District of Columbia Campus History Graduate Programs & History Graduate Schools

History Graduate Schools offer degree and certificate programs focused on a range of periods and history-related topics. Students choose to earn a graduate certificate, masters, or doctorate, while studying everything from ancient history leading up to current events, from all different unique perspectives. For example, maybe you want to study comparative history, and look at the similarities and differences between two different societies as they existed simultaneously. Or maybe you’re fascinated by a certain period or event and want to learn everything about it. Or you could look into historic preservation, and study how to make sure ancient artifacts and texts are maintained for future generations. Whatever most fascinates you about history, you could study it in a campus program.

What Are History Graduate Schools?

History graduate schools help students earn post-baccalaureate history degrees through campus programs anchored in the local community. Earning a graduate degree in history in this type of program be an exciting opportunity, not just because you’d have the opportunity to pursue the masters or doctorate you’ve been longing for. You could also do it in a classroom full of peers who are just as fascinated by history as you. That means you could not only study historic texts, but also engage in lively classroom debates, and learn from the diverse perspectives found in your classroom. Not to mention building a future networking system.

Plus, you’d have access to all the resources of your department. Those may range from research materials in your campus library, to the relationships you could build with your peers and instructors, to the connections your school has in the field. You could get experience performing research alongside respected scholars in your field, and rely on the support your program has to offer.

Historic Preservation

Historic preservation graduate programs focus not just on learning about history, but also maintaining and preserving historical artifacts for future study. Historic preservation and conservation graduate programs also touch on the practical and scientific aspects of preservation, in addition to studying history itself, public policy, and preservation law. As such, a campus program might include lab experiences, or offer students the opportunity for field experience.

Types of History Graduate Schools

History graduate schools focus not just on a timeline of historical events, but also the social, cultural, political and economic contexts surrounding those events. Often, history graduate programs also discuss the different approaches to studying history, ways to recognize and eliminate potential bias, and even how our understanding of history impacts contemporary society.

The potential types of programs you might find may vary. While some programs may take a broad perspective, helping students to develop a general expertise of world history and how to study it, others are more specific. Some may be regional—e.g. western history—while others might focus on a certain cultural era, like Ancient Rome or Victorian England, or even historical events, like World War II and the Holocaust.

Depending on the program you choose, you might even have some control over your topic of focus. Some programs may have several different tracks enabling students to opt for the one that interests them the most, or help students to tailor their program.

In addition to the varied topics you could study in a history graduate school program, you could also earn several different types of degrees.

Masters in History Graduate Schools

History graduate schools might offer a few different types of history masters programs. In most cases, students could earn either a Master of Arts (MA) or a Master of Science (MS) in history. However, a few other options might be available including a Master of Philosophy or M.Phil. In most cases, the differences between these programs would vary by school, and may not always have a huge impact on the curriculum.

Most history masters programs are scholarly in nature, meaning they focus on academics and help students to prepare for future study at the doctoral level. However, that’s not always the case. Especially if you’re studying preservation, you might be able to attend practice-based programs that focus more on career application.

Doctorate in History Graduate Schools

In the majority of cases, history doctoral programs award PhDs. Like masters programs, these are generally scholarly in nature, focused on the academic study and analysis of history. Often, doctoral programs enable students some level of control over their topic of focus; however, the amount of freedom you might have could vary widely.

One advantage of earning a doctorate in history on campus is that you could take advantage of the research opportunities in and around your campus. For example, you might be able to utilize local resources like local museums and archives, in addition to the resources available on campus and within your program. However, those types of resources could vary, so if it’s something you’re particularly interested in, make sure you reach out to the programs you’re looking at to find out more.

History Graduate Certificate Schools

Graduate certificates in history generally focus on a specific topic or skill within your discipline, so as to enhance existing history expertise. For example, you could pursue a graduate certificate in eighteenth-century studies to shore up your knowledge of that period, or learn the essentials in a historic preservation graduate certificate program. History graduate certificates could be either masters or doctorate-level, but typically offered in shorter programs, compared to the equivalent degrees.

What to Do With a History Graduate Degree

The skills developed in a graduate history program could be broadly applicable in a variety of fields. As such, people holding advanced history degrees could be found in a spectrum of industries and positions that may benefit from a facility for research, critical thinking, communication, and an understanding of society. That said, advanced degrees in history may be particularly relevant in a few different areas.

  • Historians made a median salary of $55,110 in 2016. The typical entry-level education is a master's degree, though some positions might require a doctorate. Historians might work in government, museums, archives, historical societies, and other research-related organizations.i
  • High School History Teachers made a median salary of $58,030 in 2016. While the typical entry-level education for secondary education teachers is a bachelors degree, many schools, districts, and states may encourage teachers to earn a masters as a factor in advancement opportunities.ii
  • College History Professors often need a PhD; however, some postsecondary schools (such as community colleges) may see a masters as sufficient education for entry level teaching. Postsecondary teachers made a median salary of $75,430 in 2016. However, that figure may vary considerably between academic disciplines.iii
  • Archivists, Curators, and Other Museum Workers often need a masters degree specific to the position’s field, as well as some related professional experience. However, that could vary by museum and position. The median pay for these types of positions in 2016 was $47,230.iv

Search for History Graduate Schools

If you’re interested in pursuing a graduate degree in history, start your search with GradSchools.com. First, take a moment to consider your interests. Make a note of any specific career goals, or whether you want to study a certain history-related topic, era, or civilization. Then use the menu to filter your programs, selecting your preferred degree type and. Review the history graduate schools that match your criteria, and click on their names to learn more about them and reach out.

[i] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/historians.htm | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/high-school-teachers | [iii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teacher | [iv] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/curators-museum-technicians-and-conservators.htm

Find Schools