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. Your degree could prepare you for teaching history or social studies; taking entry-level positions in public history by working in 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, Japan, 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
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
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 p. 67 for information on overall degree requirements.
Courses in the Major (33 Credits)
- World History I (3 Credits, HIST 115)
or Western Civilization I (HIST 141)
- World History II (3 Credits, HIST 116)
or Western Civilization II (HIST 142)
- History of the United States to 1865 (3 Credits, HIST 156)
- History of the United States Since 1865 (3 Credits, HIST 157)
- Historical Methods (3 Credits, HIST 289)
- Historical Writing (3 Credits, HIST 309)
- Senior Thesis in History (3 Credits, HIST 495)
Upper-level HIST courses (12 credits—Focused study in U.S. or world history recommended, as follows:
- American West (HIST 316)
- Recent America: 1945 to the Present (HIST 365)
- U.S. Women's History: 1870 to 2000 (HIST 377)
- African American History: 1865 to the Present (HIST 461)
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 interdisciplinary issues).
Introduction to Research (1 Credit, LIBS 150) (to be taken in first 6 credits)
- Introduction to Writing (3 Credits, WRTG 101)
or Introduction to Writing (3 Credits, WRTG 101S)
- Research Writing (3 Credits, WRTG 291)
or other writing course
- Foundations of Oral Communication (3 Credits, SPCH 100)
or Military Communication and Writing (3 Credits, COMM 200)
or other communication, writing, or speech course
- Advanced Research Writing (3 Credits, WRTG 391)
or other advanced upper-level writing course
Arts and Humanities Courses
Behavioral and Social Science Courses
- Principles of Macroeconomics (3 Credits, ECON 201)
or Principles of Microeconomics (3 Credits, ECON 203)
or other behavorial and social science course
- American Government (3 Credits, GVPT 170)
or other behavioral and social science course (discipline must differ from first)
Biological and Physical Sciences Courses
- Concepts of Biology (3 Credits, BIOL 101) and Laboratory in Biology (1 Credits, BIOL 102) or other science lecture and laboratory course(s)
- Introduction to Physical Science (3 Credits, NSCI 100)
or Human Biology (3 Credits, BIOL 160)
or other science lecture course
College Mathematics (3 Credits, MATH 103)
or other 3-credit MATH course at or above the level of college algebra
- Concepts and Applications of Information Technology (3 Credits, IFSM 201)or Digital Media and Society (3 Credits, CMST 301)
- Information Systems in Organizations (3 Credits, IFSM 300)
or another computing course appropriate to the academic major
Whether you are a current student, alumnus, prospective student or employer, Career Services offers you easy access to career-related support and resources.
Current students and alumni can take advantage of many valuable services, including
- Career mapping
- Resume and cover-letter tips
- Job fair preparation
- Resources to find job opportunities
- Strategies for the federal job search
- Interview preparation
Prospective students are eligible for general Career Planning and Career Change advising as it relates to potential UMGC studies only.