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Why get a bachelor’s degree in history in the 21st century? Isn’t history dead? The best history degree programs are dynamic, technologically advanced, and much more influential than you realize. But finding the best history degrees for you takes time and research (something a prospective historian should look forward to). Before you choose a college or a degree program, you will have to find the type of history you are passionate about. You may also choose to pursue multiple history programs or return to school later and add to your education.

A degree in history will open many doors in terms of career opportunities. One of the most common choices for individuals who pursue a degree in history is to become an educator. Earning a history degree also provides graduates with an opportunity to work in museums, libraries, and other educational fields outside of the realm of teaching. Graduates who have taken the time to earn a degree in history can use that degree to pursue a career in various industries such as architecture, design, as well as many other fields.

Methodology: How We Ranked the Best History Degrees in America

Bachelor’s Degree Center is committed to helping prospective college students find the best programs for their needs. Editors feature only accredited, reputable institutions, ranked according to practical factors like cost, graduate salary, and student reviews, with data from IPEDS and Niche.

1. Stanford University

Stanford University’s Department of History offers a BA in History that is ranked among the nation’s best history degrees. Stanford University’s baccalaureate history degree offers six academic pathways – history and law, general history, public history & public service, world history and global affairs, philosophy of history & the Arts, History of Science and Medicine. History majors at Stanford are required to complete 63 credit units in classes directly from the history curriculum.

Stanford University (Stanford) was established in 1891 as a junior university by Jane/Leland Stanford in memorial to their son, who died in his teens. Stanford University’s suburban campus covers more than 8,000 acres and serves more than 16,900 students.

What We Like: Stanford University holds the distinction of being ranked among the top five higher learning institutions worldwide.

Degree: B.A. in History

2. Harvard University

Harvard University offers a Bachelor of Liberal Arts in Social Sciences that requires the completion of 128 semester credits. Harvard University’s best history degrees are customizable to meet a student’s goals, but require four on-campus visits to ensure a student receives the full Harvard experience. This history degree from Harvard allows students to transfer up to 64 eligible credits. The social sciences degree from Harvard allows for a minor option and the ability to inquire about a master’s dual terminal program.

Harvard University (Harvard) was established in 1636, making it the second oldest in the nation and among the oldest and most elite in the world. More than 20,100 students attend classes offered by this Ivy League higher learning institution.

What We Like: Harvard University’s endowment exceeds $40B, and it the largest among all schools in the nation.

Degree: Bachelor of Liberal Arts, Social Sciences

3. University of Washington – Seattle

The University of Washington offers a BA in History & Philosophy of Science that is considered among the nation’s best history degrees. To earn this baccalaureate degree in history from UW Seattle, students must complete 60 semester credits in these areas, Asian history, European history, Latin American/Caribbean history, U.S./Canadian History, Middle Eastern/African history, and comparative/transregional global history. UW Seattle offers history majors these thematic options – history of empire & colonialism, the history of the race, gender, and power; the history of religion and society; and history of war and society.

The University of Washington (UW Seattle) was founded in 1861 and is the state’s flagship campus. Additionally, the University of Washington Seattle is a space-grant and sea-grant school that is also one of the oldest on the United States’ west coast.

What We Like: The University of Washington has deep ties to many tech giants in the region like Microsoft and Nintendo.

Degree: History & Philosophy of Science, BA

4. Yale University

Yale University Department of History offers a BA in History that is ranked among the country’s best history degrees. Yale’s history department is recognized across the globe and includes faculty who have won Pulitzer prizes. Yale’s baccalaureate history degrees offer degree candidates two academic tracks – the specialist track, or the global track. Students in the global track must complete five classes in six regions. All students enrolled in Yale University’s undergraduate history degree must complete at least one senior essay, two for a graduate with distinction.

Yale University (Yale) was established in 1718, the nation’s third oldest higher learning institution. Yale University is the country’s 3rd oldest and chartered by the Connecticut Colony.

What We Like: Yale University is one of the colonial schools and ivy league schools and the first to confer a Ph.D. degree.

Degree: B.A. in History

5. University of California, Berkeley

The University of California, Berkeley Department of History offers a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in History taught to be some of the most esteemed faculty in the business. Students enrolled in UC Berkeley’s best history degrees offer concentrations in urban history, technology, science, religion, ethnicity, legal history, gender history, imperialism/colonialism, and childhood and family history. History majors can also opt to define their major by geographical area or historical period.

The University of California (UC Berkeley) was established as the result of the Morrill Land Grant Colleges Act in 1868 – the first of its kind in the state. The University of California (Berkeley is also a space-grant higher learning institution that serves more than 42,100 students.

What We Like: The University of California at Berkeley has played a significant role in the discovery and implementation of many scientific discoveries.

Degree: B.A. in History

6. Columbia University

Columbia University offers a BS in History that offers students a number of thematic specializations within these best history degrees offered by Columbia University. Among the thematic emphases offered include ancient history, medieval history, Latin American & the Caribbean, early modern and modern history, middle eastern history, South Asian history, and U.S. history. Columbia University also offers degree candidates earning a history of major cross-regional themes like intellectual history, science history, women’s history, or international history, among others.

Columbia University (Columbia) was established as King’s College in 1754. The university’s campus in New York City serves more than 32,000 students but is considered a highly selective higher learning institution.

What We Like: Columbia University is recognized among the top schools in the world and a colonial college in the United States.

Degree: B.S. in History

7. University of Wisconsin -Madison

The University of Wisconsin-Madison offers a BS in History that prepare students for rewarding careers in archive management, museum curation, education, librarian, electronic records manager, or a director of education, to name a few. The University of Wisconsin Madison’s these best history degrees include coursework in world history, multicultural American, American history, historical roots of contemporary issues, the history of capitalism, history of the race, science and medicine in the U.S., and ancient Egyptian civilization, plus an apprenticeship or internship, among others.

The University of Wisconsin (UW Madison) was established in 1848, the same year Wisconsin reached statehood. The school’s college-town campus in Madison serves more than 43,300 students.

What We Like: The University of Wisconsin also operates and maintains an arboretum that exceeds 1,000 acres several miles from the school’s main campus.

Degree: B.S. in History

8. University of Maryland

The University of Maryland offers a BA in History that is considered among the marketplace’s best history degrees. The University of Maryland’s baccalaureate degree in history offers concentrations that are categorized by chronological time, thematically or geographically. History majors at the University of Maryland must complete a minimum of 39 semester credits to meet program requirements. For example, a history theme would include social & cultural, women & gender, military business, or religious, to name a few.

The University of Maryland (Maryland) was established under the Morrill Land Grant Act in 1848. In addition, the University of Maryland is a space-grant school and the oldest and largest higher learning institution in the state.

What We Like: Students enrolled at the University of Maryland hail from each of the nation’s states, plus another 120+ countries.

Degree: B.A. in History

9. Utah State University

Utah State University offers two of Utah’s best history degrees with its Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree and the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in History. The fundamental difference between the two degrees is that the B.S. is more science/math-oriented, whereas the B.A. degree includes the requirement of a foreign language. Students enrolled in Utah State University’s history degree complete internships in local museums, historical sites, and park services, to name a few.

Utah State University (USU) was established as the result of the Morrill Land Grant Act in 1888. In addition, Utah State University is a space-grant higher learning institution that serves more than 26,900 students studying for degrees offered by the school’s eight colleges/schools.

What We Like: In terms of student enrollment, Utah State University holds the distinction of being the largest in the state of Utah.

Degree: History BA/BS

10. Washington University in St. Louis

Washington University in St Louis offers a BS in History that requires the completion of WashU’s general education requirements, plus classes from the history mandates. Washington University in St. Louis’s best history degrees requires the completion of classes in western civilization, U.S. History, world history, the American Civil War, and coursework from one of these geographical areas, Europe, East Asia, Africa, Transregional History, Lattin American, and South Asia. Finally, WashU’s baccalaureate degree in history also requires the completion of a capstone project to meet program requirements.

Washington University in St. Louis (WashU) was established in 1853 to serve the greater St. Louis area. More than 11,900 students attend classes offered on campuses (throughout Missouri) and online.

What We Like: Washington University in St. Louis is recognized among the top schools for cited researchers.

Degree: BS in History

11. University of North Dakota

The University of North Dakota offers a BA in History that requires the completion of 120 semester credits to graduate. Most students enrolled in North Dakota’s best history degrees typically complete the program in 3.5 to 4 years. Students graduate from North Dakota’s baccalaureate degree in history and find rewarding careers in the field of academics, government, business, law, or public service, to name a few. Students take classes in the origins of modern war, slaves, citizens & social change, the American West, and the Medieval World, to name a few.

The University of North Dakota (North Dakota) was established in 1883. This space-grant higher learning institution also serves as the state’s flagship campus, with more than 13,100 students.

What We Like: The University of North Dakota was chartered several years before North Dakota reached statehood, making the University of North Dakota the oldest institution of higher education in the state.

Degree: B.A. in History

12. Texas State University

Texas State University offers a BA in History that offers degree candidate’s an optional teacher’s certification. Texas State University’s best history degrees require students majoring to complete 33 hours in the specified curriculum in areas of U.S. history, World Civilization, plus eighteen additional hours of advanced history coursework chosen from academic groups like World history, European history, and U.S. History.

Texas State University (Texas State) was established in 1899. Texas State University (, as a space-grant institution of higher learning, serves more than 37,900 students from its 450+ acre campus in San Marcos. Texas State University operates an academic satellite facility in Austin to serve students in the northern sections.

What We Like: Texas State University is home to the largest forensic facility dedicated to research across the globe.

Degree: B.A. in History

13. West Texas A&M University

West Texas A&M University offers two of Texas’s best history degrees with its Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree and the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in History. Students graduating from West Texas A&M University’s bachelor’s degree in history enter the workforce in the areas of education, law, government agencies, or public service, to name a few. Students enrolled in West Texas A&M University’s history major program can opt to minor in East Asia, Europe, Latin America, or Mexican/Latino Studies. Students graduate with advanced communication and writing skills, plus be able to critically and analytically analyze real world issues based on history.

West Texas A&M University(WTAMU) was established in 1910 as a state-funded higher learning institution dedicated to teaching educators in West Texas. The university’s suburban campus covers more than 170 acres and serves more than 9,900 students.

What We Like: West Texas A&M University boasts the distinction that for several years, Georgia O’Keefe was WTAMU’s art department chair.

Degree: History BA/BS

14. SUNY New Paltz

The SUNY New Paltz Department of History offers a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in History that offers students a senior thesis with honors option. SUNY New Paltz’s best history degrees require degree candidates to complete 35 to 38 semester credits from the history curriculum, contingent upon the exact path of study. Students graduating from SUNY New Paltz’s baccalaureate degree in history enter the workforce as librarians, information managers, writers, documentary editors, foundation directors, teachers, historians, or litigation support, to name a few.

SUNY New Paltz was established as an academy/classical school in 1828. Several decades later, after a fire decimated the main building, the land was donated to NYS to use as a teacher’s college. More than 7,400 students attend classes offered by New Paltz.

What We Like: The State University of New York at New Paltz operates three theaters on its campus in upstate New York.

Degree: BA in History

15. University of Southern Indiana

The University of Southern Indiana offers two of Indiana’s best history degrees with its Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree and the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in History. Coursework for this baccalaureate degree in history includes global history, the historian’s craft, historical methods, U.S. history in a global context, plus two senior seminars – one on World History and another on American History. Area of studies European history, World Regions, American history, Professional Development, with a history teaching option.

The University of Southern Indiana (USI) was chartered as a state-funded higher learning institution in 1965. The school’s campus in Evansville covers more than 1,000 acres and serves more than 8,900 students.

What We Like: The University of Southern Indiana operates a professional theatre with a professional partnership with the Actors’ Equity Association.

Degree: BA in History

16. Oregon State University

Oregon State University offers two of Oregon’s best history degrees with its Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree and the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in History that are recognized by U.S. News and World Report. Each of the baccalaureate history degrees requires the completion of 180 semester units, all available entirely online. Class offerings for these history degrees include the American Military, Slavery in the Americas, Historical perspectives of War, Religion in the U.S., Ancient Civilizations, and the Middle & Early Modern Ages, among others.

Oregon State University (OSU) was established under the Morrill Land Grant Colleges Act in 1868. More than 25,900 students attend classes at Oregon State University.

What We Like: Oregon State University holds the distinction of being only one of four higher learning institutions that hold all four grants – land-grant, space-grant, sun-grant and sea-grant.

Degree: History BA/BS

17. University of Massachusetts at Lowell

The University of Massachusetts at Lowell History Department offers a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in History that requires the completion of 120 semester units to meet the requirements of the program. The University of Massachusetts Lowell’s best history degrees include classes in global comparatives, historical methods, U.S. history, European history, modern world history, and western civilization, to name a few. Students enrolled in the University of Massachusetts’ bachelor’s degree in history can opt for up to fifty different minors ranging from art history, to legal studies, to nutrition and computers, to name just a few.

The University of Massachusetts (UMass Lowell) was established as a teacher training college in 1894. The University of Massachusetts Lowell maintains a main campus in Lowell and an academic satellite facility in nearby Haverhill. More than 17,900 students attend classes offered by the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.

What We Like: The University of Massachusetts Lowell holds the distinction of being the second largest public higher education institution in the commonwealth.

Degree: B.A. in History

18. University of Nebraska at Kearney

The University of Nebraska Kearney offers a BA in History that requires degree candidates to complete 120 semester credits to graduate. The core curriculum for UN Kearney’s best history degrees includes American history, Western Civilization, Non-western World History, and Introduction to Latin America, to name a few. Advanced history classes include civil war and reconstruction, colonial America, history in film, plus an internship or regional field placement, to name a few.

The University of Nebraska (UN Kearney) was founded in 1905 as the state’s normal school. The school’s rural campus in Kearney, Nebraska, covers more than 500 acres and serves more than 6,100 students.

What We Like: The University of Nebraska distance learning programs are recognized by U.S. News and World Report among the top 35 nationwide.

Degree: B.A. in History

19. North Carolina Central University

North Carolina Central University offers a BA in History that prepares students to teach at secondary levels of school or to pursue a degree in law or another graduate area of study. North Carolina Central University’s best history degrees include classes in U.S. History, World Societies to 1650, The Black Experience to 1865 and Since 1865, historical Writing & Literature, and Methods and Application in History, to name a few.

North Carolina Central University (N.C. Central) is an HBCU school that was established as a teacher’s school in 1910 but became a member school of the state’s university system in 1972. The university’s Durham campus serves more than 7,900 students.

What We Like: North Carolina Central University is honored to be a part of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

Degree: B.A. in History

20. University of Wisconsin Milwaukee

The University of Wisconsin Milwaukee offers a BA in History that offers students an optional thesis to graduate. The University of Wisconsin Milwaukee’s best history degrees include classes as follows – A History of Greek Civilization, Western Civilization Ancient World to 1500 and 1500+, World History, Football, and American Society, Multicultural America, East Asian Civilization, and Latin American Society, plus an independent study, among others. This history degree from the University of Wisconsin can be completed entirely online.

The University of Wisconsin (U.W. Milwaukee) was established as a teacher’s school and training college in 1885. The school’s urban campus covers more than 100 acres and serves more than 25,900 students.

What We Like: The University of Wisconsin. Milwaukee holds the distinction of being the largest higher education institution in the greater metro Milwaukee area.

Degree: BA in History

21. Southwestern Adventist University

Southwestern Adventist University Department of History and Social Science offers a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in History that prepares degree candidates for careers as politicians, policymakers, journalists, librarians, and even private business, to name a few. Classes for Southwestern Adventist University’s best history degrees include 37 semester units in coursework like U.S. History (2 classes), historical methods, world civilizations (2 classes), portfolio development, and research & historiography, to name a few. Students must also complete a political science elective to meet the history major mandates.

Southwestern Adventist University (SAU) was established in 1893. This Adventist higher learning institution serves more than 700 students on its 100+ acre rural campus in Keene.

What We Like: Southwestern Adventist University offers the only fire degree offered by any Seventh Day Adventist institution of higher education.

Degree: B.A. in History

22. Regent University

Regent University offers a BA in History that is available on its Virginia Beach campus or entirely online. Regent University’s best history degrees require degree candidates to complete 120 semester units to meet program requirements. Students graduate from Regent’s baccalaureate degree in history prepared for rewarding careers as archivists, curators, educators, government agents, politicians, journalists, writers, or historical preservationists, to name a few. Classes for the bachelor’s degree in history include U.S. history, history of the cold war, western civilization, historiography and research methods, and revolutionary & constitutional history, among others.

Regent University (Regent) was established as the Christian Broadcasting Network School by pat Robertson in 1977. The university’s campus in Virginia Beach serves more than 8,500 students vying for more than 60+ academic degrees.

What We Like: Regent University’s first classes were held in a classroom in Chesapeake.

Degree: B.A. in History

23. Mary Baldwin University

Mary Baldwin University offers a BA in History that require history majors to complete a minimum of 36 semester credits to meet program requirements. Mary Baldwin University’s best history degrees offer a unique Virginia program at Oxford, where six students from schools in Virginia study 3 credits with British Tutors at Oxford University. This program was created and implemented by Mary Baldwin. Classes include a survey of U.S. history, western civilization, women in American history, hip hop and history, and religion in America, to name a few.

Mary Baldwin University (Mary Baldwin) was established as a female seminary in 1842. The schools’ small-city campus serves more than 1,500 students.

What We Like: Mary Baldwin University holds the distinction of being the oldest operating female higher learning institution connected with the Presbyterian Church.

Degree: B.A. in History

24. Charleston Southern University

Charleston Southern University offers a BA in History that prepare students for rewarding careers as educators, research analysts, librarians, archivists, teachers, and historians, to name a few. Degree candidates enrolled in Charleston Southern University’s best history degrees complete classes in the age of discovery, middle eastern history, politics & government in Africa, renaissance & reformation Europe, American military history, and the young republic, to name a few. Conferences during the program take place at the Whitfield Center for Christian Leadership.

Charleston Southern University (CSU) was established in 1964. Charleston Southern University’s Master of Busines Administration (MBA) is one of the largest programs within the state of South Carolina.

What We Like: The South Carolina Baptist Convention chartered the school, which currently has a student enrollment than exceeds 3,100.

Degree: BA in History

25. Granite State College

Granite State College offers a BA in History that mandates history major-degree candidates to complete 120 semester units to graduate. Students enrolled in Granite State College’s best history degrees includes classes that include great civilizations, U.S. history, European History (Renaissance through Industrial Revolution, plus the 19th & 20th Centuries), American government & politics historical methods, constitutional law, topics in world history, history of New England, and topics in world history, plus an integrative capstone project relevant to the student’s chosen historical perspective and area of interest.

Granite State College (Granite State) was established in 1972 and is a member of the state’s university system. Granite State College operates multiple campuses in concord, as well as Rochester, Portsmouth, Manchester, Claremont, Lebanon, Nashua, and Conway.

What We Like: Washington Monthly has ranked Granite State College among the best in New England.

Degree: B.A. in History

Should I Get a Degree in History?

Graduates who have a degree in history can teach at almost any level ranging from primary education to post-graduate school. Students who pursue a degree in history also have a choice as to the type of history they wish to teach. From ancient history to modern history and every type of history in between, the graduate is able to pursue the genre that most fascinates them. They will be able to teach others about the past and, in some ways, even bring it to life.

Historians are able to do research, identify and categorize artifacts, and preserve items that have been found that may have historical value. Librarians can also benefit from earning a degree in history. While these positions may seem out of date, they are actually vital to the preservation of history and how it relates to current times. A degree in history allows you to explore the past and possibly make new finds that can connect one time period to another.

Almost every industry has a “history” that can be explored. Studying the history of architecture, for instance, will allow the person to be able to identify techniques that were used in the construction of historic buildings and structures. The more that is learned about the structure of a building, the easier it is to determine when it was built and what materials were used.

Uncovering historical items would be of no value if we didn’t have historians to do the research to find out all of the details. Historians are able to identify unique qualities that can identify time period, use, and approximate value. With that information in hand, they can determine what can be done with an item and how it can be best preserved for future use. The goal is to preserve historical items and artifacts can be used to teach future generations about the past.

How Do I Choose a History Degree Program?

Looking for the best colleges for history degrees can be overwhelming. First, you will need to determine what type of history you want to learn about. There are numerous categories to choose from including Modern, Ancient, American, European, and many, many others. You can also choose Art or Music history as well.

Another factor in choosing a history degree is whether or not you want to attend class on campus. Many people prefer an online format simply for the added convenience of a flexible schedule and the ability to learn on their own time. Learning online means no drive to and from school or carrying books to and from class. An online class schedule allows the student to study when they are best able to retain the information. Some students learn best at night, while others thrive during the day. Online courses give students the opportunity to choose for themselves.

Choosing a history degree program means looking for ones that are within your budget. Affordable degree programs are available if you know where to look. Many schools will help you fill out financial aid forms and will also give you the names of grants and scholarship programs that are available to students who are pursuing a degree in history. While student loans are available, many students would prefer to not go into debt unless it is absolutely necessary. This is why grants and scholarships are so sought after. They do not have to be paid back like a loan and can sometimes be gifted for more than one year.

When choosing a history degree program, you can also opt for an accelerated degree program. Accelerated degree programs allow the student to earn their degree in less than the traditional two years. Students are sometimes already employed and are using the degree to validate the experience they already have. It also gives them an opportunity to move up into a managerial position and take on more responsibilities. More responsibilities bring the opportunity for higher wages as well. If career advancement is the goal, an accelerated degree program will make it happen much sooner than later.

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