BS in History graduates discussing a paper

Bachelor of Science in History

Transfer up to
113 Credits
A median of 68 credits accepted
Receive credit for previous coursework

Create a Better Future by Learning About the Past as You Pursue a BS in History

Graduates with a BS in History degree study change over time—understanding how and why events occurred, interpreting historical evidence about those events, and synthesizing evidence into written arguments. History is also about passion, beauty, and the search for truth, a search that creates engaged, empathetic, and informed citizens who seek to understand and better human society.

What Will I Learn in a BS in History Degree Program?

This fully online Bachelor of Science in History program emphasizes critical thinking, written analysis, and an understanding of diverse perspectives on the past. You’ll learn how to interpret the past in the context of various cultures and perspectives and to apply that knowledge to current social and political issues. History is a broad and rewarding discipline: graduates go on to work in government or military positions, act on their political ambitions, apply their well-rounded knowledge to advance in their current careers, or continue their education.

Fast Facts:

Top industries for bachelor’s degree holders include the library sciences, the arts, education, and the legal industry (Source:

Employment of archivists, curators, museum technicians, and conservators is projected to grow 13 percent from 2016 to 2026 (Source: BLS)

The unemployment rate is 3 times lower for those with a bachelor’s degree than for those without (Source: BLS)


credit hours

Online BS in History Program Details

Of the 120 credits for the Bachelor of Science in History, a total of 30 must be earned at the upper level (21 credits in the arts and sciences and 9 in electives). As part of these credits, for the core component of this degree, a minimum of 33 credits must be earned in the field of history, of which 18 must be at the upper level. A minimum GPA of 2.0 is required in the core component.

  • Information Literacy: 1 credit
  • Written English Requirements: 6 credits
  • Humanities: 9 credits
    • One ethics course
    • Two elective courses
  • Social Sciences and History: 9 credits
    • Any combination of three social sciences and/or history courses
  • Natural Sciences and Mathematics: 9 credits
    • One mathematics course (minimum 2 credits)
    • One natural science course (minimum 2 credits)
    • Additional courses to reach 9 credits
  • Arts and Science Electives: 27 credits
  • Applied Professional Credits
  • Additional Arts and Sciences Courses

History Course Requirements

  • Foundational: 6 credits
    • One course in each area:
      • U.S. History I or II
      • World History I or II
    • U.S. History: 6 credits
    • European History: 6 credits
    • Non-Western/World History: 6 credits
    • Electives in History: 3 credits
    • History Capstone Course: 3 credits

Core History Courses

United States History

An introductory course on the early history of the United States, from pre-European-contact Native American societies to the end of the Reconstruction era after the Civil War. The course examines the major political, social, and economic trends in the American colonies and new nations from the 15th through the mid-19th centuries. Students examine history through multiple perspectives and focus on diversity and cross-cultural encounters that contributed to the creation of the United States.

World History

This course examines the rise of the major world civilizations in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas from their earliest beginnings through to the early modern era. It focuses on economic, social, political, and cultural factors that contributed to their birth and sustained growth and development. Students explore the political institutions, social systems, gender roles, religious systems, and cultures of these civilizations, as well as the contributions of individual men and women to their communities. The course highlights the interconnectedness of many societies that shared ideas, technologies, people, and goods.

African American History

A survey of the history of the African American people from their origins in Africa, through slavery and emancipation, the migration from countryside to city and South to North, wars and depression, the recent Civil Rights and Black Power Movements to the present. Students focus on questions of social development, political struggle, culture, and identity.

European Renaissance

Students examine some of the major themes of the Renaissance in Europe. Through extensive readings in primary sources, the course explores the major personalities of the period and their influence on many aspects of life. Topics include historical questions about science and belief, voyages of discovery, rise of the nation/state, rise of capitalism, cultural aspects, and the millennial view of history.

Global Popular Culture Since 1945

An examination of world cultures since 1945, exploring the relationship between culture and key historical changes and trends since the end of the Second World War. Students investigate various popular cultural sources, from literature to consumer goods to television, music, and film across the globe to understand the role of culture in shaping world events, particularly as a result of globalization.

History Capstone Course

The capstone course is a culminating experience for students. It provides a different learning experience than the courses that preceded it—it is designed to bring together the knowledge and skills that demonstrate your learning as applicable to the educational outcomes for the history program. By probing assumptions, hypotheses, and arguments, the course will introduce you to debates concerning evidence, historical questions, and research methods within the discipline.

Objectively evaluate a variety of historical sources (primary and secondary) for their credibility, position, and perspective.

Interpret the past in context, showing an understanding of diverse cultures and perspectives.

Utilize the tools, methods, and ethical standards of the discipline to integrate evidence and craft narratives about the past.

Demonstrate a methodical practice of gathering, sifting, analyzing, ordering, synthesizing, and interpreting evidence.

Construct a historical argument that is reasoned and based on historical evidence which describes and analyzes the past for its use in the present.

Apply historical knowledge and analysis to a current social, cultural, or political issue.

View additional details about programs and courses:

Download the Undergraduate Studies Catalog

Common Careers with an
Online BS in History




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“Excelsior gave me skills in critical analysis, writing, problem solving, and communicating, which all helped me perform my job well.”
Lauren Harlow
AS in Liberal Arts, 2017


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