Unless you plan to go for a Ph.D. in history, a thesis will be the most significant academic writing of your life. It shows your in-depth knowledge of a subject, your ability to think logically, creatively, and originally. Besides, it’s a great way to demonstrate how good your writing is.
But finding an appropriate title for your thesis is a challenging task. You may feel unsure about any idea until you see the rest of them. So, what can help you?
A history thesis topics list, of course. In this article, you’ll consider a wide variety of ideas about historical events and figures. There are some tips on picking the right one for you. With a little explanation of the basics, you’ll differentiate the Bachelor’s thesis from the Master’s one in a second.
☝ How to Choose a History Thesis Topic?
Before picking a topic about history, you have to understand what you’re looking for. Take into account that you’re going to spend plenty of time writing your thesis. So, you need to find an idea that engages you and is worthy of your time. Don’t go for a random history topic that you do not feel passionate about.
Searching for an idea, follow the tips below:
- Find a topic that interests you. You’ll most probably write your thesis for a whole semester or even longer. That’s why you should determine something that doesn’t bore easily. At least those countless hours in the library will be spent with pleasure. The more the idea challenges and intrigues you, the less you’ll procrastinate and suffer from writing. No one can tell you what to write about. Your advisor can help you specify the topic, but it is up to you what to write about.
- Look for a topic that creates a trajectory for further research. You may not pursue it later, but having an opportunity to do so is a significant advantage. If you decide to pursue a further degree, you will already be familiar with the topic well.
- Find a professor who will become your thesis advisor. Bring some thesis ideas up and see what your instructor suggests. It’s a good thing to have several research topics in mind—the instructor can help you determine the best one.
- Think beyond the graduation date. Whether you are going to start a career or continue your studies, your thesis should help you in achieving your goals. What may your employer look for in your paper? What do you need to be successful in your job or further research? It’s good to approach the issue with some level of practicality. See if you can apply the skills and information you’ve acquired to your professional life.
- Strive for originality but stay within your studies context. Try to make your title unique to grasp attention and intrigue from the get-go. At the same time, don’t fall outside the scope of your field. Before picking a topic, do some research to understand the field deeper. This way, you’ll see what exactly you would like to address.
- Make sure your title fits the requirements. Open your university guidelines for the thesis work and find this out before anything else. Ask your thesis advisor as well to give you honest feedback.
📝 History Thesis Topics for Bachelor's Degree
Usually, American Universities don’t require students to write a Senior Thesis. However, you still have an option to choose one. You can write a thesis as a part of your program completion. It will take a lot of time, energy, and effort. But, in the end, you will be able to produce a prime piece of academic writing.
Strive to write anywhere from 60 to 100 pages. You will also dedicate a lot of time writing and polishing it afterward. Make sure to leave enough time for that too.
What’s the first step?
Look for a thesis advisor you know you will enjoy working with. Consider all the professors you’ve interacted with at your university and pick several. Approach them and see if they are accepting new students for thesis supervision.
Make sure to choose a history thesis paper topic that your advisor knows a lot about. At some point, you will become very knowledgeable about the history thesis topic you chose. It will be crucial to have someone who can direct you.
There are several reasons why you should consider writing a thesis for a Bachelor’s Degree in history:
- It provides you with essential experience in writing, researching, and brainstorming ideas. It can later help you in your academic or professional life.
- You can deeply understand a subject that interests you.
- You can improve your reading skills.
- If you have to use foreign sources, you can also increase your foreign language skills.
Are you still wondering what historical thesis ideas are appropriate? Then, this list is perfect for you.
🚀 American History Thesis Topics
- African American history in the United States: disfranchisement and segregation in 1890-1900
- Early American History and the lost colony of Roanoke
- The construction of race in American culture and history. It’s not a secret that race is a social construct. In American culture and history, it plays a critical role. In the thesis, you will have a chance to research the mechanisms through which the race was constructed. Movies, literary representations, articles, what else? It’s up to you to find out what can be relevant.
- World War 2 through personal letters and diaries. This thesis can be personal and will not leave people indifferent. Examination of diaries, notes, and personal accounts can be fascinating. You won’t be bored doing historical research. Maybe you even have some in your own family? Worth checking it out.
- Guilt over Slavery in the United States: a historical examination
- Gender equality in American education. A comparative study of Germany, Russia, The United States
- New York City and its historical geography. NYC is one of the captivating American cities. Writing a thesis about its historical geography is not an easy task. Gladly, you have tons of information available to you.
- Rocket Science as one of the most significant innovations of the 20th century
- Examining the Role of Privilege within the Ivy League Universities
- Role of American Public Health in a Post-9/11 World
⚔ European History Thesis Topics
- Formation and development of the European Union during the 20th century
- Feminist perspective on the representation of women in Roman Art
- Religion and Nation in Europe in the 19th century
- Construction of National Identity in Post-Soviet Latvia. What did contribute to developing a national identity of post-soviet Latvia? First of all, its independence and belonging to the European Union. In this thesis, talk about colonization and colonial identity. Consider the policies Latvian government implemented to build a Latvian character. What is it? What are the essential characteristics of it?
- Composition and religious hierarchy in The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci
- Representation of Jews in Late Medieval Period in Europe
- Problems of political leadership in Athens of 404-355 BCE
- The French Renaissance Court and its structural hierarchy. This topic is interesting yet complex. Its complexity comes not from the name but the nature of the French Renaissance Court. You need to have a clear idea of how the royal court is built and is operating. Find relevant historians of that time, and, hopefully, you can speak some French.
- Immigrational Politics of the United Kingdom. The problem of multiculturism at the beginning of 1960-1980.
- Orientalism or the Middle East through the prism of Western scholars in the XIX century. In this thesis, start by exploring the notion of Orientalism. Edward Said will be a good point of departure and one of the most fundamental works to cite and read. You can agree with his argument or disagree with it. Nevertheless, find the relevant evidence for your point of view.
🎨 Art History Thesis Topics
- Medicine in Ancient Rome with a focus on surgeries through paintings. This thesis topic is rich. Numerous Ancient Roman paintings depict surgeries and medical treatments. Find the most interesting ones and talk about innovations in medicine. What was the point of recording medical procedures in art? Truly a topic that can captivate anyone.
- Vincent Van Gogh: A phycological analysis of the artist’s last years. In this thesis, examine his artworks together with the personal letters. Look at the words he used, as well as the images he painted. You need it to comprehend what was happening in Vincent’s life in his last years. Some art therapists claim that the artist had bipolar disorder. Examine those views. However, be careful not to give any medical diagnosis yourself.
- Plato on Punishment and Vice: the notion of punishment in The Republic. You cannot get a degree without reading the most fundamental text of the Western Academy, The Republic. In this thesis, you should simply focus on the ideas of punishment and vice. Plato wrote a lot regarding the morals and the laws. Try to discern what exactly he meant. Extract his views regarding capital punishment and punitive justice.
- Modern Art in Europe, with a specific focus on Italy
- Trade in Medieval Europe with a focus on Africa through art
- The erotism of art of Ancient Rome
- Synthesis of sculpture and paintings in Spanish art of the 17th century
- Neoclassicism in French art of the 1900s-1910s
- Surrealism in Art as the quintessence between realism and hyper-realism
📋 History Thesis Topics for Master's Degree
In the United States, to enter a graduate degree in history, a bachelor’s degree is required. Most of the time, students will have to submit several recommendation letters. Plus, they need GRE scores and writing samples. Add to this several essays explaining the purpose of going to university again, and there you have it.
It is common to have several completion requirements. They can include basic courses, language tests, and a master’s thesis at the end of the program. However, it depends on the department and the university.
Keep in mind that there are several credits that students should obtain to get a degree. It differs from university to university as well. In most of the programs throughout the United States, they are required to complete 30-32 credits to get an M.A. degree. This number usually corresponds to 8-9 classes.
If you are pursuing an M.A., you’re in luck. There is an excellent chance that you will be able to choose if you would like to write a thesis or not. If you are pursuing an M.Phil., then you will have to write your thesis because it’s a research degree.
No matter if you are pursuing an M.A. or an M.Phil., this historical thesis ideas can help you find a title:
📚 MA Thesis Topics in History
- Apotheosis of the Philippine Historical Political Tradition
- Kerala History: Syrian Christians in the region in the 18th century
- History of Modern India with a focus on women’s rights
- The history of theater in the American South and the main characteristics of the Southern Drama. This thesis includes a lot of aspects starting from playwriting in Charleston to drama in New Orleans. Then there are War Drama, Black Drama, etc. Try to find a good balance to fit all of the main characteristics of the Southern Drama and theater.
- New Deal and its impacts on events leading to the Great Depression
- Mistakes of the Soviet side in WW2. WWII was the deadliest military conflict of the 20th century. In this thesis, talk about the biggest mistakes the Red Army made during the war. Some of those can include signing to the Non-Aggression Pact with Hitler. Plus, there were anti-tank dogs and the Molovot-Ribbentrop Pact.
- Military strategies that allowed Napoleon to win crucial battles
- Mussolini & Hitler: connection along with its consequences for Italy
- Queen Victoria’s politics and the way it has changed British history
- The Development of Strategic Bombing Doctrine Between the World Wars
- Historical Creation of a Black Elite in the United States
- Through Imperial Eyes: Race and British Reactions to the American Slavery Question
- Gertrude Bell’s Influence in the Formation of Iraq. Gertrude Bell is a crucial figure in Islamic studies. She contributed a lot to the formation of Iraq. In this thesis, explore her unique contribution and approach to building a modern state of the country. She was highly trusted by British politicians and by Arab leaders.
- Baptist church history as a way to escape slavery
🦉 MPhil Thesis Topics in History
- Investigating the impact of WWI on trade blocks. A case study of the European Union
- Women in WWII: sexual objectification of women through magazines and advertisement. Women played an integral part in WWII. In this thesis, explore the role of sexual imagery in the advertising industry during the war.
- Sudan-American relationships in 1989-2000: US Foreign Policy and Genocide in Sudan
- Criticism of the war on drugs during the Ronald Reagan administration
- The political evolution of the Southern States during the Reconstruction Era
- Everest Expeditions in British Popular Culture, 1920-1960. Explore how Everest Expeditions were depicted in British movies. Analyze the subject via comics, journals, and visual art in the first part of the 20th century.
- Impact of Otto von Bismarck on German Liberalism
- Discrimination of German immigrants in the USA during WW2
- The Fourth International and the Spanish Civil War
- Political and economic aspects of the crisis in Venetian Diplomacy in the 1500s
- The connection between institutionalized racism and police violence in the United States. There are several dimensions to racism. In this thesis, look for a connection between structural racism and police violence in the US. Compare the numbers, look at the stories. See if this data exposes any hidden bias.
- An image of the Medieval Period in Post Modern Art
- A comparative analysis of the Four Quran English Translation. In this thesis, discuss why and how the Quran can be translated. Also, you should look at the four translations. Try to determine which one is the closest. To do that, you need to have an advanced level of Arabic.
- The psychological effect of war on American soldiers in Vietnam
👨🏫 Differences between a Thesis and Dissertation
Understanding the difference between a thesis and a dissertation is essential. Would you like to obtain a master’s and a doctoral degree? Then read attentively. In the United States, both thesis and dissertation are vital for this purpose.
The prominent differences that you have to realize are the following:
- A dissertation is required to graduate with a doctoral degree. A thesis is a culmination of a master’s program.
- A dissertation is written to add a new piece of knowledge to the field. A thesis is to show that you have enough knowledge about the field.
- A dissertation usually takes several semesters, sometimes even years, to complete. A thesis does not require this amount of time. It can be finished within months.
- A dissertation can be seen as an academic book. A master’s thesis is a long research paper.
Let’s see the main characteristics of a bachelor’s thesis, a master’s thesis, an MPhil’s thesis, and a dissertation:
- A Bachelor’s Thesis (honors thesis). It’s a research-based paper that allows undergraduate students to put their knowledge into practice. The paper is usually 40-60 pages long. It includes an introduction, main body, conclusion, and bibliography.
- A Master’s Thesis. It’s a piece of original scholarly work. A mater’s thesis is written under the close supervision of an academic advisor. It attempts to bring some fresh look or a new perspective to a field of study. The length of a master’s thesis can vary. Usually, it doesn’t go beyond 100 pages.
- An MPhil’s Thesis (Master of Philosophy). It’s a specific type of thesis. As it was stated earlier, most American Universities don’t grant this degree. A few schools give it under specific circumstances. Doctoral students should accomplish all the course work and pass their exams. Then, this degree can be granted to them. A more colloquial way to call this degree is “all but dissertation.” In other cases, this degree is granted to students who are doing their postgraduate research.
- A Dissertation. It’s a major piece of academic writing. It’s independent, shows critical and thinking ability. A dissertation is meant to illustrate academic knowledge, originality of work, and research skills. The length usually stays within 200-300 pages.
Any thesis or dissertation is a monumental work. Choose a topic that you are passionate about. Make sure it’s researchable and clear, but at the same time memorable. Spend time writing, proofreading, editing, and talking to your advisor about your ideas and academic goals.
Remember that it is okay to get frustrated and tired at times. If it happens to you, stop working for a bit and relax. Good luck and congratulations on your soon to be graduation! We hope this article was helpful. Share it with those who may need a history thesis topic or a piece of advice.
- MPhil in History: University of Oxford
- How to Pick a Masters Thesis Topic: Peter Campbell for Medium
- How Do I Choose A Thesis Topic: Grad School Hub
- How to Select a Research Topic: University of Michigan-Flint
- Writing a Senior Thesis: Undergraduate Program, Department of History, Brandeis University
- How to Pick a Thesis Topic? The Conceptual Conversation: Sonja Foss and William Waters, Proquest
- The Bachelor’s Thesis, Bachelor EE: University of Twente
- Guidelines for the Preparation of Your Master’s Thesis: the Office of Graduate Studies and Research: University of Nebraska at Kearney
- Guidelines for Writing a Master’s Thesis for MA Degree: Jeremy Bailey, Susan Scarrow, University of Houston
- What is a dissertation? How it is different from an essay: The Royal Literary Fund
- What is the Difference Between a Thesis and a Dissertation: The Best Master’s Degrees