Online Master’s Programs in History

Updated on: 11/24/18

The skills you’ll develop in an online master’s in history program can be used in a variety of fields, making the degree versatile and adaptable across disciplines. Organizations and businesses benefit from leaders who can construct logical arguments, compile research and write effective communications, all key focuses areas in a history master’s program. Find out the common course offerings and specializations and which careers they can lead to. Plus, discover which colleges and universities offer the best online master’s in history programs.

The Best Online Master’s in History Programs of 2019

2-Year Colleges

Choosing the right online master’s in history program isn’t a decision students should make lightly. However, as more and more colleges and universities introduce online master’s degrees, it can be difficult to find the right program amongst all the available options. Taking into consideration factors like graduation rates and affordability can help narrow down the list.

The following list of best schools was compiled from data from the Department of Education, the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, as well as the university’s own published materials. All schools in this list have been accredited.

Rank University Title Tuition # of Online Programs Expand Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid Credit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services University Description
1 Morehead State University $8,496 3 86% 49% 67% Yes Yes Yes

At Morehead State University, online students can complete a Bachelor of Science in Imaging Sciences with a concentration in Leadership in Medical Imaging. You will focus on topics such as fiscal management, program planning, healthcare law and policy and patient evaluation. This is a competitive application process with limited space. Prospective students should already have training and certification in a radiologic sciences field in an accredited program with a 2.5 GPA or higher. You should also have completed at least 15 credit hours of prerequisite courses in computer literacy, speech communications, English and mathematics before applying. MSU graduates typically move on to careers in imaging sciences administration or management positions.

2 Clarion University $7,238 2 94% 51% 41% Yes Yes Yes

Distance learners at Clarion University can earn a Bachelor of Science in Medical Imaging Sciences online. This is a 120-credit program that offers two concentrations: radiologic technology or ultrasound. Graduates are proficient in performing all types of imaging exams to meet ARRT requirements. The hybrid version of the program only accepts students who are already credentialed radiologic technologists, sonographers, nuclear medicine technologists, radiation therapists or medical dosimetrists. Clinical requirements must be completed in-person. Most students in this program transfer in 60 credits from another accredited program and complete the remaining major core requirements at Clarion. Applicants must submit their high school GPA and SAT or ACT scores.

3 University of Wisconsin-La Crosse $7,585 3 74% 69% 24% No Yes Yes

Students at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse can earn their Bachelor of Science in Radiation Therapy in a blended format in approximately 4 years. WIth courses such as Radiation Physics, Pathophysiology, Patient Care and Medical Imagine, UWL will train you to administer radiation therapy and conduct x-rays for a variety of patients. Of the 120 required credits, a minimum of 30 semester hours must be complete in residence at UWL for graduation. Applicants should have at least a 2.75 GPA and 40 hours of observation in a radiation therapy department. Prospective students who need help accessing facilities to complete the observation requirements may contact the department for assistance or to schedule a visit.

4 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill $6,881 1 27% 91% 41% No Yes Yes

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers a blended Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Science option for distance learners. In this medical imaging-driven program, you will focus on the administration of radiation and x-rays for disease diagnosis and injury evaluation. You will explore several main areas of the practice such as orthopedics, pediatrics and mammography, vascular imaging and computerized tomography. Graduates are prepared to sit for the ARRT national certification exam in radiologic technology. UNC requires a host of general education requirements and radiologic science pre-admission courses. Applicant must also have a 2.5 GPA or higher.

5 Weber State University $4,611 4 - 50% 58% Yes Yes Yes

Weber State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences entirely online. Courses are self-paced and take about 4 weeks to complete, although you may take longer if you wish. As a distance learner, you will receive training in advanced radiologic sciences specialties, sonography, nuclear medicine and radiation therapy. To enroll in this program, students must be certified in medical imaging and/or therapeutic radiation before enrolling. Incoming students must submit their official high school transcripts or GED documentation. ACT and SAT scores are not mandatory and no clinicals are required for graduation. At Weber, distance learners also pay a flat in-state tuition rate.

6 Ohio State University-Main Campus $9,168 1 54% 85% 80% No Yes Yes

Students can pursue 3 specialty areas in a Bachelor of Science Radiologic Science and Therapy degree program at Ohio State University. You can choose from a major in Radiography, Radiation Therapy or Sonography/Vascular Therapy, all of which can be completed in a blended format. In any track, you will be prepared for professional careers in clinical practice, administration, education and research. Whether you are treating diseases with radiation, conducting x-rays and CT scans or diagnosing a medical condition using sonography, OSU teaches you the essential critical thinking and technological skills to make the best evidence-based decisions for patients. Applicants must have a 2.5 GPA or higher and 8 hours of documented patient contact experience.

7 Mitchell Technical Institute $3,488 1 - 70% 26% Yes Yes Yes

Online students at Mitchell Technical Institute can earn certificates in Advanced Medical Imaging (AVI). You may choose from programs in Computer Tomography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging or Advanced Medical Imaging. Each certificate requires 10, 12 or 18 credits to complete, respectively. The AVI certificate is a combination of the Computer Tomography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging tracks. Upon completion of the program, you will be eligible to apply for licensure. This program is only open to ARRT-registered technologists in Radiography, Nuclear Medicine Technology, Nuclear Medicine or Radiation Therapy. Applicants must complete an online or paper application and submit their ACT, Accuplacer, SAT or Compass scores.

8 Armstrong State University $3,886 2 80% 35% 8% Yes Yes Yes

The Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences at Georgia Southern University-Armstrong teaches online learners how to administer radiation, ultrasound, and magnetism to treat diseases and injuries. Students choose between 5 career specialties: Cardiovascular/Interventional Science, Nuclear Medicine, Radiation Therapy, Radiography or Sonography. This is a hybrid program consisting of 5-10 online courses over the course of 5 semesters, depending on chosen specialty. Graduates can sit for the national certification exam. Applicants must have a 2.5 GPA or higher, and should have 50 semester hours of general education requirements completed. Students with lab experience in a radiologic field are more likely to be admitted to this program.

9 Misericordia University $29,150 1 74% 72% 100% Yes Yes Yes

Distance learners can take advantage of Misericordia University's online Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography program. In this hybrid program, you will complete a curriculum that balances sonography education and liberal arts courses. The core curriculum is on-campus every other weekend with a few courses online. Approximately 110 credits are needed for graduation. All applicants should have a minimum GPA of 3.0 or be in the top half of their high school graduating class. Students should also have taken 3 years of mathematics and 2 years of science before applying. ACT or SAT scores are required. Graduates are prepared to sit for the ARRT Sonography exam.

10 Siena Heights University $24,390 2 72% 53% 99% Yes Yes Yes

Siena Heights University offers distance learners the chance to earn an Associate of Applied Science in Radiologic Technology through its Adrian and Southfield campuses. Students must complete a minimum of 60 credit hours while maintaining a 2.0 GPA. To satisfy graduation requirements, students complete a minimum of 18 credits through SHU. A maximum of 9 credit hours of prior learning credit, including CLEP, Excelsior College Exams, Michigan Occupational Competency Exams and military and police academy certification, can be counted toward the associate degree. SHU subscribes to a rolling admission policy and requires applicants to submit only an online undergraduate application and high school transcripts. Online students pay $530 per tuition credit regardless of their location.

11 St Catherine University $31,042 1 91% 61% 98% Yes Yes Yes
12 Baptist College of Health Sciences $9,864 1 54% 51% 83% Yes Yes Yes
13 Southern Illinois University-Carbondale $8,691 5 77% 46% 74% Yes Yes Yes
14 Minot State University $5,192 1 60% 42% 70% Yes Yes Yes
15 Carolinas College of Health Sciences $11,086 1 31% 33% 25% Yes Yes Yes
16 Bellarmine University $37,850 1 82% 68% 100% Yes Yes Yes
17 University of St Francis $30,520 1 49% 57% 100% Yes Yes Yes
18 Boise State University $4,872 3 82% 44% 41% Yes Yes Yes
19 Ball State University $8,992 1 62% 62% 40% Yes Yes Yes
20 University of Washington-Seattle Campus $9,694 1 45% 86% 38% No Yes Yes
21 Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania $7,238 1 78% 66% 6% Yes Yes Yes
22 University of Vermont $15,096 1 69% 76% 92% No Yes Yes
23 Texas State University $7,234 1 71% 59% 12% Yes Yes Yes
24 University of Missouri $8,286 1 75% 71% 64% No Yes Yes
25 Concordia University-Wisconsin $27,640 1 63% 62% 98% Yes Yes Yes
26 University of Sioux Falls $27,160 2 91% 54% 100% Yes Yes Yes
27 Saint Cloud State University $6,820 1 85% 48% 41% Yes Yes Yes
28 Notre Dame of Maryland University $33,785 1 59% 60% 98% Yes Yes Yes
29 Ferris State University $11,144 1 78% 51% 69% Yes Yes Yes
30 Clarkson College $11,976 5 52% 17% 58% Yes Yes Yes
31 Pennsylvania State University-Worldwide $12,718 1 83% 49% 56% Yes Yes Yes
32 Newman University $26,416 1 58% 47% 100% Yes Yes Yes
33 University of Charleston $20,564 2 52% 37% 94% Yes Yes Yes
34 National University $13,016 1 - 50% 4% Yes Yes Yes
35 Drury University $24,750 2 70% 64% 83% No Yes Yes
36 Missouri Southern State University $5,311 1 94% 39% 69% Yes Yes Yes
37 Lakeshore Technical College $3,910 1 - 58% 6% Yes Yes Yes
38 Washburn University $7,644 2 - 38% 64% Yes Yes Yes
39 Oregon Institute of Technology $8,110 1 73% 50% 60% Yes Yes Yes
40 Northeast Community College $2,700 1 - 48% 40% Yes Yes Yes
41 Briar Cliff University $27,684 1 - 48% 98% Yes Yes Yes
42 Northern Kentucky University $9,000 1 91% 40% 61% Yes Yes Yes
43 Southwestern Oklahoma State University $5,295 1 91% 38% 65% Yes Yes Yes
44 Drexel University $48,660 1 75% 68% 97% Yes Yes Yes
45 University of Hartford $35,036 2 72% 56% 98% Yes Yes Yes
46 Saint Louis University $40,100 2 65% 72% 91% No Yes Yes
47 University of Akron Main Campus $8,618 1 96% 45% 62% Yes Yes Yes
48 Fort Hays State University $3,789 1 91% 44% 73% No Yes Yes
49 Arkansas State University $6,060 2 70% 41% 70% No Yes Yes
50 Emory University $47,300 1 25% 91% 48% No Yes Yes

What to Know About Online Master’s in History Coursework

Students in a master’s in history program are expected to develop expertise in their specialization so they can contribute meaningful scholarship after graduation. Therefore, many programs focus extensively on research analysis and academic writing.

Programs often consist of 30-33 credit hours, depending on the student’s specialization and track. Many schools offer thesis and non-thesis tracks, with the thesis track designed for those who will seek their doctorate. Internships are typically available and sometimes required by the program. Length of time to complete a program can also vary depending on how many online courses a student takes each semester.

What Common Courses are Offered in a Master’s in History Program?

All coursework in a history master’s program will vary depending on the university and the specialization of the student. However, there is some crossover between colleges. Course offerings in an online master’s in history program will usually be the same as it’s on-campus equivalent.

Common courses include the following:

Research Methods

Students study and put into practice various methodologies and techniques for studying history and handling historical data, including the relationships and differences between method, theory and interpretation of historical data.


Most programs include a core course in historiography, the study of how history is written and interpreted, including the historian’s bias, source materials and the relationship of history to society. Students will study how history has been interpreted rather than learn the facts of a historical event.

Comparative History

Comparative research helps students develop effective research practices to study connections across cultures and historical events, including identifying useable sources, analyzing contexts and crafting informed arguments.

Archive Management

Students understand the value and necessity of preserving, organizing and storing historical documents for later retrieval as well as determining documents’ authenticity and reliability.

Military History

Using in-depth study of extensive military literature, students study military history from the colonial days through present time, including military culture, diplomacy and the theories used by military leaders to make decisions as well as differences in Eastern and Western approaches.

What Specializations are Available in a Master’s in History Program?

Most historians have an area of concentration and expertise with the common thread being how past events have impacted the world today. Online master’s in history programs offer a variety of specializations. The following are some of the more common ones:

American History

Students deepen their understanding of American history, including themes and trends, while mastering research, critical thinking and writing skills. Students will explore major changes in American society, including political, social, economic and cultural shifts.

Public History

A specialization in public history prepares graduates for work in museums and includes the theory and practice of public history, training in oral and digital histories, development of educational programs and engaging with community members. Some programs include documentary editing among the coursework.

Military History

Students will assess and evaluate wars and conflicts through the lens of economic, social and technological contexts. Study topics might include the Civil War era, World Wars, Chinese and British imperialism and military thought.

Geographic History

Many historians begin with a specialization in the history of a geographic region. Some of the more common areas include Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America. Historians in this specialty typically narrow their focus to a specific theme, such as politics, indigenous histories and labor.

What Exams or Projects Should I Expect?

Most online master’s in history programs include a capstone project, typically a three-credit course, in the final semester or year. This project in the student’s area of specialization is designed to integrate knowledge and skills developed in previous coursework and provide a portfolio of the student’s work. Some programs may require the student to take a capstone preparation course, which will help them determine an area of research. This is in addition to the formal capstone course, in which students will actually complete the capstone project.

How Can I Choose a Quality Online Master’s in History Program?

When selecting an online master’s in history program, look for one that focuses on research skills and critical thinking and includes the desired area of specialization. Students should also review the faculty and make sure that they are experienced in their field and have recent and relevant publications.

A quality online history degree program will be fully accredited at the national or regional level. Schools accredited at the regional level are typically considered slightly more prestigious than nationally accredited schools. Look for your university’s history program to be accredited by an organization such as the Western Association of Schools and Colleges or the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. Accreditation information should be listed on the school’s website, but students can contact the school directly if this information isn’t readily available.

Career Opportunities with a Master’s in History Degree

The skills developed in a master’s in history program can be utilized across a wide range of fields and businesses. The ability to research and communicate effectively in presentations and writing are highly sought-after skills, particularly in leadership positions. In addition to careers directly related to history, those with a master’s degree in history often find positions in journalism, law and public service.

Post-Secondary History Teacher

Post-secondary teachers are those who teach students beyond high school and are often considered professors. These instructors typically teach classes in a specific area of study, such as history, and are expected to engage in research and publish scholarly articles in peer-reviewed journals. A specialization in any branch of history would be beneficial, particularly American History and Geographic History.

Median Salary: $76,000 per year*

Currently Employed: 1,314,400*

Expected Job Growth (2016-2026): +15%*

(*for all post-secondary teachers)

Archivist/Museum Curator

Archivists authenticate and appraise historical objects and documents, preserve historically significant documents and records and organize records of archived objects. Curators do similar work but also acquire and oversee storage of historical collections and objects. A master’s in history with a public history concentration might be required for this position.

Median Salary: $47,360 per year

Currently Employed: 31,000

Expected Job Growth (2016-2026): +13%


Historians research, analyze, interpret and present historical data for businesses, government entities, nonprofits and other organizations. A general master’s in history degree may be the minimum requirement, although a specialization in a specific area might be required.

Median Salary: $59,120 per year

Currently Employed: 3,300

Expected Job Growth (2016-2026): 14%+6%

Documentary Editor

As documentaries become increasingly popular, editors are needed to input, log and organize footage, creating a cohesive and informative film. They are expected to be able to use a variety of hardware and software in the process. A master’s in history degree with a public interest specialization will give candidates an edge.

Median Salary: $58,210 per year

Currently Employed: 59,300

Expected Job Growth (2016-2026): +17%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018

What’s the Expected Job Outlook for History Careers?

Jobs for historians are expected to grow six percent by 2026, which is slightly lower than the expected rate of seven percent for all occupations. However, related careers are expected to grow at a much higher rate. For example, archivist and museum curator positions are expected to grow by 13 percent.

Many people who hold a master’s in history degree do not necessarily work in a history-related position, since the skills of research, critical thinking and writing are highly transferrable and vital for roles in many industries. Those working in other industries may see a higher rate of job growth.

Professional Organizations for Careers in History

Joining a professional organization after earning a master’s in history can provide graduates with opportunities for professional growth, networking and additional resources. Most organizations typically tailor their resources by specialization, so it is important to find the correct fit when selecting one. Students and graduates are encouraged to talk with faculty and peers to find the appropriate organization.

  • American Historical Association

    The American Historical Association, the largest group of history professionals in the country with 13,000 members, advocates for history and historians, influences history curriculum and provides networking opportunities. Graduate students can apply for a Jerry Bentley World History Travel Grant, which provides $200-$400 for students to travel to the annual meeting. Membership includes access to publications, industry news and eligibility for grants and awards.

  • Organization of American Historians

    The OAH is dedicated to the study and teaching of American history. Membership includes access to publications and other resources as well as professional discounts. The OAH website includes fellowship and postdoctoral opportunities, resources for job seekers in American history and current job listings.

  • World History Association

    The WHA is a professional organization of scholars, teachers and students that seeks to promote the broad study and research of world history using cross-cultural, comparative and global approaches. Membership includes access to publications and conferences.

How to Pay for a Master’s in History Degree

Before applying to any online graduate in history degree program, students should research their options for loans, scholarships and grants. There are a variety of ways to lessen the cost of earning a degree, including for online students.

Federal Financial Aid

Prospective students should follow the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) process to apply for scholarships and graduate assistantships at their select college.

Scholarships from Professional Organizations

Many professional organizations and associations offer scholarships to graduate students pursuing a master’s degree in history. For example, the American Historical Association provides a variety of grants for research projects each year, including those about colonial America, U.S. legal history and European history. Grants can be used for travel and other costs associated with historical research projects with varying award amounts granted.

Program Scholarships

Many schools or specific departments within the school will offer scholarships to graduate students. For example, Arizona State University offers a variety of scholarships for graduate history students, including the Lorig Public History Scholarship. This $1,000 scholarship is awarding annually to a student pursuing a degree in history with a focus in public history.