Best Online Master’s in History: Students Before Profits Award

The Students Before Profits Awards were created to recognize nonprofit colleges and universities offering degrees that put students before profits and education before the bottom-line.  For our ranking of the 2017 Online Master’s in History winners, we chose online History degree programs from nonprofit colleges and universities, accredited by independent and trusted accreditation boards, with lower than average tuition costs, and have ranked them by affordability.

As college costs continue to rise and people are entering into the workforce at an earlier age, students are often looking for alternative means to gain a college degree.  Many students are choosing to pursue their higher education online as it affords them a greater flexibility, allows them to take courses at schools they do not have geographical access to, and to save large amounts of money.  The realities of today’s economy are such that many students are already working in some sort of job to help pay for their college degree.  This usually means that their schedule is limited which is why online programs are quite beneficial in this situation.  By studying online, students are also able to find the program that best suits them without having to worry that they may need to relocated in order to take the program.  These programs also tend to be much cheaper than their on-campus counterparts while providing a near-identical curriculum.

Students interested in pursuing a Master’s in History degree typically go on to work for museums, historical sites, archives, and other educational centers.  Often times they will fill jobs as an archivist, curator, historian, or conservator.  As an archivist, graduates will work to evaluate and preserve historical documents.  This job is similar to a curator who maintains collections found at museums or other historical or cultural facilities.  Another big field for those with Master’s in History degrees is the field of education.  Many students can either teach at the high-school or college level upon completing their studies.  Students graduating with this degree can expect a starting career salary of around $42,500.

Note that tuition rates listed below are based on cost per credit and individual programs may have additional fees.

 #1. Chadron State College

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Founded in 1909, Chadron State College was founded by the Nebraska Legislature in order to provide northwest Nebraska with a facility for higher education.  The site for the school was selected in 1910 and construction began on the new school.  The following year, construction on Chadron State College was completed and the school began accepting its first class of students.  In 2006, the school was damaged during the Spotted Tail wildfire.  Fortunately, the school was able to repair the damage from the fire and is back to full-operational capacity.  Currently, Chadron State College is the only school in western Nebraska that offers four-year degrees and graduate degree programs. With a student body of over 3,000 students.  Chadron State College is located in Chadron, Nebraska.  Chadron State College is a public institution.

Program Overview

Students at Chadron State College are able to enroll in a Master of Arts in Education – History concentration degree.  Through this program of study, students will study history from a perspective that will prepare them to go on to teach the subject. Students are tasked with studying World History while also picking a specific period of history to examine more closely.  This program is available entirely online and does not require any visits to the Chadron State College campus.  A minimum of 36 credits are required to complete this degree.

Accreditation: Chadron State College’s Master of Arts in Education – History Concentration is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Tuition: $11,700

 #2. University of Louisiana Monroe

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Opened in 1931, the University of Louisiana Monroe was originally known as the Ouachita Parish Junior College.  Operating under this name for three years, the school was renamed to the Northeast Center of Louisiana State University.  This name change was short lived as the school was renamed to the Northeast Junior College of Louisiana State University in 1949, and then a year later was renamed to Northeast Louisiana State College after receiving the ability to grant four-year degrees.  Again, the name was changed in 1969 upon being able to offer doctorate degrees to Northeast Louisiana University.  By the mid 1970s the school had become the largest university in the state of Louisiana.  in 1991, the school was named the University of Louisiana Monroe.  Located in Monroe, Louisiana, the University of Louisiana Monro enrolls just under 9,000 students.  University of Louisiana Monroe is a public institution.

Program Overview

The Master of Arts in History degree is offered to students at the University of Louisiana Monroe.  This program of study has students learn history as it applies to law, politics, and citizenship.  While spending time to gain a World History perspective, students will delve primarily into the history of the United States.  This program is available entirely online and does not require any visits to the University of Louisiana Monroe campus.  A minimum of 30 credits are required to complete this degree.

Accreditation: University of Louisiana Monroe’s Master of Arts in History degree is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Tuition: $15,000

 #3. University of Massachusetts Boston

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In 1964, to accommodate for a growing demand for more public universities, the Massachusetts State Legislature voted to establish the University of Massachusetts Boston.  One year later, classes began in a renovated building in the downtown Boston-area of Park Square.  In 1974, construction was completed on the Columbia Point campus.  Part of the Greater Boston Urban Education Collaborative, the University of Massachusetts Boston eventually combined with Boston State College in 1982.  Over the coming years, the University of Massachusetts Boston campus went under continuous renovations. In 2004, a new Campus Center was opened and in 2015the Integrated Sciences Complex was opened to students.  With buildings located throughout the city of Boston, Massachusetts, the University of Massachusetts Boston enrolls a student body of just under 17,000 students. 

Program Overview

Students at the University of Massachusetts Boston are able to enroll in the Master of Arts in History degree.  Students looking to enter into a career in public humanities, journalism, law school, or education are recommended to enroll in this program of study.  Students will take courses in Historiography and will be asked to prepare a thesis regarding a particular part of history.  This program is available entirely online and does not require any visits to the University of Massachusetts Boston campus.  A minimum of 30 credits are required to complete this degree.

Accreditation: University of Massachusetts Boston’s Master of Arts in History degree is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).

Tuition: $15,600

 #4. Missouri State University

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The Missouri State Legislature established Missouri State University in 1905 as the Fourth District Normal School.  The school was originally opened to train teachers so that they would be prepared to enter into work within Missouri’s public school system.  In the summer of 1906, the first classes were held at Missouri State University.  After expanding the school’s curriculum, the school was renamed the Southwest Missouri State Teacher’s College.  More liberal arts programs were added to the school during the 1920s and 1930s and the school was renamed to the Southwest Missouri State College in 1945.  The school was finally renamed Missouri State University in 2005.  With a student body of 26,000 students, Missouri State University is located in Springfield, Missouri.  Missouri State University is a public institution. 

Program Overview

The Master of Arts in History degree is offered to students at Missouri State University.  This program of study has students studying Historiography and Historical Method in order to best prepare themselves to potentially teach history.  Students are able to enroll in a a US & World Track that focuses more specifically on US History.  This program is available entirely online and does not require any visits to the Missouri State University campus.  A minimum of 30 credits are required to complete this degree.

Accreditation: Missouri State University’s Master of Arts in History degree is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Tuition: $16,170

 #5. Western Kentucky University

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In 1876, the Glasgow Normal School and Business College was established by A.W. Mell in Glasgow, Kentucky.  A few years later, Pleasant J. Potter established Potter College.  After that, the Western Kentucky Normal College and Teachers College was formed.  In 1930, the three of these schools would be combined to become the precursor to Western Kentucky University.  Originally a different name, the school was eventually renamed in the 1970s to Western Kentucky University.  Currently, Western Kentucky University is located in Bowling Green, Kentucky.  Enrolling a student body of over 21,000 students, Western Kentucky University offers its s students over one-hundred different degrees to enroll in.  Western Kentucky is a private institution.

Program Overview

Students are able to enroll in a Master of Arts in History degree at Western Kentucky University.  This program of study is designed to prepare students to teach history at the collegiate level.  Students will be taught best practices for studying and seeking knowledge when it comes to historical research.  This program is available entirely online and does not require any visits to the Western Kentucky University campus.  A minimum of 36 credits are required to complete this degree.

Accreditation: Western Kentucky University’s Master of Arts in History degree is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Tuition: $17,856

 #6. National University

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Former Lieutenant Commander of the United States Navy, David Chigos, founded National University with the mandate to help working professionals gain a higher education in 1972. One of the major tenets of National University early on was its dedication to providing flexible programs to its students.  National University offered both night classes and weekend classes in its early days and eventually added online courses when the technology became widely available.  Relocated to La Jolla, California, National University was originally established in San Diego, California.  National University has also added campuses in Georgia, Florida, Nevada, and Virginia.  Currently, National University is the twelfth-largest non-profit university in the United States and the second-largest in the state of California.  National University is a private institution.

Program Overview

The Master of Arts in History degree is offered to students at National University.  Students in this program will prepare for a career in History, whether that be teaching at the college level or entering into doctoral studies.  Through this program students will gain an enhanced set of research, analytical, and writing skills.  This program is available entirely online and does not require any visits to the National University campus.  A minimum of 45 credits are required to complete this degree.

Accreditation: National University’s Master of Arts in History degree is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

Tuition: $18,720

 #7. Liberty University

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Lynchburg Baptist Church was established in 1971 by Jerry Falwell, Senior Past of Thomas Road Baptist Church as the precursor to what would eventually evolve to become National University.  With the goal of providing a Christian perspective to students, Lynchburg Baptist College was named for its location in the city of Lynchburg, Virginia.  Four years later in 1976, the school was renamed to Liberty Baptist College.  After receiving university status from the state of Virginia, Liberty Baptist College was renamed to Liberty University in 1985.  Currently home to a student body of 15,000 students on its Lynchburg campus, Liberty University enrolls an additional 100,000 students online.  Liberty University is a private institution.

Program Overview

Students at Liberty University are able to enroll in a Master of Arts in History degree.  Through this course of study, students will prepare for careers teaching history or pursuing historical studies.  They will learn skills required for better understanding historical texts and how to synthesize various texts. This program is available entirely online and does not require any visits to the Liberty University campus.  A minimum of 36 credits are required to complete this degree.

Accreditation: Liberty University’s Master of Arts in History degree is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Tuition: $20,340

 #8. Southern New Hampshire University

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Located in downtown Manchester, the New Hampshire School of Accounting and Secretarial Science was founded by husband and wife, Harry A. B. Shapiro and Gertrude Crockett Shapiro.  Founded to offer adult students in New Hampshire an opportunity for a high-quality education, the New Hampshire School of Accounting and Secretarial Science would eventually become Southern New Hampshire University.  After operating under the New Hampshire School of Accounting and Secretarial Science name for nearly three decades, the school was renamed to the New Hampshire College of Accounting and Commerce to reflect the wider scope of available programs.  Eventually, the school had to move to its current campus at the border of Manchester and Hooksett after outgrowing its campus along the Merrimack River.  Now known as Southern New Hampshire University, the school boasts a student body of 3,000 students on-campus and additional 60,000 students online.  Southern New Hampshire University is a private institution.

Program Overview

Students are able to enroll in a Master of Arts in History degree at Southern New Hampshire University.  This program will have students learn the process of “writing” history.  They will learn to examine historical documents in order to craft written communication that details historical findings.  This program is available entirely online.  Students are not required to visit the Southern New Hampshire University campus to complete their studies.  A minimum of 33 credits are required to complete this degree.

Accreditation: Southern New Hampshire University’s Master of Arts in History degree is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).

Tuition: $20,691

 #9. Norwich University

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Former Superintendent of West Point Academy, Captain Alden Partridge, founded Norwich University in the town of Norwich, Vermont in 1819.  Established to closely follow the “American System of Education”, the curriculum at the original Norwich University focused primarily on liberal arts and civil engineering.  In fact, Norwich University was one of the first school’s in the nation to have integrated civil engineering into their general liberal arts curriculum.  Originally called the American Literary, Scientific, and Military Academy, Norwich University was originally created to be an alternative option to the popular West Point Academy.  In 1825, the school relocated from Norwich to Middletown, Connecticut to be able to facilitate naval training.  This move was short-lived and the school soon moved back to Norwich, Vermont, and in doing so changed its name to Norwich University.  Now the school is home to 21,000 students.  Norwich University is a private institution.

Program Overview

The Master of Arts in History degree is offered to students at Norwich University.  Students in this program will gain a background in Norwich University’s rich history while also studying major developments in world history.  Norwich University offers two distinct tracks for this program: American History and World History.  This program is available entirely online and does not require any visits to the Norwich University campus for its completion.  A minimum of 36 credits are required to complete this degree.

Accreditation: Norwich University’s Master of Arts in History degree is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).

Tuition: $25,344

 #10. Louisiana Tech University

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One of the most prestigious research universities in the state of Louisiana, Louisiana Tech University is rated as having level-R3 research activity by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.  Currently receiving funding for various research projects from the National Science Foundations, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Department of Defense, Federal Aviation Administration, and the National Institutes of Health, Louisiana Tech University is engaged in research for some of the United States most important government organizations.  Originally opened as the Industrial Institute and College of Louisiana during the second Industrial Revolutions, Louisiana Tech University was established in 1894.  Located in Ruston, Louisiana, Louisiana Tech University enrolls over 12,000 students.  Louisiana Tech University is a public institution.

Program Overview

The Master of Arts in History degree is offered to students at Louisiana Tech University.  This program is designed for students who are hoping to enter into doctoral studies, who would like to pursue careers in teaching history, or who are just looking for some kind of cultural enrichment.  This program is available entirely online and does not require any visits to the Louisiana Tech University campus.  A minimum of 30 credits are required to complete this degree.

Accreditation: Louisiana Tech University’s Master of Arts in History degree is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Tuition: $30,180