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The 25 Most Affordable History Degree Programs 2021

August 19, 2021 | Staff Writers

Cheapest History Degree
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BestValueSchools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

What Will I Learn With a History Degree?

There are many different areas of history that students can study within their degree programs. Students can still find a wide variety of areas of study even if they are looking for the most affordable history degree programs. Many students will face a choice between American history and world history. Students who choose world history may have the opportunity to further specialize in regional areas of study, such as Middle Eastern history or European history. Many universities also offer degrees or specializations in ancient history, which often focuses on the history of the Greek and Roman societies.

What Can I Do With a History Degree?

There is a misconception that students cannot access a wide variety of career opportunities with a history degree. In fact, students who graduate with a history degree can choose from many different career paths. Some students go to work in historical museums. Many students find work as history teachers at the middle school or high school level. Still others choose to continue their education by entering a master’s in history program. This can lead to work as researchers or university-level history professors.

Finding the Most Affordable History Degree Programs

Tuition can be expensive, and many colleges are increasing their tuition rates. However, students can still find affordable history degrees. To find an affordable history degree, students should first focus on public universities. Public universities, as a general rule, charge much less for tuition than private universities. Students should then narrow the scope of their search further by looking for public universities within their state. Public universities usually charge out-of-state students much higher tuition than in-state students. Even if students move to another state to attend college, they usually have to wait a year to get residency and qualify for in-state tuition.

Rank School Location
1California State University Long Beach, California
2Appalachian State UniversityBoone, North Carolina
3University of North Carolina-Chapel HillChapel Hill, North Carolina
4Bernard M. Baruch CollegeNew York City, New York
5State University of New YorkOneonta, New York State

The 25 Most Affordable History Degree Programs

1

California State University

  • Long Beach, California
  • Graduation Rate: 68%

California State University – Long Beach takes the top spot on our list due to its affordable tuition and the quality of the history program. Students can specialize in two or three of these areas: Asia, Latin America, Modern Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Ancient and Medieval Europe, United States, and World History. CSULB also has a master’s program in history, so students can seamlessly further their education if they wish. The school is also responsible for high-quality and prolific scholarship produced by their faculty, small class sizes, and proactive student advising.

Tuition per year: $6,834 in-state; $18,714 non-resident
Graduation rate: 67.6%
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2

Appalachian State University

  • Boone, North Carolina
  • Graduation Rate: 70%

Appalachian State University edges out the University of North Carolina to be top dog in the state. App State’s History program includes a B.A. or a B.S. degree for students who plan to go into teaching. There is also an available Applied History concentration for students who plan to go into the historical preservation field.

Tuition per year: $7,409 in-state; $22,216 non-resident
Graduation rate: 70.4%
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3

University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

  • Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • Graduation Rate: 91%

The University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill may finish behind in-state rival Appalachian State University, but they still have an excellent history degree program. Students have opportunities to study abroad in Singapore or London. Undergraduates can specialize in Ancient and Medieval History, Latin American History, African, Asian and Middle Eastern History, Global History, or United States History.

Tuition per year: $8,980 in-state; $36,159 non-resident
Graduation rate: 91.1%
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4

Bernard M. Baruch College

  • New York City, New York
  • Graduation Rate: 69%

Bernard M. Baruch College is a constituent institution of the City University of New York (CUNY) system, which is known for offering affordable tuition rates. Students have ample opportunity to intern at museums and historical organizations within New York City. This gives them practical experience and networking opportunities.

Tuition per year: $7,462 in-state; $15,412 non-resident
Graduation rate: 68.9%
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5

State University of New York

  • Oneonta, New York State
  • Graduation Rate: 72%

The State University of New York – Oneonta offers the leading history program in upstate New York. Students are encouraged to do their own research and to help with faculty research, for which they can get academic credit. Students even have opportunities to intern with local museums.

Tuition per year: $8,740 in-state; $18,650 non-resident
Graduation rate: 72%
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6

Iowa State University

  • Ames, Iowa
  • Graduation Rate: 75%

Iowa State University has the top-ranked history program in Iowa. Students can earn their teaching license as part of their course of study. The university also offers many study abroad programs that are ideal for history majors.

Tuition per year: $9,320 in-state; $24,508 non-resident
Graduation rate: 74.6%
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7

State University of New York

  • Oswego, New York State
  • Graduation Rate: 65%

The State University of New York – Oswego is another representative from the affordable SUNY system. Students are required to select a specialization in either a historical or geographical area. They are required to complete a capstone seminar in order to graduate.

Tuition per year: $8,717 in-state; $18,627 non-resident
Graduation rate: 65.5%
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8

Saint Cloud State University

  • St. Cloud, Minnesota
  • Graduation Rate: 46%

Saint Cloud State University has the leading history program in Minnesota. Students have the opportunity to study abroad in England, France, Korea, and Germany. This program can prepare students for graduate studies in management, law, international business or history.

Tuition per year: $8,656 in-state; $16,948 non-resident
Graduation rate: 45.8%
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9

State University of New York-Buffalo

  • Buffalo, New York
  • Graduation Rate: 73%

The State University of New York – Buffalo provides New York-based students with yet another excellent option. The history program is aimed at providing students with a well-rounded education in American, European, and world history. Students have the opportunity to participate in the history honors program and write a research paper.

Tuition per year: $10,524 in-state; $28,194 non-resident
Graduation rate: 73.1%
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10

University of California

  • Los Angeles, California
  • Graduation Rate: 91%

The University of California – Los Angeles is regarded as a leader in the social sciences, so it should be no surprise to see it on this list. UCLA’s history program offers students the opportunity to study abroad in numerous different countries. UCLA also has a leading graduate history program for students who want to continue their education.

Tuition per year: $13,240 in-state; $42,994 non-resident
Graduation rate: 91.4%
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11

Westfield State University

  • Westfield, Massachusetts
  • Graduation Rate: 66%

Westfield State University may be one of the lesser-known schools on this list, but it has a top-notch history program. Students have the opportunity to intern at the Historical Journal of Massachutsetts. The history program also offers a teaching-focused track that leads to a state license.

Tuition per year: $10,849 in-state; $16,929 non-resident
Graduation rate: 65.8%
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12

Texas A&M University

  • College Station, Texas
  • Graduation Rate: 80%

Texas A&M University boasts the leading history program in Texas. Its undergraduate history program offers students the opportunity to present papers and receive research grants. Students also have opportunities to study abroad.

Tuition per year: $12,153 in-state; $31,602 non-resident
Graduation rate: 79.9%
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13

University of California

  • Berkeley, California
  • Graduation Rate: 92%

The University of California – Berkeley is one of the top public universities in the country, and its history department is highly rated. The undergraduate program requires students to choose from one of many specializations. Berkeley even has an undergraduate history journal so students can publish their original research.

Tuition per year: $14,253 in-state; $44,007 non-resident
Graduation rate: 91.9%
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14

University of California

  • Irvine, California
  • Graduation Rate: 87%

The University of California – Irvine is another leading California public university with a highly regarded history program. The program offers a track for students interested in a teaching career. Geographic areas of potential specialization include Asian, European, Latin American, Middle East and African, U.S. and world history.

Tuition per year: $13,727 in-state; $43,481 non-resident
Graduation rate: 87.2%
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15

University of California

  • San Diego, California
  • Graduation Rate: 87%

The University of California – San Diego has an affordable and high-quality Bachelor’s in History. This program offers geographic, thematic, and pre-professional areas of specialization. Each area offers students numerous concentrations to choose from.

Tuition per year: $14,415 in-state; $44,169 non-resident
Graduation rate: 87.2%
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16

University of California

  • Davis, California
  • Graduation Rate: 85%

The University of California – Davis may be one of the lesser-known California public universities, but it has a top-notch history program. UCD is known for being one of the leading universities for the study of the history of the American West. Both the graduate program and the undergraduate program are highly ranked.

Tuition per year: $14,495 in-state; $44,249 non-resident
Graduation rate: 84.6%
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17

University of California

  • Riverside, California
  • Graduation Rate: 73%

The University of California – Riverside is the last of the many California universities on this list, but it still has an excellent history program. UCR is also known for awarding students generous financial aid packages. If history majors plan to go on to teach, they are eligible for even more financial aid.

Tuition per year: $13,853 in-state; $43,607 non-resident
Graduation rate: 72.9%
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18

Ferris State University

  • Big Rapids, Michigan
  • Graduation Rate: 49%

Ferris State University features the leading history program in Michigan. The undergraduate history program gives students a well-rounded education in the field. They have the option to choose a specialization but are not required to do so.

Tuition per year: $12,068
Graduation rate: 49%
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19

University of Minnesota

  • Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Graduation Rate: 78%

The University of Minnesota offers an innovative undergraduate history program. Students have the opportunity to intern in 12 different research centers on campus. Numerous study abroad opportunities are also available.

Tuition per year: $15,027 in-state; $33,325 non-resident
Graduation rate: 78.4%
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20

Rutgers University

  • Camden, New Jersey
  • Graduation Rate: 78%

Two of Rutgers’ three campuses make this list, and the first is the Rutgers University – Camden. Its history program gives students a general history education. Students must complete both a history seminar and a history workshop to graduate.

Tuition per year: $15,264 in-state; $31,500 non-resident
Graduation rate: 77.6%
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21

University of Minnesota-Duluth

  • Duluth, Minnesota
  • Graduation Rate: 60%

The University of Minnesota – Duluth was just edged out by the University of Minnesota, but it still has an elite undergraduate history program. Students have the opportunity to work within the Northeast Minnesota Historical Center. They can even teach abroad in Russia, England, Ireland, Costa Rica, and Poland. The department is one of the few in the US to offer a Public History and Museum studies track option with a large array of internships in business and cultural institutions as part of the course.

Tuition per year: $13,680 in-state; $18,880 non-resident
Graduation rate: 59.6%
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22

University of Illinois

  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Graduation Rate: 58%

The University of Illinois – Chicago offers the leading history program in the state. Students have the opportunity to specialize in various geographic or historical areas. They also have numerous opportunities to study overseas.

Tuition per year: $13,874 in-state; $27,566 non-resident
Graduation rate: 57.9%
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23

Rutgers University

  • Newark, New Jersey
  • Graduation Rate: 66%

Rutgers University – Newark has a strong undergraduate history program. This program is aimed at providing students with a well-rounded general history education, although they can choose a specialization. Top students can even enroll in the accelerated B.A./M.A. program, which lets them earn their master’s degrees more quickly.

Tuition per year: $14,826 in-state; $31,608 non-resident
Graduation rate: 65.7%
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24

University of Massachusetts

  • Amherst, Massachusetts
  • Graduation Rate: 76%

The University of Massachusetts – Amherst is a top public university, and history is one of strongest areas. Students can specialize in American History, World History, History of Science, and more. Students can even study abroad at Oxford.

Tuition per year: $16,389 in-state; $35,710 non-resident
Graduation rate: 75.6%
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25

Wayne State University

  • Detroit, Michigan
  • Graduation Rate: 38%

Wayne State University may take the last spot on our list, but it still offers one of the best undergraduate history programs in Michigan. There are numerous areas of specialization for students to choose from. Wayne State also has a strong graduate program for students who want to further their education.

Tuition per year: $13,517 in-state; $28,887 non-resident
Graduation rate: 38.4%
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How These Programs Were Ranked

We ranked these programs using two factors. First, we looked at the tuition rate that each school charges per year. We only considered the in-state tuition rate, not the non-resident rate. Next, we looked at each school’s graduation rate. To find each school’s rating, we took the tuition rate and added a multiplier equivalent to the percentage of students who didn’t graduate. E.g. School #1 has a yearly tuition rate of $20,000 and a graduation rate of 80%. Their rating would be 24,000 (20,000 x 120%). The lower the rating, the better the school’s ranking on our list. This formula ensures that tuition is the most important factor when ranking these schools.

If you are an employee of one of the schools on this list and you want to ask a question or correct an error, feel free to contact us.

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BestValueSchools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
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