Are you looking to get a promotion or a new career that has a higher paying salary? A graduate degree in history will allow you to dig deeper and become more knowledgeable about a subject or industry you are passionate about. Also going to graduate school will help you create long term networking relationships that can help you with your career goals. Employers in any field are looking for great candidates that have targeted higher education knowledge in history.

Graduate Degree Benefits:

  • Gain an edge over other candidates
  • Career advancement
  • Increase earning potential
  • More job opportunities
  • Open more employment opportunities
  • Lower unemployment

Career Options with a Masters in History:

  • History Manager in Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools - $87,050
  • History Manager in Junior Colleges - $81,280

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, History Managers, on the Internet at (visited March 24, 2022).

Graduate Degree Types for History Concentrations:

  • M.S. in History
  • M.A. in History
  • MScs in History

Find an online bachelor's or master's degree:


First, you're going to have to take a set number of credits at minimum each quarter or semester. If you have chosen a major in history without any concentrations, you'll likely be able to complete your courses and earn your degree sooner.

Even better, one university will allow you to earn academic credit for several forms of applied education and real-world experience including job-related courses and military training.

This university requires its history masters majors to earn at least 36 to 54 semester hours for a doctoral. For those students who want to earn an advanced history degree, they will need to take at least 36 semester hours to graduate depending on the college program. If you take at least 9 credit hours per semester, you'll earn your graduate program degree in 2 to 3 years; if you take 12 credit hours per semester, you'll graduate in closer to 18 months to 2 1/2 years.

Before choosing a major there are some important facts you should know about.

History is a wide-ranging field with many different specialties. If you have a specific career you are hoping to enter, make sure the school either offers a major in that field or a variety of classes pertaining to your field of interest. You may be able to find employment information for graduating students, which can show you how many students were able to enter the history you're looking at upon graduation.

This is a very important question to ask yourself. Your major should play a big part in the schools you are considering. Not every college may offer the major of your choice, so doing your homework is the first step of the selection process.

A history master's degree will consist of some really particular training courses to increase your subject knowledge. Generally, a master's degree in history looks like your upper division classes on bachelors, but with a graduate degree or advanced degree the courses are more specific and will require additional critical thinking skills. Below is a sample of online master's degree courses so you can see the kind of curriculum that will be typically found. Universities will differ in their specific studies needed and required. Compare colleges very carefully on the courses they will require you to take to gain your master's degree in history. Sample courses you may need:

  • The Modern World, Part One: Global History from 1760 to 1910
  • Introduction to Ancient Egypt and Its Civilization
  • The Holocaust - An Introduction (I): Nazi Germany: Ideology, The Jews and the World
  • Introduction to Philosophy
  • The Ancient Greeks
  • Big History - From the Big Bang until Today
  • Magic in the Middle Ages
  • The Cosmopolitan Medieval Arabic World

The graduation rate is an important piece of information. It measures the performance of the entire student body, and it is a good predictor of the experience each applicant can expect. Time is money when it comes to a graduate education in history. The longer time for completion means potentially more tuition and fee payments. Each year in addition to the expected two years, adds about 25% to the total costs of a graduate history degree. The longer it takes to graduate also means the less time a student is in the workforce earning an income from their Master of History investment.

National statistics measure on-time degree completion using two-year and three-year marks. Private schools across the US and for all bachelor's degree majors have a range of 53% on-time graduation and 65.6% within six years. In these schools, students can expect to finish on time if they attend full time and within six years with some part-time attendance. Public schools show a 35% on-time rate at four years and 59% at the six-year mark. Students at these schools must plan carefully to ensure that they can complete the requirements for an on-time bachelor's degree in order to pursue their masters.

Accreditation is an important part of selecting a school for history graduate education. Much depends on accreditation and the type of accreditation. There are two main types of accreditation; regional and national. Regional accreditation agencies work with research-based schools, private schools, public schools, and some for-profit schools. National accreditation works primarily with for-profit and career-related education.

Regional Accreditation

There are two types of regional accreditation; they are history program accreditation and institutional accreditation. Institutional accreditation uses a group of states as the base to compare the school with other colleges and universities; the group of states comprises the region assigned by the Department of Education.

Programmatic Accreditation looks at specific programs or parts of a college or university. This type of accreditation has the same type of respect and acceptance as regional accreditation for institutions. Regional employers and other educational institutions regard regional accreditation as proof of high-quality education.

National Accreditation

National accreditation has a Faith-based branch and a career- related education branch. Faith-based institutions have a different set of standards that recognize the role of faith in instruction. The for-profit branch of national accreditation covers the special purpose and non-traditional schools such as vocational schools. The career-related education requires standards that place appropriate weight on general knowledge and education. Some regionally accredited schools do not accept credits from career-related schools.

Did you know that your salary is not always just based on what level of degree you received, but it also could be based on what school you attended? Many employers actually have their own rankings and rating systems of schools. That is to say, if you received your degree from a college that was accredited by a low rated agency, your salary may actually be decreased by a certain percentage where a high-ranked, well-known, accredited school, can raise that mark significantly.

The cost will depend on several factors. Are you pursuing your doctoral history degree online or in a traditional setting? If you attend your courses on campus, you will also need to pay for food, room and board, and other fees. This can increase the cost of your history education significantly unless you have a plan in place to keep these costs low. If you attend a public, state school, it will depend on whether or not you are a resident. In-state students usually pay much lower rates than out-of-state students. However, this can be overcome by attending classes online, as most institutions charge in-state rates for all online courses. Either way, you need to research the costs for each doctoral program you are considering applying to, as each institution will have their own rates.

If your university offers career and/or placement services, you'll be able to take advantage of both as a student or graduate. You can receive career counseling, career assessments, and resume reviews, where you'll learn how to spruce your resume up. It is important to research if your potential college has post career placement assistance. This demonstrates that the college or university history program is with you from start to finish.