Masters in History Programs
A Masters in History Program might open up a variety of potential career paths for those with a passion for researching, analysis, and interpreting the past. Historians are employed in state, local, and federal government, as well as by professional, scientific and technical services. They might work as consultants, curators and archivists, in museums, archives, historical societies, research organizations and nonprofits.
What Are Masters in History Programs?
Masters in History programs are research intensive programs that often allow students to explore a particular era or region's history in depth. Many students pursuing a Masters Degree in History choose an area of specialization, such as local, regional, national, or world history; ancient, medieval, postclassical, modern, or an otherwise classified history; and/or economic, political, public, or social history. Courses may discuss how the past impacts contemporary issues such as politics, gender, race, and society as a whole. Students could learn how to put historical events into a specific context, collect data and write reports.
Most Masters in History programs require students to have earned a bachelors degree from an accredited college. Some may also require knowledge of a foreign language. Follow up with individual programs for details.
FUN FACT: Herodotus, a contemporary of Socrates, is credited as being the “Father of History”[i]
How Long Will It Take to Earn a Masters Degree in History?
The average, full-time student could earn a master's degree in history within one and half to two years, but some students take longer. Typically a Masters in History program requires the completion of 30-37 credits. Factors such as one's undergraduate major, the university, and the masters program you select might affect time to completion. Program lengths and course
credits may vary.
Potential Masters In History Curriculum
Masters history programs typically take an interdisciplinary approach, touching on subjects such as anthropology, sociology, political science, economics or education. Naturally, the curriculum in each program will depend on the school and any area of concentration, such as medieval studies or public history. Nonetheless, students might take some of the following courses while earning their history masters degree.
- Research methodologies for historians
- Social theory
- Archival methods
- Quantitative methods
- Editing for historical writing
- Teaching methodology
Some History master’s programs entail an internship, in addition to coursework. Contact schools to learn more if this interests you.
How To Select a Masters History Program
One of the important considerations when selecting a masters in history program is the type of learning format you are looking for. Some students prefer the traditional on-campus program format that offers face-to-face interaction with professors and classmates, and might make for some really interesting discussions!
Busy working professionals might find they need a more flexible format. In this case, there are options for distance-learning. A hybrid program combines on campus and online coursework, or you might look into pursuing an online master’s in history degree.
Use the tools on GradSchools.com to help you navigate through the selection process. Search for History masters programs by location; use the city, state or country tabs to determine where you might want to study. Or search by program format. Some of the listings might include: Master of Arts in History, Master of Arts in Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Master of Historic Preservation or Master of Arts in Military History.
You might also need to assess your career aspirations and whether the degree matches them. For instance, a career in academia may require a PhD. Certainly, request information from each school to do a comparison of their faculty, tuition, prerequisites, admission requirements and other pertinent factors.
What Might I Do With a Masters Degree in History?
Graduates holding a master’s degree in history might pursue potential career opportunities in a wide variety of fields. Some common careers for historians include: archivists, curators, museum workers, secondary or post secondary teachers, economists, political scientists, anthropologists, historical writer, or even geographers.
FUN FACT: Historians conduct research and analysis for governments, businesses, nonprofits, historical associations, and other organizations. Historians who work for business might help examine historical evidence for legal cases or regulatory cases.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2016 historians earned a median annual salary of $ $55,110ii,archivists, curators, and museum workers earned a median salary of $47,230ii, secondary school teachers earned a median salary of $58,030iv and postsecondary teachers earned a median salary of $75,430.v
Individuals interested in pursuing potential career opportunities in fields that would utilize their historical expertise may want to earn a graduate degree as some occupations in this field may require job applicants to be able to demonstrate advanced educational credentials.
Ready To Pursue a Masters in History Degree?
The field of history is broad; earning a masters degree gives students the opportunity to focus on a specific geographic location, an era, or a particular field, whether social, political intellectual, or cultural. If you have a passion for research, data analysis, want to participate in preserving historical sites and artifacts, or teach and write about history, use the search tools on GradSchools.com to find the right Masters in History program for you!
Sources: [i] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herodotus | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/historians.htm | [iii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/curators-museum-technicians-and-conservators.htm | [iv] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/high-school-teachers.htm | [v] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teachers.htm
Grand Canyon University
The Master of Arts in History with an Emphasis in Education degree program prepares students to teach undergraduate courses for both campus and online modalities at two-year or four-year institutions.
- South Orange, NJSouth Orange, NJ
Seton Hall University
Considering a career in education, law, business or library science? Planning to pursue a doctorate? There’s one degree that can prepare you for any of the above — and many other careers, too: history...
- Bristol, RIBristol, RI
Roger Williams University
Exciting merit scholarship opportunities and flexible one- and two-year options available in the M.S. Historic Preservation program offered by the School of Architecture, Art, and Historic Preservation.
- Brooklyn, NYBrooklyn, NY
The M.S. in Historic Preservation at Pratt uniquely addresses both the physical aspects of preservation and the role our discipline plays within a larger context of design, community revitalization, redevelopment and adaptive reuse, and sustainability.
Sam Houston State University
Study the past and prepare for the future with the Master of Arts in History from Sam Houston State University.
- San Luis Obispo, CASan Luis Obispo, CA
California State University, Cal Poly
The Master of Arts in History emphasizes concentrated study in area specialties, with students gaining a thorough grounding in the latest historiography.
- Pomona, NJPomona, NJ
Stockton was the first four-year institution of higher education in the United States to offer a Master of Arts in Holocaust and Genocide Studies. ...
- New Brunswick, NJNew Brunswick, NJ
Rutgers University of New Jersey
The Program in Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies (CHAPS) emphasizes the development of a broad understanding of heritage contexts and policies along with development of professional skills.
- Chestnut Hill, MAChestnut Hill, MA
Our graduate programs in History attract talented students from around the nation and around the world. We offer M.A. and Ph.D. degrees with training in a number of regional and thematic specialties. The success of our Preparing Future Faculty program h...
- Long Beach, CALong Beach, CA
California State University, Long Beach
- Nara, JapanNara, Japan
Nara Women's University
- Chicago, ILChicago, IL
University of Illinois at Chicago
The University of Illinois at Chicago is the largest research university in Chicago and offers a comprehensive graduate program in history. We also offer specialized history concentrations in Work, Race, and Gender in the Urban World as well as Comparat...
- Bronx, NYBronx, NY
The graduate program in history is a compact program with traditional strengths in medieval and modern Europe and emerging programs in U.S. and Latin American history. Course offerings typically focus on Europe and the Americas, the heart of our M.A. an...
- Bronx, NY
- Fort Collins, COFort Collins, CO
Colorado State University
Areas of study include: US Western History; US Frontiers/Borderlands; Modern Europe; Environmental History; Public History...
- Baltimore, MDBaltimore, MD
University of Maryland Baltimore County
- New York City, NYNew York City, NY
New School, The
The Committee on Historical Studies offers interdisciplinary graduate training in both history and one of The New School for Social Research fields of study (Anthropology, Economics, Political Science, and Sociology). The program complements the Graduat...
- New York City, NY
The Center for Graduate and Continuing Studies, Goucher College offers the nation's only limited-residency graduate program in historic preservation.
- Grand Forks, NDGrand Forks, ND
University of North Dakota
The mission of the Graduate Program of the History Department of the University of North Dakota is to provide quality graduate-level instruction in the fields of North American, European, and World History. Successful students will be prepared to seek...
- Statesboro, GAStatesboro, GA
Georgia Southern University
- New Rochelle, NYNew Rochelle, NY
- Atlanta, GAAtlanta, GA
- Los Angeles, CALos Angeles, CA
University of Southern California
The aim of the program is to provide advanced training in the methods and techniques of historical research and writing. Course work at the graduate level stresses the critical reading of historical literature, participation in seminars, and research un...
- Pocatello, IDPocatello, ID
Idaho State University
The Historical Resources Management program offers students a professional master's degree in applied, digital history.