Skip to content

Online Liberal Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Degree Programs

The liberal arts, humanities, and social sciences are overlapping terms for a collection of related but distinct disciplines that focus on documenting and studying various aspects of human existence and the human experience. Among the disciplines traditionally associated with the humanities are fine arts (creative writing, dance, music, theater, and visual art), history, literature, and philosophy, while the social sciences encompass a number of additional fields, including anthropology, linguistics, political science, psychology, and sociology.

Taken together, the humanities and social sciences form a key pillar in a modern liberal arts education and are foundational elements of a college-level general education curriculum. Individually, the fields that comprise the humanities and social sciences are the focus of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in creative writing, history, literature, political science, sociology, and other disciplines. Undergraduate and graduate degrees in many of these liberal arts, humanities, and social sciences subjects can be earned through online programs offered by a number of accredited, non-profit colleges and universities.

Types of Online Liberal Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Degree Programs researches online degree programs and classifies programs based on degree level and subject area. Undergraduate and graduate programs in various liberal arts disciplines are sorted by their curricula rather than by their formal designations and grouped accordingly in order to assist students in the potentially difficult process of finding programs that align with their educational needs and professional goals. All of the programs listed on the site are offered by accredited public or private, non-profit colleges and universities, and programs must offer all or most of their coursework using distance learning technologies.

Online liberal arts, humanities, and social sciences programs are grouped into the following categories:

  • Online Bachelor’s in Anthropology Programs: These programs provide students with undergraduate-level coursework in human biological, cultural, linguistic, and social development and evolution over time, as well as methodologies for studying sociocultural constructs. Students earning a bachelor’s degree in anthropology may specialize in one or more of the following subfields: sociocultural anthropology; biological/physical anthropology; archaeology; and linguistic anthropology.
  • Online Bachelor’s in Creative Writing Programs: These programs offer a curriculum that focuses on the craft of fiction and nonfiction writing and storytelling. Students in these programs typically learn about literary theory, read works of literature, take writing classes, and apply what they have learned to creating their own written works in a range of genres, including poetry, fiction, non-fiction, playwriting, and screenwriting.
  • Online Bachelor’s in English Programs: A bachelor’s in English program curriculum typically includes courses in literary theory, English composition, and literary analysis, and may also provide courses in creative fiction and/or non-fiction writing. Students in these programs generally study written works by genre, era, author, and/or region and learn how to analyze and write about these works using the tools of literary criticism.
  • Online Bachelor’s in General and Liberal Studies Programs: Bachelor’s in general and liberal studies programs focus on the development of critical thinking and communication skills and their application across a range of humanities disciplines and social sciences, including but not limited to history, literature, political science, information technology, and sociology. Some bachelor’s programs with a general or liberal studies curriculum give students a choice of several optional specializations.
  • Online Bachelor’s in History Programs: These programs provide instruction in the philosophy and theories of history and historical analysis, as well as classes in ancient civilizations, American history, European history, and/or the history of other parts of the world. Some online bachelor’s in history programs give students the option of specializing in the history of a particular region or country (e.g., the US, England, Europe, Russia, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, China) or a particular historical era (e.g., the Renaissance, the Industrial Revolution, the Civil War, Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries).
  • Online Bachelor’s in Military History Programs: Bachelor’s in military history programs focus on applying the theories and tools of historical analysis to the study of world conflicts and their impacts and to better understanding the strategies employed by military and political leaders in times of conflict.
  • Online Bachelor’s in Political Science Programs: Students in online bachelor’s in political science programs study systems of governance, methods of political analysis, and theories of government and politics at the local, state, national, and international levels. The also learn to apply qualitative and quantitative tools, including statistics, to better understand political issues.
  • Online Bachelor’s in Sociology Programs: Studying sociology at the bachelor’s degree level involves learning theories of social development and analytical methods for better understanding and analyzation of social institutions and relevant social issues. Students in these programs learn to apply this knowledge to understanding contemporary social issues.
  • Online Master’s in Creative Writing Programs: Master’s in creative writing programs, which may be designated as Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing programs, provide advanced training and instruction for writers of fiction and non-fiction, as well as playwrights, poets, and screenwriters.
  • Online Master’s in English Programs: Students earning a master’s degree in English take advanced courses in literary theory and analysis and learn how to conduct literary research and write about literary works of various types. They also engage in the close textual analyses of contemporary and historical works of fiction and literary non-fiction.
  • Online Master’s in General Studies, Liberal Studies, and Liberal Arts Programs: These programs provide students with opportunities to study broadly across the liberal arts and to take an interdisciplinary approach to academic research that draws on theories and methodologies in the social and behavioral sciences, arts, and humanities.
  • Online Master’s in History Programs: Students in an online master’s in history program take advanced courses in historical research methodologies and typically study the history of a particular region or era while learning how to conduct historical research and present their findings.

Additional Resources for Online Liberal Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Degree Programs

Each of the program pages listed below provides a detailed and comprehensive overview of a particular online degree program in the liberal arts, humanities, or social sciences. The program pages offer information on admissions, program structures, curricula, and other important factors. In addition, conducts interviews with educators, administrators, and other experts in various academic and professional fields, which can be found in our Expert Interviews and Featured Articles sections. Finally, we publish carefully researched answers to commonly asked questions about degree programs and careers in the liberal arts, humanities, and social sciences in our FAQ section, and detailed school profiles in our Schools section.

Online Liberal Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Degree Program Pages:

Online Bachelor’s in Anthropology Programs

Online bachelor’s in anthropology programs provide undergraduate instruction in the history, theories, and practices of anthropology, which includes studying social and cultural factors, as well as music, diet, economics, political structures, gender relations, and more.

Online Bachelor’s in Art History Programs

Students in online bachelor’s in art history programs analyze the creation, symbolism, and purposes of art while using it to learn about past and current civilizations and pursuing careers with historical societies, art museums and galleries, and educational institutions.

Online Bachelor’s in General & Liberal Studies Programs

Online bachelor’s in general and liberal studies programs offer students the opportunity to study a variety of subjects through an interdisciplinary curriculum in the arts, humanities, and social and physical sciences.

Online Bachelor’s in History Programs

Online bachelor’s in history programs provide students with a flexible and convenient way to study American, European, and many other types of history while earning a college degree through distance-learning technologies.

Online Bachelor’s in Philosophy Programs

Students in online bachelor’s in philosophy programs study the nature of knowledge, reality, and existence and develop moral and ethical reasoning, critical thinking, writing, and communication skills. Topics of study may include human consciousness, free will, humanity’s place in the world, religion, and morality.

Online Bachelor’s in Political Science Programs

Online bachelor’s in political science programs provide students with training and instruction in systems of government and tools to analyze political events through coursework that is offered via distance learning technologies.

Online Bachelor’s in Sociology Programs

Students in online bachelor’s in sociology programs study social behavior, social institutions, and social theories in order to better understand how societies function and how social issues are addressed through evidence-based research and policy solutions.

Online Master’s in English Programs

Online master’s in English programs provide students with a flexible and convenient alternative to campus-based programs and offer instruction in literary theory and analysis, graduate research methods, rhetoric, pedagogy, and linguistics.

Online Master’s in General Studies & Liberal Arts Programs

Online master’s in general studies, liberal studies, and liberal arts programs provide students with general training in academic research methods and the opportunity to engage interdisciplinary studies across the arts, humanities, and sciences.

Online Master’s in Creative Writing Programs

Online Master of Arts (MA) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing programs teach students about the craft of writing fiction and creative non-fiction, poetry, and screenwriting via distance-learning technologies.

Online Master’s in History Programs

Students in online master’s in history programs study the theories and methodologies of historical research and analysis, learn to craft historical narratives, and typically specialize in one of the many areas of historical scholarship.

Online Master’s in Military History Programs

Students of history who are interested in specializing in military history can pursue graduate studies in the field through online master’s in military history programs that provide students with focused training and instruction in the history of armed conflicts, the evolution of military strategy and military culture, and the process of researching and writing about military history.

Online Master’s in Sociology Programs

Students in online master’s in sociology programs study past and present societies concerning how humans, organizations, communities, cultures, and institutions interact and the consequences or benefits of human behaviors.