History U

The Gilder Lehrman Institute’s History U offers free, self-paced 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 view information about each course by clicking on the course page in the sidebar menu.


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.

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 K–12 student account HERE or LOG IN to an existing account.

Please note: Parents or teachers cannot use their personal accounts to register students. Students must create an individual K–12 student account.

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

Step 3: Click “Register Here” and follow the instructions for check-out.

Step 4: Return to gilderlehrman.org and click on “My Courses” under the "My Account" tab.

Please email historyschool@gilderlehrman.org with any questions.