History Bachelor's Degree

Strengthen your research and writing skills; learn to think critically; and prepare for a future in politics, law, journalism, or education by pursuing a bachelor's degree in history.

Like other liberal arts majors, a major in history offers a solid base of critical thinking on which to build a career or further graduate study. This program is designed to help prepare you for a future in politics, law, journalism, or education. It is appropriate for you if you have an interest in teaching history or social studies; working in public history archives, historic sites, museums, and galleries; or pursuing graduate-level study in history or law and public policy.

One of the very first schools to offer a degree program in history online, UMGC 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 via public institutions and federal positions. Our alumni have gone on to work at such agencies as the National Archives and the National Park Service.

This program is also available as a minor.

Your Coursework in History

In the history curriculum, you can study a range of historical eras and geographical areas, including China, the Middle East, 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 historic 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

Degree Requirements

A degree with a major in history requires the successful completion of 120 credits of coursework, including 33 credits for the major; 41 credits in general education requirements; and 46 credits in the minor, electives, and other degree requirements. At least 17 credits in the major must be earned in upper-level courses (numbered 300 or above). See overall degree requirements.

Courses in the Major (33 Credits)

Upper-level HIST courses (12 credits)—Focused study in U.S. or world history recommended, as follows:

U.S. History

World History

General Education Courses (41 Credits)

Since some recommended courses fulfill more than one requirement, substituting courses for those listed may require you to take additional courses to meet degree requirements. Consult an advisor whenever taking advantage of other options. See information on alternate courses (where allowable) to fulfill general education requirements (in communications, arts and humanities, behavioral and social sciences, biological and physical sciences, mathematics, and research and computing literacy).

Note: Excess credit earned in fulfilling any general education requirement (e.g., by taking a 4-credit course where only 3 credits are required) may be applied toward the research and computing literacy requirement.

Research and Computing Literacy Courses

Communications Courses

Math Course

Topics for Mathematical Literacy (3 Credits, MATH 105) or College Mathematics (3 Credits, MATH 103) (Available overseas only) or other approved math or statistics course

Arts and Humanities Courses

Behavioral and Social Science Courses

Biological and Physical Sciences Courses

Minor and Elective Courses (46 Credits)

  • Professional Fundamentals of Teaching and Learning (6 Credits, EDTP 500) (for qualified students who plan to enter the MAT program at UMGC; students should note prerequisites and consult an advisor)
  • Adolescent Development and Learning Needs (6 Credits, EDTP 535) (for qualified students who plan to enter the MAT program at UMGC; students should note prerequisites and consult an advisor)

Career Services

Career Services provides resources and services for UMGC students and alumni worldwide to inform them about, prepare them for, and connect them with their career and job search needs. To access Career Services, you should activate your account on CareerQuest, UMGC's online career portal, using your UMGC login credentials.

Tools and Resources

Career Services offers a variety of tools and resources, available online 24 hours a day, that can be useful in the career planning and job-search process. Resources include résumé builders and templates, online mock interviews, video job-search tips, mentor matching, occupational information, employer and graduate school directories, job hunting guides, and career resource literature.

Job-Search Services

UMGC offers several services designed to fulfill the employment needs of UMGC students and alumni, including employer recruitment sessions and job fairs (held online and on-site); employability skills workshops, such as résumé writing and interview preparation; and job-search tutorials. CareerQuest enables you to search job listings and post résumés for prospective employers.

Career Development and Planning

Career Services staff are available to provide personalized attention to help you clarify your skills, interests, and work-related values; make career/life-related decisions; research career options; plan for further study; and search for employment, whether you are new to your career field, making a career transition, or looking for guidance on how to climb the corporate ladder as an experienced professional.

Career advising services are available by appointment (on-site and by phone, video chat, and e-mail) and can be scheduled via CareerQuest. A limited number of appointments are available on a walk-in basis at Largo during specified times. Call 800-888-8682, ext. 2-2720, or visit Career Services for more information.

Career Services also offers webinars and workshops to support the unique needs of UMGC students and alumni.