Graduate students may be interested in pursuing an online master’s in history for a variety of reasons. Working professionals with a bachelor’s degree in the field may find that advanced study can position them for promotions and raises, while aspiring teachers may wish to become qualified to teach history to high school or community college students.

Featured Programs

Whatever the reason for enrolling in an online history master’s degree, it’s important that students compare programs to find a school that meets their needs while providing great value for every tuition dollar. In this ranking, we explore the 16 top value colleges for a master’s in history online for 2016-2017.

Rating and Ranking Methodology
20-Year Net ROI
• Above 500,000 – 5 points
• Above 400,000 – 4 points
• Above 300,000 –3 points
• Above 200,000 – 2 points
• Above 100,000—1 point
Customization Options
• Content Customizations (e.g. Concentrations and Specializations)—1 Point
• Format Customizations (e.g. Hybrid, Synchronous, etc.)—1 Point
History Research Opportunities – 1 point
Innovative Programs and/or Teaching Methods in History – 1 point
History Internship Opportunities – 1 point
Related Student Organizations and Societies – 1 point
Wow Factor: awarded for each unique feature or program that “wowed” us – 1 point

Best Value Colleges for an Online Master’s in History
To compile the following list of 16 best value schools for an online master’s in history, our editors began with a pool of just over 30 accredited schools with an online history master’s degree offering, as found on the NCES College Navigator Database website. After consulting PayScale.com to determine the 20-year ROI for each school, we narrowed the list to the following 16 colleges and universities worthy of an investment. You’ll notice that in applying the rating and ranking methodology above, many of the schools received the same rating. In these cases, the school’s graduate tuition –as reported by College Navigator—was considered, and the most affordable school received the higher ranking.

#16 – Southern New Hampshire University

Online Master of Arts in History

Manchester, New Hampshire

Southern New Hampshire University online history master's degree

Southern New Hampshire University’s online master’s degree in history is an accelerated program that can be completed in just over a year.

Website
Points: 3
Students enrolled in Southern New Hampshire University’s online master’s in history program may choose from among three concentrations: American History, Military History, or Public History. Alternatively, they may design an individualized curriculum by choosing five history electives in addition to taking core courses such as Comparative History and Research, Historical Lenses and Scholarship, and Historical Methods. No GRE or undergraduate history degree is required, and master’s in history online students at SNHU can complete their degree in as few as 15 months.
Graduate Tuition: $18,810

#15 – Western Kentucky University

Online Master of Arts in History

Bowling Green, Kentucky

Western Kentucky University master's in history online

Western Kentucky University’s criminal justice master’s online program is elective-rich, thanks to its partnership with Eastern Kentucky University.

Website
Points: 3
The online master’s in history from Western Kentucky University is the school’s non-thesis option for graduate students in history. It is important to note that the thesis option is not available to master’s in history online students. Only one course in historiography is required, giving students the flexibility to fill the remainder of credit hours with elective courses aligned with their interests and career goals. All applicants must submit GRE scores with their application to be considered for the program.
Graduate Tuition: $10,860

#14 – Liberty University

Online Master of Arts in History

Lynchburg, Virginia

Liberty University master's in history online

Liberty University’s online master’s in history takes a religious viewpoint on history.

Website
Points: 3
The online master’s in history program from Liberty University approaches the study of history from a religious and spiritual perspective. Students are required to take two core courses: Historical Methods & Interpretation and American Christian Heritage. Beyond that, master’s in history online students can customize their degree programs by choosing from a variety of available electives such as Modern Europe, History of Slavery and Servitude, World War II, and History of the Atlantic World. LU also encourages students to enhance their graduate experience by joining one of its online communities.
Graduate Tuition: $8,000

#13 – Norwich University

Online Master of Arts in History

Northfield, Vermont

Norwich University master's in history online

Norwich University offers an online history master’s degree with concentrations in American and World History.

Website
Points: 4
Students pursuing the 36-credit hour online master’s in history degree from Norwich University can choose to follow the American History track or the World History track. Both tracks require that students take an introductory course in history and historiography, and both include an optional thesis. In addition, all master’s in history online students must complete a capstone paper and participate in a one-week, on-campus residency program. Graduates of the program will be well-prepared to teach history at the high school or community college level or continue their studies at the doctoral level.
Graduate Tuition: $19,675

#12 – Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania

Online Master of Arts in History

Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania

Slippery Rock University online history master's degree

The online master’s in history from Slippery Rock University is highly customizable.

Website
Points: 4
The online master’s in history from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania is one of the most customizable programs on our list as it requires only one core course, Historiography. After completing this class, master’s in online history students can choose to fulfill their additional 27 required credit hours with electives spanning topics in U.S., European, and World History. Specialty course topics include Renaissance and Reformation, Material Culture and Historical Interpretation, The Middle East in Modern Times, and U.S. Foreign Policy.
Graduate Tuition: $11,575

#11 – Sam Houston State University

Online Master of Arts in History

Huntsville, Texas

Sam Houston University online master's degree in history

Sam Houston University’s master’s in history online includes a hybrid option.

Website
Points: 4
Students enrolled in Sam Houston State University’s online master’s in history may choose to complete their degree program entirely online or via a hybrid format. They may also opt for a thesis or non-thesis track, or pursue an online master’s degree in history with an added minor. Despite which path they choose, all students must pass a written and oral comprehensive exam prior to graduation. To apply for the program, prospective students must submit their GRE exam scores as well as an example of scholarly writing.
Graduate Tuition: $7,213

#10 – Indiana State University

Online Master of Arts in History

Terre Haute, Indiana

Indiana State University online master's degree in history

Indiana State University’s master’s in history online students typically graduate in 3-5 years.

Website
Points: 4
Indiana State University offers an online master’s in history program ideal for students who plan to pursue eventually a doctorate in history. Students can choose between a fully online or hybrid option, but it is important to note that hybrid students typically complete the program quicker due to course availability. Master’s in history online students typically graduate within three to five years, depending on whether they take classes on a full or part-time basis, whereas hybrid students can finish their degree within two years. Three concentrations are available: United States History, European History, and History of the Wider World.
Graduate Tuition: $7,184

#9 – University of North Alabama

Online Master of Arts in History

Florence, Alabama

University of North Alabama online master's in history

The University of North Alabama only offers its general master’s in history online.

Website
Points: 4
The University of North Alabama offers an online master’s in history program through its Department of History and Political Science. Thanks to advanced technology and small class sizes, students are able to effectively interact with classmates and peers, discussing course material and completing group activities. Master’s in history online students are also encouraged to join the History Graduate Student Association (HGSA), which regularly hosts events and sponsors research. It is important to note that the school’s public history concentration is not available online, however.
Graduate Tuition: $6,525

#8 – University of Nebraska at Kearney

Online Master of Arts in History

Kearney, Nebraska

University of Nebraska Kearney online master's degree in history

The University of Nebraska- Kearney’s online master’s in history features a unique digital history specialization.

Website
Points: 4
The University of Nebraska at Kearney offers an online master’s in history with specializations in public and digital history as well as emphasis areas such as Military History, the American West, and Modern Europe. Enrolled students may choose a thesis or non-thesis track, but both programs require a set of core courses such as America Interpreted, Historical Records, and Readings in World History. This master’s in history online program is suitable for teachers, active military personnel, and those students who will pursue a doctoral degree in history after graduation.
Graduate Tuition: $6,481

#7 – Wayland Baptist University

Online Master of Arts in History

Plainview, Texas

Wayland Baptist University online master's degree in history

Wayland Baptist’s online history master’s degree program allows students to explore Baptist history.

Website
Points: 5
Wayland Baptist University offers a two-year, 37-credit hour online master’s in history with a religious focus. In addition to traditional history courses, students will have the opportunity to study topics such as Baptist History, Church History, and The Intertestamental Period. Students may opt to complete the program entirely online or mix virtual courses with on-campus classes for a hybrid experience. An optional thesis program is available, but all master’s in history online students must pass a comprehensive exam before they will be awarded a degree.
Graduate Tuition: $10,740

#6 – University of Memphis

Online Master of Arts in History

Memphis, Tennessee

University of Memphis master's in history online

University of Memphis master’s in history online students can join three subject-specific student organizations.

Website
Points: 5
The College of Arts and Sciences at The University of Memphis offers a 33-credit hour online master’s in history degree program consisting of eleven courses, which span topics in American History, European History, and Global History. Master’s in history online students are encouraged to join subject-specific student organizations such as the Graduate History Association (GHA), the Graduate Association for African-American History (GAAAH), and the history honor society, Phi Alpha Theta (PAT). Courses include titles such as War in the Modern World, Studies in Ancient History, and Slavery/Freedom/Segregation.
Graduate Tuition: $10,251

#5 – Austin Peay State University

Online Master of Arts in Military History

Clarksville, Tennessee

Austin Peay State University master's in history online

Austin Peay State University’s online master’s in history has a military focus.

Website
Points: 5
Austin Peay State University offers an online master’s in history from its Department of History and Philosophy that focuses exclusively on military history. The 36-credit hour program consists of three required courses: Research Methods, Military Historiography and Criticism, and Philosophical Perspectives on War and Justice: War and Ethics. Students have the flexibility to customize their program by choosing nine of a long list of available electives to take, including Warfare in the Classical World, German Military History, Social Operations and Perspectives, and The Military in Nontraditional Roles. An optional Security Studies Certificate is also available for interested master’s in history online students.
Graduate Tuition: $9,533

#4 – University of Louisiana—Monroe

Online Master of Arts in History

Monroe, Louisiana

University of Louisiana Monroe master's in history online

The University of Louisiana-Monroe offers a non-thesis online history master’s degree.

Website
Points: 5
The online master’s in history from the University of Louisiana at Monroe is a 30-credit hour, non-thesis graduate program leading to a master of arts degree in history. Only one course is considered a required course, meaning students have great flexibility in customizing an individualized degree plan. Master’s in history online students also have the option to choose one of three available concentrations: United States History, Military History, and European History. Please note that graduate assistantships are not available to online students, nor is the thesis track.
Graduate Tuition: $8,005

#3 – Emporia State University

Online Master of Arts in History

Emporia, Kansas

Emporia State University online master's in history

Emporia State University’s master’s in history online students have the option of pursuing a dual degree.

Website
Points: 5
The online master’s in history from Emporia State University features four distinct concentrations: thesis, non-thesis, public history, and a unique Social Sciences Education concentration designed especially for licensed secondary education teachers. A dual degree plan with the School of Library and Information Management is also an option. Although students must take courses according to a prescribed sequence, the program does offer some flexibility in that it can be taken on a part-time or full-time basis. Graduate teaching assistantships and internships are available for interested master’s in history online students.
Graduate Tuition: $7,488

#2 – Missouri State University

Online Master’s in History

Springfield, Missouri

Missouri State University master's in history online

Missouri State offers its world track master’s in history online.

Website
Points: 5
Missouri State University offers an online master’s in history U.S. and World Track online, though it is important to note that many electives as well as the required courses for other tracks are only available on campus. This 30-hour program is comprised of nine required core credits, at least one seminar and one primary source proseminar, twelve credit hours of study in U.S. History, and twelve credit hours of study in non-U.S. history. Prior to graduation, all master’s in history online students must complete either a thesis or a seminar paper.
Graduate Tuition: $5,500

#1 – Arizona State University

Online Master of Arts in History

Tempe, Arizona

Arizona State University master's in history online

ASU’s online history master’s degree program requires an undergraduate background in history.

Website
Points: 6
Arizona State University offers an online master’s in history from its College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The program is designed for professionals already working in the field as well as K-12 teachers wishing to deepen their knowledge of history. Prospective students who wish to enroll in ASU’s master’s in history online must hold a bachelor’s degree and have an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0. Graduates will demonstrate a core history skill set, be able to plan and organize projects, and have a heightened ability to discover and analyze information.
Graduate Tuition: $11,304

This concludes our ranking of the 16 top value colleges for an online master’s in history for 2016-2017.

Sources:

NCES College Navigator
Payscale.com

By CVO Staff
September 2016

See related: Online History Degree Programs: Best Values