Study Australian History: Degree Program and Course Information

American students interested in Australian history can pursue history degrees with a focus on Australian history, combined with an exchange program. Degree options and courses in this field, though uncommon, can be found at the undergraduate level.

Essential Information

In the U.S., programs in Australian history are rare. When they are available, they are generally at the bachelor's level and require a high school diploma for enrollment. In most cases, the best option for prospective students would involve earning a history degree with an Australian focus, combined with participation in a study-abroad program in Australia. This type of program would allow students to examine formative events and developments since human settlement of the Australian subcontinent.

Program content might explore indigenous societies prior to the arrival of Europeans, the era of British colonization, and the establishment of a modern society through the 19th and 20th centuries. The emergence of a national identity, relations with indigenous peoples, Britain, the British Commonwealth, the U.S. and the Asia-Pacific region, popular culture, and institutional evolution are among the themes and concepts addressed.


Bachelor's Degree in History

Exchange students enrolled in a U.S. school need to demonstrate that they have maintained good academic standing. Bachelor's programs usually obligate history degree candidates to fulfill liberal arts requirements by completing courses in the natural sciences, behavioral sciences, and mathematics. Students taking courses abroad may find they only have time for introductory and intermediate level courses.

Possible topics or course titles in a history program might include:

  • Australian history introduction
  • Indigenous peoples
  • 18th century colonial Australia
  • 19th century Australia
  • 20th century Australia
  • Urban Australia

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

A bachelor's degree with an emphasis in Australian history isn't directly associated with any particular career. Positions related to public history and historic preservation - such as with national parks, tourism bureaus, and history museums - are the best fit for the subject matter. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) projects employment of archivists, curators, and museum workers will increase by 7% from 2014 to 2024. As of May 2015, the median salary of museum technicians and conservators was $40,340 per year and $50,250 per year for archivists. Graduates can also consider applying the analytical, research, and writing skills developed in a liberal arts bachelor's program toward careers in communications and business.

Continuing Education Information

Bachelor's degree holders who want to pursue a master's degree or doctorate in Australian history have to take an active role in designing their course of study. The vast majority of U.S. schools don't have master's or doctoral-level degrees in Australian history, and schools in Australia often don't define their programs by sub-specialty. Master's and doctoral-level history programs in either country must therefore be adapted to the subject by the prospective student.

Though the degree program isn't widely available, individuals who graduate with degrees in history with a focus on Australian history can expect to enter into careers in archives, museums, communication, or business. Participating in study-abroad in Australia is a common part of these programs.


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