Find Schools

Study Area & Zipcode

History

Find Schools Near

2021 Best Colleges for History

Approximately 32,625 history degrees were awarded to students last year in the United States. With so many choices it can be a challenge finding the best fit for you. This year's Best Colleges for History ranking analyzed 313 colleges and universities that offer a bachelor's degree in history. We look at over 20 factors to determine the top 25 schools for History students.

Choosing a Great History School

Best Colleges for History The history program you select can have a big impact on your future. This section explores some of the factors we include in our ranking and how much they vary depending on the school you select. To make it into this list a school must excel in the following areas.

Overall Quality is a Must

The overall quality of a school is important to ensure a quality education, not just how well they do in a particular major. To account for this we include a school's overall Best Colleges ranking which itself looks at a collection of different factors like degree completion, educational resources, student body caliber and post-graduation earnings for the school as a whole.

Over 80% of the schools in this list are in the top 7% of our overall quality ranking while the lowest ranked school on the list is still in the top 14%.

Overall Best Colleges Rank  ( 96 to 1 )
Lowest Ranked Overall
Top Ranked Overall

Better Early and Mid Career Salaries

History graduates from schools on this list tend to earn more after college than those from other schools. While the average history bachelors degree from U.S. colleges results in an average starting salary of $28,971, graduates of colleges on this list average $39,776.

Starting Salary  ( 32277 to 45722 )
$0
$51,400

Other Factors We Consider

In addition to the above, you should consider some of the following factors:

  • Major Focus - How much a school focuses on History students vs. other majors.
  • Major Popularity - How many other history students choose this school.
  • Accreditation - Whether a school is regionally accredited and/or a recognized history related accrediting body.

Our full ranking methodology documents in more detail how we consider these factors to identify the best colleges for History students.

Best Schools to Study History in United States

Below you'll see a list of the best colleges and universities to study history. Only those schools that rank in the top 15% of all the schools we analyze get awarded with a place on this list. Of the 313 schools analyzed, only 25 earned the distinction of being on this list.

Top 25 Best History Colleges

#1

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA

Harvard University is one of the best schools in the country for history. Harvard is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the medium-sized city of Cambridge. A Best Colleges rank of 3 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Harvard is a great college overall.

There are about 245 history undergrads studying this degree at Harvard. Students from the history major at Harvard University make $8,224 more than the typical college grad in this field shortly after graduation.

More…

Request Information
#2

Yale University

New Haven, CT

Yale University is among your top options if you want to study history. Located in the midsize city New Haven, Yale is a private not-for-profit school with a large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 10 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Yale is a great college overall.

There are about 196 history undergrads studying this degree at Yale. Graduates from the history program at Yale University get $4,824 more than the typical college grad in this field when they enter the workforce.

More…

Request Information
#3

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

University of Pennsylvania is a good decision for individuals interested in a History major. UPenn is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Philadelphia. A Best Colleges rank of 9 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means UPenn is a great college overall.

There are about 95 history undergrads enrolled in this degree at UPenn. Graduates from the history program at University of Pennsylvania earn $11,124 above the average college graduate with the same degree when they enter the workforce.

More…

Request Information

Columbia University in the City of New York is a good decision for students pursuing a History major. Located in the city New York, Columbia is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population. This school ranks 32nd out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of New York.

For those interested in something more advanced, Columbia also offers 2 different higher degree levels in history, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Columbia University in the City of New York history students earn $2,324 more than the average history grad.

More…

Request Information
#5

Duke University

Durham, NC

Duke is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Durham. A Best Colleges rank of 2 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Duke is a great school overall.

Duke University is a fairly popular college to study history in United States with more than 65 graduations last year. History students from Duke University earn a boost of approximately $11,624 above the typical earnings of history graduates.

More…

Request Information
#6

Brown University

Providence, RI

Brown is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the midsize city of Providence. A Best Colleges rank of 13 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Brown is a great college overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Brown also offers 2 different higher degree levels in history, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Brown University history graduates earn $3,124 more than the typical history graduate.

More…

Request Information
#7

Williams College

Williamstown, MA

Williams is a small private not-for-profit school located in the town of Williamstown. A Best Colleges rank of 7 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Williams is a great school overall.

With 49 undergraduates, Williams College is one of most popular colleges to study history in United States. Williams College history majors earn $4,324 more than the standard history graduate.

More…

Request Information
#8

Rice University

Houston, TX

Located in the city Houston, Rice is a private not-for-profit college with a moderately-sized student population. A Best Colleges rank of 11 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Rice is a great college overall.

A popular choice for history undergrads, there are roughly 36 individuals enrolled in this degree at Rice. Rice University history students receive $7,924 more than the standard history grad.

More…

Request Information

University of Virginia is a fairly large public school located in the small suburb of Charlottesville. This college ranks 42nd out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Virginia.

For those interested in something more advanced, University of Virginia also offers 2 different higher degree levels in history, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Students who graduate from this program state that they receive average early career income of $38,900.

More…

Request Information
#10

Dartmouth College

Hanover, NH

Located in the remote town Hanover, Dartmouth is a private not-for-profit school with a medium-sized student population. A Best Colleges rank of 15 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Dartmouth is a great college overall.

There are about 54 history undergraduates enrolled in this degree at Dartmouth. Students from the history program at Dartmouth College make $6,624 more than the average graduate in this field when they enter the workforce.

More…

Request Information
#11

College of the Holy Cross

Worcester, MA

Holy Cross is a small private not-for-profit school located in the city of Worcester. A Best Colleges rank of 31 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Holy Cross is a great college overall.

A popular choice for history undergraduates, there are about 44 learners studying this degree at Holy Cross. Students who graduate from the history program make around $41,200 in their early career salary.

More…

Request Information
#12

University of Chicago

Chicago, IL

Located in the large city Chicago, UChicago is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 19 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means UChicago is a great college overall.

There are about 104 history undergrads studying this program at UChicago. Graduates of the history program earn around $32,300 in their early career salary.

More…

Request Information
#13

College of William and Mary

Williamsburg, VA

William & Mary is a moderately-sized public school located in the small suburb of Williamsburg. This school ranks 73rd out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Virginia.

College of William and Mary is one of the most popular school to study history in United States with more than 117 graduations last year. After getting their bachelor's degree, history students typically make around $32,600 in the first five years of their career.

More…

Request Information
#14

Northwestern University

Evanston, IL

Located in the small city Evanston, Northwestern U is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 12 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Northwestern U is a great school overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Northwestern U also offers 2 different higher degree levels in history, the most popular of which is a Doctor's Degree (Research / Scholarship). Students who graduate from this program report average early career earnings of $37,100.

More…

Request Information
#15

New York University

New York, NY

NYU is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the city of New York. This school ranks 130th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of New York.

For those interested in something more advanced, NYU also offers 2 different higher degree levels in history, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Soon after getting their bachelor's degree, history students usually make about $39,000 at the beginning of their careers.

More…

Request Information
#16

Boston College

Chestnut Hill, MA

Boston College is a large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Chestnut Hill. This college ranks 61st out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Massachusetts.

A favorite major for history undergraduates, there are approximately 90 learners enrolled in this degree at Boston College. Students who graduate from this degree state that they receive average early career wages of $39,300.

More…

Request Information
#17

Bates College

Lewiston, ME

Located in the small city Lewiston, Bates is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population. This school ranks 47th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Maine.

Bates College is one of the most popular college to study history in United States with more than 18 graduations last year. Bates College history graduates make $5,524 more than the typical history student.

More…

Request Information
#18

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, IN

Located in the suburb Notre Dame, Notre Dame is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 14 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Notre Dame is a great school overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Notre Dame also offers 2 different higher degree levels in history, the most popular of which is a Doctor's Degree (Research / Scholarship). Soon after graduation, history students typically make around $39,000 in the first five years of their career.

More…

Request Information

UCLA is a very large public school located in the large city of Los Angeles. This college ranks 65th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.

There are about 358 history undergrads studying this program at UCLA. Soon after graduating, history students usually earn about $28,500 at the beginning of their careers.

More…

Request Information
#20

Brandeis University

Waltham, MA

Located in the small city Waltham, Brandeis is a private not-for-profit school with a moderately-sized student population. This school ranks 75th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Massachusetts.

For those interested in something more advanced, Brandeis also offers 2 different higher degree levels in history, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Students who graduate from the history program earn about $37,700 for their early career.

More…

Request Information

Wisconsin is a very large public school located in the large city of Madison. This college ranks 76th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Wisconsin.

For those interested in something more advanced, Wisconsin also offers 2 different higher degree levels in history, the most popular of which is a Doctor's Degree (Research / Scholarship). After graduating, history students typically make about $32,600 in their early careers.

More…

Request Information
#22

Wabash College

Crawfordsville, IN

Located in the town Crawfordsville, Wabash is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population. This school ranks 199th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Indiana.

A favorite major for history undergrads, there are roughly 19 students enrolled in this program at Wabash. Graduates of the history program report average early career earnings of $30,100.

More…

Request Information

UNC Chapel Hill is a fairly large public school located in the city of Chapel Hill. This college ranks 60th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of North Carolina.

There are about 176 history undergrads studying this degree at UNC Chapel Hill. Soon after graduation, history students typically earn around $27,200 at the beginning of their careers.

More…

Request Information
#24

Fordham University

Bronx, NY

Located in the large city Bronx, Fordham U is a private not-for-profit school with a large student population. This school ranks 244th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of New York.

With 56 undergrads, Fordham University is one of most popular schools to study history in United States. Graduates of the history program state that they receive average early career income of $38,800.

More…

Request Information
#25

American University

Washington, DC

The American University is a large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Washington. This school ranks 164th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of District of Columbia.

A popular major for history undergrads, there are roughly 63 individuals studying this degree at The American University. Soon after graduation, history students usually earn an average of $36,700 in the first five years of their career.

More…

Request Information

Rest of the Top Best Colleges for History

#26

Providence College

Providence, RI
#27

George Washington University

Washington, DC
#28

Emory University

Atlanta, GA
#30

Marquette University

Milwaukee, WI
#31

Colgate University

Hamilton, NY
#33

Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN
#34

St Lawrence University

Canton, NY
#38

Wake Forest University

Winston-Salem, NC
#42

George Mason University

Fairfax, VA
#44

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL
#46

Virginia Military Institute

Lexington, VA

Honorable Mentions

Here are some additional great schools for History students that almost earned our Best Colleges for History award.

Rank College Location
47 Florida State University Tallahassee, FL
48 Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College Baton Rouge, LA
49 University of Maryland - College Park College Park, MD
50 Connecticut College New London, CT
51 Christopher Newport University Newport News, VA
52 Rutgers University - New Brunswick New Brunswick, NJ
53 University of California - Irvine Irvine, CA
54 Binghamton University Vestal, NY
55 University of Iowa Iowa City, IA
56 University of South Carolina - Columbia Columbia, SC
57 Ohio State University - Main Campus Columbus, OH
58 Tulane University of Louisiana New Orleans, LA
59 Loyola University Chicago Chicago, IL
60 University at Albany Albany, NY
61 Syracuse University Syracuse, NY
62 Baylor University Waco, TX

History by Region

View the Best Colleges for History for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
The Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

One of 0 majors within the History area of study, History has other similar majors worth exploring.

Notes and References

  • The bars on the spread charts above show the distribution of the schools on this list +/- one standard deviation from the mean.
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to Abraham Ortelius. More about our data sources and methodologies.

Find Schools Near You