Masters in History

What Do You Learn in a Masters in History?

A Master of History is a graduate program in which students may study different methodological and theoretical applications to history. This often entails a look at both social and political aspects of history, diplomatic and cultural aspects, and intellectual history. As a result, the courses taught in these programs may be numerous, but typically explore different views on historical context. It is often not just a look at dates and times, but a depth into why history unfolded the way it has and, in some cases, how that may happen in the future.

Some of the courses completed in a Master of History may provide insight into areas of interest to students, which may lead to careers as professors, in museums, working as teachers, or in numerous other applications. Many people may go on to complete a doctoral study in an area of interest. They may also work as historians in various industries.

Masters in history programs

Top 25 Schools Graduating Students with a Masters in History

According to data from NCES, the following are the colleges and universities graduating the highest number of students in a master’s of history degree for the 2019/20 school year.

College / UniversityGraduatesAcceptance Rate
American Public University System181N/A
Southern New Hampshire University17588%
Liberty University12251%
Arizona State University Digital Immersion7664%
Norwich University6975%
Ashland University5971%
Columbia University in the City of New York595%
Pace University5579%
Yale University546%
New York University3816%
University of Nebraska at Kearney3885%
Harvard University355%
California State University-Fullerton3253%
George Mason University3087%
Princeton University296%
Texas State University2581%
CUNY Queens College2449%
Missouri State University-Springfield2188%
North Carolina State University at Raleigh2145%
Georgetown University2014%
California State University-Sacramento1882%
Rutgers University-Newark1772%
University of Missouri-St Louis1773%
California State University-Los Angeles1648%
California State University-Northridge1659%

Courses May Include

1st course Historiography


This course is often designed to explore the study of history and historical writing. Historical interpretations, arguments, and their roles in history and how to apply to them may be studied. Students may work to develop their own positions on historical events and to present and defend their theories and positions.

2nd course Historical Methods

Historical Methods

This course usually covers the methods necessary for the study, analysis, and evaluation of various historical sources and accounts. Investigative methods, approaches, and developing relationships with sources may all be covered as a part of this course. An initial research proposal may be presented as a part of the course.

3rd Course History and Research

Comparative History and Research

This course often covers the methodology and interpretation of comparative research. In this course, students may look at and consider possible historical and social connections during events throughout history. Research methods, including identifying sources and articulating context.

4th Course Historical Lenses and Scholarship

Historical Lenses and Scholarship

This course often looks at how history has changed through a number of different perspectives. Looking at history from a race perspective, an economic perspective, gender, and class. Students may analyze different historical texts to see these and then analyze said texts using the methods taught in the course.

5th Course Readings in American History

Readings in American History

This course often focuses on various texts in American History. Students may choose various writings to use and analyze. This class may be optimal for students looking to focus on a specific area and to increase the knowledge level of the concentration chosen.

6th Course American Architectural History

American Architectural History

This course often covers industrial architecture in the United States. Most of the focus may be on 20th century history. The course may include field trips to various housing and other building types.

  • Some of the nation’s most affordable tuition rates, from a private, nonprofit, NEASC accredited university
  • Qualified students with 2.5 GPA and up may receive up to $20K in grants & scholarships
  • Multiple term start dates throughout the year. 24/7 online classroom access

5 Most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about a masters in history

A master’s in history may allow students to gain the skills to work as a historian or teacher. Some may also work in museums, libraries, or research centers. Various other types of work may be done with this degree including research and analysis work.

For those who have a love of history and wish to work in the field as a historian or researcher, this degree path may be worth it. It often provides a larger range of historical data access while encouraging students to think in new ways about history from a politely and intellectual point of view.

Most of the time, a person seeking out a master’s degree in history may need to have a bachelor’s degree in some related field. However, graduate students may be able to obtain a master’s with many types of bachelor’s degrees as long as they meet the school’s perquisites.

Many people complete this degree in two years, but it may take up to four years for those without a background in history (such as in a bachelor’s degree) and those who are studying part time. Accelerated programs may be available to reduce this time further, too.

To apply for a master’s in history, you may need to complete all of the necessary prerequisite studies and supply official transcripts to the school desired. Many schools may have a minimum GPA requirement, and may also require a personal essay, letters of recreational, a resume, and other information to apply.

Find Funding

Finding funding for a master’s degree in history may take some consideration. Financial aid may be available to those who qualify. For those who wish to complete their master’s, the costs are likely to average $19,314, according to NCES (figures for the 2018-2019 school year). There are numerous ways to cover those costs.

Those who are interested in complete a master’s in history degree should take careful consideration of the various options available, including the following.


Scholarships may be one option. That is because most may not require repayment. Students may find a lot of competition for them. Yet there are numerous organizations that offer scholarships to students at the graduate level. Check out available scholarship for a master’s in history.

Robert Anthony Fostery History Scholarship Fund

Who Can Apply: Missouri State University offers financial need based Robert Anthony Foster History Scholarships to eligible history majors with a 3.0 GPA in history courses.

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: March 1, 2022

Friends of History Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Arizona State University awards a $1,000 Friends of History Scholarship to an undergraduate student who has a declared major in history.

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: March 15, 2022

Daughters of the Pioneers of Washington / State Association Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Daughters of the Pioneers of Washington / State Association Scholarship grants two scholarships ear of $1,500 to qualifying descendants of certain states. Applicants must be a college junior, senior or graduate student & must attend a college or university in Washington.

Amount: $3,000

Deadline: April 1, 2022

Thomas H. Critchlow Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Arizona State University awards the $500-$1,000 Thomas H. Critchlow Scholarship to undergraduate and graduate students interested in the study of the history of political liberty and economic freedom.

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: April 2, 2022

Is curator a good career?

A curator may be a good field for those who enjoy history and wish to work in helping to maintain artifacts and other components of historical context. These individuals may gather and collect, often for display, various historical items, often on behalf of museums or other institutions. They may handle the planning and organization of, as well as the storage and exhibition of collections and materials related to them. Often, they handle the management and cataloging of these items.

To do this type of work, curators often need numerous skills. That might include some tech skills such as in database usage, presentation software, object oriented development software, and graphics or photo imaging software. They may also need good reading comprehension skills, speaking and communication skills, and active listening skills. Many also need good written skills and critical thinking skills to do their job.

Their work activities typically include identifying objects, documenting or recording objects, organizing and planning projects, and managing historical items. They may also handle the ordering of library materials or equipment, managing of displays, and provide general public information and education in the related field of history.

This type of work typically includes a high level of knowledge of history, which is why many employers may require a master’s degree for those in the field. They may also benefit from experience in a related field. There may be some on-the-job learning provided, but most students already know the industry and have the required skills from their education.

Skills needed to be a curator, masters in history information
  • Reading Comprehension – Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
  • Speaking – Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Listening – Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

2022 Median Salary for Curator

According to BLS data, those who worked as a curator in 2022 earned the following. This is median annual salary information for each state.

State2022 Median Annual SalaryState2022 Median Annual Salary
New Jersey$64,720Missouri$58,050
New York$98,900Nebraska$49,090
North Dakota$56,610New Hampshire$63,770
Oklahoma$50,660New Mexico$51,880
Pennsylvania$63,760North Carolina$56,880
South Carolina$52,440Ohio$64,370
Utah$46,910Rhode Island$72,820
Virginia$62,770South Dakota$56,610
West Virginia$59,090Wyoming$60,770

Is historian a good career?

A historian’s work is to manage, interpret, and record historically valuable information, including handling both governmental and institutional records, periodicals, photos, interviews, and other items. They typically work to manage a range of media, including electronic files, films, diaries, letters, and other items.

Historians typically work to conserve and preserve manuscripts, artifacts, records, and other important information. They may conduct some research into historical contexts and manage reconstruction of historic pieces and materials. Historians can also have the ability to use their knowledge to help in the reconstruction of items. Others may also handle research or present historical accounts to groups.

Historians may need numerous skills to do their work. This might include document management information, database software, presentation software, and map creation software, among other forms. In addition, good reading, writing, and speaking skills are a typical requirement of this position. Many may also be good listeners and have critical thinking skills.

Work activities typically include getting information from observations, research, or receiving it from others. They may also interpret the meaning of information for others, identify objects and actions, think creatively about data found, and handle historical research. Some also collect information through interviews with other people.

This could take a high level of historical knowledge. That is why many historian positions may require employees to have at least a master’s degree, with a doctoral degree in history sometimes being desired as well. They may gain some on-the-job training, but that is rare and less likely to occur because most employers expect individuals to already have skills in this area. Some could require up to 5 to 7 years of experience in a related field.

Masters in History , Historians, skills needed
  • Reading Comprehension – Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
  • Critical Thinking – Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
  • Active Listening – Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

2022 Median Salary for a Historian

According to BLS data, those who worked as a curator in 2022 earned the following. This is median annual salary information for each state.

State2022 Median Annual SalaryState2022 Median Annual Salary
New Jersey$75440Missouri$67400
New York$48860NebraskaN/A
North DakotaN/ANew HampshireN/A
Oklahoma$52690New MexicoN/A
Pennsylvania$72050North Carolina$84690
South CarolinaN/AOhio$62400
Utah$58550Rhode IslandN/A
Virginia$84470South DakotaN/A

Sandy Baker


Sandy has extensive experience writing educational articles for topics ranging from online education to college degrees. She’s worked with several Ivy League colleges to create blogs, newsletters, sales material for recruiting as well as “how to manage” college lifestyle pieces. Additionally, she’s written for well-respected study abroad programs helping students to find international opportunities spanning the globe from South America to Africa and Asia.

Sandy’s experience also includes writing about financial aid, FAFSA, scholarship searches, and managing college loans and grants. This includes aiding both students and parents in managing the application and financial aid process from start to finish. Her writing in this area has been featured in The New York Times, Cleveland Magazine, and several blogs.

Sponsored Result

Study anywhere. Study any time.

Join the millions earning their degrees online!

32.6% of graduate students were enrolled exclusively in online courses in 2019*.