2019 Best Online Colleges for History Degrees

An online degree in history can provide students with a nuanced understanding of history throughout the world and an improved capacity for processing and analyzing information. There are 97 accredited online colleges and universities offering history degrees at a variety of degree levels including bachelor's and master's. Prospective online history students should make sure to attend an accredited school, like one of our 2019 best online colleges offering bachelor's in history degrees or our best online master's programs in history. These schools were ranked based on their tuition rates and alumni salaries reported by PayScale. Graduates may go on to have careers in sectors that require strong writing, communication, and research skills.

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2019 Best Online Colleges Offering Bachelor's in History Degrees


The best 19 online colleges for a bachelor's degree in history can be found on the list below. These schools are noteworthy for their low tuition, with 14 schools having tuition under $15,000. They also offer impressive median salaries; Washington State University tops the list with alumni reporting a mid-career salary of $112,600. Fort Hays State University is also a notable mention, with a low cost of $6,560 and a median alumni salary of $97,700.

Alumni salaries were provided by PayScale. View our methodology for more details or learn more about Guide to Online Schools.

Rank School Annual Tuition Median Salary
#1 #1 $11,329 $112,600
#2 #2 $30,570 $102,300
#3 #3 $6,560 $97,700
#4 #4 $14,970 $83,700
#5 #5 $10,104 $72,500
#6 #6 $15,300 $71,300
#7 #7 $11,760 $62,500
#8 #8 $13,365 $61,600
#9 #9 $9,000 $61,000
#10 #10 $40,208 $64,200
#11 #11 $11,400 $59,100
#12 #12 $9,967 $57,000
#13 #13 $13,547 $54,500
#14 #14 $11,250 $53,600
#15 #15 $12,370 $50,000
#16 #16 $12,600 $50,000
#17 #17 $8,914 $44,300
#18 #18 $29,769 $46,800
#19 #19 $21,786 $41,200
Salary data provided by Payscale Logo.

Comprehensive List of Accredited Online Schools - History Degrees (97)

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Partner School
Partner School
Full List Accreditation Annual Tuition Recommend Rate
Full List (97)
University of Massachusetts-Boston NECHE $32,985 100% (1 review)
57 Programs, 1 in History (view all)
  • MA in History
University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth NECHE $28,285 100% (3 reviews)
47 Programs, 2 in History (view all)
  • BA in History
  • BA in Liberal Arts - History
University of Massachusetts-Lowell NECHE $31,865 83% (6 reviews)
84 Programs, 1 in History (view all)
  • Bachelor of Liberal Arts - History
University of Memphis SACS COC $21,029 50% (2 reviews)
97 Programs, 3 in History (view all)
  • Bachelor of Arts in African and African American Studies
  • Bachelor of Arts in History
  • Master of Arts in History
University of Michigan-Flint HLC $21,165 Add Review
65 Programs, 1 in History (view all)
  • Bachelor of Applied Science - History
University of Missouri at Saint Louis HLC $25,505 Add Review
45 Programs, 1 in History (view all)
  • Bachelor of Arts in History
University of Nebraska at Kearney HLC $13,194 0% (1 review)
147 Programs, 15 in History (view all)
  • Bachelor of Arts in History
  • Bachelor of Arts in History - Advanced European History
  • Bachelor of Arts in History - Advanced Non-Western History
  • Bachelor of Arts in History - Advanced US History
University of North Alabama SACS COC $15,128 Add Review
79 Programs, 3 in History (view all)
  • Bachelor of Arts in History
  • Bachelor of Science in History
  • Master of Arts in History
University of North Carolina at Wilmington SACS COC $21,065 100% (1 review)
33 Programs, 1 in History (view all)
  • Master of Arts in History for Educators
University of Southern Mississippi SACS COC $10,218 0% (1 review)
63 Programs, 1 in History (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Archives and Special Collections
University of the Cumberlands SACS COC $23,000 100% (4 reviews)
174 Programs, 2 in History (view all)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Leadership - History
  • Executive Doctor of Philosophy in Leadership - History
University of Toledo HLC $18,885 Add Review
68 Programs, 1 in History (view all)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies - History
University of West Alabama SACS COC $16,818 100% (3 reviews)
86 Programs, 1 in History (view all)
  • Alternative Teaching Certification in History 6-12
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee HLC $20,844 0% (1 review)
115 Programs, 2 in History (view all)
  • BA in History
  • Certificate of Advanced Study in Archives & Records Administration
Valley City State University HLC $16,579 Add Review
39 Programs, 3 in History (view all)
  • B.A. in History
  • B.S. in Education - History Education
  • B.S. in History
Washington State University NWCCU $25,817 80% (10 reviews)
98 Programs, 6 in History (view all)
  • Bachelor of Arts in History
  • Bachelor of Arts in History - Atlantic
  • Bachelor of Arts in History - Europe
  • Bachelor of Arts in History - United States
Wayland Baptist University SACS COC $18,510 50% (4 reviews)
53 Programs, 1 in History (view all)
  • MA in History
Webster University HLC $27,100 83% (6 reviews)
104 Programs, 1 in History (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Teaching Globalization and History
West Virginia University HLC $23,616 100% (1 review)
53 Programs, 2 in History (view all)
  • RBA: American History
  • RBA: General History
Western Kentucky University SACS COC $25,512 0% (1 review)
147 Programs, 3 in History (view all)
  • Master of Arts in Education in Teacher Leadership - Middle Grades Education - History
  • Master of Arts in Education in Teacher Leadership - Secondary Education - History
  • Master of Arts in History
Westfield State University NECHE $15,795 Add Review
7 Programs, 1 in History (view all)
  • Bachelor of Arts in History (Degree Completion)
Wichita State University HLC $17,390 100% (1 review)
40 Programs, 1 in History (view all)
  • Bachelor of General Studies in Anthropology
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2019 Online Colleges Offering History Degrees - Ranking Details

  • Annual Tuition: $11,329
  • Median Salary: $112,600
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In keeping with its mission to help students no matter where they live, Washington State University offers multiple programs to online students who are unable to attend on-campus classes. These courses, which include two bachelor's degrees in history, are offered through the WSU Global Campus. All WSU students must fulfill the University Common Core requirements in order to graduate. The online Bachelor of Arts in Humanities - History program also requires 36 hours of history credits in courses covering areas such as American history, the history of women in the American West, and Classical and Christian Europe. The online Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences is WSU's most flexible online degree program, offering multiple concentrations including history. Students have the option of studying two or three different concentrations for this program.

  • Annual Tuition: $30,570
  • Median Salary: $102,300
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Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, West Virginia University is strong in both research and the liberal arts. Its 100% online Bachelor of Arts degree is a unique program that requires 120 credit hours for completion and allows students to turn work, life, military, and previous academic experience into academic credits. It has eight areas of emphasis, including American history and general history. Students can be admitted fall, spring or summer term. Requirements include a minimum of 27 credit hours of general education courses and a minimum of 39 credit hours of upper division courses.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (2)

  • Annual Tuition: $6,560
  • Median Salary: $97,700
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Fledgling historians seeking extra value for their money will find Fort Hays State University's Bachelor of General Studies - Historical Studies a bargain at only $6,560 a year. This 100% online degree completion program is offered through FHSU's virtual college. The general studies program is designed for students who have clear career goals. It does not provide them with a course- or career-specific diploma, but it does assist students with entering a graduate program. General education requirements for the program include 45 credit hours of English composition, computer literacy, humanities, and science courses. The history concentration requires 21 credit hours of history courses.

  • Annual Tuition: $14,970
  • Median Salary: $83,700
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Founded over 70 years ago to further the education of working adults, University of Maryland Global Campus now offers a wide variety of degrees and certificates in a variety of formats. Online students may pursue its bachelor's degree in history, which requires a thesis and 120 total credits for completion, 90 of which may be transferred. Students may opt to focus on U.S. history or world history. This program is designed for students with robust writing and critical thinking skills.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $10,104
  • Median Salary: $72,500
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Arizona State University has a proven track record; graduates of the online bachelor's programs in history reported a median annual income of $72,500. ASU's online program is cutting-edge, offering distance students a number of services including access to academic success specialists, the Wildcat career network, discounted software, math and writing tutoring, and an online orientation. Its online bachelor's degree programs in history and art history each consist of 39 7.5 week classes, for a total of 120 credit hours.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (1)

Online Master's Degrees (2)

  • Annual Tuition: $15,300
  • Median Salary: $71,300
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Excelsior College is a regionally accredited school that specializes in distance education. The average age of enrolled students is 36 years old. Excelsior College offers a 100% online bachelor's of science degree in history. This 120-credit program requires 30 of the credits to come from upper-level courses. Students choose from classes in United States history, European history, and world history. They also choose electives and must complete a capstone course. This degree prepares students for employment in education, research, and communication, as well as for a graduate degree.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $11,760
  • Median Salary: $62,500
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Catering to 27,000 students from 92 countries, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee offers over 193 degree and certificate programs, of which 30 are completely online. UWM Online's bachelor's of arts in history program requires 120 credits for graduation, 36 of which must be in history. General education requirements can be completed through the fully online First 60 Credits sequence offered through the College of Letters & Science. Online students take the exact same courses that on-campus students take, but in an online format. Online classes are not self-paced.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $13,365
  • Median Salary: $61,600
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Offering both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in History in asynchronous, online formats, Oregon State University has a cutting-edge Ecampus. Students can take an online course demo, as well as an online learning readiness quiz, to get a feel for distance learning before they make the leap into an online program. Once students are enrolled, support services such as exam proctoring, success coaching, tutoring, and library services will assist them with their coursework and academic goals. The online bachelor's degrees in history both require 180 total credits and are both research-based. No focus areas are offered.

  • Annual Tuition: $9,000
  • Median Salary: $61,000
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University of Central Florida is a very large school, with almost 70,000 students, a quarter of whom are first-generation graduates. The university offers an extensive online catalog with numerous undergraduate degrees, including a bachelor's degree in history for only $9,000 per year. This 120-credit-hour program allows students to opt for an accelerated program partway through their studies, enabling them to obtain both a bachelor's and a master's. UCF's dedicated online student support includes career services, a writing center, financial aid assistance, advising and an academic resource center.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $40,208
  • Median Salary: $64,200
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At Assumption College, all classes, even online classes, are taught by faculty, not assistants. The online Bachelor of Arts program offers six concentrations, including one in history. This program requires a total of 120 credit hours, including core courses, humanities courses, and electives. The capstone course is designed by the student and directed by faculty. Assumption college allows online students to transfer up to 75 credits. It also allows students to apply up to 30 credits for prior education and/or previous standardized examinations.

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Online Bachelor's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $11,400
  • Median Salary: $59,100
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At $11,400 per year, University of Massachusetts-Lowell offers an online Bachelor of Liberal Arts - History degree. The program is customizable and offers specializations in history, art history, economics, English, gender studies, legal studies, philosophy, and political science. Students choose two specializations and take six courses in each of them, for a total of 36 units. Courses offered for the history concentration include World War II, African-American history, and Stalin's Russia. The rest of the program's 120 units are filled with courses from the program's foreign language, core curriculum, and interdisciplinary focus requirements.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $9,967
  • Median Salary: $57,000
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Thomas Edison State University offers distance students a bachelor's of history for under $10,000 a year in tuition. A military-friendly public institution, TESU has a comprehensive online degree program that caters to working adults and adults with families. Its bachelor's of history degree requires 120 credits for completion. These credits are divided up into a number of categories including general education, civic and global learning, electives, and a capstone project. Eligible transfer credits are accepted into this major, and there is a convenient online application process.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $13,547
  • Median Salary: $54,500
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Northern Kentucky University offers over 30 online degree programs that are designed to fit the budgets, schedules, and goals of today's working adults. Some of them, such as the bachelor's degree in history program, are offered in both traditional, 16-week classes, and accelerated seven-week courses. History majors are required to complete 36 hours in the major–18 core requirement credit hours and 18 upper division credit hours. Courses are taught via the Canvas online classroom. Students can inquire into arranging internships through NKU's Career Services department.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $11,250
  • Median Salary: $53,600
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A private, non-profit college with over 160 years of education to its name, Columbia College has an enrollment of almost 25,000. In addition to an extensive catalog of traditional degree programs, it offers students 28 accredited online degrees and over 800 online courses each term. Its online programs include a 120-semester-hour bachelor's degree in history. Hosted by the History, Philosophy, and Political Science Department, this degree includes courses on ethics, world history, women and gender in world history, the history of modern Africa, and American Indian history. Internship opportunities are available.

  • Annual Tuition: $12,370
  • Median Salary: $50,000
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Sam Houston State University is renowned for its effective and innovative approach to education, and receives a 100% recommendation rate from students and former students. A leader in online education, it offers $1,000 scholarships to new fully online students. It also offers small class sizes, 24/7 support, and mentorship by top-notch faculty. Its online classes are taught by award-winning faculty, and degrees earned online are identical to those earned in-person. SHSU offers an online Bachelor of Arts in History. This 120-credit-hour degree has both a foreign language and minor requirement. Students can choose from several different specializations.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (1)

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $12,600
  • Median Salary: $50,000
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University of Memphis is regionally accredited and offers distance students online degrees through its UofM Global campus. Working adults seeking a four-year degree in the humanities can opt for its 100% online bachelor's degree in history. This degree has several concentrations, and requires a minimum of 120 credit hours for graduation. Students receive career counseling, along with exposure to graduate school workshops and other professional development opportunities. Transfer credits are accepted and internships are available.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (1)

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $8,914
  • Median Salary: $44,300
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University of Idaho offers exceptional deals with its online Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees, which each cost less than $9,000 per year. Full-time online students all pay in-state tuition. They also have options for internships, scholarships, and for studying abroad. Concentrations are available in general history, American history, and European history. A senior year capstone class is required for some concentrations. University of Idaho provides online students with technical support, academic advisors, and library services.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (2)

  • Annual Tuition: $29,769
  • Median Salary: $46,800
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University of Missouri at Saint Louis is a public, non-profit institution that is also regionally accredited. Offering both a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Bachelor of Science in History, it provides distance history students with small classes and individual attention. Course options cover American, African-American, United States, and world history. Students can choose from standard 16-week classes, or accelerated eight-week classes. They may also be eligible for scholarships and financial aid, and transfer credits are an option.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $21,786
  • Median Salary: $41,200
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Founded in 1956, University of Michigan-Flint offers over 100 undergraduate degrees. The university has offered online classes since 2000, and it now offers online students advising, financial aid, library, and veterans services. Its fully online Bachelor of Applied Science degree allows students to choose from 11 concentrations, including history. Students in this program must complete a total of at least 124 units, including general education requirements. Eligible transfer credits are permitted, pending the approval of the program committee and chairman.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (1)

Online History Degree Overview & Career Information

An online associate degree in history is good preparation for students who plan on continuing their educations by earning bachelor's degrees in the field or a similar academic discipline. These online degrees combine classes in world history with other humanities and liberal arts classes. Foundational courses explore subjects such as philosophy, natural science, social science, and fine arts.

An online bachelor’s degree in history will introduce students to the process of researching and examining history, as well as studying the histories of different regions around the globe. Common courses discuss the history of Western civilization, the history of Europe, United States history, and Middle Eastern history. Other courses may look at the historical development of particular populations or topics, such as women’s history, the history of religion, or the history of film. Some programs allow or require students to specialize the degree in an area like the history of science, African American history, or art history.

Online master's degrees in history enable students to focus heavily on a particular historical region, era, person, or event. Several programs also allow students to assess and compare factors that have impacted the United States and other countries. The programs often draw from other disciplines, such as sociology, political science, economics, English literature, and environmental studies. Graduate certificates in history are also available for educators or other working professionals who want to closely examine the history of a particular region or a historical event, such as American history, military history, the Civil War, or classical history.

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Online Associate Degrees in History

Online associate degrees in history teach students fundamental skills that can be applied to a wide range of jobs and activities. For that reason, these programs are great choices for undergraduate students who want to study history without committing to four years of full-time study or who plan to complete an associate degree before furthering their education at the bachelor's level.

Program Requirements

Associate degree programs usually take two years to complete and about 60 semester credit hours. Most online schools will require that applicants have a high school diploma or GED. Applicants may need to submit transcripts from high school and any college courses they have previously taken.


Students in an online associate degree program can expect to take some general education courses including English literature, biology, and mathematics in addition to history-specific classes. Most degrees will include coursework in some combination of world history, American history, African-American history, history of women, Eastern religions, history of Western civilization, regional history, art history, historical geology, world politics, and the history of human rights.

Job opportunities for associate degree holders in history range from teaching assistantships and park historians to document archivists and research assistants. Many graduates continue their education by obtaining a bachelor's or master's degree in a specialized area of historical study.

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Online Bachelor's Degrees in History

The online bachelor’s degree in history introduces students to major events and themes in human development, from ancient times to today. In the process, students gain a historical context for current events, as well as research and critical thinking skills.

Program Requirements

These programs require four years which is usually equivalent to at least 120 credit hours of work. A high school diploma or GED is required to apply. Most online schools will also require applicants to submit standardized test scores (SAT or ACT scores) and transcripts from high school and any colleges that an applicant may have previously attended.


The curriculum in the history online bachelor’s degree surveys history in varying regions around the world, from prehistoric events to today. Common core classes include overviews of history research methods, ancient history, medieval history, US history, and the history of ethnicity and race in the United States. Students are also required to take survey courses in the history of particular geopolitical regions, such as Asian, Latin American, or African history.

At some schools, along with taking the major courses in an array of historical areas, students can also specialize their online bachelor’s degree in a particular historical subtopic, such as women’s history, European history, or the history of science. Most programs require a capstone course or thesis project, in which students complete a significant research paper in their focus area.

Online history bachelor’s graduates may be prepared for a variety of careers that require critical thinking, writing, and reading skills. Graduates can apply for positions as administrators, human resource managers, legal assistants, and marketing analysts, to name a few. Others pursue teacher certification to teach history at the high school level. Still others go on to graduate study in law, library science, political science, or another humanities area.

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Online Master's in History

Students looking to pursue studies in history at the graduate level may be interested in an online master's degree in history. Master's degree programs in history help broaden students' perspectives of different cultures and economies. Students focus on obtaining knowledge related to influential time periods, people, and events. They're expected to delve into independent research, as well as complete a capstone project. To learn more about online master's programs in history, see our master's overview which includes a list of the best programs.

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Online Doctoral Degrees in History

Earning an online doctoral degree in history will equip students with the training and experience necessary to pursue a career in academia or another field that requires a nuanced understanding of the past, such as professional research, archaeology, and academic publishing. Admission generally requires a relevant preceding degree—either a bachelor’s or a master’s—along with GRE scores. On average, an online history PhD program takes four years to complete.

Doctoral coursework in history is heavily focused on research and scholarly interpretation of historiographic literature, which may include classes in logical reasoning, analytic writing, and data analysis. Students usually engage directly with primary sources within an area of concentration (e.g., military history, regional history, or history of a given time period). In addition, students are often required to complete courses in several other areas of history outside of their concentration and demonstrate proficiency in a second language.

Degree programs culminate in doctoral research, a dissertation, and an oral dissertation defense. The dissertation may be preceded by a prospectus (or dissertation proposal) that must be approved by the department, and students may be required to publish scholarly research in an academic journal. The overarching objective of this doctoral research is to make a significant contribution to the knowledge of history. Upon graduation, many graduates pursue academic research roles and professorships.

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Online Certificates in History

Applicants to a certificate in history program must usually hold a bachelor's degree to be considered. Prospective students will need to submit official transcripts from all postsecondary programs they have attended. An 18-credit certificate can be completed in less than one year.

The courses required for a history certificate program depend on the particular concentration a student selects. An American history certificate may include courses in US constitutional history, the American Revolution in context, the Civil War, the United States in the 20th century, and history and popular culture. A student focused on ancient and classical history could expect to take courses focusing on Medieval Europe, late antiquity and Byzantium, the Greek civilization, the Roman Republic and Empire, and the Renaissance and Reformation. Requirements for a certificate in European history would include classes in the Great War, World War II in context, modern European history, 18th and 19th century Europe, and the history of the Enlightenment.

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The Importance of an Accredited Online History Degree

Prospective online students should make sure that their schools of choice are regionally or nationally accredited in order to ensure that their learning experiences will meet national educational standards. Accredited schools and degree programs have had their curricula, faculty, student resources and outcomes, and research capabilities carefully evaluated by an independent organization. Attending an accredited school will enable you to access any federal financial aid you might qualify for and help you meet eligibility requirements for transferring credits from one accredited institution to another. This is especially important for students who plan to attend graduate school.

The Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the US Department of Education formally recognize several regional accrediting agencies and provide databases of accredited schools on their websites for prospective students. Please visit the Guide to Online Schools accreditation hub for more information about how accreditation works and why it's important.

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Career Opportunities for History Majors

Online history degrees help students develop critical thinking skills and a broad understanding of culture. Because of this, a history degree can open up many possible careers in fields such as education, consulting, law, business, financial services, government institutions, and non-profit administrations. A few examples of potential career options for people with history degrees include teaching history at the middle or high school level, history professor, journalist, librarian, museum curator, and travel writer.


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