Strengthen your research and writing skills and learn to think critically with an online bachelor's degree in history.

Like other liberal arts degrees, a Bachelor of Arts in history from University of Maryland University College offers a solid base of critical thinking on which to build a career or further graduate study.

As one of the very first schools to offer an online degree program in history, UMUC brings you nearly two decades of experience in teaching history in an online environment. Plus, if you're based in the Washington, D.C., area, you'll have myriad opportunities to find internships and part-time and full-time jobs in the field at public and federal institutions. Our alumni have gone on to work for such agencies as the National Archives and the National Park Service.

These program requirements are for students who enroll in the 2017–2018 academic year. For prior year academic requirements, visit the catalog archive in the Current Students section.

This program is also available as a minor.

About the History Bachelor's Degree

In the history degree curriculum, you'll study a range of historical eras and geographic areas, including the history of China, Japan, wartime Europe, and the United States. You'll also dig into research and writing, learning how to lay the groundwork for and eventually complete a substantial, original historical research project suitable for presentation or publication.

What You'll Learn

Through your coursework, you will learn how to

  • Research, interpret, and present historical knowledge
  • Write and speak clearly and appropriately about historical information for diverse audiences
  • Engage in history as a moral and ethical practice, recognizing a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives
  • Apply historical precedents to contemporary life and develop self-reflection
  • Achieve a deep understanding of the different peoples, events, and cultures that have shaped human civilization

Coursework Examples

In past projects, students have had the opportunity to

  • Interpret current events and ideas in a historical context
  • Focus on the ways in which race, class, ethnicity, and gender have shaped the varied experiences of U.S. citizens
  • Examine the art, religion, and literature of civilizations of various time periods and locations
  • Study World War II and other major conflicts from a variety of perspectives
  • Research, write about, and present the results of a project on a chosen topic

History Bachelor's Degree Requirements

Our curriculum is designed with input from employers, industry experts, and scholars. You'll learn theories combined with real-world applications and practical skills you can apply on the job right away.

Courses in the Major

  • HIST 115 or HIST 141
  • HIST 116 or HIST 142
  • HIST 156
  • HIST 157
  • HIST 289
  • HIST 309
  • HIST 495
  • Upper-level HIST courses (12 credits): Focused study in either U.S. history or world history recommended; see Degree Focus tab

Degree Focus

Choose from one of these recommended groups of classes or mix and match to align with your career goals and interests.

U.S. History Focus

  • HIST 316L
  • HIST 365
  • HIST 377
  • HIST 461

World History Focus

  • HIST 326
  • HIST 337
  • HIST 392
  • HIST 480

Electives

The bachelor's degree in history requires 46 credits of minor and/or elective coursework.

General Education Requirements

Research Course 

  • LIBS 150
    (to be taken in first 6 credits)

Writing and Communication Courses

  • WRTG 101
  • WRTG 293 or other writing course 
  • COMM 202 or other communication, writing, or speech course
  • WRTG 391 or other advanced upper-level writing course

Arts and Humanities Courses

  • HIST 125 or other arts and humanities course
  • HUMN 100 or other arts and humanities course

Behavioral and Social Sciences Courses 

  • ECON 103 or other behavioral and social sciences course
  • BEHS 103 or other behavioral and social sciences course

Biological and Physical Sciences Courses 

  • BIOL 103 or other science lecture and laboratory course(s)
  • NSCI 100 or other science lecture course

Math Course

  • MATH 106 or other 3-credit approved math or statistics course

Computing Courses

  • IFSM 201 or CMST 301
  • CMIS 111 or another computing course appropriate to the academic major

Since some recommended courses fulfill more than one requirement, substituting courses for those listed may require you to take additional courses to meet degree requirements. Consult an advisor whenever taking advantage of other options. Please also see more information on alternate courses (where allowable) to fulfill general education requirements.

Overall Bachelor's Degree Requirements

In addition to the general education requirements and the major, minor, and elective requirements, the overall requirements listed below apply to all bachelor's degrees.

  • You must complete a minimum of 120 credits
  • You must maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.0 overall and a minimum grade of C for any class applied to the academic major or minor
  • Within the 120 credits required, the following coursework must be taken through UMUC:
    • 30 credits (normally the final 30)
    • Half of the required number of credits within both the major and the minor
    • 15 credits at the upper level (earned in classes numbered 300 to 499), preferably within the major or minor
  • At least 45 credits must be upper level and include
    • At least half of the credits required for the major
    • 3 credits in advanced writing
  • The remaining upper-level credits can be earned in any part of the curriculum
  • At least half the required number of credits for any academic major or minor must be earned through graded coursework. Credit earned by examination, portfolio assessment, or noncollegiate training does not count as graded coursework

Double majors: You can earn a dual major upon completion of all requirements for both majors, including the required minimum number of credits for each major and all related requirements for both majors. The same class cannot be used to fulfill requirements for more than one major. Certain restrictions (including use of credit and acceptable combinations of majors) apply for double majors. You cannot major in two programs with excessive overlap of required coursework. Contact an admissions counselor before selecting a double major.

Second bachelor's degree: To earn a second bachelor's degree, you must complete at least 30 credits through UMUC after completing the first degree. The combined credit in both degrees must add up to at least 150 credits. You must complete all requirements for the major. All prerequisites apply. If any of these requirements were satisfied in the previous degree, the remainder necessary to complete the minimum 30 credits of new classes should be satisfied with classes related to your major. You may not earn a second bachelor's degree in general studies and may not obtain a second associate's degree within the second bachelor's degree. Contact an admissions counselor before pursuing a second bachelor's degree.

Electives: Electives can be taken in any academic discipline. No more than 21 credits can consist of vocational or technical credit. Pass/fail credit, up to a maximum of 18 credits, can be applied toward electives only.

Career Preparation

This program is designed to help prepare you for a future in politics, law, journalism, or education. It can prepare you for a career teaching history or social studies or working in public history archives, historic sites, museums, and galleries as well as graduate-level study in history or law and public policy.

Experience Recommended for Success in the Program

We recommend you have strong writing and critical thinking skills.

Student Clubs and Organizations

History Club

Type: Academic club
Available To: Undergraduate and Graduate

The History Club hosts discussions on graduate school and careers within the history field, and it provides extra information for its members who are interested in pursuing a future in history. The club offers students the opportunity to discuss and provide feedback to the history program. The club shares information on related professional organizations, journals, and regional conferences. Members can also participate in Photo Central, where students can share pictures.

Phi Alpha Theta

Type: Honor society
Available To: Undergraduate

Phi Alpha Theta is a nationally recognized honor society that brings together students and faculty who are interested in the field of history.

Pi Gamma Mu

Type: Honor society
Available To: Undergraduate

Pi Gamma Mu is the international honor society that recognizes outstanding scholarship in the social sciences at UMUC. Students interested in anthropology, criminal justice, economics, gerontology, history, political science, social psychology, sociology, and women's studies may qualify for membership. The society recently named UMUC's Maryland Theta chapter to its Roll of Distinction, the highest honor that the society grants.