When it comes to popular online majors, the humanities have an advantage. As one of the oldest academic disciplines, the humanities explore what it means to be human. From literature to philosophy and art, the humanities ask big questions. And humanities majors gain in-demand skills like communication, critical thinking, and analytical reasoning.

With a humanities degree, graduates work in business, education, the public sector, and the nonprofit sector. Humanities majors become instructional designers, writers, public relations specialists, and teachers. Many graduates also pursue further education.

Many of the top online colleges offer humanities degrees. Our guide introduces the best online bachelor's in humanities to help prospective students find the right fit for their interests and professional goals.

What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Humanities Program?

A humanities degree explores the human experience. Humanities fields like history and literature help us make meaning of our lived experiences. Studying the humanities can build a strong appreciation for culture and critical analytical skills. Humanities majors also benefit from a course of study that emphasizes research, communication, and writing. These skills help humanities majors pursue careers in many industries.

Most humanities programs offer a bachelor of art (BA) degree. Degree-seekers typically complete a minimum of 120 credits. During a bachelor's program, learners take general education courses and at least one year of foreign language classes to earn a BA. Students typically complete a humanities degree in four years. Many programs also offer part-time tracks.

Popular humanities concentrations include:

Humanities disciplines require students to be curious. Majors also benefit from strong critical thinking and interpersonal skills. Finally, online programs require self-motivation and organizational skills.

An online bachelor's degree from an accredited institution can offer the same academic quality as an on-campus program. Learners complete coursework in a flexible, online format. Earning a bachelor's degree online appeals to students who prefer an accessible, convenient enrollment option.

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How Do I Know If an Online Program Is Popular?

Prospective students can find it challenging to research popular programs. What distinguishes popular programs? Look for indicators like the number of applicants, graduation rate, and job placements. These qualities also indicate a strong program. Reputable programs provide this information to prospective students.

You can also look for student testimonials to learn more about a program's popularity and the student experience. Social media can be a useful tool to find unsolicited testimonials. Sites like LinkedIn can also help you learn what graduates do after completing an online bachelor's in humanities program.

Popular Online Humanities Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

What Courses Will I Take in an Online Bachelor's in Humanities Program?

Introduction to Humanities

The humanities includes art, literature, religion, and other disciplines that examine the human experience. Learners explore the humanities and their core principles, including tools to critically examine culture.

Philophy and Ethical Reasoning

Philosophy examines key questions about humanity. In this course, students explore writings of moral philosophy that touch on ethical issues. The material addresses current ethical dilemmas using philosophical theories.

Art History

Art plays a key role in shaping culture. This course explores the visual arts and their evolution from the classical through modern periods. Students examine historical contexts and art styles to master visual literacy.

Shakespeare Studies

Learners examine William Shakespeare's works and place them in historical context. The course offers an interdisciplinary approach that includes textual criticism, cultural studies, and an examination of dramatic style. Primary sources include plays and sonnets.

Research Methods

Research methods courses emphasize qualitative and quantitative approaches. Learners also cover textual research, interpretive challenges, and the digital humanities. Courses may focus on a particular topic in order to explore humanities research methods.

Find the Tools You Need to Get Started on Your Degree

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What Are the Admission Requirements for an Online Bachelor's in Humanities Program?

Online bachelor's programs often ask applicants for official transcripts, standardized test scores, and other materials that demonstrate their academic strengths. In addition, programs often ask for essays and letters of recommendation. Some online programs conduct interviews during the admission process. Check with each program to learn more about their specific admission requirements.

Application

Prospective humanities majors submit an undergraduate application. Depending on the school, students may apply to the institution or to the specific program. On the application, candidates detail their educational and personal backgrounds. Applications often ask about work history, volunteer experience, academic achievements, and extracurriculars.

Test Scores

Many online colleges request college entrance exam scores. Applicants can either submit SAT or ACT scores to meet this requirement. Colleges may waive the test score requirement for transfer students. In addition, a growing number of schools have test-optional policies, allowing applicants to choose whether to provide test scores.

Letters of Recommendation

Most online colleges request 1-3 letters of recommendation. Applicants ask former instructors, counselors, mentors, or work supervisors to write these letters. In the letter, the writer assesses the applicant's strengths and weaknesses.

Essays

Prospective humanities majors submit college application essays, which demonstrate research, writing, and communication skills. Applicants may submit essays on a pre-selected topic or write a personal statement about their interest in the humanities and goals after graduating.

Official Transcripts

Online colleges also require prospective students to submit official transcripts during the admission process. These transcripts demonstrate an applicant's academic qualifications. Schools also use transcripts to award transfer credit. Applying transfer credits to a humanities degree can allow enrollees to complete their programs in less time.

What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Humanities Degree?

Career Outlook

With a bachelor's degree in humanities, professionals can work in diverse fields. The degree may lead to opportunities in education, public relations, publishing, or social services. As strong communicators, humanities majors can work as marketing professionals, editors, and technical writers. Their interdisciplinary and interpersonal skills also make humanities majors effective teachers. The degree also leads to opportunities in the nonprofit sector; graduates can work as fundraisers, coordinators, or event planners.

Like other popular college majors, the humanities builds transferable skills that appeal to employers in many industries. The critical thinking and research skills that a humanities degree program helps students build can serve professionals in the business or public sector.

The earning potential with a humanities degree varies widely depending on a person's job title and industry. Humanities majors can increase their earning potential with a graduate degree or professional certification.

See where a bachelor's in humanities can take you.

Learn More About Humanities Careers

Career Paths

Technical Writer

Technical writers communicate complex ideas to people without technical training. They write instruction manuals and how-to guides that teach customers to use products and systems. Technical writers also create technical documentation. The role requires strong research and communication skills, since technical writers must determine user needs and craft material that is instructive and clear.

Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $78,060

Writer

Writers create content for magazines, books, websites, and advertisements. They also work in the entertainment industry writing scripts for movies and television programs. Writers research subjects to craft fictional and nonfictional content. Some specialize in copywriting, blogging, content writing, and biographical writing. Writers work with editors to craft pieces for publication.

Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $69,510

Editor

Editors plan content for publication and work with writers to revise material. They specialize in areas like developmental editing, fact-checking, and executive editing. Editors revise text to improve clarity and follow style guidelines. From the assignment process through final edits, editors play a key role in publishing and content creation.

Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $63,350

High School Teacher

High school teachers educate young learners in diverse subjects like English, world languages, and social studies. They prepare students for college or the workforce. A humanities degree can prepare future high school teachers to educate younger learners in various subjects. High school teachers may also need to complete an educator preparation program to receive a teaching license.

Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $61,820

Public Relations Specialist

Public relations specialists represent individuals and organizations. They manage their clients' public images by creating media releases, press releases, and speeches. Public relations specialists also increase public awareness of their clients' goals through media interactions and promotional programs. By crafting a strong public image, they help clients communicate and maintain a public identity.

Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $62,800

Humanities Not For You? Check Out These Related Careers.

Art History Career Teaching Careers Journalism Careers

Continuing Education

A bachelor's degree program in humanities can help students build strong communication, reasoning, and critical thinking skills. With a humanities degree, many graduates pursue further education. For example, a humanities major may prepare learners for law school or other professional programs. Graduates can also apply to master's programs in diverse humanities fields, including philosophy, English, and religious studies.

After completing a bachelor's degree, humanities majors can also consider professional certification in their field. Voluntary certification in technical writing or copy editing can help professionals showcase their skills. Work experience can help humanities majors choose their next educational and career steps.

Should I Choose a Popular Online Bachelor's in Humanities Program?

Popular humanities programs offer several benefits — they generally offer a variety of course options, including electives and minors to focus the degree, and graduates can take advantage of strong name recognition.

However, popularity is not the only factor to consider when selecting an online program. Students should also find a program that fits their budget, schedule, and unique needs.

Additional Program Factors to Consider

Cost

The cost of a bachelor's in humanities degree varies depending on the program. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), students at four-year institutions paid between $9,349 and $32,769 in tuition and fees in 2019-2020. Choosing a public university where you are charged in-state tuition can reduce the cost of tuition.

When comparing costs, online programs can potentially save students money. Prospective applicants should research the true program cost rather than merely looking at tuition rates.

Program Format

Online bachelor's programs use several program formats. Students can enroll part time or full time. Many programs offer accelerated bachelor's degrees. Distance learners can also choose from synchronous and asynchronous formats. Many prefer the flexibility of asynchronous programs, which do not require meetings at set times.

Location

When researching on-campus and online programs, prospective online students should still consider program location. Online students may benefit from a local option, which might offer tuition discounts or more networking opportunities.

Accreditation

Online learners should always choose an accredited college. Accredited institutions meet high standards for academic excellence and ensure your degree will be recognized by employers. Credits earned at an accredited school will more likely transfer to other institutions. In addition, learners at accredited schools qualify for federal financial aid programs.

Student Support

Online learners benefit from strong student services support. But what is student services? These include online tutoring, academic advising, and career counseling. Distance learners can also ask about mentorship programs and internship opportunities. Student services can make the difference between earning a degree or leaving before graduation.

Most Popular Accredited Online Bachelor's in Humanities Programs

Rankings compiled by the the BestColleges Ranking Team

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How We Rank Schools

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you can make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering transparent, inclusive, and relevant school rankings.

The school programs listed in this ranking were selected due to their popularity among students — identified by the percentage of applicants who enrolled at a school after being offered admission. These programs were then ranked based on their overall academic quality and online offerings. To learn more about our different rankings, read our ranking methodology.

#1

Campbellsville University

School Information
Location Campbellsville, Kentucky
Admission Rate 70%
Graduation Rate 36%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 77% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $410
Out of State | $410

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

A private college based in Campbellsville, Kentucky, CU offers one of the state's most popular humanities programs. The school's BS in liberal arts and sciences offers a broad education that emphasizes critical thinking and communication. Candidates can choose from several concentration options, including history, political science, and sociology.

Applicants must hold at least a high school diploma or GED certificate. CU also accepts transfer applicants. Students can transfer up to 72 credits toward their bachelor's degree.

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#2

Liberty University

School Information
Location Lynchburg, Virginia
Admission Rate 51%
Graduation Rate 47%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 92% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $390 - $455
Out of State | $390 - $455

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program |No
Program Accreditation | N/A

One of the country's largest evangelical colleges, Liberty offers several popular online humanities programs to students across the country. The school's BS in history examines varied perspectives on global history, framed in a Christian perspective. The program builds broad skills in research, critical analysis, and communication.

Program applicants must hold a high school diploma with a minimum 2.0 GPA. Liberty may admit students with a GPA below 2.0 on a conditional basis.

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#3

Framingham State University

School Information
Location Framingham, Massachusetts
Admission Rate 74%
Graduation Rate 61%
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 35% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Course
In State | $162
Out of State | $1,175

Credits to Graduate
128

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

A public college based in Massachusetts, FSU offers a top humanities program. The BA in liberal studies offers flexibility for students, letting them design a specialized major. Degree candidates can also combine areas of study to create an interdisciplinary major.

Program applicants must submit high school or college transcripts. Applicants may also need to submit SAT or ACT scores if applicable to their program of study.

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#4

Southern Illinois University-Carbondale

School Information
Location Carbondale, Illinois
Admission Rate 66%
Graduation Rate 48%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 38% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $322
Out of State | $322

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

One of Illinois' major public colleges, SIU offers a fully online humanities program. The BA or BS in university studies allows students to build their own major, drawing on courses in several academic disciplines. The program can prepare candidates for various career or academic paths.

Online applicants must hold a high school diploma. Candidates with a GPA below 2.75 may be required to submit SAT or ACT scores.

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#5

Bay Path University

School Information
Location Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Admission Rate 72%
Graduation Rate 54%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 62% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $410
Out of State | $410

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

Based in Longmeadow, Massachusetts, Bay Path hosts one of the state's most popular online humanities programs. The BA in liberal studies enrolls only women and offers a broad curriculum in history, English, and social sciences. Candidates also complete courses focused on female leadership.

Applicants must submit high school transcripts or proof of GED certificate. All applicants must also complete a phone interview.

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#6

Oregon State University

School Information
Location Corvallis, Oregon
Admission Rate 82%
Graduation Rate 67%
Accreditation Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Percent Online Enrollment 47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $346
Out of State | $346

Credits to Graduate
180 quarter credits

Program Information
Degree Completion Program No
Program Accreditation | N/A

One of Oregon's major public colleges, OSU ranks among the top online liberal arts colleges. The school offers an online BA or BS in history, training students to interpret and analyze historical events. The program enrolls online learners from around the country.

Bachelor's program applicants should hold a high school diploma or GED certificate. OSU recommends a minimum 3.0 GPA, but also gives weight to admissions essays and personal statements.

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#7

Maryville University of Saint Louis

School Information
Location Saint Louis, Missouri
Admission Rate 83%
Graduation Rate 71%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 76% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $500
Out of State | $500

Credits to Graduate
128

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

A private college in Saint Louis, Missouri, Maryville offers top-rated humanities programs. The school's online BA in English builds broad skills in reading, writing, and critical analysis, preparing students for many academic and professional paths. The curriculum emphasizes projects and research, including a professional internship.

Applicants must hold a GED certificate or high school diploma with a minimum 2.5 GPA. The school may consider candidates with a GPA below 2.5 for conditional admission.

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#8

Westfield State University

School Information
Location Westfield, Massachusetts
Admission Rate 87%
Graduation Rate 61%
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 41% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $340
Out of State | $340

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | Yes
Program Accreditation | N/A

A Massachusetts public college, Westfield hosts online BA degrees in liberal studies. This interdisciplinary degree lets students choose courses from three approved concentration areas. Candidates consult with faculty advisors to combine different disciplines to create their major.

This bachelor's in humanities is a degree completion program, and candidates must hold either an associate degree or at least 60 credits of undergraduate coursework. Westfield also participates in the Mass transfer compact.

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#9

University of Louisiana at Monroe

School Information
Location Monroe, Louisiana
Admission Rate 80%
Graduation Rate 47%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 43% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $400
Out of State | $400

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

A public Louisiana college, ULM offers some of the state's most popular humanities degrees. The school's fully online BA in history highlights historical research, analysis, and writing. Students gain a broad arts and science education and a deeper understanding of U.S. and world history.

Online applicants must hold at least a high school diploma or GED certificate. Transfer applicants must hold credits in college-level English or math with at least a 2.0 GPA.

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#10

University of Illinois at Springfield

School Information
Location Springfield, Illinois
Admission Rate 77%
Graduation Rate 54%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 70% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $367
Out of State | $367

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | Yes
Program Accreditation | N/A

A major Illinois public college, UIS offers a BA in liberal studies that lets students design their own major. Degree candidates design their course of study with the help of advisors and faculty. Students can combine multiple disciplines or choose an overall theme for their degree, such international studies.

Applicants must hold at least 30 undergraduate credits before transferring into the online bachelor's in humanities program. Online learners must complete two first-year composition courses before enrolling in liberal studies major.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Popular Humanities Programs

Are popular online bachelor's programs more difficult to get into? true

Gaining admission to a popular program can be more challenging. If a high number of candidates submit applications, the program may need to limit enrollment. However, many popular programs operate at schools with extensive online offerings. That can mean the school admits a high number of distance learners.

When researching programs, it's a good idea to ask about the online admission rate and the number of online enrollees. Applicants can use this information to categorize programs and apply to a mix of safety, match, and reach programs.

What are the most popular college majors? true

According to 2019-2020 data from the NCES, the most popular online majors include programs in business, healthcare, and social sciences. Other popular majors include engineering, psychology, the biological sciences, and computer and information sciences.

Humanities programs that rank highly include communication, history, and journalism. Related fields like the visual arts also have high enrollment rates. Prospective students can contact specific schools to ask about their most popular majors.

How should I choose an online degree program? true

Prospective applicants should consider several factors when choosing a college. Many rank cost among the most important factors. In addition to tuition, consider fees, books, and other degree-related costs. Other factors include the program format and course schedule. Those with prior college experience should consider applying to programs with generous transfer credit policies.

Many distance learners also want a program with strong student services. Academic advising, online tutoring, and career counseling can all help students reach their academic and professional goals. Finally, research the school's admission rate, graduation rate, and post-degree median earnings to find a program that offers a good return on investment.

Are the most popular online programs also the highest quality?

Popularity and quality often overlap. Programs become popular because students report on their experience in the program and their successes after graduation. However, prospective applicants should not assume that popularity automatically means a quality program. Instead, research the program. Learn about its retention rate and graduation rate. Ask about job placements for recent graduates. Look into six-year post-college earnings data for the school.

Reputable colleges make this information public. Tools like College Scorecard can help applicants learn more about popular online schools and make an informed decision.

What jobs can I get with an online bachelor's in humanities?

Humanities majors work in diverse fields, including business, education, and government. Common career paths with a humanities degree include roles in public relations, writing and editing, communications, and teaching. A humanities degree can also prepare majors for graduate programs in the humanities or professional fields like law.

Humanities majors can take several steps while in college to improve their job prospects. First, work with the career services office to identify job opportunities and improve your resume. Second, consider an internship to gain hands-on experience. Finally, participate in mock interviews and networking events. These steps can help recent college graduates find a job.

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