History U

History U

The Gilder Lehrman Institute’s History U offers free, self-paced courses in American history to high school students. 

 

Each History U course includes

  • Video lectures by a leading history professor
  • Primary sources and in-depth readings
  • Short quizzes to review your knowledge
  • A certificate of completion for the course

 

Cost and Eligibility: Free for high school students

Engaged Student Viewing a Computer Screen
  • 29 Courses

  • Free for high school students

About the Program

These courses, led by the nation’s top historians, are drawn from our MA in American History program and allow you to study history at your own pace. Taking a History U course can enhance college applications, supplement classroom learning, and allow you to explore your own love of history. 

All History U courses are available to students at no cost. Courses do have recommended reading materials that students can purchase, but they are not required.

Questions? Contact us at historyschool@gilderlehrman.org

Audience

Students must be 13 or older to register for a course. History U is intended for highly motivated high school students.

Teachers cannot enroll as students. Teachers who want to review History U courses can email historyschool@gilderlehrman.org to audit for one month. Professional development credit is not available for these courses. Teachers and other adults can explore our Self-Paced Courses.

How to Enroll in a Course

enrollment graphic: login, select, complete form

Students can log in or create an account by clicking Log In. To create an account, click the Sign Up link on the login screen. Choose the K-12 Student role during account creation.

Browse the available courses using the topic menu below. Clicking on a card will redirect you to a page with a full course description. When you have made your selection, click the Register Now button on the course page to go to the order form. All courses are FREE for high school students.

New courses are added during the year and are highlighted in the New Courses section.

New Courses

America's First Civil Rights Movement

led by Kate Masur

This course explores the movement for racial equality in free states from the nation’s founding to the Civil War and Reconstruction.

LGBTQ+ History of the United States: 1800 to the Present

led by Stephen Vider

This course traces the history of LGBTQ+ identities, relationships, communities, and politics in the US from the late eighteenth century to the present.

Chinese in the United States

led by Madeline Hsu

This course examines the history of Chinese in America, emphasizing Chinese American identity and community formations.

Browse Courses by Topic

African American History

America's First Civil Rights Movement

led by Kate Masur

This course explores the movement for racial equality in free states from the nation’s founding to the Civil War and Reconstruction.

Black Women's History

led by Kellie Carter Jackson

This course focuses on Black women’s history in the US including their activism and leadership within the African Diaspora.

The Life and Writings of Frederick Douglass

led by David Blight

This course probes the nature of the life, work, and thought of the abolitionist, orator, and author Frederick Douglass.

Lives of the Enslaved

led by Daina Ramey Berry

This course centers on the experiences of enslaved men, women, and children rather than viewing them as objects in other people’s narratives.

The Revolutionary Lives of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.

led by Peniel Joseph

This course examines the lives and legacies of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.

America in the World

American Immigration History: People, Patterns, and Policy

led by Madeline Hsu

This course provides an overview of American immigration history from the colonial period to the twenty-first century.

Chinese in the United States

led by Madeline Hsu

This course examines the history of Chinese in America, emphasizing Chinese American identity and community formations.

The Global Cold War

led by Jeremi Suri

This course examines the origins, strategy, and consequences of the Cold War from a global perspective.

History of Latina and Latino People in the US

led by Geraldo Cadava

This course explores the history of Latinas and Latinos in the US from the sixteenth century through the present.

World War I

led by Michael Neiberg

This course explores American involvement in World War I both in Europe and at home. 

World War II

led by Michael Neiberg

This History U course aims to add more context and nuance to the traditional American views of the Second World War.

AP Prep

AP United States History

led by Sara Ziemnik

This course reviews the content featured in the nine periods included in the College Board’s AP United States History curriculum.

Foundations of American Government

led by Denver Brunsman

This course examines the “why” and the “how” of American government through in-depth discussion of its history and workings.

Civics and Government

Conflict and Reform: The United States, 1877-1920

led by Michael Kazin

This course examines the United States during a period of great social change and conflict.

The Declaration of Independence

led by Eric Slauter

This course investigates the origins, meanings, and contested legacies of one of the most consequential political documents in world history.

Foundations of American Government

led by Denver Brunsman

This course examines the “why” and the “how” of American government through in-depth discussion of its history and workings.

The Great Depression and the New Deal

led by Eric Rauchway

This course considers the causes and consequences of the economic slump of 1929–1933 and the economic recovery of 1933–1941 under the New Deal.

The History of American Protest

led by John Stauffer

This course explores protest literature in American history from the American Revolution to contemporary music. 

Economic History

Capitalism in American History

led by David Sicilia

This course examines the trajectory of capitalism from its emergence in British North America to the end of the twentieth century.

The Great Depression and the New Deal

led by Eric Rauchway

This course considers the causes and consequences of the economic slump of 1929–1933 and the economic recovery of 1933–1941 under the New Deal.

Making Modern America

led by Margaret O'Mara

This course explores key moments and people in the history of the United States from the end of World War I to the present.

Gender and Sexuality

Black Women's History

led by Kellie Carter Jackson

This course focuses on Black women’s history in the US including their activism and leadership within the African Diaspora.

The Declaration of Independence

led by Eric Slauter

This course investigates the origins, meanings, and contested legacies of one of the most consequential political documents in world history.

LGBTQ+ History of the United States: 1800 to the Present

led by Stephen Vider

This course traces the history of LGBTQ+ identities, relationships, communities, and politics in the US from the late eighteenth century to the present.

Women and Politics in 20th-Century America

led by Linda Gordon

This course examines the struggles and successes of the women who fought for equality in American politics, life, and culture.

Native American History

American Indian History: Recasting the Narrative

led by Ned Blackhawk

This course will introduce and explore the complexities of American Indian history from the Columbian Exchange through twentieth-century activism.

American Indian History since 1900

led by Don Fixico

This course examines the experiences of Native peoples in modern America since the turn of the twentieth century. 

Nineteenth Century

America's First Civil Rights Movement

led by Kate Masur

This course explores the movement for racial equality in free states from the nation’s founding to the Civil War and Reconstruction.

Conflict and Reform: The United States, 1877-1920

led by Michael Kazin

This course examines the history of the United States during a period of great social change and conflict.

The Life and Writings of Frederick Douglass

led by David Blight

This course probes the nature of the life, work, and thought of the abolitionist, orator, and author Frederick Douglass.

Origins of the Civil War

led by James Oakes

This course examines the 1850s, the crucial decade that ended in the secession of eleven slave states from the US.

Race, Nationality, and Ethnicity

America's First Civil Rights Movement

led by Kate Masur

This course explores the movement for racial equality in free states from the nation’s founding to the Civil War and Reconstruction.

American Immigration History: People, Patterns, and Policy

led by Madeline Hsu

This course provides an overview of American immigration history from the colonial period to the twenty-first century.

American Indian History: Recasting the Narrative

led by Ned Blackhawk

This course will introduce and explore the complexities of American Indian history from the Columbian Exchange through twentieth-century activism.

American Indian History since 1900

led by Don Fixico

This course examines the experiences of Native peoples in modern America since the turn of the twentieth century. 

Black Women's History

led by Kellie Carter Jackson

This course focuses on Black women’s history in the US including their activism and leadership within the African Diaspora.

Chinese in the United States

led by Madeline Hsu

This course examines the history of Chinese in America, emphasizing Chinese American identity and community formations.

The Declaration of Independence

led by Eric Slauter

This course investigates the origins, meanings, and contested legacies of one of the most consequential political documents in world history.

History of Latina and Latino People in the US

led by Geraldo Cadava

This course explores the history of Latinas and Latinos in the US from the sixteenth century through the present.

The Life and Writings of Frederick Douglass

led by David Blight

This course probes the nature of the life, work, and thought of the abolitionist, orator, and author Frederick Douglass.

Lives of the Enslaved

led by Daina Ramey Berry

This course centers on the experiences of enslaved men, women, and children rather than viewing them as objects in other people’s narratives.

Race and Rights in America

led by Lucas Morel

This course explores the political philosophies of Black Americans as they sought to secure their rights as citizens.

The Revolutionary Lives of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.

led by Peniel Joseph

This course examines the lives and legacies of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.

Regions of the United States

The American West

led by Elliot West

The course examines the expansion of the US to the Pacific, the dispossession of Native peoples, and environmental transformations.

Origins of the Civil War

led by James Oakes

This course examines the 1850s, the crucial decade that ended in the secession of eleven slave states from the US.

Twentieth Century

American Indian History since 1900

led by Don Fixico

This course examines the experiences of Native peoples in modern America since the turn of the twentieth century. 

Conflict and Reform: The United States, 1877-1920

led by Michael Kazin

This course examines the history of the United States during a period of great social change and conflict.

The Global Cold War

led by Jeremi Suri

This course examines the origins, strategy, and consequences of the Cold War from a global perspective.

The Great Depression and the New Deal

led by Eric Rauchway

This course considers the causes and consequences of the economic slump of 1929–1933 and the economic recovery of 1933–1941 under the New Deal.

Making Modern America

led by Margaret O'Mara

This course explores key moments and people in the history of the United States from the end of World War I to the present.

The 1960s in Historical Perspective

led by Michael Kazin

This course explores the myths and memories that constitute our perceptions of the 1960s.

The Revolutionary Lives of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.

led by Peniel Joseph

This course examines the lives and legacies of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.

Women and Politics in 20th-Century America

led by Linda Gordon

This course examines the struggles and successes of the women who fought for equality in American politics, life, and culture.

World War I

led by Michael Neiberg

This course explores American involvement in World War I both in Europe and at home.

World War II

led by Michael Neiberg

This course aims to add more context and nuance to the traditional American views of World War II.

Wars and Warfare

The American Revolution

led by Carol Berkin

This course focuses on the story of the birth and initial growth of the United States of America.

The Global Cold War

led by Jeremi Suri

This course examines the origins, strategy, and consequences of the Cold War from a global perspective. 

Origins of the Civil War

led by James Oakes

This course examines the 1850s, the crucial decade that ended in the secession of eleven slave states from the US.

World War I

led by Michael Neiberg

This course explores American involvement in World War I both in Europe and at home. 

World War II

led by Michael Neiberg

This course aims to add more context and nuance to the traditional American views of World War II.