Online Distance Learning for a PhD in American History

Updated January 31, 2020
Concept of earning an online degree

Nothing sounds better than an online program for working professionals or non-traditional students. However, when searching for an American History program at the doctoral level, there isn't much variety available. Learn about two online graduate programs in American history to advance your education.

Liberty University Offers an Online PhD in History

Liberty University is a accredited online university that offers a Christian-based online learning experience through the College of Arts and Science doctoral program in history. This program is fully online, with 8-week courses and offers flexible scheduling for working adults. Taking a Christian world view on American history, you'll network with faculty and other students through an online learning platform.

In Depth Curriculum Overview

The PhD in History at Liberty University is 72 credit hours and expected to take four years. In addition to conducting original research in American history, students will complete featured online courses in historical professions, public history and American entrepreneurship. An additional 18-credit hours in historical methods, historical research and historiography will round out the core curriculum. Because you want to tailor your education to American history, Liberty lets you take nine specialization and elective courses specifically in U.S. history. Prior to completing your program, you'll complete reading and dissertation courses.

Gaining Admission

Getting acceptance into Liberty means you'll be required to complete a program application for admission. Additionally, you need to submit graduate test scores and transcripts for previous programs completed. Getting in will require you to hold a master's in your educational repertoire.

Student Reviews

According to Graduate Programs, Liberty graduate programs were noted for being affordable and military friendly. Of 461 reviews, Liberty's graduate programs were given a 96% approval rating by current students. Quality of instruction and satisfaction of degree also received high marks for Liberty. Gwynnedolynne James noted the school offered "great benefits for graduate level students like myself who have a family, full-time jobs, community events and more. LUO offers 100% online degree programs which allows for flexibility for students with busy schedules to still be successful."

Arizona State University Offers a Hybrid PhD in History

Ranked 69th by U.S. News and World Report for history programs, the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies offers a hybrid PhD in History. A hybrid program offers both online and on-campus coursework.

Areas of Concentration

American history students can concentrate their program in North American and U.S. History through choosing three different concentrations. These concentrations, or fields, cover both thematic and geographic fields of study. For example, a U.S. history program could include concentrations in U.S. history, indigenous peoples and politics and policy. Work through the concentration is guided by a close relationship with faculty. Because of the relationship with faculty and mentoring, some on campus visits and coursework will be required.

Examining the Curriculum

Within the program, you'll be required to complete 84 credits to graduate. These credits are made up of core, research and elective courses. In the core courses, you'll take an in-depth look at history methodology and explore global history. Within your concentration, you'll examine the American experience, race and culture, religion, migration and North American cultural landscapes. Rounding out your program, you'll complete a dissertation, seminar and mandatory research.

Getting In

Getting into the program will require you to complete the online application. But filling out the app isn't enough, you also need to provide the school with GRE scores, references, a writing sample and statement of purpose. This is in addition to the submission of transcripts showing your successful completion of a master's program.

What Students Say

While reviews for the history program itself are slim to none, you can find reviews for the ASU graduate program experience. According to Graduate Programs, ASU has a 97% student recommendation. Many students note the helpfulness of the faculty and the excellent student support for online learners.

Lack of Online PhD in History Programs

Finding PhD in American History programs through distance education can be tough. Given the connection that you need with faculty to complete your dissertation and research, more often than not on-campus programs are the way to go. However, finding hybrid and online programs like those at Liberty and ASU do offer you the flexibility to complete your coursework on your time. Whether you complete an online or on-campus program with online courses, just remember to research your program to make sure you are getting the best education for your hard-earned money.

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Online Distance Learning for a PhD in American History