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2023 History Degree Guide

For students interested in studying, preserving and learning from the past, History is an ideal field of study. Most students either major in General History or choose a concentration in an area of interest. This allows you to explore in depth the history of a particular time period, region or subject. Some examples are American History, European History, Military History, Women's History or Modern World History.

Coursework will involve various history classes in your subject of interest. Other classes history majors might take are English, language, philosophy and anthropology. The goal of the major is to discover the truth of the past and apply the lessons learned to improve our present world.

History Degrees Remain Stable

#23 Most Popular Major
32.7k Degrees Awarded
-0.5% Increase in Graduates

History was the 23rd most popular major in the 2020-2021 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 32,731 degrees in this year alone. This represents a small change of only -0.5% from the prior year's total of 32,905 history degrees awarded.

Our 2023 Best History Schools ranking analyzes 376 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for history students. Explore this or one of our many other custom history rankings further below.

2023 Best Colleges for History
2023 Overall Best History Colleges >

Best History Schools by Degree

Associate Degrees in History
Bachelor's Degrees in History
Master's Degrees in History
Doctorate Degrees in History


What Are The Requirements For a Degree in History

History majors tend to have great attention for detail and delight in learning obscure facts and dates. Be prepared to memorize vast amounts of information and spend a lot of time reading primary source documents, analyzing artifacts, visiting museums and writing lengthy research papers. Some of your assignments will involve conducting interviews, working on group projects, creating presentations and writing reports.

Some of the critical skills history majors need to succeed are strong reading, writing and analysis skills. Students will read a variety of texts including fiction works, biographies, first-hand accounts and historical journals. They will also visit museums and analyze artifacts from the past. Assignments will involve critically analyzing and researching material to find out the true story of what happened in the past.

Prior Education for a History Program

A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required for most history degree programs and many students will need a minimum GPA and SAT/ACT score depending on the school. Specific history careers may require a certain level of degree attainment or additional certifications beyond that.

History Degree Types

There are various different levels of history degrees. You can get anything from a in history to the highest history degree, a . The time it takes to complete a history degree varies depending on the program.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to history, with approximately 35.0% of workers getting one. People currently working in careers related to history tend obtained the following education levels.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 35.2%
Master’s Degree 33.9%
Doctoral Degree 12.3%
Post-Secondary Certificate 4.3%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate 4.0%

About 85.4% of workers in careers related to history obtain at least bachelor's degrees. See the chart below for the most common degree level workers in history have received.


This of course varies depending on which history career you choose.

Career Opportunities for A Degree In History Graduate

Above Average Number of Jobs
$30.5k Average Starting Salary
8% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

History is a broad field of study that can lead to a variety of career paths. Many history majors go on to become teachers or college professors. Other career paths are that of historian, curator, museum director, writer or researcher. History is also a common background for students who go on to receive advanced degrees in law. Graduates can easily use their skills for careers in business, politics, or nonprofit work.

Growth Projected for History Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your history degree? History careers are expected to grow 7.9% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to history.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
High School Teachers 1,095,500 7.5%
Managers 1,071,700 8.0%
History Professors 29,700 10.4%
Curators 14,100 13.7%
Museum Technicians and Conservators 13,300 12.7%

How Much Money Do History Grads Make?

History graduates between 2017-2019 reported earning an average of $30,460 in the 2019-2020 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $13,913 to as high as $63,098. As you might expect, salaries for history graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


High Paying Careers for History Majors

Salaries for history graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top highest paying careers history grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Managers $115,590
History Professors $83,990
Historians $66,380
High School Teachers $64,340
Curators $58,490

Getting Your History Degree

With over 2,906 different history degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased history school rankings to help you with this.

History Majors to Study

Major Annual Graduates
History 32,731

View All History Related Majors >

Related Major Annual Graduates
Education 327,871
Social Sciences 205,984
Psychology 195,678
Communication & Journalism 120,571
Family, Consumer & Human Sciences 55,820

View All History Related Majors >


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