Best Colleges and Universities for History Degrees

The best history degree programs 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.

Best Colleges and Universities for History Degrees

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 Colleges and Universities for History Degree Programs

Frequently Asked Questions About Research Universities, Liberal Arts Colleges, Online Colleges

In pursuing a bachelor’s degree, you will need to choose between three kinds of schools: research universities, liberal arts colleges, and online colleges.

Research universities are colleges and universities whose faculty are active in research and publishing. These schools offer a wide array of doctoral programs, especially in the sciences. They tend to be big, with tens of thousands of students.

Do you prefer a larger university setting, such as largest public university in your state? Research universities are typically big, offering degrees in many different disciplines. Is a big high-powered research environment the thing for you. If not, you should think about a liberal arts college. In deciding on an undergraduate institution, ask yourself what sort of environment will best help you to be happy and excel.

  • Consider whether you are self motivated enough to be a face in the crowd for some classes and largely unknown on campus at a large university. Of course you can find clubs and friends at a large university, but often liberal arts colleges have a more personal quality to them. If you want the community feel, a research university may not fit you well.
  • Are you interested in STEM fields? Research universities have that name for a reason – real research is happening there. This can create an exciting atmosphere for students interested in STEM. Attending a research university can give you a better chance of getting into better programs for graduate degrees, although a lot of that depends on your performance.
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Often referred to as “teaching colleges” liberal arts colleges put a premium on undergraduate studies and offers a broad range of subjects for students to study. A college of liberal arts typically provides smaller class sizes, more direct engagement with professors, and, most importantly, the opportunity to sample a wide range of subject areas on the way to a bachelor’s degree.

  • Do you want your professors to know you? Liberal arts colleges strive to cultivate campus cultures that encourage tight bonds between professors and students. Professors at these schools will typically conduct original research. Yet the best of these schools offer their faculty reduced teaching loads so that they can both be productive researchers and still have plenty of time for students (both in and outside the classroom).
  • Do you want to feel like you know everybody? One of the most enticing features of a liberal arts college is that in very little time, you can feel like you know who’s who, which can create strong friendships, but also more pleasurable walks across campus. While your sports teams may never be on ESPN, it’s more likely that you’ll know the athletes as your peers. Beyond student and faculty relationships, it’s not unusual for the school president and other administrators to learn who you are. When faced with problems with your student account or the need to switch classes, this can be comforting during a stressful moment.
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Online colleges are typically the same colleges and universities you could attend in-person, but for certain degree programs the college or unviersity has made the degree programs available to be completed online. For over 5 million students, online degree programs allow students to earn their degrees in the most flexible format available. Online degrees are as respected as the on-campus degress you could earn from the same schools. There’s usually no disctinction between the two degrees, and your degree and transcript will not say that the degree was earned online. Online degree programs are offered by a vast majority of colleges and universities, and the number of offering continues to grow. Whehter you are searching for an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate, there’s a good chance you can earn your degree online from a respectable online college.

  • Are you a self-driven student? Perhaps the hardest aspect of obtaining an online degree is whether you will be disciplined enough to manage your time and course demands. Many online students report that online college made them more disciplined in all areas of their lives, but the flexible, self-paced learning that makes online colleges attractive can often be the same qualities that make it difficult. If you tend to be a procrastinator, you need to be honest with yourself. You can change your habits and propensities, or you can throw money down the drain.
  • Do you need the flexibility of an online degree program? Most online students study online because of time demands balancing work and life, or becuase the online colleges afford them the chance to attend a better school without moving. If you are serious about earning your degree for career advancement, online colleges make it possible. The most flexible options among online degrees are those that are aynchronous, meaning you don’t have scheduled times to meet with your class online. However, many students seek synchronous online degree programs so that they have some structure – set meeting times, scheduled exams, etc.
  • The good news is that attending an online college doesn’t mean you will miss out on getting to know your professors and classmates. In fact, many online students who have experienced both online and on-campus courses report having easier access to their professors. Since most communication with your professor is expected to be in text – via email or your class learning management system – it makes asking your questions easier. The same students also report that they got to better know the thoughts of their classmates. While in-person course conversations can be dominated by a few extroverts, online courses that require online discussions make it so that you see all of your classmates’ thoughts and questions.

If you interested in an online bachelor’s degree, check out what the best online colleges offer, or search our online degrees for the exact program that interests you. In either case, you will find well respected colleges and universities that offer online degrees.

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The Best Colleges and Universities for History Degrees

Best History Major Research Universities

  1. Harvard University
  2. Yale University
  3. Columbia University
  4. Stanford University
  5. Princeton University

Go to The Best History Research Universities

Best History Major Liberal Arts Colleges

  1. Williams College
  2. Swarthmore College
  3. Amherst College
  4. Wesleyan University
  5. Pomona College

Go to The Best History Liberal Arts Colleges

Best History Major Online Colleges

  1. University of Arizona
  2. University of Memphis
  3. University of Central Florida
  4. University of Nebraska–Lincoln
  5. University of Idaho

Go to The Best History Online Colleges

The Best History Schools in Your State

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Learn More About History

If you want to know more about history, then check out our related content:

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