Studying history means learning where we’ve come from and how we got to where we are today. It helps us better understand the world and develop good citizenship. History is inspirational, and it helps to develop good critical thinking skills. In short, history is one of the most important subjects that students of all ages need to master. And with a master’s degree in history education, you can lead students as they work to understand history.
Why a Master’s Degree in History Education Matters
Geared toward current history and social studies teachers, a master’s degree in history education combines professional training in secondary teaching with an in-depth exploration of theory and practice. With this added education and experience, you’ll emerge from your degree program as a stronger educator, better prepared to serve students. Teachers with a master’s degree in history may also earn a higher salary in certain school districts, and become qualified for opportunities in school leadership.
Curriculum for Master’s in History Education Programs
Throughout your degree program, you’ll have the chance to learn new approaches to teaching history, form ties to academic historians, and experiment with curriculum development. Many programs include a mandatory internship or thesis; some will even help you acquire a secondary school teaching certification. Consult with the program coordinator if you have questions about what a particular program entails. Specific courses in master’s in history education programs typically include:
- Curriculum Development
- History Courses (American History, World History, European History, Western Civilization)
- Research Seminar in History
- Teaching Social Sciences
Where You Can Earn an Online Master’s Degree in History Education
The availability of online master’s in history education degrees has grown in recent years, with a number of schools opening up new programs to serve history educators. Online degree choices include:
- The University of West Alabama’s online master of arts in teaching serves both certified and non-certified candidates. Those seeking to focus on history are required to complete coursework in both U.S. history and world history.
- The three-year online master of arts in history from West Kentucky University is designed to prepare candidates to teach history on the junior and senior college level. To increase one-to-one interaction, students are asked to nominate a faculty member to mentor them in their chosen concentration.
Social networks and professional contacts may be of use when considering which program to pursue. See if your colleagues or supervisors have any recommendations.
Common Questions About an Online Masters Degree in History
Can this degree lead to leadership positions in education?
Students entering into history-focused education programs can be a great resource for schools and colleges interested in providing great quality programs to students. In most cases, leadership positions in schools may require professionals to have an advanced education degree as well as some experience in the field. If you have experience as a teacher and are pursuing an advanced education degree, you could be considered for higher-tier positions in your school.
Does this degree program provide generalized information on different levels of history or should I pursue a specialty?
Most Master in Education – History programs can provide students with a well-rounded portfolio of history topics. While there are specialized programs available to students interested in focusing on particular aspect of history, most programs seek to cover all generalized areas of history for educational purposes. The courses you can take during your program can help to introduce you to each of these areas throughout your experience.
Do I need teaching experience to enroll in this program?
Depending on the program you choose, you may or may not be required to be a seasoned educator. Some schools provide all-inclusive programs suitable for people from all undergraduate programs. Others may be built around a history of educational experience. Therefore, there may be schools available for students with or without teaching experience.
What grade level can I teach with this degree?
The majority of online Masters in Education – History programs available throughout the U.S. may cater to the needs of grades 6-12 students. However, having a masters in this discipline can also align you with what is required of university history instructors as well. Depending on what type of student you wish to work with, there are likely availabilities for graduates with this degree in both areas.
Estimated Cost and Length of a Masters in History Education Degree
Costs can be found in different forms. There are those that are listed in dollar format, as well as the others that are not so easily identified. The cost of your time in a degree program can add up if you choose to enroll in a long and drawn-out program for your master’s degree.
The time it takes you to complete your degree program can influence you ability to work a full-time job as well as hinder your advancement within your current career. Each of these aspects can cost you more money in the long run. There are many diverse options in terms of completion time for students enrolling at this level.
Some degree programs can be completed in 1 to 1.5 years, while others may take up to 2 to complete at full-time enrollment. Consider these differences as you advance into these programs. Check out the list of example schools below to get an idea of the differences between some of the available programs.
- Ashland University: Online Masters of Arts in Teaching American History and Government – $539 per credit hour – 1-2 years for completion
- Missouri State University: Online Masters in Education – History Education – $6,038 per year – 2 years for completion
History is one of the most fundamental courses available during grade school and beyond. Instructors of these courses can be a great asset to students as they gain information that is relevant to American history, as well as the history of the world.
If you are interested in being an important component in a student’s historical knowledge base, there may be no better option than pursuing a Masters in Education in the field of History. As you sort through the many different programs available at universities all over the country, you can help to filter through your options by considering both the costs of attendance and the length of time it takes to complete your program at each of these schools.
Current teachers or graduates within other fields may already be employed when considering this degree. As an adult, managing finances for higher education can be a stressful process, especially when there are several different options being presented.
It is recommended that you break down the costs of each university you are considering in order to determine which option is the most money-smart. Tuition rates can change regularly, so it is important to do your research and stay up to date with any changes taking place during your search. Tuition rates, fees and the cost of books can vary depending on where you look. As you outline the benefits of each university, consider the different in these prices along the way.
Career Opportunities for History Teachers with an Online Master’s Degree
A master’s degree in history education from a recognized institution is near the top of many high school principals’ wish lists, both in private schools and public schools. A graduate degree in education can also be an avenue into administrative and school district positions — and a higher salary.
Interested in teaching history at a college level? Community colleges may be intrigued to hear about your online master’s degree. To teach full-time at a private or state university, however, you will need a doctorate degree. Frequent employers of educators with a master’s in history education include:
- Middle and high schools
- Junior colleges
- Community colleges
- Professional schools
- Educational consultancies
History teachers can expect a median annual wage of $66,790. Those employed by colleges or professional schools will earn a higher salary, typically about $76,620.