20 Best Online Humanities Degrees for 2020

If you love the liberal arts but aren’t sure which field to dive into, consider getting a bachelor’s in humanities degree.

This degree allows you to keep your focus on the liberal arts but doesn’t require you to narrow your interests to a single subject or craft. It’s a versatile degree choice for people who like to keep their options open while avoiding careers more laden with mathematical and scientific requirements.

What is a Humanities Degree?

A bachelor’s degree in the humanities emphasizes your interest in the broader aspects of the English language, literature, and the human condition. Rather than focusing purely on the English language and its application for writing construction, a humanities degree draws its focus from many aspects of liberal arts. Different universities may study different variations or concentrations in the humanities, which are often defined as the stories and arts produced by cultures all over the world.

A bachelor’s degree in the humanities is a great choice if you enjoy many aspects of liberal arts but don’t want to narrow your career field down to a single occupation. A degree in the humanities can allow you to become many things, ranging from an artist to a teacher to a social worker.

Above all, a degree in the humanities emphasizes understanding humanity in our art and our cultures across the world.

How Much Can You Earn with a Humanities Degree?

Because a bachelor’s in humanities degree can lead you down so many different career paths, there isn’t a single salary range that you can expect to earn after you graduate. Instead, your salary will be determined by the exact career you choose and how well you leverage your college experience and connections.

Still, you can look at some of the most common occupations for those with humanities degrees and see what they are to get an estimate of your own potential salary. Writers and authors have a median pay of about $62,170 per year, according to the BLS. Teachers at the high school level have a median pay of $60,320 per year. Social workers typically make $49,470 per year, and those in the media and communication occupations can earn salaries between $30,000 and $70,000 depending on their exact position.

What is Required for a Humanities Degree?

To earn a bachelor’s degree in the humanities, you’ll need to take courses across a broad range of liberal arts subjects, in addition to more generalized education classes. While pursuing your degree, you’ll frequently take classes focusing on:

  • English
  • Writing
  • Communications
  • Sociology
  • Art
  • Psychology
  • History
  • Alternative Languages

Because there is no single definition of what constitutes a humanities degree, the exact requirements for your degree program will be determined by your university. Most of the time, a lot of reading and writing is needed to fulfill the class requirements for any given program.

What Are the Best Humanities Degrees?

OSR uses six data points: three school-wide and three program specific. For school-wide, OSR uses Student Satisfaction, Admission Rates, and the number of programs the school offers online. For program-specific, OSR checks the Median Debt of graduates from that program, how many degrees are offered within that program’s umbrella department, and what percentage of students at that school graduated from that department.

The six statistics are displayed by each school. The sliding bar under each statistic represents how that school compares to other US institutions. “Not reported” means a school did not release that information to the US Department of Education. A more detailed description of the OSR process can be found on the methodology page.

  1. Excelsior College

    Quick Facts

    • Lets you transfer up to 113 credits
    • Awards credit for military training
    • 120 credit hours required

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction67%
    Admission RateNot Reported
    Programs offered online51

    Program Level

    Median Debt$10,806
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School37.30%
    100%
    OSR Score

    This fully online degree emphasizes critical thinking and communication. It allows you to focus on two “depth subjects” to display on your degree. This is a great program for those who prefer some liberal arts subjects more than others but don’t want to specialize in a single subject.

  2. University of Maryland-University College

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $6,936(in state) / $11,976(out of state)
    • 120 credit hours required
    • Studies multiple subjects, no focus
    • $75 application fee

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction73%
    Admission RateNot Reported
    Programs offered online31

    Program Level

    Median Debt$25,483
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School19.99%
    79%
    OSR Score

    This university’s program offers an interdisciplinary curriculum. It has you complete a project in which you study a sculpture, cultural issue, or other major liberal arts focus to demonstrate your expertise. The requirements for this project are varied, so you’ll be able to find something you enjoy no matter what.

  3. Antioch University Online

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $12,600(in state) / $12,600(out of state)
    • 120 credit hours
    • 15 credits must be in a single focus area
    • No application fee

    School Wide

    Student SatisfactionNot Reported
    Admission RateNot Reported
    Programs offered online5

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department3
    Popularity at SchoolNot Reported
    78%
    OSR Score

    Antioch offers a bachelor’s degree in the liberal arts with an individual focus, allowing you to spread your interests across all the humanities. It also offers up to eight different concentrations, so you can emphasize a focus that you find interesting. It requires a completed senior project for graduation.

  4. Granite State College

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $7,368(in state) / $8,280(out of state)
    • 120 credit hours
    • Must demonstrate a major proposal to a committee
    • No application fee

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction59%
    Admission RateNot Reported
    Programs offered online32

    Program Level

    Median Debt$24,388
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School14.39%
    78%
    OSR Score

    This liberal arts program serves as a foundational degree for students proceeding toward more specialized master’s degrees, but it serves just as well as an endpoint degree for students with an interest in the humanities. You’ll be able to pick a concentration from a list. You can also convert prior work or military experience for credits.

  5. Northern Arizona University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $9,366(in state) / $16,006(out of state)
    • 120 credit hours
    • Capstone course requires writing a paper synthesizing your experience
    • $25 application fee

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction74%
    Admission Rate81%
    Programs offered online26

    Program Level

    Median Debt$17,418
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School10.56%
    77%
    OSR Score

    This is an interdisciplinary studies degree that can prepare you for a multitude of careers with an emphasis on the humanities. It does require a capstone project to qualify for graduation. It offers several specializations to pursue to demonstrate your interest in a narrower field.

  6. Brandman University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $12,000(in state) / $12,000(out of state)
    • 120 credit hours
    • Awards credits for active former military
    • No application fee

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction72%
    Admission Rate68%
    Programs offered online14

    Program Level

    Median Debt$26,200
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School18.76%
    75%
    OSR Score

    This curriculum goes into ethical humanities topics revolving around culture, technology, media, and other art. It offers multiple start dates, see you can jump in whenever is convenient for you. It also allows a minor concentration in humanities, English, philosophy, history, or liberal studies.

  7. Holy Apostles College and Seminary

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $7,680(in state) / $7,680(out of state)
    • 120 credit hours
    • Only allow 60 credits to transfer
    • $50 application fee

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction77%
    Admission RateNot Reported
    Programs offered online4

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School24.00%
    75%
    OSR Score

    This online degree program can be theoretically completed in as little as 2.6 years, provided you take a full course load every semester. The university also offers a double major option if you would like to diversify your degree’s value. This university is a fully Catholic school, so much of its curriculum reflects this religious focus.

  8. Prescott College

    20-Year ROI
    $650,436

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $28,896(in state) / $28,896(out of state)
    • 120 credit hours
    • 2 start dates
    • No application fee

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction85%
    Admission Rate95%
    Programs offered online36

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School7.83%
    72%
    OSR Score

    Prescott’s online programs all have small class sizes. You can design an individual track to graduation by working with an advisor. This program also offers two concentrations in either creative writing and literature or studio arts.

  9. Indiana University-East

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $6,601(in state) / $18,432(out of state)
    • 120 credit hours
    • Only 18 credits are taken from humanities concentration
    • $25 application fee

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction80%
    Admission Rate70%
    Programs offered online11

    Program Level

    Median Debt$23,170
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School13.49%
    67%
    OSR Score

    This university does not offer a humanities degree but instead allows you to pursue a General Studies degree with an emphasis on the humanities. You’ll be able to choose courses from a wide variety of subjects. This program can be valuable for those who don’t have a clear direction in terms of career after graduation.

  10. Wichita State University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $6,545(in state) / $15,503(out of state)
    • Has co-op and internship opportunities
    • 120 credit hours
    • $25 application fee

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction75%
    Admission Rate94%
    Programs offered online15

    Program Level

    Median Debt$25,592
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School10.43%
    67%
    OSR Score

    This bachelor’s degree program is another Gen. Studies program allows you to specialize in the humanities. The program comes with an applied learning or research experience. Wichita State’s humanities emphases are aging studies, ethnic studies, geography, religion, and German.

  11. Missouri Baptist University

    20-Year ROI
    $703,634

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $24,764(in state) / $24,764(out of state)
    • Allows you to transfer up to 96 credits
    • Has an accelerated track to let you graduate earlier
    • 120 credit hours

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction72%
    Admission Rate55%
    Programs offered online10

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School1.43%
    64%
    OSR Score

    This program comes from a Christian college, so it has a religious focus in most of its humanities coursework. It’s a bachelor’s degree in the liberal arts rather than humanities, but its curriculum is identical to most other programs. It offers multiple start dates to let you jump in whenever it’s convenient.

  12. Western Illinois University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $8,630(in state) / $8,630(out of state)
    • Lots of scholarship options
    • 120 semester hours
    • $30 application fee

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction74%
    Admission Rate60%
    Programs offered online3

    Program Level

    Median Debt$24,901
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School10.87%
    62%
    OSR Score

    This degree program allows you to personalize your course of study in consultation with your advisor. It’s a General Studies program that lets you specialize in the humanities, although an emphasis is not strictly required for graduation. This university also allows you to transfer up to 30 credits toward your degree based on your prior work experience.

  13. Crown College

    20-Year ROI
    $690,437

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $24,980(in state) / $24,980(out of state)
    • 125-131 credit hours required
    • Offers financial aid to 98% of students
    • $45 application fee

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction70%
    Admission Rate51%
    Programs offered online10

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School5.31%
    60%
    OSR Score

    At Crown College, you can earn a liberal studies degree with an emphasis on Christian moral beliefs. It requires a portfolio project during a capstone course, although the details of this project are very flexible. You’ll also have an opportunity to choose a specialization if you prefer.

  14. The University of Texas of the Permian Basin

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $4,529(in state) / $5,369(out of state)
    • 120 credit hours
    • Must choose between 2 concentration areas
    • $40 application fee

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction75%
    Admission Rate89%
    Programs offered online11

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School1.21%
    60%
    OSR Score

    This online degree program is designed for those with an interdisciplinary interest in the liberal arts and humanities. Courses come in eight-week series, allowing you to jump in whenever it’s convenient. UT at Permian Basin’s tuition is also among the lowest in the state.

  15. Assumption College

    20-Year ROI
    $1,092,368

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $35,510(in state) / $35,510(out of state)
    • Has a Christian focus
    • School also offers several certificates
    • $50 application fee

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction74%
    Admission Rate79%
    Programs offered online5

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School< 1%
    60%
    OSR Score

    This Bachelor of Arts in Humanities degree allows you to concentrate in either English or History without requiring you to specialize. It offers a larger number of elective credits than most other programs: 63 in total. The program culminates in a multidisciplinary directed study capstone course.

  16. Missouri Southern State University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $5,501(in state) / $11,002(out of state)
    • 120 credit hours
    • Most hours are electives (77)
    • $30 application fee

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction75%
    Admission Rate95%
    Programs offered online6

    Program Level

    Median Debt$24,275
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School10.05%
    59%
    OSR Score

    Southern Missouri State University offers a Bachelor of General Studies online degree that allows you to emphasize your interest in the humanities. The curriculum is exactly the same as the one you would find on the school campus. You’ll be offered the choice to make your own study plan or work under a more structured, directed study plan.

  17. New England College

    20-Year ROI
    $742,476

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $23,599(in state) / $23,599(out of state)
    • No application fee
    • No standardized test scores required for admission
    • Offers credits for military service

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction76%
    Admission Rate100%
    Programs offered online14

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School< 1%
    59%
    OSR Score

    This B.A. in Humanities degree offers a multidisciplinary curriculum that allows you to study a wide variety of subjects. Each subject comes with an introductory course and several more in-depth courses so you can go as deep or shallow into a topic as you desire. There are seven start dates to choose from to allow for flexible studying.

  18. Washington State University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $9,530(in state) / $23,956(out of state)
    • 3 start dates for 3 semesters
    • 120 credit hours
    • $50 application fee

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction73%
    Admission Rate73%
    Programs offered online13

    Program Level

    Median Debt$21,544
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School1.81%
    59%
    OSR Score

    This online program offers courses across a wide range of subjects. It offers concentrations in 11 different subjects ranging from English to philosophy to anthropology. You can also select courses from multiple concentration areas if more than one interests you.

  19. Drexel University

    20-Year ROI
    $1,356,700

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $49,632(in state) / $49,632(out of state)
    • Classes divided into four 10-week quarters per year
    • 180 semester credits required
    • $50 application fee

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction71%
    Admission Rate79%
    Programs offered online14

    Program Level

    Median Debt$26,928
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School1.47%
    58%
    OSR Score

    This online bachelor’s program offers multiple application deadlines and start dates for those in need of some flexibility. The program awards a Bachelor of Science in General Studies degree that lets you specialize in “Individualized Studies,” meaning you can carve your own study plan out of the school catalog. It’s one of the most flexible degree options available.

  20. Campbell University

    20-Year ROI
    $906,959

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $29,900(in state) / $29,900(out of state)
    • 124 credit hours
    • 8-week courses
    • $35 application fee

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction74%
    Admission Rate81%
    Programs offered online15

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School< 1%
    57%
    OSR Score

    Campbell’s 100 percent online degree program emphasizes a Christian worldview in relation to common humanities subjects. You are required to take a liberal arts capstone at the end of the program that demonstrates what you’ve learned. Campbell allows for 64 semester hours to be transferred from another university and some military service to count as credit, as well.