Online college programs in history can cover a broad study of the field or focus on specialties, such as American history, art history, military history or music history, among others. These programs are typically fully available online, with no in-person requirements. Several schools offer history degree programs online at the associate, bachelor's and master's levels. Degrees at the graduate level generally require a bachelor's degree before applying.
Regent University offers online history degrees at both the associate and bachelor's degree levels. This school has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools since 1984, and applicants to the undergraduate programs need only a high school diploma or a passing grade for the General Equivalency Diploma (GED) test.
Associate Degree Coursework
At the associate level, students take 15 credits of history courses outside the university core curriculum, which also includes courses in Western civilization and American history. This history program focuses on finding, reading, interpreting and analyzing primary historical sources in libraries. Course topics include:
- Old testament studies
- World history
- English composition
- Public speaking
Bachelor's Degree Coursework
Bachelor's degree students must take 120 total credits, 51 of which are devoted to history. Students study the formation of cultures and learn how they interact with each other and the rest of the world. The curriculum also addresses how different perspectives and values impact historical issues. Online bachelor's degree students can choose electives in:
- African-American history
- Industrial America
- Constitutional history
- English history
- European history
- Modern Chinese, African or South American history
University of Illinois
The online department of the University of Illinois offers a bachelor's degree in history consisting of 54 credit hours. Applicants need only a high school diploma, but the school prefers those who have taken courses in the fields of English, foreign language, fine arts, and social studies.
Bachelor's Degree Coursework
Courses in this program focus on the following topics:
- Early European history
- Comparative religion
- Modern Asia
- History of American law
University of Nebraska - Kearney
The online Master of Arts in History degree program at the University of Nebraska - Kearney offers both thesis and non-thesis options. Students applying to this program must have a bachelor's degree in history with at least 18 credit hours in history courses.
Master's Degree Coursework
Online master's-level courses at the University of Nebraska - Kearney may include:
- American Civil War
- American West
- Digital history
- Environmental history
- Ethnic conflict
- American Indian history
- Byzantine world
- Civil rights movement
Graduates are prepared to participate in current affairs with an understanding of the past, and to use clear historical thinking to conduct research and present research findings logically. Additionally, the writing and analytical thinking skills developed in a history program prepare majors for diverse careers. While a certain level of education may be required for certain positions, opportunities could be found in the following fields:
- Government service
About Online Learning
A distance learning portal, such as Blackboard, allows online students to access courses from any computer with a Web connection, and some schools offer a practice course covering Blackboard basics to familiarize new online students with this technology.
Often, online courses have no set meeting times but require regular submission of weekly written assignments. Students use e-mail, real-time chat and bulletin boards to submit assignments and confer with professors and classmates. Students can earn history degrees entirely online or via hybrid format.
Degree programs in history prepare students for fields that benefit from analytical thinking and a knowledge of past events, such as journalism and government service. Online options are available at the associate, bachelor's and master's levels with no in-person requirements.