Graduate Certificate Programs in History

Oct 20, 2021

Graduate certificates in history are offered at many schools throughout the country. There are numerous ways a student can focus his or her study of history to gain this certificate.

Graduate Certificate in History Programs Focus Areas of Study

Students are encouraged to find his or her own particular niche when studying history, due to the vastness of the subject. Below are some ways that 12-18 credit history certificate programs often break down and delineate areas of study, whether it be by period, location, or subject matter.


Many choose to pursue a graduate certificate in history in order to augment their teaching at the high school or lower collegiate level. Therefore, many programs require at least one course in pedagogy or how to teach history. Some are geared toward language acquisition or social studies teachers. Students can expect teaching theory and concepts to be covered in these courses, as well as practical studies and exercises.

Geographic History

History classes for a graduate certificate can focus on a specific region of the world. Common courses of study might be African, Latin American, or European history. These classes may focus on specific time periods in these areas of the world or go over a broad history of each place. Classes may even focus on the history of a particular state.

Specific Subjects

There are a vast number of ways history can be studied, or lenses through which students can look at history. Focusing on a particular avenue of study can help students gain a more thorough understanding of a specific subject. Examples of coursework could include the history of digital or technological studies and studies examining human rights and slavery. These subjects can be isolated to a particular era, ethnographic group, or location, or they can be considered across a broader intellectual space.

Specific Time Periods

Focusing on a particular era or span of years can also help students focus their studies. Some scholars may prefer to focus on Modern European history or the time period from Colonization to the American Revolution, for example. Some might focus on America before 1877 or after 1877. The Medieval era is also popular for students to select as a field of study.

Archaeology Based

These courses focus on the mechanics of history or how history is discovered by scholars. Courses may give a broad overview of archaeological concepts while others may delve into more specific areas, such as how to run a dig site or how to handle artifacts. Courses may cover how to document digs, how to transport artifacts, or how to date archaeological finds. Students may be instructed in recognizing the significance of archaeological finds.

Program Admittance Requirements for a Graduate Certificate in History

An undergraduate degree in history, social studies, or education is either strongly preferred or required for many graduate certificate programs in history. Transcripts will be requested with applications. Other necessary documents may include letters of recommendation, resumes or curricula vitae, and personal statements. Universities will want to know why a student wishes to engage in a graduate certificate history program, and applicants must be able to clearly articulate their goals in going through the program.

There are many opportunities for those wishing to gain a 12-18 credit graduate level certificate in history. With the vast amount of material to study available, students may focus on a certain time period, historical topic, or a more general program.

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