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Best Online History Master’s Degree Programs

online history masters degree

Are you a history buff who wants to take your studies to the next level? If so, you may be wondering if an online masters degree in history is right for you.

Why get an online masters in history degree? The real question should be, “why not?” If you’re passionate about history and want to know everything there is to know about the past, then one of the best online history graduate programs is likely right for you.

Why You Should Consider One of the Best Online History Master’s

A love of history can lead to a rewarding career in a number of different fields, from teaching and museum work to government and law. To pursue many of these careers, advanced degrees are required. Enter – the online master’s in history.

Online master’s programs offer students the opportunity to pursue their educational goals without having to relocate or take time off from work. In addition, online programs are often more affordable than traditional on-campus programs.

For students who wish to study history at the graduate level, enrolling in one of the best online history graduate programs is the way to go. With a flexible schedule and the ability to study from anywhere in the world, online programs offer a unique opportunity for students to pursue their dreams. Many of the best online masters in history also offer lower tuition rates than traditional programs. Enrolling in an online history graduate program is a smart choice for any student looking to further their education.

How to Find the Right Online History Masters Programs

When it comes to choosing an online history master’s program, there are a number of factors to consider for prospective students.

First, look for a best online masters in history that is accredited by a reputable agency. This will ensure that your degree will be recognized by employers and other institutions. Second, make sure that the program offers coursework in your areas of interest.

Many master of arts programs allow students to tailor their studies to their specific interests. Finally, check out the faculty of the program you are considering.

Choose a master’s degree in history program whose faculty are experts in their field and who can provide you with the best possible education. With these factors in mind, you can be sure to choose one of the best online history master’s programs available.

In this post, we’ll explore some of the pros and cons of pursuing a history degree online. We’ll also give you a few recommendations for quality programs. So whether you’re just starting to research graduate programs or are ready to enroll, keep reading for important information on earning your history master’s online!

Prospective students should check out our list of the 10 Best Online Master’s in History Degree Programs! 


Master of Arts in History

Western Kentucky UniversityWant an online masters degree American history that will let you live in one of the country’s most historic cities? You’ll find a top history program at Western Kentucky University. And if you don’t want to study on-campus, no worries. This school also has an online master’s in history that’s just as awesome. 

Bowling Green is a medium-sized town in southwestern Kentucky. The city has 70,000 residents. About a quarter of a million people in the metropolitan area. The city’s historic downtown gives it a small-town feel. Yet Bowling Green is also home to several manufacturers. Every Chevrolet Corvette built since 1981 comes from Bowling Green. The city is also home to Fruit of the Loom underwear and Duncan Hines cake mix.

This university is located right in Bowling Green. It began as Western Kentucky Normal School for teachers, in 1906. Now, this university welcomes more than 20,000 students. The online campus offers more than 100 online degrees, including the Master of Arts in History through the History Department.

This online master’s is ideal for those who want to teach at the college level. The MA in History is also a great option for secondary teachers who want to work toward history certification requirements. Students may apply to WKU’s online MA in History for admission in either the fall or spring semester. However, all students must take the GRE before applying. The full 36-credit degree program can be completed online. If completing the online master’s in history full time, students can take classes during both semesters and the summer. In doing so, it is possible to complete thisprogram in just three years.  The online program is only offered as a non-thesis option. 

All MA students complete a course in historiography in this online masters in American history. This online degree requirement reviews historical writing and historical methods. It focuses on European and United States history from ancient times to the present.

The next four courses are in the student’s area of concentration. WKU offers five concentrations:

  • Pre-Modern European History
  • Modern European History
  • Pre-Civil War United States
  • Post-Civil War United States

Students must also show competency in a research methods tool. This can be done by passing an exam in a foreign language or completing a course in statistics. Finally, students complete 21 hours of electives. These are history courses that rotate through the online offerings. Students may transfer up to 12 hours from another graduate program. 

All students receive support services from WKU’s dedicated online learning staff. The master’s degree in history program begins with an online orientation. This gives students a chance to explore everything available via the Student Resource Portal. Students have free access to the library, online writing center, online tutoring, and career services. The portal also includes technical help for getting and staying online. WKU delivers online classes using the Blackboard LMS. 


Master of Arts in History

Norwich UniversityYou will find another one of the best online masters programs in history at Norwich University. Northfield is a small town of about 6,000 in Vermont. This is the land of covered bridges and scenic drives! Northfield is about 10 miles south of the state’s capital, Montpelier. If you’re looking for a master’s degree in history program with real clout, studying at Norwich will let you access one of the country’s most famous historic sites.

Norwich University was founded in 1819 as the first private military college in the country. Norwich has always emphasized useful and practical education. Past graduates include the chief engineer for the Northern Pacific Railroad and the past president and chairman of AT&T. The group also includes a U.S. Army Chief of Staff.

This school also has plenty of online master’s to choose from. Norwich Online began in 1998, making it one of the pioneers in extended education. Today, the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies offers programs that accommodate students’ busy lifestyles. The list of online master’s includes a Master of Arts in History. No GRE or GMAT is needed, making this the best online history masters degree no GRE required. All Norwich instructors have doctoral degrees. History teachers help students to customize their studies based on their interests. 

The MA in History at Norwich University has four start dates each year. Students can expect classes in the history department to be made up of about 15 students. The 36-credit program includes six courses in the history department. Each of these is offered over 11 weeks. Many students finish their master’s degree in as few as 18 months. Students can complete lessons on their own schedule. There are always weekly assignments and class discussions. 

Students select from one of three concentrations:

  • Public History
  • World History
  • United States History

The Public History track is a non-thesis program. This program includes a research and planning seminar and capstone project. These courses require an internship of 400 clock hours. This online master’s requirement can be spread over nine months, if necessary. 

Norwich Online offers many advantages over other online degrees. The online learning platform includes 54,000 electronic journals. There are more than 100 online databases, and hundreds of thousands of ebooks. Students have a 24/7 technical staff available to help with any online issues they encounter.

Norwich also offers many scholarships to help students fund their education. One example is a new scholarship for students pursuing an MA in History with a Public History concentration. Recipients receive $4,200 spread out over the six courses. Those awarded the scholarship must maintain a 3.5 GPA.

See Also: 20 Best Online Master’s in Secondary Education


Master of Arts in History

Louisiana Tech UniversityYou will find another one of the best online master’s history program options at Louisiana Tech University. Louisiana Tech University is located in Ruston, LA. Ruston is a small town in north-central Louisiana. The college town of 22,000 offers the best of small-town living. Yet there is easy access to big cities. It sits about 30 miles west of Monroe and about an hour east of Shreveport. Ruston has a charming historic downtown district filled with boutiques, shops, and restaurants.

Louisiana Tech University was founded in 1894. It began as the Industrial Institute and College of Louisiana with one building, 20 acres of land, and 202 students. The school changed over the years. It became Louisiana Polytechnic Institute in 1921. It was renamed Louisiana Tech University in 1970.

Today, Louisiana Tech has more than 12,000 students working on bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Louisiana Tech has an online learning program. This includes a Master of Arts in History that is delivered through interactive online courses. 

The online master’s program at Tech is ideal for students who plan to teach social studies at the high school level. The history online curriculum is also great preparation for those who want to pursue a doctoral degree in history and need to understand research methods in US and global history beyond what you’d learn in a bachelor’s degree. 

To pursue the MA, students select a major and complete 12 hours in that theme. There are two options for the MA in History at Louisiana Tech. There is a thesis and a non-thesis option. 

All master’s in history students at Louisiana Tech take Introduction to Historiography. They also take Introduction to Historical Research and Writing. These history online classes offer readings, discussions, and practical experience in history. Students interested in the Historical Research and Writing course will complete an original research paper. Both thesis and non-thesis students must take these two courses. Louisiana Tech offers financial assistance and financial aid for MA students. Financial aid includes graduate assistantships, fellowships, and scholarships. Students interested in receiving aid should complete the FAFSA. 


Master of Arts in History

University of Louisiana at MonroeLooking for an online master’s that will teach you more about history than what you’d learn in a bachelor’s degree? The University of Louisiana at Monroe is a great option for completing your history online degree.

Monroe is a scenic town in northern Louisiana on Interstate 20. It is about equal distance from Jackson, Mississippi, and Shreveport. Each of these cities is about a 90-minute drive from Monroe. The town of Monroe has a population of 50,000. The greater Monroe-Bastrop area has a total population of about 200,000. The Ouachita River and the Bayou DeSiard run through the town. Great outdoor opportunities are located nearby.

Monroe is also home to the University of Louisiana Monroe. ULM is a state-funded school that opened in 1931. The campus encompasses 238 acres with the Bayou DeSiard running through it. Today, there are more than 9,300 students at ULM working on undergraduate and graduate degrees. You’ll find one of the best online master’s in history here. 

Online students at ULM earn the same degrees as face-to-face students. ULM Online has a great support system for online students. It offers guidance and support throughout the program.

To apply to the online master degree in history, students must hold a bachelor’s degree with 18 hours of social sciences and at least nine hours in history. Applicants must also submit either GRE or GMAT scores. They should submit a thesis or research paper of no longer than 10 pages. Once accepted into ULM’s online MA in History, students can begin work on the 30-hour, non-thesis program.

All students take a course in History Research Methods. This familiarizes them with research skills and techniques. You’ll also learn how to collect and criticizing data and to apply research methods. The program also includes 4000- and 5000-level courses. At least half of the 30 hours taken must be in 5000-level courses. Courses for this online master’s in history might include:

  • Contemporary History
  • Native American History
  • Renaissance and Reformation
  • East Central Europe Since 1400
  • History of Warfare
  • Military History

Seminars are also offered each semester on reading and research in special topics. These might focus on:

  • Early American History
  • The National Period of American History
  • European History
  • Latin American History

There are also opportunities to take courses in directed reading and research. Students interested will just need the approval of the department head.


Master of Arts in History

Sam Houston State UniversityYou will find another one of the best online master’s at Sam Houston State University.

Huntsville is a small town about 70 miles north of Houston. Home to Texas’ favorite son, Sam Houston, it sits on the edge of Sam Houston National Forest. Sam Houston State University is located in Huntsville. The historic landmark on campus, Austin Hall, opened in 1851 as Austin College. Local hero Houston was even in attendance for the building’s dedication!

Austin College moved out in 1876. After some time as a Methodist school for boys, Austin Hall became the Sam Houston Normal Institute in 1879. The campus grew over the years and the school expanded. It evolved into Sam Houston State Teachers College, in 1923. The school was officially renamed Sam Houston State University in 1969.

Today, it is home to more than 21,000 students. It offers 80 bachelor’s degrees, 50 master’s degrees, and six doctoral degrees. SHSU is a Doctoral Research University. This is as designated by the Carnegie Commission of Higher Education. It ranks among the top 10 Best Online Colleges in Texas. It was also ranked the No. 1 best online college in Texas. Along with its historic campus, SHSU offers many degrees online. These include a Master of Arts in History earned completely online. 

The MA degree comprises 30 hours for the thesis option. Non-thesis students will take 36 hours. Both thesis and non-thesis students complete a foundational course, Methods in History. This gives them the chance to conduct original research, hone critical thinking skills, and uncover the best approaches for communicating their findings. SHSU offers three tracks for the MA in History:

  • Encounters and Exchanges
  • Rights and Identity
  • War and Violence

The history program includes 15 to 21 hours of track core courses and electives. The Encounters and Exchanges track includes courses in:

  • Colonial America
  • The American West
  • Texas History
  • Latin American History

The Rights and Identity track includes courses in:

  • Recent African-American History
  • Early National America
  • American Cultural & Religious History

The War and Violence track includes courses in:

  • Early Medieval Europe
  • U.S. Civil War
  • The Ottoman Empire
  • European Diplomatic History

Those who select the thesis option will earn six credits in thesis work. Those who choose the non-thesis option take a 3-credit Seminar in History. In this, they will work with faculty members to write a personal essay article  based on primary sources.

See Also: 40 Best Online Master of Religious Studies Degree Programs


Master of Arts in History

Arizona StateStudents interested in military history, research skills, or general historical events will appreciate the online master degree in history at Arizona State University. Arizona State University is home to countless historical events itself, to say nothing of the surrounding state!

Arizona opened its first institute of higher education 30 years before gaining statehood. The Territorial Normal School opened to 33 students in 1886 on a small campus in Tempe. At the time, Tempe was a small farming community 10 miles east of Phoenix. The school grew as the area developed. It became Arizona State College. By 1958, it was Arizona State University.

Tempe is now in the midst of the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. This is a region encompassing about 5 million residents. ASU has continued to grow. Today, more than 20,000 students attend ASU. They study across 22 schools and departments. It is in the top 1% of the world’s most prestigious universities. That’s according to Times Higher Education. ASU is also the No. 1 school in the U.S. for innovation. That’s according to U.S. News & World Report. Students outside Arizona can experience that same high quality education in fully online programs. The long list of online programs include the online history master’s degree. It is one of the few with a focus on art history and digital history. Formally, it is called the online Master of Arts in History at ASU.

Students in this master of history program will complete 10 classes. Each of these advanced historical methods courses  runs 7.5 weeks. The courses offered each semester vary, but might include:

  • Historical Methods
  • North American History
  • Global History
  • Comparative Colonialism
  • Global Environmental History
  • Genealogy

ASU Online offers ongoing support to all master’s students. The ASU Online degree begins with an orientation. This gives students a chance to meet other online students, explore the tools used in the courses, and get help with technical questions. Each course is delivered via a web browser. No additional software is needed to complete the assignments. Online students have access to all resources in the ASU Libraries. These include  databases, electronic journals, e-books, and more. These are reachable via the Library One Search system. It locates materials across all ASU resources. 

ASU also offers online Career and Professional Development Services. These services help students with job searches, career advice, resumes, and more. ASU has been ranked as a military friendly school by G.I. Jobs magazine. It offers assistance to veterans besides just teaching them about military history!


Master of Arts in History

Pittsburg State UniversityPittsburg, Kansas is a small town of about 20,000 people in the southeastern part of the state. It’s about two hours south of Kansas City and 45 minutes north of Joplin, Missouri. 

The PSU faculty specializes in United States History and History of the Modern World. Online students at PSU pay in-state tuition rates on a per-credit basis, if enrolled in 11 hours or fewer. The per-credit rate is $390.

All History MA students take three core courses:

  • Historical Research and Historiography
  • Seminar in American History
  • Seminar in World History.

After the core courses, students select either the thesis or seminar option. The 30-credit thesis option includes a course in Research and Thesis, along with 20 to 23 credits in history. The seminar option requires a Final Assessment course and 24 credits in history. Online students at PSU get the same quality education as on-campus students. They use remote technology to attend classes that are offered by the same faculty who teach on campus.


Master of Arts in History

Missouri State UniversityYou’ll find one of the best online master’s at Missouri State University.

Missouri State University is located in Springfield, MO. There are more than 26,000 students enrolled at MSU. The main campus is in Springfield. There are supporting campuses in West Plains and Mountain Grove, MO. There is also a campus in Dalian, China. In addition, the outreach program offers online classes. MSU offers 102 bachelor’s degrees, 61 master’s degrees, and seven doctoral degrees. Among its graduates are the owner of the Kansas City Royals, a retired three-star U.S. Army general, and actor John Goodman. 

A Master of Arts in History is available through Missouri State Online. The 30-hour online program typically takes two years to complete.

Tuition for online instruction at MSU is the same for both Missouri residents and non-residents, $295 per credit hour. The suggested course plan calls for taking two courses each semester, including the summer semester.

Students take 10 courses. These include:

  • Historiography
  • Colonial America
  • Women’s History
  • American Social History
  • The Civil War
  • The Middle East
  • Latin American History

Research seminars feature in-depth study of a topic, along with extensive research. The readings seminars feature chosen readings on the topic and periods of history. 


MA in History

University of MemphisMemphis, Tennessee is synonymous with blues and rock ‘n’ roll. It is home to Sun Studio, where Elvis Presley, B.B. King, and Johnny Cash recorded some of their most legendary sounds. Elvis Presley’s Graceland is an iconic part of Memphis. The city of almost 700,000 is in far western Tennessee, on the banks of the Mississippi River at the Arkansas border. Memphis is also home to the University of Memphis. 

Today, there are more than 21,000 students. U of M offers:

  • 17 bachelor’s degrees
  • master’s degrees in 54 subjects
  • doctoral degrees in 26 areas
  • law degrees
  • an education specialist degree
  • graduate certificate programs in 44 areas

Many of U of M’s degrees can be completed online through U of M Global. 

The 33-hour history program is only offered as a non-thesis option for online students. Up to nine credits may be earned from 6000-level courses; the rest must be 7000-level courses. All students must pass a comprehensive written exam before graduating. As a U of M student, expect to take at least one research seminar, which will involve completing original research and presenting the findings in writing.

The program’s 7000-level courses include:

  • Philosophy & Theory of History
  • Principles & Practices in History Education
  • Women/Gender Historiography
  • English History

Practicums and fieldwork in history are also available under the direction of either U of M or other faculty. They might include opportunities in grant writing or research. U of M Global also offers many Topics in History courses that give students a chance to study periods or problems across subject areas and times.



The University of Nebraska at KearneyImagine watching 650,000 sandhill cranes flying overhead. Each spring, you can see just that in the Central Nebraska Flyway in Kearney. The town of Kearney, located on Interstate 80 about 200 miles west of Omaha, is home to about 31,000 people.

Today, UNK is home to more than 6,900 students. They come from all 50 states and around the world. There are 120 majors and 27 graduate programs over three colleges. The beautiful campus is a Nebraska Arboretum site. UNK offers more than 30 online graduate degrees, including an MA in History. Online study through UNK’s eCampus is delivered through Canvas, the school’s learning management system. 

Online students attend an eCampus Student Orientation that gives them information about using Canvas, the school’s email system, accessing library resources, and more. There is also a 24/7 Help Desk and video tutorials explaining online learning. The 36-hour MA in History combines:

  • coursework
  • research
  • collaboration

This provides students an ideal basis to pursue careers in:

  • education
  • government
  • business
  • law
  • doctoral degree

All students will take America Interpreted and Historical Methods. America Interpreted is a course with readings in American historiography. The Methods course helps students to learn the tools and methods used by historians. Additional courses include:

  • Public or Digital History
  • U.S. History
  • non-U.S. History
  • World History

If you are completing the online program with the thesis option, you write your 6-credit thesis after you complete the coursework, under faculty supervision.

The Public History option also requires an internship. For that emphasis, students can take courses in Digital History and Readings in American History on such topics as:

  • Museums
  • Oral History
  • National Parks

UNK offers extensive opportunities in public and digital history. This includes research and partnerships focusing on:

  • public history
  • museums
  • digital history community history and preservation

Online students have the chance to collaborate with museums, historical societies, and national parks. UNK also offers several fellowships and grants for graduate history students.


Which online colleges have the best online master degrees in history?

There are many programs to choose from when you are looking for a history master degree. In addition to the many programs listed above, you’ll find other top online history master’s degree offerings at schools like:

  • Southern New Hampshire University
  • Fort Hays State University
  • Slippery Rock University
  • University of North Alabama

What classes will I take in an online history master’s degree?

No two history graduates will take the exact same classes as part of their degree.

Sample areas you might study in a history master degree include:

  • Military history
  • Legal and constitutional history
  • Directed research
  • Evaluating primary and secondary sources
  • World history

In some cases, you may even be able to study the history of a foreign language that interests you. These degrees are highly customizable. You can work with faculty members to create the degree that’s right for you.

What is the average salary after earning a history degree?

The average salary for a history graduate will vary. This is based on what you choose to do with your degree as well as where you choose to study.

What is required to apply to a master’s in history degree online?

To apply, you will like need to submit an online application. Prospective students may have to have an interview with faculty members or the admissions team. You might need GRE or GMAT scores. Often, an academic writing sample is required to showcase your writing and critical thinking skills. Some faculty members also like to see some work experience, so be prepared to submit your resume, too. A 3.0 minimum GPA is standard for most online history programs.


#11. Indiana State University

Location: Terre Haute, IN

Degree: MS in History

Net Price: $11,443


#12. Southern New Hampshire University

Location: Manchester, NH

Degree: MA in History

Net Price: $39,638


#13. University of North Carolina Wilmington

Location: Wilmington, NC

Degree: MA in History for professional history educators

Net Price: $16,831


#14. Wayland Baptist University

Location: Plainview, TX

Degree: MA in History

Net Price: $18,693


#15. Emporia State University

Location: Emporia, KS

Degree: MA in History

Net Price: $14,013


#16. University of North Alabama

Location: Florence, AL

Degree: MA in History

Net Price: $12,103


#17. University of Massachusetts-Boston

Location: Boston, MA

Degree: MA in History

Net Price: $10,991


#18. Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania

Location: Slippery Rock, PA

Degree: Online Master’s Degree in History

Net Price: $17,557


#19. Fort Hays State University

Location: Hays, KS

Degree: Online Master in History

Net Price: $12,196


#20. Liberty University

Location: Lynchburg, VA

Degree: Online Master in History

Net Price: $26,954



Michael Templeton
Managing Editor

Kacey Reynolds Schedler
Contributing Editor