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History

Online Master of Arts in History

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ABOUT THIS PROGRAM

The Master of Arts in History degree takes you on an academic journey exploring the key historical events, people, and cultures that fundamentally shaped the world today. Through research, discussion, and analysis, you will obtain a knowledgeable perspective of how future societies progressed through time. Concentrations in this online graduate program offer you the flexibility of focusing on the most favored eras in history including American, Ancient and Classical, European, Global, and Public History. This master’s degree attracts professional educators, historians, and enthusiasts alike, and is also helpful in developing professional skills that include quality writing and communications, research and analysis, and the ability to present compelling arguments.

Note: When enrolling in this program, you will be asked to select either a capstone course or a supervised practicum as your end-of-program requirement. Some residency conditions may apply to the practicum option. View practicum requirements.

What You'll Learn

In addition to the institutional and degree level learning objectives, graduates of this program are expected to achieve these learning outcomes:

  1. Demonstrate a broad knowledge of historical individuals and events and the global complexity of human experiences over time and place.
  2. Distinguish the historical schools of thought that have shaped scholarly understanding of the profession.
  3. Apply persuasive arguments that are reasoned and based on suitable evidence.
  4. Evaluate secondary resources, through historiographical analysis, for credibility, position, and perspective.
  5. Assess a variety of primary sources, digital and archival, in the process of deeply researching the past.
  6. Generate research that makes original contributions to knowledge, through the use of advanced historical methods.
  7. Produce a high-quality research paper that meets professional standards typical for a conference presentation or academic publication.

Degree at a Glance

Number of Credits
36
Cost Per Credit2
$370 | $250*
8 Week Program Format
Online

Program RequirementsPrint Friendly Version

HIST501 Historiography1
HIST500 Historical Research Methods
Total Semester Hours 6

1Required as the first course in this program.

Students must choose a concentration for this degree program:

Covers the United States from the Colonial period through the 20th century. Topics cover foreign policy and military operations, the Supreme Court’s interpretations of the Constitution, and pop culture, as well as the domestic political, economic, and social components of the U.S.

Objectives

Upon successful completion of this concentration, the student will be able to:

  • Compare and contrast historical context of 18th century British and colonial American political and constitutional philosophies, social norms and societal structure, economics, religious concepts, and foreign and diplomatic policy.
  • Discern and assess the political, economic, cultural, and social aspects of the Civil War including the causes and the conflict's aftermath.
  • Explain changes in American society such as industrialization, immigration, and urbanization; isolationism and collective security; World War I; changing values; stock market crash; the Great Depression, and the cultural, social, political, military, and economic growth to the present.
  • Critique the history of expressive and material culture; historical contexts of various artistic movements; cultural imperialism; cultural appropriation, creativity, and identity; and expressions of social difference and deviance in the United States.
  • Discern the origins, content, and judicial interpretations of the U.S. Constitution and the Supreme Court’s evolving decisions on issues such as States’ rights, civil rights, the Commerce Clause, due process in criminal and other proceedings, and protected freedoms.
Must take the following in this Section:
HIST553 History of Colonial America 3
HIST520 Graduate Seminar in U.S. History 3
HIST551 The American Revolution in Context 3
HIST657 Antebellum America: Prelude to the Civil War 3
HIST552 The Civil War: Seminal Event in American History 3
HIST691 Writing a Thesis Proposal 3
HIST658 Reconstruction and Post-Civil War America 3
HIST555 The United States in the 20th Century 3
Select 1 course from the following:
HIST554 History of the American West 3
HIST557 History and Popular Culture 3
HIST652 African-American History 3
HIST653 History of American Women 3
HIST680 Special Topic: History1 3
HIST690 Independent Study: History1 3
Total Semester Hours 27

1Students will need permission from the Department Chair to take this course.

Covers the broad sweep of European history and provides a foundation in historical theory, trends, and concepts for further study of topical history at the graduate level. Topics include Greek civilization through the 4th century B.C., the fall of the Roman empire, the development of the Ottoman culture, and the Crusades.

Objectives

Upon successful completion of this concentration, the student will be able to:

  • Explain and critique Ancient Greece’s political, economic, social, and intellectual movements.
  • Explain and critique Roman history from its beginnings until the Age of Constantine including the political and social developments in the Republic and the early empire.
  • Examine and appraise great Byzantium leaders, the spread of Christianity throughout the Roman Empire, the recapture of Constantinople from the crusaders, and the impact of Byzantium culture on Western intellect.
  • Explain and assess European social, political, economic, and religious institutions and cultural and intellectual phenomena in the light of the changing historical environment from the end of the Ancient World to the Renaissance.
  • Explain and assess the medieval church and rise of the Renaissance papacy; growth of humanism, including painters, architects, and sculptors; city-states and monarchies of the Holy Roman Empire; religious upheavals of Protestantism; Anabaptists; the Catholic Reformation.
Must take the following in this Section:
HIST531 The Greek Civilization 3
HIST597 Graduate Seminar in European History 3
HIST532 The Roman Republic and Empire 3
HIST533 Late Antiquity and Byzantium 3
HIST534 Medieval Europe 3
HIST691 Writing a Thesis Proposal 3
HIST535 Renaissance and Reformation 3
HIST611 Ancient Warfare 3
HIST643 The Ottoman Empire 3
Total Semester Hours 27
Or select 1 course from the following:
HIST680 Special Topic: History1 3
HIST690 Independent Study: History1 3
Total Semester Hours 27

1Students will need permission from the Department Chair to take this course.

Explores developments in Europe dating back to the death of Louis XIV. Looks at the political, philosophical, scientific, and social changes that laid the foundation for early Europe to key developments that led to the major European wars of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Objectives

Upon successful completion of this concentration, the student will be able to:

  • Distinguish the major social, political, and cultural changes of the Enlightenment in Europe from the death of Louis XIV to the fall of Napoleon.
  • Investigate the intellectual, social, and economic history including the industrial revolutions, the age of ideologies, the new imperialism, and the coming of the Great War.
  • Discern the origins of World War I in Europe and assess the combatants, strategy and tactics, technological innovation; war in France; war at sea; the peace settlement; and the occupation.
  • Compare and contrast the economies, industry, society, and culture of the United States, Great Britain, Japan, and Germany during World War II.
  • Assess modern European history since the Congress of Vienna including social, economic, cultural and political experiences common to Europe and how developments differentiated from those in most other parts of the world.
Must take the following in this Section:
HIST536 History of the Enlightenment 3
HIST597 Graduate Seminar in European History 3
HIST543 18th and 19th Century Europe 3
HIST643 The Ottoman Empire 3
HIST560 World War II in Context 3
HIST691 Writing a Thesis Proposal 3
HIST570 Modern European History 3
HIST642 Nazi Germany and the Holocaust 3
HIST645 Russia and the Soviet Union 3
Total Semester Hours 27
Or select 1 course from the following:
HIST680 Special Topic: History1 3
HIST690 Independent Study: History1 3
Total Semester Hours 27

1Students will need permission from the Department Chair to take this course.

Examines major events, personalities, and accomplishments that occurred all over the world. Topics include the political, philosophical, scientific, and social changes that shaped the history of Latin America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

Objectives

Upon successful completion of this concentration, the student will be able to:

  • Contrast and compare the history, scope, and consequences of the American, French, Mexican, Russian, Chinese, Cuban, Vietnamese, and Iranian revolutions.
  • Analyze the relationships among technology, culture, and politics in a variety of social and historical settings ranging from 19th century factories to 21st century techno dance floors.
  • Explore the recent historiographical approaches within the history of science from the 17th through the 20th centuries from the physical sciences to natural history and medicine.
  • Examine the practice of piracy in ancient times in the 18th century and the rise of modern piracy with high-speed boats and automatic weapons in the 21st century.
  • Distinguish the historical development, central beliefs, and practices of each of the major world religions.
Must take the following in this Section:
HIST571 History of Africa 3
HIST510 Graduate Seminar in World History 3
HIST573 History of the Middle East 3
HIST581 The Great Revolutions 3
HIST586 History of Science 3
HIST691 Writing a Thesis Proposal 3
HIST670 History and Culture of Latin America 3
HIST588 History of Religion 3
HIST560 World War II in Context 3
Total Semester Hours 27
Or select 1 course from the following:
HIST680 Special Topic: History1 3
HIST690 Independent Study: History1 3
Total Semester Hours 27

1Students will need permission from the Department Chair to take this course.

Whether in archives, museums, cultural resources, historical editing, or heritage tourism, public history is the presentation and interpretation of the past to the public. Public historians should not merely learn the technical aspects of a given field; they should also be versed in the historiography and methodologies of contemporary scholarship so that they can apply skills and knowledge in the public realm. In that regard, even if they work in a variety of professional venues usually outside the academy, public historians share roles as researchers and interpreters of history with their academy colleagues. Public historians find employment in archives, museums, historic preservation agencies, historic sites, cultural resource firms, national parks and forests, editorial positions, and historical agencies.

Objectives

Upon successful completion of this concentration, the student will be able to:

  • Categorize and assess important historical developments in public history and identify the intellectual, ethical, and professional issues that public historians confront.
  • Evaluate and verify current institutional collection policy and practices based on standard archival and records practice.
  • Establish and reconstruct the processing of a collection: arrangement and description, preservation and digitization, and develop the skills necessary to successfully undertake applied research.
  • Test and apply the use of oral history techniques and methodology to demonstrate how oral history supports a diverse resource base and audience across interdisciplinary fields.
  • Distinguish and prioritize issues such as the relationship of collections and landscapes to identify the intersection of commerce and culture; and the influence of museums and exhibitions in preserving a view of the past and developing an image of progress.
  • Prescribe and test the selection criteria for strategies for preservation, metadata to support digital preservation, maintaining the integrity and authenticity of digital materials, management of digitization and digital preservation programs, risk management, and disaster recovery.
  • Manage and improve field experience and practicum in applied public history.
Must take the following in this Section:
HIST521 Seminar in Public History 3
HIST520 Graduate Seminar in U.S. History 3
HIST522 Archives and Manuscript Management 3
HIST523 Theory and Practice of Oral History 3
HIST555 The United States in the 20th Century 3
HIST557 History and Popular Culture 3
HIST634 History, Theories, and Contemporary Issues in Historic Preservation 3
HIST635 Museum and Exhibition Culture 3
HIST636 History and Digital Preservation 3
Total Semester Hours 27
HIST696 Practicum in Applied History1
HIST699 Master of Arts in History - Thesis2
Total Semester Hours 3

1Taken once all other degree requirements have been met. Students who select a concentration in Public History must take this course.

2Taken once all other degree requirements have been met. Students who select a concentration in American History, Ancient and Classical History, European History, or Global History must take this course.

Students must choose a concentration for this degree program:

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Admission Requirements

  • All AMU graduate programs require a bachelor’s degree (or higher) from an institution whose accreditation is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
  • Please read all graduate admission requirements before applying to this program and be prepared to submit the required documentation.
  • There is no fee to complete the AMU admission application. View steps to apply.

Materials Cost

Technology fees: $65 per course | $0 for active-duty military servicemembers, and for National Guard and Reserve personnel when using military TA.

Quality Education Should Be Affordable

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Consumer Information

Gainful Employment Disclosure

1Alumni Graduated with No APUS-incurred Student Loan Debt

As of May 1, 2019. Includes alumni who graduated with an associate, bachelor's, or master's degree from APUS. Student loan debt is defined as student loans and private education loans used for tuition, fees, living expenses, and book costs associated with courses taken at APUS.

2Cost Per Credit Hour

To minimize out-of-pocket costs, active-duty servicemembers, their spouse/dependents, National Guard members, and Reservists receive a tuition grant that caps undergraduate, master's degree, and graduate certificate tuition at $250/credit hour. In addition, a master's-level book grant provides no-cost textbooks and ebooks for master’s-level courses to active-duty servicemembers, their spouse/dependents, National Guard members, and Reservists.
See all military student benefits.