Boost Your Future with an MA in History
- $627/credit (33 credits total)
- Transfer up to 12 graduate credits
- Complete in as few as 15 months or at your own pace
- Develop advanced research skills
- Choose from 3 specialized concentrations
- 24/7 online accessibility – attend class when and where it's convenient
Master’s in History Program Overview
Interpret the past and illuminate the future in the online Master of Arts in History degree program from Southern New Hampshire University.
The master’s in history program will deepen your knowledge of the process of "making" history through analysis of historical scholarship, crafting written communications and defending the relevance of the past as it pertains to making informed decisions about the future.
Upon graduating, you'll emerge not only with degree-specific knowledge, but also with a valuable set of widely applicable skills. By studying advanced research, analysis, presentation, writing and critical-thinking techniques, the master's in history program can help you bolster your history expertise while building a transferable set of skills you can use in a variety of fields.
Our faculty is full of experienced and passionate historians – many with doctoral degrees – who are dedicated to sharing their deep understanding of history. Regardless of which geographic, periodic or thematic area of history piques your interest, the MA in History program can build upon your understanding of our past and its implications for our future.
Learn how to:
- Interpret history using primary and secondary sources
- Analyze the credibility of historical sources
- Write for specific audiences using best practices
- Address the ethical and social responsibilities of a historian
- Explain the value of using the past to make future decisions
- Use tools to preserve, organize, assess and disseminate historical knowledge
Want to dive deeper than the general course of study? Our program also gives you the opportunity to choose from 3 focused concentrations: American History, Military History and Public History.
Study the Past to Prepare for Your Future
In SNHU’s comprehensive master’s in history program, you can develop the writing, critical thinking and research skills to succeed in roles such as historian, researcher, curator or educator. Hear from three SNHU faculty members about how studying the past can help you prepare for your future.
Why is History Important?
History is more than dates and facts. It’s the study of human actions and how the past impacted our world. By thinking critically and asking questions, you can learn from multiple perspectives and improve your understanding of the world around you.
Why Should I Earn a Master’s Degree?
A master’s degree can help you start a new job, compete for a promotion or change career paths. From human resources to STEM fields and MBAs to history, SNHU offers some of the most sought-after graduate programs in the country.
American History (MA)
Explore major political, cultural, social and economic shifts in American society in the Master of Arts in History with a concentration in American History program. Taking a broad look at American history, this program will have you studying the significant factors that have shaped our country.
From the colonization of America to both world wars and all the way through to the current day, you'll analyze the rise of the U.S. as a global power. By applying the historian's tools to your own interests, you can graduate from the program as a true American history scholar.
With an online master's in American history, you can pursue careers in research, writing, teaching, government or publishing. The knowledge and skills developed by studying American history could give you an edge in a wide range of professions.
Originally a high school teacher, Amy Tatro ’15G earned her master’s in American history at SNHU. Deciding to shift gears, her career took her into construction, where she became a top executive.
“While I’m not using my master’s degree specifically for history, there are many things I learned in that program that have helped me to excel at my current position,” Tatro said. “I am by far a better researcher, investigator and writer.”
With a concentration in American history, you could find yourself contributing to fields like education, journalism, publishing and research. The knowledge you'll gain from this program is applicable and valuable to government, nonprofit and corporate entities.
In the online master's in American history, you'll take courses that provide a broad look at American history and the events that have shaped our country.
Courses may include:
- Early American Encounters
- Era of the Civil War
- The Gilded Age and Progressive Era
- America and the World Wars
Military History (MA)
In the MA in History with a concentration in Military History program, you'll assess major themes in global military history, including military theory and the effects of warfare on the political, cultural and economic life of the societies involved. In the process, you'll hone your research, writing and communication skills, making yourself more marketable to employers.
"I think this particular degree and its concentration will greatly help me in my historical writing and historical researching avocation," said Timothy Connelly ’17G of his choice to pursue a master's in military history.
The master’s in military history online program will deepen your knowledge of the process of making history through analyzing historical scholarship, crafting written communications and defending the relevance of the past as it pertains to making informed decisions about the future. You'll emerge not only with up-to-date knowledge, but also with the research, writing and critical-thinking skills to work in a variety of fields where today’s real world meets meaningful interpretations of the past.
The master’s in military history online program strengthens critical research and writing skills. After completing core history courses, you'll take 5 military history courses and complete a capstone experience that results in a project or research paper.
Military history master’s degree-holders – especially those who are in the military – can pursue roles with the U.S. Department of Defense, Homeland Security and U.S. embassies around the world.
Earning a master's degree in military history could be a natural next step in your career if you have a military background. In fact, almost 50% of our master's in military history students have military affiliations. And because the busy life of an American military service member might not allow for a traditional learning experience on a college campus, the 24/7 flexibility of SNHU's online programs can be an ideal option for many students.
Courses may include:
- History of Military Thought
- America and the World Wars
- The Russian Revolutions
- Chinese Imperialism
Public History (MA)
Protect historical artifacts and communicate cultural narratives by earning your online Master of Arts in History with a concentration in Public History degree. In the master's in public history online program, you'll learn to create historical preservation and outreach initiatives that integrate deep content knowledge and technological savvy to educate and empower individuals and groups.
Many of the courses in the public history master's program are geared toward understanding the tools of public history as opposed to diving into historical content or periods. The program was created to help you build your skill set, including the management, preservation and interpretation of historical records and artifacts while strengthening critical research and writing skills.
After completing the master's in history core, you'll take 5 public history courses and complete a unique capstone experience. Placing an emphasis on the skills needed to work at a museum or other public history venue, the public history capstone is project- and presentation-based rather than a thesis paper.
If you've always dreamed of leading an organization, program or project, the master's in public history is a great choice for you.
Focusing on practical and business skills you can put to work in public settings, this program was created to help prepare you to become a leader in museum and historical society work, community history projects, preservation programs, and local and federal research projects.
Careers for public history master’s degree-holders include archivists, editors, educators, information managers, journalists, librarians, records managers, researchers, and historians for corporations and nonprofits.
Courses may include:
- Public History Strategic Management
- Documentary Editing
- Archival Management
- Museum Collection Management
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, historians make a median annual salary of $61,140 with a 6% job growth projected through 2028 – as fast as the average job growth.1
Taking your education a step further by earning your MA in History is also a strategic step in finding employment as a historian, as BLS reports that most historian positions require at least a master's degree.1
Careers for master's degree-holders include:
- Museum director
- Records manager
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that most historians work in:
- Local, state and federal governments
- Historical societies
- Scientific research and development services
- Architectural and engineering services
The MA in History was designed to not only build your history-specific knowledge and skills, but to prepare you for an array of careers outside of academia and traditional history-related positions. Aside from writing and communication skills, the master's in history aims to help you become skilled in advanced research, analysis and presentation of information while developing your ability to plan and execute projects.
This program also leverages your love of history and helps you make it into a career. Without historians, there would be no history. Writing it, preserving it and applying it are integral to a surprising number of professions. A master's degree is more relevant than ever to today's careers in:
- Teaching: Becoming a secondary or postsecondary educator often requires earning at least a master's degree. (Note: Teaching licensure may be required for some positions.)
- Research: The ability to practice responsible, unbiased research techniques is certainly an asset in history-related research professions and beyond.
- Government: Knowledge of past events is crucial in determining future actions of local, state and national governments.
- Publishing: Editing, writing and research skills paired with expertise in history could be valuable in the world of nonfiction and academic publishing.
- Preservation: With the nationwide trends of downtown revitalization and rapid urban development, people with history degrees can be sought after as part of the preservation efforts of historical sites.
SNHU does not guarantee that the completion of this program will result in endorsements or rank and salary increases for teachers and strongly encourages interested individuals to contact their state education licensure board prior to enrolling. SNHU provides additional information for education-related outcomes on our Licensure and Certification Disclosures page.
Start Your Journey Toward an Online History Degree
Why SNHU for Your Online Master's in History
With no set class meeting times, you can learn on your schedule and access online course materials 24/7.
Take advantage of some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation, plus financial aid for those who qualify. We also make it easy to transfer to SNHU by accepting up to 12 credits from your previous institution.
Founded in 1932, Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution with over 100,000 graduates across the country. SNHU is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), which advocates for institutional improvement and public assurance of quality.
Recently, Southern New Hampshire University has been nationally recognized for leading the way toward more innovative, affordable and achievable education:
- “Most Innovative” regional university honors from U.S. News & World Report each year since 2015
- A $1 million grant from Google.org to explore soft skills assessments for high-need youth
- Recognition as a 2017 Digital Learning Innovator by the Online Learning Consortium
At Southern New Hampshire University, you'll have access to a powerful network of more than 200,000 students, alumni and staff that can help support you long after graduation. Our instructors offer relevant, real-world expertise to help you understand and navigate your industry. Plus, with our growing, nationwide alumni network, you'll have the potential to tap into a number of internship and career opportunities.
96.5% of students would recommend SNHU.2 Discover why SNHU may be right for you.
Part of our mission to expand access to quality higher education means removing the barriers that may stand between you and your degree. That’s why you can apply at any time and get a decision within days of submitting all required materials — with no GRE or GMAT required.
Master's degree candidates must also submit a personal statement. Students with an undergraduate GPA below 2.75 are eligible for provisional acceptance. Based on educational background, some Master of Arts provisional students may be required to take SNHU 501 – Introduction to Graduate Studies – which will provide students with the scholarly tools to be successful in their Master of Arts program of study.
To apply, use the online application.
How to Apply
Simply contact an admission counselor, who can help you explore financial options, answer all your questions, and walk you through the application process, which includes:
- Completing a graduate application
- Providing undergraduate transcripts
Courses & Curriculum
SNHU’s history programs require more than just the memorization of facts. The curriculum for the online master's in history advances the applications and relevancy of history while strengthening research and writing skills. Throughout your courses, you'll develop critical-thinking skills that can be applied to research, writing, publishing and government work, using what you’ve learned from the past to help determine the right path for the future.
The core master's in history degree courses focus on the historical methods and research skills that enable professional historians to accurately and convincingly explain the past. By understanding the range of historical approaches, you'll better appreciate the changing nature of historical interpretations and arguments and develop your own preferred methods of analysis.
Our 3 concentrations in American history, military history and public history then give you the opportunity to specialize your knowledge base and skill set – which might be attractive to certain employers. If you're interested in developing a broader knowledge base instead of focusing on a concentration area, you can tailor your program by choosing electives from any of the graduate history courses.
|View Full Curriculum in the Catalog|
|MA in History|
|Courses May Include|
|MA in History Online|
|HIS 501||Historiography||This course provides a deep-level exploration into the study of history and historical writing, focusing on the craft and profession of history and its relationship to society. The course contends with the changing nature of historical interpretations and arguments, and the role of historical meta-narratives in shaping one's understanding and experience of history. Students are asked to position and evaluate their own thinking in relation to various historical analyses, defending a preferred approach to a relevant area of interest.|
|HIS 502||Historical Methods||Historians use a wide variety of methods and approaches to the study, analysis, and evaluation of historical accounts and sources. This course offers students an opportunity to investigate various methodological approaches and the relationships between method, theory, and interpretation in historical research. Students will design an initial research proposal and articulate how a chosen methodology positions them appropriately to address the central issues and problems of their research.|
|HIS 510||Comparative History and Research||Comparative research is a valuable tool for historians to be able to discover possible historical and social connections across separate historical settings. This course introduces students to best practices, issues, and challenges of comparative history approaches. Central to the course is the development of effective research practices in comparative history: identifying appropriate sources, articulating the context and focus of a research project, and making an informed and supported argument. This course will use the topic of democratic revolutions to model comparative research.|
|HIS 520||Historical Lenses and Scholarship||What does it mean to focus on the economic issues of an historical event? What considerations of race, gender, class, or other lenses of difference can be made to illuminate the social and cultural experiences of people throughout history? The central focus of this course is to provide students with an exploration into various lenses of historical research and analysis and how these lenses can structure the types of questions an historian asks. The course uses the topic of transatlantic slavery to introduce several lenses that can be applied to future topics of interest to students. Students will integrate best practices for the production and writing of historical scholarship using a chosen lens (or lenses) of analysis.|
|HIS 790||Research Seminar for Historians (Capstone)||The capstone experience integrates knowledge and skills developed in previous coursework with a focus on developing scholarship in a student's chosen area of specialization. This course focuses on helping students propose a topic for research, conduct preliminary research on primary and secondary sources, and develop a capstone research proposal. This course prepares students for the formal capstone submission in the subsequent capstone course.|
|HIS 791||Capstone for Research Historians||The capstone experience integrates knowledge and skills developed in previous coursework with a focus on developing scholarship in a student's chosen area of specialization. This course extends students' research proposals into a formal capstone project. Students will workshop and submit their final capstone projects in this course.|
|Total Credits: 33|
Tuition & Fees
Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer a 25% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.
|Online Graduate Programs||Per Course||Per Credit Hour||Annual Cost for 15 credits|
(U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty)
Tuition rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually.
$150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)
Frequently Asked Questions
Is an online master's degree in history respected?
Respected public and private schools across the U.S. offer online master's degrees in history.
As a pioneer in online higher education – launching our online program offerings in 1995 – SNHU has decades of experience providing high quality degrees both online and on campus. Accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), Southern New Hampshire University remains committed to increasing access to high quality degree programs to more than 135,000 learners nationwide.
SNHU's online MA in History program is one of the largest and fastest growing in the nation. Because of the flexible nature of online learning, many working adults embrace online master's degree programs to help balance professional and personal priorities while earning a quality education.
What jobs can I get with a master's in history?
Graduates of history degree programs learn adaptable soft skills that are valued in many fields.
Earning your MA in History might position you for roles like:
- Museum director
- Research analyst
Beyond a more traditional career path, the skills gained in a graduate history program could be useful in work related to libraries, journalism, anthropology and even communication and marketing. Learn more about what you can do with a master's in history.
How long does it take to get a master's in history?
Completing a master's degree program typically takes 1-2 years.
By taking 2 courses over 6 terms, you could earn your master's in history degree in as few as 15 months at SNHU. Our programs were built with busy learners in mind, so how long it takes to earn your degree is largely up to your goals and schedule.
Southern New Hampshire University's transfer credit policies also allow you to transfer up to 12 credits toward your master's degree, which could save you time in completing your graduate degree in history.
Can you get a master's in history online?
Yes, you can earn your master's degree in history online.
SNHU offers an online Master of Arts in History along with 3 concentrations: American history, military history and public history. With over 135,000 learners enrolled at our university, many students have found that the format of our online programs provides the flexibility they need to pursue their degree while working full time.
"I never really thought it was possible to do my degree online," said Denise Treacy '15G. "I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the MA in History program and cost. I could actually afford it."
How much does it cost to get a master's degree in history?
The cost of earning a master's degree in history can vary depending on the school and program.
At Southern New Hampshire University, we're committed to keeping higher education affordable. In fact, we care so much about making our programs accessible that we haven't increased online tuition since 2012 (and have frozen it through 2021). At $627/credit, SNHU's 33-credit MA in History has a total tuition cost of $20,691.
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.
Sources & Citations (1, 2)
1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, on the internet, at:
- https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/historians.htm (viewed Dec. 9, 2019)
- https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes193093.htm (viewed Dec. 11, 2019)
Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.
2 According to more than 9,200 SNHU online students in survey responses from the fall of 2019.