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2023 History Degree Guide

Our society is built on thousands of years of history. Whether it is the countless wars fought, or the various cultural traditions, students will learn about past events and how they shape the present.

Students who study history will learn to interpret the past by analyzing, gathering, and criticizing evidence and theories of past events. Students will learn about various cultures, acquire problem solving skills and see common patterns repeated throughout history. There are many different concentrations within this major. Some of these are European History, Asian History, Canadian History, American History, Military History, Public/Applied History, and History and Philosophy of Science and Technology. While all these majors concentrate on different regions or subjects, they will all include classes on European history, American society, Middle Eastern society and culture, and World history.

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

History was the 30th most popular major in the 2020-2021 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 32,731 degrees in this year alone. This is approximately the same as the 32,905 graduates the prior year.

Our 2023 Best History Schools ranking analyzes 395 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for history students. Continue reading to check out one of our many unbiased rankings of history programs later in this article.

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

Students who enjoy reading and writing thrive in this major. Time management and curiosity will enable you to complete assigned reading on time. Analytical skills will help you discover patterns and connections between events.

In order to prepare for this major, students are advised to take prior courses in World religion, American history, European history, and geography. There is opportunity to gain a Master in History if you decide to further your education. Some programs allow students the opportunity to study abroad. This would allow students experience the culture and history first hand.

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.

Types of History Degrees

There are various different levels of history degrees. You can get anything from a in history to the highest history degree, a . How long it takes to complete some common history degree levels is shown below.

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.


The education level required is different depending on the history career you are seeking.

Career Opportunities for A Degree In History Graduate

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

There are many different career options that individuals can enter into with a degree in History. Many graduates pursue the field of education as Elementary, Middle, and High School Teachers. If teaching is not your passion, you can become a Librarian or Historian and work in interpreting, collecting and storing data from the past. Another option is to become an Anthropologist or Archeologist. Both of these fields examine the past of different cultures. As an Anthropologist you will examine the elements of human culture and society. As an Archeologist, you would examine the relics from the past to recreate the history and culture.

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?

Recently graduated history students earned an average of $30,460 in 2019-2020. 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.


Highest Paid History Careers

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 is one of 0 different types of History programs to choose from.

History Concentrations

Major Annual Graduates
General History 31,397
Other History 527
History and Philosophy of Science and Technology 233
Public/Applied History 229
Military History 209

View All History Focus Areas >


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