Best Liberal Arts Colleges for History Degrees

Best Liberal Arts Colleges for History Degrees

The best history liberal arts colleges are those with rich histories of influence, proven through the work produced by the program’s faculty and alumni. Beyond demonstrating scholarly impact in the field, the best history degree programs maximize your opportunities to interact with outstanding history faculty.

A bachelor’s degree in history is an excellent starting point for a career in education, government consultation, journalism, and a host of other stimulating fields. As a history major, you’ll study philosophy, literature, language, and a number of other related fields. Your history degree will incorporate an array of humanities as well as foundational courses in the history of Western and Eastern Civilizations, ancient history, and contemporary history. The best schools for history are those which are regionally accredited, which offer a full array of history concentrations, and which give you the chance to work with the best and most influential professors and classmates.

Degree popularity: History bachelor’s degrees are the 39th most popular undergraduate degrees across all student demographics, ranking much higher for men at 24th. It’s most popular among white and Hispanic men, for whom it ranks 18th and 26th respectively, according to the number of degree earners reported by the National Center for Educational Statistics.

Frequently Asked Questions About History Bachelor’s Degrees

A history major can provide you with the essential skills to succeed in a wide range of professional settings. As a history major, you will learn how to conduct research, cite your sources, and report on your findings. These are essential skills for finding and verifying information in life and work.

Moreover, the way we read and interpret history has a direct consequence on our everyday lives, from the way it informs behavior and policy to the way we preserve traditions and practice rituals.This means that those who tell history have enormous influence over the present day. Today, top influencers in history are exploring the connections between the environment and folk traditions [Link to https://academicinfluence.com/people/simon-schama]; the scope of human history through a macro-historical lens [Link to https://academicinfluence.com/people/yuval-noah-harari], what historian David Christian calls “Big History,” and much more.

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History feels like a particularly excellent major during these times of social and political upheaval. When dramatic events like wars, natural disasters, and pandemics alter our way of life, the changes can be shocking and difficult to navigate. But those with a deeper understanding of history recognize the patterns that have played out across generations. History majors often have a better sense of preparedness for such events, and a willingness to adapt as changes inevitably occur. During a time when our economic, labor market, and society are in major flux, those with a degree in history are in a unique position to understand the events around us, and make informed professional and personal choices based on this specialized insight.

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Once you’ve declared your major in history, you will likely be required to complete a set of core courses in a number of related subject areas. While your concentration will give you a chance to choose from a wide range of highly-specialized history electives, there are a several common courses that most history majors will be required to take, including:

  • State, society and the individual in the non-western world
  • Rome to Renaissance: Introduction to the Middle Ages
  • Conflict and Identity in Modern Europe
  • Ancient Greek History
  • Intro to East Asian Civilization
  • Early Russian History
  • Political History of Contemporary Africa
  • Colonial Cities of the Americas

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History majors not only qualify for highly specialized roles in education, publishing and academia, but majoring in history will provide you with a number of valuable workplace skills. As such, your history major can lead to a wide range of career opportunities, including these top jobs:

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Best Liberal Arts Colleges for History Degree Programs

If you think a research university may be a better fit for you, see our ranking of the best research universities for a bachelor’s in history.

Best Liberal Arts Colleges for History Degrees

  1. #1

    Williams College

    Williamstown , MA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    15%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1480/33

  2. #2

    Swarthmore College

    Swarthmore , PA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    97%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1460/33

    Swarthmore College History Majors

    • History Major and Minor
    • Teacher certification

    Source

  3. #3

    Amherst College

    Amherst , MA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    12%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1415/32

    Amherst College History Majors

    • Concentration: Geographic
    • Concentration: Thematic

    Source

  4. #4

    Wesleyan University

    Middletown , CT
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    21%

    Graduation

    91%

    Student body

    4K

    Wesleyan University History Major

    • BA in History
    • History Minor

    Source

  5. #5

    Pomona College

    Claremont , CA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $57K

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1465/33

  6. #6

    Wellesley College

    Wellesley , MA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    20%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1445/32

    Wellesley College History Majors

    • History Major or Minor
    • Teacher certification

    Source

  7. Other Rankings

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    85%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1270/27

    United States Military Academy History Majors

    • American History
    • International History
    • Interdisciplinary Courses
    • Military History

    Source

  8. #8

    Bowdoin College

    Brunswick , ME
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $58K

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    2K

  9. #9

    Middlebury College

    Middlebury , VT
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    22%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1445/33

    Middlebury College History Majors

    • BA in History
    • History of Science, Medicine, and Technology Track

    Source

  10. #10

    Claremont McKenna College

    Claremont , CA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $58K

    Acceptance

    13%

    Graduation

    92%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1435/32

    Claremont McKenna College History Major

    • BA in History

    Source

  11. Other Rankings

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    90%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1350/29

    United States Naval Academy History Majors

    • American history
    • European history
    • Regional history
    • Naval and military history
    • Thematic history

    Source

  12. #12

    Colgate University

    Hamilton , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    27%

    Graduation

    91%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1415/32

    Colgate University History Majors

    • Black History
    • Capitalism, Commodities, and Class
    • Cultural History
    • Empires and Colonialism
    • Environmental History
    • Gender and Sexuality
    • Indigenous History
    • Intellectual History
    • Migration and Diaspora
    • Race and Racism
    • Religion and Society
    • Science, Technology, and Medicine
    • Social Movements and Human Rights
    • War and Violence

    Source

  13. #13

    Davidson College

    Davidson , NC
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $55K

    Acceptance

    20%

    Graduation

    93%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1397/31

  14. #14

    Barnard College

    New York , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    14%

    Graduation

    90%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1430/32

    Barnard College History Majors

    • Urban History
    • Intellectual History
    • Rights, Law, and the State
    • Empires and Colonialism
    • Race and Ethnicity
    • Gender, Sexuality, and the Family
    • Markets, Money, and Labor
    • Science, Technology, and the Environment
    • The Atlantic World
    • Religion, Belief, and Values
    • Premodern History
    • War and Revolution
    • International and Global History

    Source

  15. #16

    Vassar College

    Poughkeepsie , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $63K

    Acceptance

    25%

    Graduation

    88%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1445/32

  16. #17

    Oberlin College

    Oberlin , OH
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    35%

    Graduation

    86%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1380/31

  17. #19

    Reed College

    Portland , OR
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $63K

    Acceptance

    42%

    Graduation

    77%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1422/32

  18. #20

    Smith College

    Northampton , MA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    37%

    Graduation

    87%

    Student body

    3K

    Smith College History Majors

    • Antiquity
    • Islamic Middle East
    • East Asia
    • Europe 300-1650
    • Europe 1650 to Present
    • Africa
    • Latin America
    • United States
    • Women’s History
    • Comparative Colonialism

    Source

  19. #21

    Haverford College

    Haverford , PA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    18%

    Graduation

    93%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1460/33

  20. #22

    Carleton College

    Northfield , MN
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    21%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1450/32

    Carleton College History Majors

    • Bachelor’s in History
    • Thematic Major option

    Source

Go to all Liberal Arts Colleges for History programs

The Best History Schools in Your State

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