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History Lessons Online

Discover the fascinating world of history with a wide range of online classes available at CourseHorse. From ancient civilizations to modern events, learners can deepen their understanding and gain valuable insights into the past, empowering them with knowledge and a new perspective on the world.

8 classes have spots left

Reading the Iliad

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ Online Classroom

The Iliad stands at the start of most histories of western literature, even as it remains enduringly strange—often, it seems, at odds with the very tradition it has been taken to inaugurate.  In our course, we will attempt to recapture some of the strangeness and some of the continuing relevance of the Iliad. We will closely read and discuss the entirety of the poem, with especial attention to the following themes: the...

Wednesday Jan 31st, 6:30–9:30pm Eastern Time

 (4 sessions)


4 sessions

Make Money Pet Sitting

Mt. San Antonio College

Discover how to turn your love for animals, especially dogs, into a profitable side gig. This course teaches you the ins and outs of pet sitting, from caring for animals to offering additional services like dog walking and grooming. Don't miss out on this opportunity to learn from a seasoned professional pet sitter and entrepreneur.

Friday Mar 1st, 4–6pm Pacific Time

Expressive Writing for Emotional Healing

Infinity Foundation - Virtually Online

Explore the power of expressive writing to process difficult emotions and heal from your trauma. Discover how to effectively release and resolve troubling memories through the therapeutic use of language. Join this transformative course at Infinity Foundation.

Saturday Dec 9th, 9am–12pm Central Time

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Memoir 1: Memorable Memoir Workshop

Writing Pad

Turn your life's trials and tribulations into a captivating memoir with the guidance of Erika Schickel, LA Times bestselling author. Discover the secrets to infusing your memories with authenticity and creating a compelling emotional journey for your main character in this five-week online workshop. Unleash your writing potential and bring your story to life in this transformative course.

Saturday Jan 20th, 10am–1pm Pacific Time

 (5 sessions)


5 sessions

Modern Palestine: a Historical Introduction

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ Online Classroom

Perpetually in the news and commanding a tremendous amount of scholarly attention, Palestine remains a flashpoint in a number of contemporary debates: about war, colonization, and violence, religious and ethnic identity, nationalism and self-determination, modes of resistance, the role of international institutions, diasporic politics, academic freedom, and American foreign policy, among others. This course offers students an opportunity step back...

Sunday Jan 21st, 6:30–9:30pm Eastern Time

 (4 sessions)


4 sessions

Samir Amin: Dependency, Development, and the Making of the Global South

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ Online Classroom

Uncover the roots of global inequality and the mechanisms that perpetuate it in this thought-provoking course, exploring the groundbreaking theories of Marxist economist Samir Amin. Gain insight into the formation of dependency, underdevelopment, and super-exploitation, as well as the contemporary social systems that shape our world today. Join us as we delve into the complex dynamics of wealth and power in a post-colonial era.

Sunday Feb 11th, 2–5pm Eastern Time

 (4 sessions)


4 sessions

HypnoBirthing (Online)

Sakinah Birth @ Online Class

Discover the transformative power of HypnoBirthing - The Mongan Method and learn how to approach childbirth with calmness, joy, and confidence. This evidence-based program will teach you and your partner valuable techniques for a more comfortable and relaxed birthing experience, while also fostering a deep bond with your baby. Uncover the secrets of instinctive birthing with HypnoBirthing.

Saturday Dec 2nd, 11am–2pm Central Time

 (5 sessions)


5 sessions

A Ruthless Criticism of Everything Existing: An Introduction to Marx

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ Online Classroom

In the mid-nineteenth century, a young Karl Marx wrote, in the form of a published open letter to Arnold Ruge: “But if the designing of the future and the proclamation of ready-made solutions for all time is not our affair, then we realize all the more clearly what we have to accomplish in the present—I am speaking of a ruthless criticism of everything existing, ruthless in two senses: The criticism must not be afraid of its own conclusions,...

Thursday Feb 1st, 6:30–9:30pm Eastern Time

 (4 sessions)


4 sessions

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Philosophy of History

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ Online Classroom

Does history have a direction, a purpose, or an end goal? Can we deduce general historical patterns from studying the past? Is it naïve to hope and work for a better future? From the Enlightenment to the twenty-first century, liberal, Marxist, positivist, and post-structuralist thinkers have offered radically different responses to these fundamental questions related to the philosophy of history. This course will survey these attempts to grapple...

No upcoming schedules

4 sessions

The History of Photography

Los Angeles Center of Photography @ *Virtual Classroom

The Los Angeles Center of Photography is thrilled to produce an ongoing series on the history of photography. The series, typically offered the third Tuesday of each month, will be divided into the genres of photography. This year features lectures on notable Black and Women photographers in history, Street Photography, Still Life, Landscape and Documentary. Schedule: Tuesday, March 8, 5 pm, PST – Notable Black Photographers with Shawn Theodore...

No upcoming schedules

American Policing: History, Politics, and Society

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ Online Classroom

For many Americans the existence of the police may seem as inevitable as a law of nature. From popular culture to political stump speeches to the oft-invoked impulse to “Call 911,” the idea of public order is widely presented as unimaginable without the existence of police to enforce it. Without the police, this reasoning runs, society itself would cease to exist. But the institution that is American policing has not always existed, let alone...

No upcoming schedules

4 sessions

Infinity: History, Mathematics, Philosophy

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ Online Classroom

How can we, as finite beings, grasp the concept of infinity? Yet humans have been contemplating infinity for millennia, whether inspired by nature, philosophy, spirituality—or mathematics. This course is a historical and conceptual approach to the latter realm, the mathematics of infinity. Our topics will include the ancient Greeks’ discovery of irrational numbers and Zeno’s paradoxes; Aristotle’s distinction between “actual infinity”...

No upcoming schedules

4 sessions

History of Photography: Postmodernism

Chicago Botanic Garden @ Online via Zoom

The Chicago Botanic Garden’s online photography class is a virtual experience you can take anywhere!  Explore the history of postmodern photography, from the 1960s to the present. Start with pop art, assemblage, conceptual art, and the social landscape. Create photographs like the great masters of this period such as Andy Warhol, Syl Labrot, Gary Winogrand, Diane Arbus, Bruce Davidson, and others.  This class will be taught online...

No upcoming schedules

6 sessions

The Supreme Court: History, Politics & Minority Rule

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ Online Classroom

Relative to the enormous power it wields over American life, the article of the U.S. Constitution that creates the judicial branch is surprisingly brief: “The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.” From those 30 words has evolved an institution that, although unelected, has accrued decisive say over a wide spectrum of...

No upcoming schedules

4 sessions

Introduction to Gun Studies: History, Politics

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ Online Classroom

Full Course Name: Introduction to Gun Studies: History, Politics, and American Violence Few objects loom larger in American history, media, and politics than guns. Americans own more firearms than citizens of any other country on Earth. The United States is the largest manufacturer, importer, and exporter of guns on the planet. Alongside currency, guns are the only manufactured object mentioned in the U.S. Constitution; and the question and...

No upcoming schedules

4 sessions

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Discover the Best History Classes Online

No one has to stop learning after they graduate. Adults pursuing their GED or who want to learn more about a particular period in time have access to a wide range of history-based courses thanks to the proliferation of the Internet. Even students who want to access supplementary materials can use today’s wealth of online history courses to better understand the goings-on of yesteryear.

That said, which of the courses in the vast catalog of online history classes rank among the best? The truth is that the answer varies depending on the lessons a person wants to learn. That said, interested parties can browse this list of some of the best history classes online to see what kind of history courses they can participate in from the comfort of their homes.

Why You Should Learn History Online

There are several benefits to learning history online. The convenience of these online courses is just the start. Busy professionals and students alike can access today’s online history courses from anywhere in the world and often at any time, making it easier than ever for interested parties to gain access to expert opinions on their areas of interest.

What’s more, today’s online history courses promote a sense of community between participants. Even though these courses lack an in-person touch, participants can still discuss lessons with one another courtesy of classroom Slacks and online forums. Intercommunication helps course participants stay in touch after a class concludes, meaning that students can continue to learn together.

In this way, the accessibility of today’s online history courses promotes a sense of community while encouraging participants to continue learning about the historical events, movements, and themes that interest them the most.

Virtual History Classes 

Some of the most notable virtual history classes available to interested parties include the following:

Ancient Masterpieces of World Literature - Harvard University, 

History and literature tend to go hand-in-hand. Harvard University thinks so, too. That’s why one of the most famous American institutions offers its “Ancient Masterpieces of World Literature” online for students around the world to enjoy. 

This course runs for six weeks and lets students participate in relevant lessons at their own pace. The course’s instructors recommend that students engage with up to six hours of course material per week. The course comes free of charge, though students can engage with additional materials if they pay a little extra. The $159 Verified Track gives students access to graded assignments and exams as well as a shareable certification upon their completion of the course.

Participants have the chance to learn about how certain pieces of literature from cultures all around the world represent those cultures’ identities, particularly at the moment when those pieces of literature were initially released. The course also teaches students how to productively engage with literary works from different cultures.

The course’s instructors include Harvard’s David Damrosch and Martin Puchner. This course does not take place live but instead consists of pre-recorded lessons that students can access as the course progresses.

American Policing: History, Politics, and Society, Brooklyn Institute for Social Research

The public’s opinion of the police has significantly transformed over the past several decades, and often in ways that the average person might not anticipate. Instructor Patrick Blanchfield, working through the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research, has made a point to investigate this transition alongside today’s students of history. Curious minds can now join Instructor Blanchfield as he outlines that transformation in his course, “American Policing: History, Politics, and Society.”

This course runs for four weeks and most often takes place on Sunday afternoons. Students can expect to spend three hours diving into police-oriented literature produced by minds like Jennifer Wang, Alex Vitale, and Naomi Murakawa. The course costs $335 to join and offers a waiting list once full. The course also runs on Eastern Standard Time, meaning that students should prepare their schedules accordingly if they want to participate.

History of Photography: Postmodernism - Chicago Botanic Garden - 

What is postmodernism, and how does it make itself known in photography? These are the questions that the Chicago Botanic Garden wants to explore in more detail. The institution’s instructors offer its “History of Photography: Postmodernism” in an effort to encourage today’s students of history to think critically about the postmodernism movement and its impact on historical records.

Chicago Botanic Gardens offers its “History of Photography: Postmodernism” course for $499. The course takes place over six sessions, all of which typically run for three hours at a time. Students can expect to participate in the program via Zoom. 

The institution tends to cap its class sizes at 12 students, allowing for creature instructor-to-student interaction. The latest iteration of “History of Photography: Postmodernism” sees Dianne Kittle at its helm. Incoming students must be 18 years old or older to register for this course.

The Cosmopolitan Medieval Arabic World, Universiteit Leiden and Coursera

Professor Petra Sijpesteijn teaches “The Cosmopolitan Medieval Arabic World” through the Universiteit Leiden and Coursera. Both institutions make this course available to students all around the world for no cost. The course is open to beginners and does not require students to have any pre-existing knowledge of the study of history, let alone the medieval Arabic world before they participate.

The course runs for three weeks, with students attending class for eight hours a day, though students can dictate which hours they spend in class. The course discusses trade between the Arabic Medieval world and the surrounding empires. Students should expect to complete 14 assignments and take one quiz to test their overall knowledge. At the end of the course, students can share a certificate of completion through their LinkedIn profiles.

Private Online Group History Classes

Parties interested in private online history classes can register for any of the following programs:

History Lessons, Academic Tutoring, TakeLessons

The private history lessons offered through TakeLessons and Microsoft tend to work best when paired with a history program or course. That said, students can also reach out to TakeLessons’ instructors to begin an independent study into the field that they’re interested in.

This platform pairs students with professionals who serve as experts in their chosen fields. There is no set course schedule. Instead, students can select an instructor from TakeLessons’ roster and set their own tutoring schedule.

The cost of each tutor varies on their area of expertise and amount of professional experience. Students can choose to work with an instructor whose area of study they admire and whose fees they can afford.

Virtual Pasta: Ravioli Workshop

What do food and history have in common? More than the average student might think. Today’s virtual cooking workshops can teach modern students about the history of a culture and food product while engaging senses that a traditional course can’t. That’s the value of a private online group history course like “Virtual Pasta: Ravioli Workshop.” 

This course takes place on Zoom and runs for 90 minutes. The instructors available through CourseHorse Experiences can teach up to 100 students about the history of ravioli and the process that goes into making this popular pasta dish.

The course costs $100 per person. Students can register for the course individually or as part of a group at any time, any day of the week. The course’s instructors partner with Global Grub to provide students with the ingredients they need to create the ravioli and its sauces. That said, instructors expect students to bring their own rolling pins, baking sheets, and assorted kitchen materials to the course with them.

Students can even customize the course for an additional $150 charge. This customization process allows students to learn more about particular pastas and their histories.

Online vs. In-Person History Classes

How can today’s history students choose between online courses and their in-person alternatives? The answer to that question is multi-faceted. To start, many online history programs are more budget-friendly than their in-person alternatives. Professionals or students who want to advance their education without breaking the bank can use online courses to improve their understanding of history while taking on as little financial stress as possible.

Online history courses also tend to be more flexible than their in-person alternatives. Even if these courses take place at the same time on specific days, attendees can sign into their class of choice from the road, the comfort of their home, or wherever they happen to be in the world. This flexibility, paired with the lack of a commute, can make online history courses ideal for travelers.

That said, there are course elements that online history courses lack. In-person history classes tend to put students in contact with their like-minded peers. Students graduating from in-person history courses can keep in touch with their fellow participants and create a community based on their shared interests. While online programs can connect students via Slack or forums, some students may find those digital options lacking.

With all that in mind, the difference in value between online and in-person history classes really depends on the student. That’s why each student considering taking a history course should consider their schedule, learning style, and desire for collaboration before registering for an applicable course.

Can I Learn History for Free Online?

Interested parties can learn history online free of charge. Programs like CrashCourse and A Taste of History make comprehensive and accessible lessons on historical moments available free of charge through platforms like YouTube. The accessibility of these programs makes them ideal for busy professionals or students who don’t want to commit to a course but still want to develop a better understanding of an interesting historical moment.

That said, parties who really want to advance their understanding of historical themes and events often find paid online or in-person courses more effective at imparting their lessons than free online alternatives. Virtual courses that put students in touch with a historical expert specifically give interested participants to ask questions about complex topics that might otherwise go unaddressed in free courses.

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