COVID-19 Update: To help students through this crisis, The Princeton Review will continue our "Enroll with Confidence" refund policies. For full details, please click here.

We are experiencing sporadically slow performance in our online tools, which you may notice when working in your dashboard. Our team is fully engaged and actively working to improve your online experience. If you are experiencing a connectivity issue, we recommend you try again in 10-15 minutes. We will update this space when the issue is resolved.


In studying European History, you’ll obviously learn about Europe’s past, but you’ll also learn how it affects the rest of the world’s present. You will be equipped with an area of expertise in which to work “in the past” by getting into archaeology, say, or giving lectures at a European museum, or work “in the present,” by focusing on culture and sociological trends, perhaps working for a government agency or school as an ESL counselor. Whether you want to restore Louis V armoires or work in Human Relations for an international corporation, a degree in European History will serve you well.

While studying history, you might break up learning objectives in two ways: strategies in dealing with information and acquisition of knowledge in the content area (like a seminar on Martin Luther or British political culture). You’ll master the thinking verbs: interpret, critique, judge, compare, integrate, and analyze. Problem-solving skills, the ability to see patterns, and understanding meaning are essential skills that employers in any field look favorably upon.

Degree Information

A master’s degree in history can take anywhere from two to five years. Some programs emphasize research, while others simply require a certain amount of credit. Depending on the nature of the program, some kind of research project, dissertation, or extensive paper is typically required for graduation. A departmental exam may also be required. Many schools will require its graduate students to teach an undergraduate course or two before they graduate.

A Ph.D. is another option and is usually necessary if you plan to teach at the university level. Ph.D. programs typically require a written dissertation and oral defense though exact requirements will vary by school.

Joint degree programs, such as a J.D./M.A. (law degree and master’s degree), are yet another option, though they are not available at all schools.

Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing a Degree Program

  • Does the program have career-placement statistics? Do they offer career counseling?
  • What kinds of research options are available?
  • What specialties do the faculty have?
  • Are there quality courses offered beyond European history to round out your program?
  • Does the program offer any study abroad opportunities?

Career Overview

Today, people engage in business all across the world. Understanding peoples’ social and historical context will make for smoother connections, more trustfulness, and fairer dealings – but business is certainly not the only career field you may choose with your degree. Using your expertise in European history, you may wish to work in a museum, restore antiques and furniture, or teach in a variety of settings. Government agencies, libraries, and research departments have hired people with strong history backgrounds.

Career/Licensing Requirements

Teaching at a non-university level will require a state-certified licensure. Certain government jobs may require written tests or health exams.

Salary Information

Typical salaries start from $25,000 to $30,000. From there, it really depends on the job. Because the diversity of jobs a historian may have, the salary range is equally varied.

Related Links

Association of Living History
Has and excellent (and free!) job link. Varied positions for the historian are posted from all over the country.

National Register of Historic Places
Provides information on all nationally-registered properties. Learn where the history is and find out where the jobs are.

Society of Architectural Historians
Guide to study tours, awards and fellowships, and a link for "Graduate Student Corner." Site also links to state chapters for additional research.

Society of Historical Archaeology
Click on "futures" to read a great essay on why you should study historical archaeology. From there, you can click on links to many career opportunities and job links.


  • Men And Women In Medieval Cities

  • Aesthetics And Politics In Modern European History

  • Africa Under Colonial Rule

  • England’S Rise To Greatness: 1688 To 1789

  • Europe In 20Th Century

  • European Reformation Era: 1517 To 1648

  • Gender And History In 19Th-Century Britain

  • Germany And Russia: Together Again

  • Modern Germany: 1770 To 1918

  • The Holocaust

  • The West In Crisis: 1900 To 1945

  • Wars And International Settlements, 20Th Century