Distance Learning Graduate History Courses and Classes

Online Graduate Courses in History

Below are class descriptions for some commonly offered graduate courses in history.

  • World History and Human Geography: In this distance learning class, students examine how geography has influenced the course of human history. Subjects include the social, economic and political factors that can arise from a society's geographical location. The impact of globalization is also addressed.
  • Western Way of War: This course looks at the history of warfare as waged by Western forces, from classical Greece up through modern Europe and the United States. Some historians believe there is a distinct, unique character that defines the way the West engages in war, while others disagree. Arguments from both sides are discussed.
  • World Religious Traditions: The role of religion in societies throughout history is the subject of this class. Students learn about the traditions and beliefs of several major religions, along with some smaller movements. These belief systems are contrasted and compared.
  • U.S. Military History: This graduate course provides a historical overview of military policy and military experience in the United States. Study is focused on major events, such as the Revolutionary War, the two World Wars and the Cold War. Border wars on the American frontier are also explored.
  • Early Modern Europe: Distance learning students can learn about the development of modern Europe in the years 1300 through 1648. Subjects studied in this era include the Renaissance, the Reformation and the Scientific Revolution.
  • Historiography: The subject of historiography is history itself, as examined through historical writings. Students read papers documenting history and then consider the writer's sources, personal morals or political leanings which may have influenced the creation of the work.
  • Contemporary American History: In this course, students will study American history since the beginning of World War II, from the depression through September 11th, 2001 and the Iraq War. Students will investigate possible interpretations of recent history through critical research and analysis. Students may also pursue primary sources to gather new data regarding the current historical moment.
  • Era of the Civil War: In this course, students study the socio-economic effects of the Civil War, in addition to the politics that led to war. The Reconstruction era will also be covered.
  • The Russian Revolutions: Students learn about the revolutions that took place in Russia in 1917. Details of the prior decades that led to this period of history will also be studied. An emphasis is placed on how the Russian monarchy was destroyed, only to be replaced with a Soviet government and Communism.
  • Chinese Imperialism: Chinese history will be explored with regard to military campaigns and warfare. Scholarly research will be heavily considered.

Program Information

Online graduate history programs are widely available from several schools, including many public universities, and are designed to prepare students for careers in education, public service, archiving, journalism and more. Graduates may also be ready to take on historical research positions or advance to a doctoral program in the field.

Schools offering these programs often require applicants to have a bachelor's degree that includes a major or significant coursework in history, in addition to other admissions materials. Once admitted, distance learners can usually earn a history master's degree in two years if they have a full-time course load. Online master's programs in history usually require students to complete a certain number of core courses before allowing students to focus on a certain geographic region or time period. Students in an online graduate program may be required to complete a thesis, comprehensive exam and/or research projects before graduating.

Online graduate programs in history are available from many 4-year academic institutions. Students have the opportunity to study a broad range of topics, including very specific courses like Chinese imperialism, Russian revolutions, and the Civil War era.

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