United States 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.
- 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.
- 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...
- 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...
- Pensacola, FLPensacola, FL
University of West Florida
The Master of Arts in History (M.A.) degree prepares students for a wide range of employment opportunities or further studies in the field. The Public History Specialization trains students in the various aspects of public (applied) history and requires...
- Tampa, FLTampa, FL
University of South Florida
The Department of History at USF offers two graduate degree programs. Students may enroll in a program of study, coursework, and directed research leading either to a Master of Arts (M.A.) or a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). Areas of specialization cover...
- Brooklyn, NYBrooklyn, NY
NYU Tandon School of Engineering
- Dayton, OHDayton, OH
Wright State University
The purpose of the Master of Arts program in history is to provide broad but intensive training for students who intend to pursue careers as professio...
- Stanford, CAStanford, CA
- Las Vegas, NVLas Vegas, NV
University of Nevada Las Vegas
The Department of History at UNLV has offered an M.A. degree since 1968, and in 1991 inaugurated a Ph.D. program. Our graduates have gone on to careers in teaching, business, law, administration, professional writing, museum work and government service.
- Rock Hill, SCRock Hill, SC
Are you interested in analyzing how past events have impacted present day societies?...
- University, MSUniversity, MS
University of Mississippi
- Milledgeville, GAMilledgeville, GA
Georgia College And State University
The Master of Arts degree in History prepares students for further historical study and for a variety of occupations, including teaching, journalism,...
- Murray, KYMurray, KY
Murray State University
- Carbondale, ILCarbondale, IL
Southern Illinois University - Carbondale
- Buffalo, NYBuffalo, NY
Buffalo State College (S.U.N.Y.)
The graduate certificate in museum studies is a focused, flexible 18-credit-hours of museum-specific coursework including a museum internship. Students may subsequently pair the certificate program with 12 additional credits of history courses to obtain...
- Fayetteville, ARFayetteville, AR
University of Arkansas
- University Park, PAUniversity Park, PA
Pennsylvania State University
Graduate instruction at the master's degree level is offered in the following areas of history: the Ancient Mediterranean; Medieval, Early Modern, and Modern European, including Great Britain and Russia; the United States, including colonial American an...
- Fitchburg, MAFitchburg, MA
Fitchburg State College
The Master of Arts (MA) in History is designed for students pursuing careers in historical research, writing, post-secondary level teaching, and for s...