If you are an adult and are considering returning to school after having been away for a while, you are not alone. In fact, the National Center for Educational Statistics reports that between the years of 2000 and 2011, college-level enrollment of students older than 25 increased 41%.

While college can be expensive, returning to school to get an undergraduate degree in history does not have to be. There are plenty of schools that provide top quality history programs that are affordable and that can meet the needs typical of adults returning to school, such as online class availability, flexibility, and credit transfer options.

Here are a few schools you may want to consider as you search for the right history program. In addition to a great education and affordable prices, many of these schools give students the option of taking some or all classes online, which can be attractive to adults with real-world responsibilities and time constraints.

Excelsior College


As a private college composed mainly of part-time students, Excelsior College may be the ideal college for returning adults. You will have multiple options to choose from to complete a Bachelor of Arts in History, including online classes, credit transfers from universities, colleges, military training, and corporate programs. You may also be able to take advantage of lower rates if you or a spouse are active-duty militaries.

The college offers two undergraduate degree options for history majors:

  • Bachelor of Arts in History. This option requires that you earn at least 120 credits, which must include 90 credits from arts and sciences coursework and 30 credits from applied professional or arts and sciences coursework or a mixture of the two. There is a three-credit senior capstone course you must complete and that is included in the 33 credits that must be earned from history classes.
  • Bachelor of Science in History. This option requires a minimum of 120 credits, 60 of which should be in arts and sciences coursework and another 60 credits that are to be obtained through applied professional or arts and sciences coursework or a combination of both. You will be required to complete a three-credit senior capstone for this option as well.

According to its information page for the undergraduate history program, individuals who major in history at Excelsior College:

  • Should have a strong desire to learn history and historical subject matter
  • Typically transfer history credits that are earned at other institutions
  • Will learn how to effectively find, assess and process information
  • Will acquire valuable skills, such as professional writing, research, and critical thinking, that can benefit them on the job

University of Central Florida


One of the requirements to obtain a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Central Florida is to successfully complete 36 semester hours of history courses. The degree concentration includes:

•             Asian, African and Middle Eastern histories

•             Latin American history

•             The United States and Canadian histories

•             British and European histories

As an undergraduate history major, you are also required to take HIS 4959 during your final semester. The course provides no credit but is used to assist you with completing and turning in a portfolio necessary for graduation. The portfolio is used by the history department to evaluate the effectiveness of the program. The portfolio should contain 8 to 12 original, graded and written history coursework, including book reviews, essay exams, and research papers.

The university also offers the History B.A. and M.A. Accelerated Undergraduate-Graduate Program, which you can participate in if you qualify. It allows undergraduate majors with certain qualifications access to graduate-level classes that will be applied to their graduate degree while they are still pursuing their undergraduate degree. This means that you if you qualify and maintain a full-time course load, you could complete the classes necessary to earn both a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in History in five years rather than six years.

Texas A & M-Commerce


At this university, there are multiple tracks you can pursue to obtain either a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts in History. They include the option of studying history with a concentration in teaching certification, which may be ideal for you if you would like to teach middle school or high school. As an adult learner obtaining an undergraduate degree at Texas A & M-Commerce, the program’s 7-week courses and the online availability of classes are ideal. The undergraduate history degree options you have to choose from include:

  • Bachelor of Arts or Science in History
  • Bachelor of Arts or Science in History with an emphasis in History 8-12 Teaching Certification
  • Bachelor of Arts or Science in History with an emphasis in Social Studies 4-8 Teaching Certification
  • Bachelor of Arts or Science in History with an emphasis in Social Studies 7-12 Teaching Certification
  • History as a minor
  • History as a second major

Southern New Hampshire University Online


The tuition for the online degree programs offered by Southern New Hampshire University is considered to be the lowest in the country. The history program allows you to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in History from anywhere in the world. You will be able to:

  • Transfer up to 90 credits from another institution to be applied to your degree
  • Complete your degree at your own speed
  • Take classes from instructors who have professional credentials and real-world experience in the history field

The program provides a comprehensive examination of history, and it gives you the option of concentrating in American, European, Middle Eastern or military histories. You will also have your choice of a wide range of free or non-history electives that you can use to customize your degree to suit your interests and professional goals.

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