Online History Courses and Classes: Course Descriptions

Numerous colleges and universities offer online history classes as part of academic programs in history and other areas. Many programs offer history classes specifically for students pursuing history degrees through online programs. Online history classes are also available for students who wish to learn more about history for personal interest or as an elective for another major.

Online Courses in History

The following courses cover some of the many history topics offered online.

  • African American History Before 1877: Students study the political, economic and social factors influencing the experiences of African Americans prior to 1877. African American roles in the Civil War and Reconstruction are examined.
  • History of the American Indian: Tribal societies across the United States are studied through online group forums, where students compare and contrast historical events. Students also discuss the development of related cultural institutions and the principles of war.
  • Introduction to History: The introductory history course covers history from a chronological perspective across the globe. Students complete the course requirements through online examinations, quizzes and out-of-class projects that are also submitted online.
  • Art History: The online art history course covers topics in modern, African American and American art. Students develop an understanding of art and a familiarity with works of art across various cultures and eras.
  • The American Revolution: This course explores the time period surrounding the beginnings of the formation of the American government. Students learn about English-American relations at the time and the many conflicts that led to acts of rebellion and, eventually, a war between the two nations. Primary sources, such as documents and letters, give deeper insight into the tumultuous period.
  • World Civilizations: Prehistory - 1500: Major societies before 1500 are introduced and analyzed. Students explore topics like world cultures, how economics influenced these societies, and what their political systems were like.
  • History Research Seminar: Students construct a capstone research project on a topic of their choosing. A written paper is submitted with arguments based on sourced material.
  • American Art: Fine art is explored in this course, stretching from the American Revolution to World War II. Famous painters are covered in addition to their contributions to the American identity. Issues of gender, race, and class are discussed.

Program Information

Online history courses are offered at the undergraduate and graduate levels and cover a broad range of topics, including art, medieval and global studies. These courses can help prepare students for careers in education, research, law, politics, communication, advocacy and business. The courses are often available for both history and non-history majors, though they are typically designed for students who have completed prerequisite courses. Students may also complete an online independent study class in the history topic of their choice.

Students enrolled in online history courses typically use a specialized online portal, such as Blackboard, to submit their required assignments and exams. Students can often exchange study notes and have direct contact with the professor and classmates through online forums and discussions.

Many history courses are offered online through associate's and bachelor's programs. Graduate programs are also available. Students explore a plethora of topics relating to art, economics, war, culture, politics, and more.


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