher certification programs consist of an average of a year of instruction covering working in and managing a classroom. Sometimes, a teacher can be employed by a school while working towards certification.

To work as a lawyer, students must graduate from an undergraduate program and law school, and then pass a bar examination to become licensed. Without this license the student may not legally practice law.

Master's Degree

The continuing education requirements for a student with master's degree in history to become a teacher or an attorney are the same as those for the holder of a bachelor's degree in history. Teachers must be certified to work in public schools. Attendance and completion of law school and passing a bar examination are required to become a lawyer. Also, there are no continuing education requirements to work as a historian or curator.

Working as an archivist does not require any continuing education or licensing, but in 1989 The Academy of Certified Archivists established a voluntary certification program for current and new archivists. Licensure by the Academy requires passing an examination.

A student interested in continuing his or her history studies to earn a Doctor of Philosophy in History must complete multiple years of study, research and write a thesis and pass an oral examination on the chosen thesis topic. However, Ph.D. programs in history are not offered online.

European history programs are occasionally available online, often as part of a general history degree with a specialization in European history. These programs place a high emphasis on writing and researching, preparing graduates to become middle or high school teachers, archivists, lawyers, or historians. However, most of these careers will require further education and/or licensing.

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