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Learn world history

From the origins of Western civilization to the dynasties that ruled China, the topics that can be covered in a world history curriculum are almost endless. Study the history of both ancient and modern civilizations with online history courses from edX.

What is world history?

World history is a comparative, transregional and transcultural approach to the study of history. It offers a global perspective on past events, as well as cultural and geographic developments over time. Instead of focusing on discrete events, world history takes a big-picture approach to history and considers how those events relate to each other in a larger human story. 

World history examines a plethora of topics including African culture, Indian literature, the Roman Empire, Islamic culture in the Middle East, the Renaissance, colonialism, and much more. Learners will study how international conflicts and wars have reshaped dynamics between different international powers throughout time.

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World history course curriculum

The contemporary study of world history in the United States grew out of the political upheaval of the 1970s. It marks an alternative to the previously Euro-centric approach to history education. A typical U.S. history class might teach the founding of the country from the perspective of the settlers. Through a world history lens, learners would study Native American history, American history, and European history comparatively, exploring how they inform world history patterns and interactions between different regions. 

Learners have the option of choosing from a wide range of online courses that cover specialized subjects in world history. For example, a course may cover the role of religion in the daily lives of modern humans. It could focus on the origins of different religions, the spread of those religions over time, and their impact on modern culture. Learners may be tasked with exploring evolving attitudes toward religion across cultures, and gain a basic knowledge of relevant historical debates, including whether the world is becoming more or less religious.

World history courses can challenge the way people have learned about history and force them to reexamine what they believe to be true about different people and cultures. 

Jobs in world history

The knowledge that can come from a bachelor’s degree or course in world history can be applied to a wide range of professional roles and careers.

Historians need strong communication skills and can work as writers, editors, and journalists. Professionals with this background can conduct research, working at museums and historical organizations. They can also work as cultural resource managers and historic preservationists for towns and cities. 

Of course, they may want to return to the classroom as teachers or professors depending on their full educational background. 

Pursue a career in world history

Learners who study world history can help propel the world toward a more global consciousness and understanding of humankind. Explore how online courses in world history can open new doors to new adventures for your future.

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