2019 Best Online Master's in History Programs

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The following 15 schools offer the best online master's degrees in history, with an affordable average tuition of $11,296 per year. Johns Hopkins University secures the #1 spot, with an annual tuition of $21,250 and a reported median salary of $115,654. Fort Hays State University has a notably low tuition of only $4,316 per year and an exceptional median alumni salary of $99,100.

Alumni salaries were provided by PayScale. View our methodology for more details or learn more about SR Education Group.

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Rank School Annual Tuition Median Salary
#1 #1 Johns Hopkins University $21,250 $115,654
#2 #2 University of Massachusetts-Boston $8,050 $105,180
#3 #3 Arizona State University $8,430 $104,728
#4 #4 Louisiana Tech University $7,875 $102,600
#5 #5 University of Memphis $10,251 $101,493
#6 #6 Fort Hays State University $4,316 $99,100
#7 #7 Western Kentucky University $12,726 $98,000
#8 #8 Norwich University $16,896 $96,552
#9 #9 Missouri State University $5,525 $83,563
#10 #10 Sam Houston State University $7,402 $71,400
#11 #11 Liberty University $13,560 $71,987
#12 #12 Southern New Hampshire University Online $16,929 $70,212
#13 #13 Wayland Baptist University $8,835 $58,700
#14 #14 Jackson State University $11,123 $55,300
#15 #15 Emporia State University $16,274 $50,300
Salary data provided by Payscale Logo. Updated 2018.
  • Annual Tuition: $21,250
  • Median Salary: $115,654
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
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Johns Hopkins University offers a unique online Master’s in the History of Medicine. The university is proud to extend the reach of this historic degree program, which is taught through the Institute of the History of Medicine, a department of the JHU School of Medicine. This part-time MA degree prepares students to pursue a PhD on campus or a variety of careers in research, education, or public policy. Students and alumni praise the flexibility of the online format, which combines live sessions with recorded video lectures and asynchronous discussions, readings, and written assignments.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $8,050
  • Median Salary: $105,180
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: NECHE
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Earn a Master’s in History online through the University of Massachusetts-Boston. This MA focuses primarily on modern US and European history, with elective courses available in other areas. It is recommended for history teachers and aspiring Ph.D. candidates, but it can also prepare students for a host of other careers in the humanities. This competitive online program admits just 15-20 students per year, all of whom complete the same intensive requirements as their on-campus counterparts. This includes reading 250-300 pages a week and writing approximately 25 pages per semester.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $8,430
  • Median Salary: $104,728
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: HLC
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Arizona State University’s flexible online Master of Arts in History degree provides students with the opportunity to expand their content knowledge while improving their skills in research, analysis, and writing. Graduates are prepared for careers or advancement in the fields of education, museums, journalism, and more. ASU offers classes in flexible 7.5 week sessions in order to meet the needs of online learners, most of whom are enrolled in this program part-time. This 30-credit MA typically involves 10 academic classes, though students can also receive credit for relevant internships.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $7,875
  • Median Salary: $102,600
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
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Louisiana Tech University has offered graduate degrees in history for over 50 years; in 2012, they launched their online Master’s in History program in order to extend that opportunity to students across the country. The flexible online format has allowed LTU to educate MA students who are full-time teachers, military service members, police officers, and more. They offer both a thesis and non-thesis option for the program, as they know each student pursues the program for a different reason and may not need to complete extensive research to achieve their personal educational goals.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $10,251
  • Median Salary: $101,493
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
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The University of Memphis’s history department offers an online Master’s in History program for those who need the flexibility of distance learning to achieve their academic goals. The school’s more than two dozen faculty members provide strong online course offerings in US, Asian, and Medieval European history, as well as historical topics relating to women, gender, and family. Elective courses cover a broad range of additional topics. Online MA students may complete a thesis provided they show the faculty that they have access to the materials needed to conduct their research.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $4,316
  • Median Salary: $99,100
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: HLC
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Fort Hays State University offers two non-thesis Master’s in History degrees available entirely online. Their MA in History and MA in Public History programs prepare students for various careers in government, law, cultural resource management, and more, though many complete their online degree while working full-time in order to qualify for professional advancement or achieve a personal goal. These programs give students broad knowledge of American, European, and world history while providing them the opportunity to explore specific areas of interest. FHSU faculty also offer expertise in topics like agriculture and rural studies, history of science and technology, and local history.

  • Annual Tuition: $12,726
  • Median Salary: $98,000
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
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Western Kentucky University’s online Master’s in History aims to educate future Ph.D. candidates and history teachers seeking advancement, as well as those who simply desire to increase their knowledge base. Their online MA in History is a non-thesis academic program requiring 36 credit hours of academic coursework. With online graduate classes offered every semester, students can complete the degree within three years. Students may transfer in up to twelve credits from another institution, provided they meet WKU’s program requirements.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $16,896
  • Median Salary: $96,552
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: NECHE
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Norwich University offers flexible online learning programs for students pursuing a Master’s in History. The degree is made up of six six-credit courses that last 11 weeks each, and students can apply to one of four start dates offered per year. Choose from an MA in Military History or an MA in History with a concentration in American or world history. NU also offers a thesis option for students who are interested in pursuing a Ph.D. Classes are capped at 15 students to ensure each receives personalized attention from the school’s distinguished faculty. The final requirement of the 18-month program is a week-long residency on-campus which culminates in commencement.

  • Annual Tuition: $5,525
  • Median Salary: $83,563
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: HLC
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Missouri State University offers an online Master’s in History degree with optional thesis. Students choose a concentration in either American studies, US and world, or a global topic like the Islamic world. The online program is popular with full-time teachers, who also have the option of pursuing the sub-track in history education, which combines coursework in pedagogy and history. Students can personalize the timeline of their degree, but the average time for completion is two years. Courses are offered on a rotating basis, but MSU recommends online students begin in the summer term, which is when the foundational history courses are taught.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $7,402
  • Median Salary: $71,400
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
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The philosophy of Sam Houston State University’s history department is that learning about the past helps us plan for the future; their online MA in History extends the access to their academic program to students who live far from their Huntsville campus. The school offers enrollment to this 30-36 credit degree program beginning in the fall, spring, and summer semesters. Most students who complete this online degree while working full-time take one course per semester, though they can in enroll in up to three if they have 30-40 hours per week to commit to their studies. If a student elects not to write a thesis, he or she will instead defend a portfolio of their written work.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $13,560
  • Median Salary: $71,987
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: SACS COC and TRACS
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Liberty University is a Christian college offering their Master of Arts in History degree through a flexible 100% online format. In addition to broad foundational knowledge of history, this degree gives students specific insight into topics such as the Protestant Reformation, the emergence of American political parties, and the history of slavery in the Western world. The online degree is a comprehensive history program with a 36-hour non-thesis track. No GRE is required for admission, and students can transfer in up to 50% of their credits. Convenient eight-week class sessions allow students to study at an accelerated pace while working full-time with many finishing their degrees in just one and a half years.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $16,929
  • Median Salary: $70,212
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: NECHE
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Students can earn an MA in History online through Southern New Hampshire University, studying whenever and wherever is convenient for them. The school offers a general history track as well as three concentrations in either American, military, or public history. Through the degree, students improve not just their content knowledge of history, but also their skills in research, writing, and analysis. Classes take place in 10-week sessions, with five annual start dates offered per year. Complete your degree in just 15 months when you take two courses per term.

  • Annual Tuition: $8,835
  • Median Salary: $58,700
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
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Wayland Baptist University’s online Master’s in History was one of the first four programs of its kind. With just four credits of required courses, this 37-credit hour degree gives students the freedom to customize their studies from a large catalog of electives. These courses cover topics that range from Baptist history to the Korean War to ethnic and gender history. Students can choose whether to complete a thesis or take two additional 3-credit electives. Up to 12 credits may be transferred in.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $11,123
  • Median Salary: $55,300
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
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Jackson State University is a public research institution located in Mississippi, but their Master’s in History degree is available at a distance through JSU Online. Students can complete a 6-credit thesis or a 3-credit research project for this 36-credit degree, dependent on their professional and academic goals. JSU’s history department offers this degree in a wide variety of concentrations, but their faculty are best known for their expertise in the areas of African-American, African women’s, public, and disability history.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $16,274
  • Median Salary: $50,300
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: HLC
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Emporia State University offers their online MA in History degree with concentrations tailored to a student’s career goals. This includes a thesis option for those who plan to pursue doctoral studies, a concentration in social sciences education for current or aspiring teachers, and a public history focus for those who wish to work in museums, archives, and more. Online students often study while working full-time, so ESU offers both full- and part-time options. The majority of learning takes place asynchronously, but some classes require the occasional “live” meeting held in the evening over video conferencing.

Online Master's in History Overview

Program Requirements

Online history master's degrees usually take two to three years to complete and consist of approximately 36 semester credit hours. Applicants will need to have a bachelor's degree in a related field and will need to submit transcripts from their undergraduate studies as part of the application process. In addition to transcripts, some schools will also require applicants to submit standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, and/or personal statements.

Curriculum

Examples of core classes included in these degree programs include colonialism, cultural and religious history, diplomatic history, imperialism, historiography, Roman history, slavery, women's suffrage, and race, class, and gender history. Other common classroom topics may include research methods of historians, popular culture throughout history, early American history, analyzing historical data and samples, history of ancient Greece, and history of ancient indigenous people. Coursework will vary based on students' areas of interest and whether they choose to specialize in one aspect of historical studies.

Graduates of online history master's programs may go on to become museum administrators, teachers, archivists, librarians, and writers; many master's graduates become college instructors. Those who are interested in becoming consultants or scholars in the field should consider earning a doctoral degree as well.

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