History U

Snapshots from History U

The Gilder Lehrman Insitute’s History U offers free, graduate-level courses in American history to high school students. 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.

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

New courses will be added throughout the year. Students can see a full list of History U courses here (student log in required).


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

Please note: Professional development credit is not available for these courses. Teachers and other adults can explore our Self-Paced Courses.


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


Step 1: Create a free student account HERE or LOG IN to an existing account.

Step 2: Explore course offerings by clicking on course pages on the left. Each course page includes an introductory video and course outline to help you decide which course(s) you would like to take.

Step 3: Add the course(s) to your cart and follow the instructions for check-out.

Step 4: Return to www.gilderlehrman.org and click on "My Courses" in the top right. 

Please email historyschool@gilderlehrman.org with any questions.