Online Ancient History Degree Program Information
While online degree programs in ancient history are not available at this time, several schools do offer undergraduate and graduate programs in history that include the study of classical civilizations. Continue reading to learn more about degree requirements, course topics and career options.
Online Bachelor's Degree Programs in History
The study of ancient history begins with recorded and written history, or the fourth millennium B.C., and typically concludes with the Early Middle Ages. An on-campus major in ancient history can include courses in pre-modern, Greek and Roman history or classical languages, and similar topics may be found through online bachelor's degree programs in history. These are interdisciplinary courses of study that address the cultural, political and social factors associated with the ancient world and usually culminate in a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in History.
In terms of content and degree requirements, online history programs are similar to those offered on campus. Students use computers with high-speed Internet access and a current Web browser to view lectures and presentations online and communicate with their teachers and peers by way of email, chat rooms and threaded discussions. Assignments and exams are also submitted and reviewed electronically.
An online bachelor's degree in ancient history usually requires 120 credits or four years to complete. Some courses of study are only available as degree-completion programs, and students must have at least 60 prior college credits to enroll.
In addition to a general education core, an online history program can include survey courses in African, Asian, European and Latin American studies. It may also cover specific cultural and political periods in United States history, including those related to the Constitution, immigration and the role of women.
Additional degree requirements can include seminars and projects. Individual programs may offer for-credit, site-based internships.
Survey courses in global history, such as those that begin with early humans and end in 1500, typically cover ancient Mediterranean civilizations. Students will also find courses devoted specifically to ancient Greece and Rome, through which they can learn how empires and societies developed over time.
Below are descriptions of three ancient history courses.
This course introduces students to classical Greek culture and covers the period from 650 B.C. to 320 B.C. and the death of Alexander the Great. Topics may include those in philosophy and the influence of Greek civilization on the Roman Empire.
Students learn about the rise and fall of the Roman Empire, including how it developed into one of the largest ruling powers in the ancient world. Aspiring historians study the beginning of the Republic and the factors that contributed to its decline.
Ancient Greek, Hellenistic and Roman Culture
In this survey course, students learn about the Ancient Near East, a geographical area now referred to as the Middle East. Course content covers the development of ancient civilization on the Fertile Crescent in Africa and Western Asia and culminates with the end of the Roman Empire.
Online Master's Degree Programs in History
Online master's degree programs in history can provide students with the opportunity to pursue a more in-depth study of world history or concentrate on a particular area of interest, such as ancient Egyptian civilization. The programs usually culminate in a Master of Arts, and curricular objectives can include the ability to use primary and secondary sources to conduct research and make evidence-based arguments. Students also learn how to think critically and write publication-worthy content about historical issues. They can also acquire the academic and professional training they need to work as educators, librarians and researchers.
Both undergraduate and graduate programs utilize the same types of online communication and learning management systems. Students may also communicate through telephone and video conferences, use CDs and DVDs to watch lectures and conduct research in digital libraries.
In general, an online master's program in history requires approximately 33 credits of coursework and takes 18 months to three years to complete. Admission requirements may include undergraduate courses or a bachelor's degree in a relevant field of study, GRE (Graduate Record Examination) scores, letters of recommendation and writing samples.
Core curriculum requirements can include readings in American or world history and studies of historical methods. Students must also pass oral and/or written exams; optional internships may be available.
Some master's programs allow for a thesis or non-thesis option. Completion of a thesis can help students qualify for further study in a doctoral program; graduates of non-thesis programs may qualify for teaching positions at community colleges or secondary schools.
Graduate programs in history can include advanced-level studies of the same topics found in the undergraduate programs, such as ancient Greece and Rome. Students may also be able to pursue self-directed studies in ancient history. Below are descriptions of sample courses for graduate students.
Ancient Near East
Students learn how the Bronze Age of Mesopotamia developed in the 'cradle of civilization', or what is now known as the modern Middle East. Particular attention will be paid to the Assyrian, Babylonian and Persian empires.
This course introduces students to the historical methods used to reconstruct ancient history. Course emphasis is usually on ancient Egypt and includes a study of the controversies and scholarship associated with the field.
Egypt of The Pharaohs
As a historical survey, this study of ancient Egyptian culture includes topics in literature, politics, religion and sociology. Ancient Egypt's relationships with the rest of the African continent will be examined. Students will also learn how Egyptologists research and reconstruct the past.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of students applying to college history programs is greater than the number of jobs available in this highly competitive field. A master's or a doctoral degree in history is the usual requirement for a historian, and candidates with relevant hands-on or professional experiences will enjoy the best opportunities (www.bls.gov).
Graduates of a bachelor's degree program in history may have the research and writing skills necessary for entry-level work in education, journalism or law, among other professional fields. While a little over half of historians were employed in local, state or federal government in 2010, completion of a graduate program in history may also help students find jobs as high school teachers or college professors.
As reported by the BLS, employment opportunities for historians were projected to increase by 18% between 2010 and 2020, a fast-as-average rate when compared to all other occupations. A slower-than-average increase was expected for those working in local, state or federal government. As of May 2010, historians earned a median annual salary of $53,520, according to the BLS.
In addition to history, graduate students may also pursue related programs in archival work, historic preservation, museum studies or public history. Those who are accepted into a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program may have the chance to specialize in a cultural, political or social aspect of history, geographical area or historical period.
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