The American Historical Association states: “In the first place, history offers a storehouse of information about how people and societies behave.” With a history degree, students get the opportunity to study and analyze historical works. They develop an insight into past events, personalities, and more. Not only do they acquire an appreciation for a variety of history resources, they also demonstrate their knowledge of cultural development and diversity. They evaluate and discuss events that have had an impact on society. Besides, they practice developing arguments and ideas that help in educating people about different historical events. Students also enhance their research skills by learning different techniques and analyzing information from diverse sources.
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Students interested in American history can opt for degrees particularly designed for the subject. Degrees offered in American history cover areas such as American society, demographics, sociology, revolutions, and political history. The degrees may also include other topics such as race relations, immigration, economics, and Native American issues.
American History Degrees
Bachelors in American History
A bachelor’s degree in American history is designed to train the future educators and provide extensive knowledge to those individuals who are interested in the subject. The degree covers all those events, people, and cultures that have had an impact on American history. Students acquire knowledge about events that led to wars, historical leaders who left an impact on politics and caused changes in society, and scientific progress that shaped generations. Other topics covered in the degree program include languages, literacy, and technology. General admission requirements for the program are a high school diploma or an equivalent qualification.
Masters in American History
Students pursuing a master’s degree in American history study topics such as the American Revolution, African American history, Civil War, and the American government. The major focus of the program is on understanding how different cultures and people experienced evolution in America. Students are expected to perform some advanced level work, such as analyzing and developing theories for various historical events, learning a foreign language, and studying the future of the present American society. Students either have to complete a thesis project or they may take a comprehensive exam. Some of the major admission requirements include a personal statement essay, a bachelor’s degree, and adequate scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
Ph.D. in American History
A Ph.D. in American history generally offers a curriculum designed to give students a broad understanding of the subject. The focus is on exceptional historical writing and research skills. Typically, a Ph.D. in history program has a few students and is very selective in nature. Students are given the opportunity to work side by side faculty members in research and independent reading courses. The first year of the program focuses on research and critical analysis of different historical aspects. The second year is normally based on directed readings and courses that prepare students for their examinations in their chosen fields. During the second and third years, students may work as teaching fellows under the supervision of faculty members.
American history degrees are also offered online. Normally online degrees are for those individuals who cannot take out time for a campus-based program. With an online history degree, students and professionals can work around their schedule to acquire degrees and enhance their credentials. Although, online degrees in American history are as academically challenging as campus-based programs, there are other benefits of pursuing online education as well.
Easy Access: Coursework is always available to students. Students can watch video lectures, take part in discussions, read and write comments, and review lecture slides.
Flexible Schedule: Students can study at anytime and anywhere, if they have a computer and an internet connection. This means that working students, parents, and professionals can complete their courses on the move. Their work schedule does not affect their online classes.
More Options: Online degree programs offer a large variety of programs that may not be available on campuses. Greater options allow students to pick the most suitable program for their career.
Cost and Time Efficiency: Students cut down on education costs and save time, as they do not need to travel or set certain hours aside for their courses. They may also save boarding and textbook costs, as most of the material is available online.
An American history degree opens up a number of opportunities for individuals, by giving them skills that are demanded in many careers. Graduates could become educators or acquire a research position in the government, private sector, or military. They can also work as analysts, consultants, editors, communication specialists, political scientists, researchers, intelligence agents, journalists, and lobbyists.
The importance of studying history can be gauged by Edmund Burke’s quote: “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.”