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Master of Arts

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.

Program Courses

The curriculum for this program follows industry trends to help ensure relevancy to today's marketplace. View all courses.

Program Objectives

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

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

View learning outcomes assessment results.


Concentrations are designed to help you group courses together so you can further specialize in your field and pursue a more focused path to degree completion. You will be asked to select a concentration when you enroll in this program.

Explore the concentrations available for this program.


American History

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.


Antebellum America: Prelude to the Civil War


The American Revolution in Context


The Civil War: Seminal Event in American History


The United States in the 20th Century


Reconstruction and Post-Civil War America


Graduate Seminar in U.S. History


Writing a Thesis Proposal


History of Colonial America


History of the American West


Independent Study: History


History and Popular Culture


African-American History


History of American Women


Special Topic: History


Ancient and Classical History

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.


Graduate Seminar in European History


The Greek Civilization


The Roman Republic and Empire


Late Antiquity and Byzantium


Medieval Europe


Renaissance and Reformation


Ancient Warfare


The Ottoman Empire


Writing a Thesis Proposal


European History

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.


Graduate Seminar in European History


History of the Enlightenment


18th and 19th Century Europe


World War II in Context


Nazi Germany and the Holocaust


Russia and the Soviet Union


The Ottoman Empire


Modern European History


Writing a Thesis Proposal


Global History

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.


World War II in Context


The Great Revolutions


History of Science


History of Religion


History and Culture of Latin America


Graduate Seminar in World History


Writing a Thesis Proposal


History of Africa


History of the Middle East

Admission Requirements

Please be prepared to submit a legible copy of your valid government-issued photo ID (civilian students) or government issued JST or CCAF transcript (military students) upon request.

An APU admissions representative will contact you with further details about how to submit the required documentation after you complete the enrollment application.

Need help?

Selecting the right program to meet your educational goals is a key step in ensuring a successful outcome. If you are unsure of which program to choose, or need more information, please contact an APU admissions representative at 877-755-2787 or

Public History Practicum Concentration

The public history concentration is only available if you choose practicum as your end-of-program option. This concentration examines community/local history, historic preservation, archives, historical archaeology, museum studies, business and policy history, and documentary editing and publishing, among other topics.

Concentration Courses:

  • HIST521 - Seminar in Public History
  • HIST522 - Archives and Manuscript Management
  • HIST523 - Theory and Practice of Oral History
  • HIST634 - History, Theories, and Contemporary Issues in Historic Preservation
  • HIST635 - Museum and Exhibition Culture
  • HIST636 - History and Digital Preservation

Note: In order to select the  public history concentration, you must select the practicum option when enrolling in this program.

Master's Degree/Graduate Certificate Tuition 

Per credit hour: $350 | $325 with military grant*
through 12/31/2019
$370 | $250 with military grant
effective 1/1/2020**

View Tuition and Fees Details  

*U.S. active-duty servicemembers, their spouse/dependents, Guard members, Reservists, and veterans are eligible for a grant that currently caps tuition at $325 per credit hour.

**To help minimize out-of-pocket costs, U.S. active-duty servicemembers, their spouse/dependents, Guard members, and Reservists are eligible for a grant that will cap tuition at $250 per credit hour (military TA cap). See all military student benefits.

Paying for School

Because our university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), (the same as the Ohio State University, Univ. of Chicago, and U.S. Air Force Academy, to name a few), we can accept the following forms of financial aid and payments:

Ways to Save

Transfer Credits 

Accelerate your degree completion by taking full advantage of our transfer credit options, including credit for your previous college courses, military service schools, American Council on Education (ACE) and College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests, and prior learning experiences.  

Employer Contributions

APU has educational partnerships with many employers and associations. Be sure to accurately enter your employer information when you complete our admissions application. Your employer might also offer a tuition reimbursement plan as one of your benefits.

School of Arts & Humanities

School of Arts & Humanities

This program resides in the American Public University School of Arts & Humanities which provides the traditional nuts and bolts programs that can help you acquire the innovative thinking, flexibility, and problem solving abilities that employers value. In fact, our general studies and psychology programs in the School of Arts & Humanities rank in the top-10 most popular programs at APU.

While many college students today choose a direct education path that leads to in-demand careers in science and technology, a solid undergraduate liberal arts education can provide you with a strong foundation to pursue post-graduate programs in a variety of areas. "In my conversations with industry advisory councils, employers emphasize that while they can train new hires in processes and content, they can’t train what the humanities teach, which is effective written and oral communication, teamwork, critical thinking, and professionalism," states School of Arts & Humanities Dean Grace Glass.

At APU, we understand your need for flexibility because most of our students are working adult learners balancing school around work and life commitments. This is why we offer 8-week or 16-week online courses that start monthly. Through an online virtual classroom, you’ll communicate with students and professors in forum communities as you work to complete your weekly written assignments on your own schedule from anywhere in the world. And with our mobile application, you can even work offline and upload your assignments when you reconnect.  

We encourage you to browse the School of Arts & Humanities webpage to learn more about the school and to find a program that’s right for you