Best Global Universities for History in 2022-2023

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Best History Universities and Programs in the World

About History

History is a branch of social science that studies and documents past events relating to a specific person or time period. It is an academic subject that is taught throughout primary and secondary schools to gain an understanding of all the events and processes of the past that have contributed to the making of the present society. The experts in this field called historians specialize in the knowledge of the past using historical sources such as written documents, art, and material artifacts. 

Students that are interested in understanding historical events and can devote years to learning and researching should consider this profession as a viable career option. This article is a valuable resource for anyone interested in pursuing a career in history; it also includes a list of the world’s best history universities to assist students in selecting the best of the best. 

Duties of Historians

Historians gather information from a range of sources, including government records, photographs, newspapers, books, interviews, videos, etc. They even collect information from primary source documents and unpublished manuscripts such as personal diaries, letters, and other. Historians often do the following duties, though their work varies depending on their specialization:

  • Collect historical information from a variety of sources, such as newspapers, books, and artifacts
  • Determine the legitimacy and value of historical data by analyzing and interpreting it
  • Conserve materials and objects in museums, visitor centers, and historic sites
  • Provide historical advice and recommendations on how to preserve historical artifacts
  • Use educational activities and seminars to engage the audience
  • Supervise and train assistant and junior historians 
  • Stay updated with the latest happenings in the field
  • Produce their findings in the form of reports, articles, and books

Popular degrees for pursuing a career in History

A bachelor’s degree in history is the first of the several educations paths to enter the field of history. Since history is a highly competitive field, especially for government job levels, a bachelor’s degree is not enough. Students should also consider doing a specialization in the field to gain a master’s degree and a doctoral degree. 

Best History bachelor’s programs

  • Bachelor in History
  • Bachelor in Italian Medieval and Renaissance Studies
  • B.A. in History and Sociology
  • B.A. in History and American Studies
  • Bachelors in International History
  • Bachelors in Egyptology
  • B.A. in Historical Studies

Best History master’s programs

  • M.A. in History
  • Master in History with a specialisation in Global History and International Relations
  • MA in Modern History and International Relations 
  • Master of Science in Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance Studies
  • MA Modern German and European Studies
  • Master of Arts in History and Culture
  • Master in in Environment, Heritage and Policy

Best History Ph.D. programs

  • Ph.D. in History
  • Ph.D. in Art, Cultural and Intellectual History
  • Ph.D. in Economic and Social History
  • Ph.D. in History and Theory of Arts
  • Ph.D. in Philosophy and History of Science

Specializations in History

National and local governments attract a lot of history graduates, particularly for the civil services. Since the competition for jobs in national and local government is fierce, students typically obtain a master’s degree followed by a Ph.D. to improve their chances of landing a job. The following sub-fields are available for specialization in history.

  • Ancient history
  • Modern history 
  • Applied history
  • History of different nations
  • Renaissance history
  • Public history
  • Medieval history
  • Women’s history
  • Indigenous history
  • Environmental history
  • Economic history
  • Political history
  • Social history
  • Art history
  • History of science and medicine

Duration of programs in History

In the USA and Canada, a bachelor’s degree in history can take four years, although, in the UK, Australia, and other regions, it can take three to four years. A graduate degree in history might take anything from one to two years to complete. For research and academic roles, terminal degrees such as a Ph.D. are sometimes required. A full-time Ph.D. in history or related fields usually takes three to six years to complete.

Country Bachelor’s Degree Master’s Degree Doctoral Degree
USA and Canada 4 years 2 years 3-5 years
UK 3-4 years 1-2 years 3-5 years
Australia 3-4 years 1-2 years 3-6 years
Others 3-4 years 1-2 years 3-6 years

Career opportunities in History

Although there are a few students who take up a degree in history, it comes with great applicability. A history degree provides transferable skills that can be applied to a wide range of careers such as law, museum, media, journalism, teaching, librarianship, history expert, and so on. The following are some typical career options for history graduates:

  • Historians
  • Archaeologist
  • Museum curator
  • Archivists
  • Consultant 
  • Professor
  • Academic researcher
  • Conservation officer
  • Academic librarian
  • Journalist
  • Lawyer

Average salaries for Historians

Although historians do not make a lot of money, they do make more than the average salaries. Salaries for entry-level positions like assistant and junior historians are low at first, but they grow with experience. Because employers in the field favor applicants with graduate and doctoral degrees, students should consider pursuing these specialized degrees to advance their careers.

Country Average salary in USD*/year
USA 69,683 (Indeed)
UK 51,448 (Indeed)
Canada  60,149 (Indeed)
Australia 74,686 (Indeed)

*Note: All prices mentioned in the USD are for reference only. Exchange rates may vary from time to time and from country to country.

Top 50 universities in the world for History based on academic rankings

QS Ranking Shanghai Ranking THE Ranking University Country Bachelor’s Programs Master’s Programs
2 7 1 University of Oxford UK Click Here Click Here
3 2 4 Stanford University USA Click Here Click Here
3 3 5 University of Cambridge UK Click Here Click Here
5 1 2 Harvard University USA Click Here Click Here
8 17 18 UCL UK Click Here Click Here
10 10 10 University of Chicago USA Click Here Click Here
13 15 13 University of Pennsylvania USA Click Here Click Here
14 11 9 Yale University USA Click Here Click Here
16 38 30 The University of Edinburgh UK Click Here Click Here
18 45 16 Peking University China Click Here Click Here
19 8 11 Columbia University USA Click Here Click Here
20 6 7 Princeton University USA Click Here Click Here
21 12 22 Cornell University USA Click Here Click Here
22 101-150 30 The University of Hong Kong Hong Kong Click Here Click Here
23 26 24 University of Michigan-Ann Arbor USA Click Here Click Here
23 24 35 The University of Tokyo Japan Click Here Click Here
25 16 13 Johns Hopkins University USA Click Here Click Here
26 22 18 University of Toronto Canada Click Here Click Here
27 35 50 The University of Manchester UK Click Here Click Here
27 67 44 McGill University Canada Click Here Click Here
27 76 54 The Australian National University Australia Click Here Click Here
32 5 8 University of California, Berkeley USA Click Here Click Here
33 37 61 Kyoto University Japan Click Here Click Here
35 47 35 King’s College London UK Click Here Click Here
37 33 33 The University of Melbourne Australia Click Here Click Here
38 69 58 The University of Sydney Australia Click Here Click Here
40 14 20 University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) USA Click Here Click Here
42 27 26 New York University (NYU) USA Click Here Click Here
42 27 26 York University Canada Click Here Click Here
46 42 37 University of British Columbia Canada Click Here Click Here
47 51 54 The University of Queensland Australia Click Here Click Here
49 151-200 27 The London School of Economics and Political Science UK Click Here Click Here
52 32 23 Duke University USA Click Here Click Here
55 101-150 65 University of Amsterdam Netherlands Click Here Click Here
58 80 57 Monash University Australia Click Here Click Here
61 101-150 78 The University of Warwick UK Click Here Click Here
63 57 42 Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg Germany Click Here Click Here
64 48 32 Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München Germany Click Here Click Here
70 87 42 KU Leuven Belgium Click Here Click Here
72 35 88 Sorbonne University France Click Here Click Here
75 31 58 University of Wisconsin-Madison USA Click Here Click Here
82 301-400 162 Durham University UK Click Here Click Here
87 151-200 116 Lund University Sweden Click Here Click Here
91 301-400 201-250 University of St Andrews UK Click Here Click Here
126 101-150 125 University of Alberta Canada Click Here Click Here
127 NA 83 Freie Universitaet Berlin Germany Click Here Click Here
128 NA 74 Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin Germany Click Here Click Here
149 151-200 143 University of Exeter UK Click Here Click Here
204 NA 119 University of Göttingen Germany Click Here Click Here
240 201-300 251-300 Queen’s University at Kingston Canada Click Here Click Here

Top universities in the USA for History

As per the US Bureau of National Statistics the job outlook for historians in the USA is expected to grow at the rate of five percent from 2020 to 2030 making it a good career to study in the USA. Many top universities in the USA offer bachelor’s, master’s, as well as doctoral programs in history. The undergraduate history programs in the USA last four years, while graduate history programs in the USA last one to two years. The table below offers a list of the top history schools in the USA, as ranked by ranking agencies, as well as the bachelor’s and master’s programs in history they offer. 

QS Ranking Shanghai Ranking THE Ranking University Country Bachelor’s Programs Master’s Programs
3 2 4 Stanford University USA Click Here Click Here
5 1 2 Harvard University USA Click Here Click Here
10 10 10 University of Chicago USA Click Here Click Here
13 15 13 University of Pennsylvania USA Click Here Click Here
14 11 9 Yale University USA Click Here Click Here

Top universities in the UK for History

Many aspiring history professionals and those in related fields choose to study in the UK at some of the world’s most prestigious institutions, such as the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, UCL, and so on. The universities in the UK are well known to offer a wide range of master’s specializations in history. The UK universities also offer bachelor’s degrees in history and relevant fields. 

QS Ranking Shanghai Ranking THE Ranking University Country Bachelor’s Programs Master’s Programs
2 7 1 University of Oxford UK Click Here Click Here
3 3 5 University of Cambridge UK Click Here Click Here
8 17 18 UCL UK Click Here Click Here
16 38 30 The University of Edinburgh UK Click Here Click Here
27 35 50 The University of Manchester UK Click Here Click Here

Top universities in Canada for History

Canadian institutions are well-known for providing fully-funded scholarships that can cover the cost of a student’s entire education. Therefore, Canada is the best place to study, especially for international students. Students can apply for scholarships at the University of Toronto, McGill University, the University of British Columbia, the University of Alberta, and other institutions that offer specialized master’s degree programs in history. They also offer several options for those interested in pursuing bachelor’s degrees in history.

QS Ranking Shanghai Ranking THE Ranking University Country Bachelor’s Programs Master’s Programs
26 22 18 University of Toronto Canada Click Here Click Here
27 67 44 McGill University Canada Click Here Click Here
42 27 26 York University Canada Click Here Click Here
46 42 37 University of British Columbia Canada Click Here Click Here
126 101-150 125 University of Alberta Canada Click Here Click Here

Top universities in Australia for History

Many international students prefer to study in Australia due to its long-standing history of welcoming international students. Also, it has one of the world’s greatest immigrant rates. The majority of master’s in history programs in Australia are focused on political, ancient, modern, and women’s history. There are B.A. and B.Sc. options available, with respect to the bachelor’s courses in history offered by Australian universities. The table below lists some of the best Australian colleges in history. 

QS Ranking Shanghai Ranking THE Ranking University Country Bachelor’s Programs Master’s Programs
27 76 54 The Australian National University Australia Click Here Click Here
37 33 33 The University of Melbourne Australia Click Here Click Here
38 69 58 The University of Sydney Australia Click Here Click Here
47 51 54 The University of Queensland Australia Click Here Click Here
58 80 57 Monash University Australia Click Here Click Here

Top universities in Germany for History

German universities are well-known for having better educational standards than the global average. As a result, students who choose to study in Germany can expect to receive an education that will benefit them in getting jobs worldwide. German universities offer varied options for specialized doctoral and master’s degrees in history. The following is a table containing a list of top universities in Germany offering the best of the best graduate and undergraduate degrees in history. 

QS Ranking Shanghai Ranking THE Ranking University Country Bachelor’s Programs Master’s Programs
63 57 42 Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg Germany Click Here Click Here
64 48 32 Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München Germany Click Here Click Here
127 NA 83 Freie Universitaet Berlin Germany Click Here Click Here
128 NA 74 Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin Germany Click Here Click Here
204 NA 119 University of Göttingen Germany Click Here Click Here

Academic requirements for studying History 

The study of history entails learning about past cultures, religions, governmental and political systems, art, and architecture. This necessitates much reading and research. Since competition to get admitted to top historical universities is high, students should consider getting voluntary work experience. Skills such as analytical, critical thinking, multi-language, and interpersonal skills can help make a motivational letter compelling to the admissions committees. The chances of getting selected at top universities are even higher if students consider going through international consulting agencies. To hasten their process, students can also apply via the Gyanberry website. The following are some admissions criteria as set forth by top universities in history education.

Bachelor’s level 

  • A high school education with a 3.0 GPA or above 
  • Academic transcripts
  • Valid passport
  • Personal statement 
  • Passport photographs
  • Completed visa application
  • Letter of recommendation
  • English proficiency test scores such as TOEFL (90 and above) or IELTS (6.0 and above)

Master’s level 

  • Internationally recognized bachelor’s degree in history or its relevant field with a GPA of 3.0 
  • Academic transcripts 
  • Valid passport
  • Passport photographs
  • Completed visa application
  • Motivational letter
  • Resume
  • Recommendation letters
  • Research publications
  • English language proficiency (TOEFL 90 or above and IELTS 6.0 and above)

Doctoral level 

  • Honours or master’s degree in history or related field with a GPA of at least 3.0
  • Academic transcripts 
  • Valid passport
  • Passport photographs
  • Completed visa application
  • Statement of purpose
  • Recommendation letters
  • Resume
  • Work experience (highly recommended) 
  • Research publications
  • Personal interview 
  • English language proficiency (TOEFL 90 or above and IELTS 6.0 and above)

*Note: All prices mentioned in the USD are for reference only. Exchange rates may vary from time to time and from country to country.

Frequently Asked Questions

History professionals typically find lucrative job opportunities in both the public and private sectors.

The USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, Japan, Sweden, and the Netherlands are some of the popular countries for studying history-related courses. 

As per the salary statistics by Indeed, Australia pays the highest salaries to historians, with an average salary of 74,686 USD/year, which is more than the USA and UK.

*Note: All prices mentioned in the USD are for reference only. Exchange rates may vary from time to time and from country to country.