Strengthen your research and writing skills, learn to think critically, and prepare for a future in politics, law, journalism, or education 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. Your degree could prepare you for teaching history or social studies; taking entry-level positions in public history by working in archives, historic sites, museums, and galleries; or pursuing graduate-level study in history or law and public policy.

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.

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

General Education Requirements

Writing and Communication Classes | 12 Credits

No more than 3 credits in writing can be earned by exam.

Introductory Writing Class | 3 Credits

All Available Options
  • WRTG 101
  • WRTG 101S

This requirement must be completed within the first 18 credits. A placement test is not required for WRTG 101. The requirement cannot be met through course challenge exams.

Writing Class | 3 Credits

All Available Options
  • WRTG 293 or any 3-credit WRTG class EXCEPT for
    • WRTG 486A
    • WRTG 486B
  • ENGL 102
  • JOUR 201

Communication, Writing, or Speech Class | 3 Credits

Recommended for History Bachelor's Degree

COMM 202

All Available Options
  • A 3-credit class in COMM, SPCH, or WRTG
  • ENGL 102
  • ENGL 281
  • JOUR 201

Advanced Writing Class (Upper Level) | 3 Credits

Recommended for History Bachelor's Degree

WRTG 391

All Available Options
  • WRTG 391
  • WRTG 393
  • WRTG 394

Research Class | 1 Credit

LIBS 150

Arts and Humanities Classes | 6 Credits

Classes must be from different disciplines.

Historical Perspective Class | 3 Credits

Recommended for History Bachelor's Degree

HIST 125

All Available Options

A 3-credit class in ARTH or HIST

Arts and Humanities Class | 3 Credits

Recommended for History Bachelor's Degree

HUMN 100

All Available Options

A 3-credit class in ARTH, ARTT, ASTD, ENGL, GRCO, HIST, HUMN, MUSC, PHIL, THET, dance, literature, or foreign language

Behavioral and Social Science Classes | 6 Credits

Classes must be from different disciplines.

Behavioral and Social Sciences Class | 3 Credits

Recommended for History Bachelor's Degree

ECON 103

All Available Options
  • A 3-credit class in ANTH, BEHS, ECON, GEOG, GERO, GVPT, PSYC, or SOCY
  • AASP 201
  • CCJS 100
  • CCJS 105
  • CCJS 350
  • CCJS 360
  • CCJS 461
  • WMST 200

Behavioral and Social Sciences Class | 3 Credits

Recommended for History Bachelor's Degree

BEHS 103

All Available Options
  • A 3-credit class in ANTH, BEHS, ECON, GEOG, GERO, GVPT, PSYC, or SOCY
  • AASP 201
  • CCJS 100
  • CCJS 105
  • CCJS 350
  • CCJS 360
  • CCJS 461
  • WMST 200

Biological and Physical Sciences Classes | 7 Credits

Laboratory Science Class | 4 Credits

Recommended for History Bachelor's Degree

BIOL 103

All Available Options
  • A 3-credit science lecture class with a related 1-credit lab
  • A 4-credit science class combining lecture and lab chosen from ASTR, BIOL, CHEM, GEOL, NSCI, PHYS, biotechnology, botany, entomology, general science, or zoology

Science Class | 3 Credits

Recommended for History Bachelor's Degree

NSCI 100

All Available Options
  • NUTR 100
  • A 3-credit class in ASTR, BIOL, CHEM, GEOL, NSCI, PHYS, biotechnology, botany, entomology, general science, or zoology

Math Class | 3 Credits

Recommended for History Bachelor's Degree

MATH 106

All Available Options
  • MATH 106
  • MATH 107
  • A 3-credit MATH class at or above the level of college algebra

Computing Classes | 6 Credits

Computing Class | 3 Credits

All Available Options
  • IFSM 201
  • CMST 301

Computing Class Appropriate to Your Major | 3 Credits

Recommended for History Bachelor's Degree
  • CMIS 111
  • IFSM 300
All Available Options
  • ACCT 326
  • A 3-credit class in CMIS, CMIT, CMSC, CMST, CSIA, IFSM, or SDEV

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. 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.

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.