Self-Paced Courses


Self-Paced Courses offer graduate-level online instruction in American history by eminent historians.Courses are available to watch or listen to on your own time and at your own pace, with no deadlines or expiration dates. 

Courses can also be used by educators to obtain professional development credit, with certificates available upon completion of the accompanying quizzes. 

Each Self-Paced Course includes

  • Video lectures by a leading historian
  • Digital labs and pedagogy sessions
  • MP3 audio recordings of each lecture
  • Primary sources and in-depth readings
  • A series of short quizzes to review your knowledge
  • A certificate of completion for the course


PD Credit

Gilder Lehrman Institute’s Self-Paced Courses range from 3 to 15 professional development contact hours. To learn more, please contact us at


  • Standard Price: $39.99
  • Affiliate School and Affiliate Library Price: $29.99


African American History since Emancipation

Follow the African American struggle to achieve full citizenship in the aftermath of legal slavery, from the rise of Jim Crow to modern-day campaigns against racial injustice. Led by Professor Peniel Joseph, University of Texas at Austin.


Standard Price: $39.99 Affiliate Price: $29.99

Alexander Hamilton's America

Explore Hamilton's life and legacy, including his formative years, his friends and foes, and his role in the Revolution and in the American economic system. Led by Professor Carol Berkin of Baruch College, in conversation with eminent guest scholars.


Standard Price: $29.99 Affiliate Price: $22.49

Amazing Grace

Discover the writers and reformers of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries whose passionate poems, sermons, fiction, songs, and slave narratives formed the vanguard of a movement to end American slavery. Led by Professor James Basker, Barnard College.


Standard Price: $39.99 Affiliate Price: $29.99

American Immigration History

Explore the struggles and achievements of major groups who journeyed to a new home in the United States, including Irish, Italian, Jewish, Asian, and Latino Americans. Led by Professor Vincent Cannato, University of Massachusetts, Boston.


Standard Price: $39.99 Affiliate Price: $29.99

American Indian History

Join a broad and deep exploration of American Indian history through a series of case studies, including early encounters, the Lewis and Clark expedition, and persistence in the face of government expansion, removal, and assimilation policies. Led by Professor Colin Calloway, Dartmouth College.


Standard Price: $39.99 Affiliate Price: $29.99

Black Women's History

This course focuses on African American women’s history in the United States with certain aspects of black women’s activism and leadership covered within the African Diaspora. We will examine ways in which these women engaged in local, national, and international freedom struggles while simultaneously defining their identities as wives, mothers, leaders, citizens, and workers.

Standard Price: $39.99 Affiliate Price: $29.99

Black Writers in American History

Examine the writing of African American poets, novelists, and essayists – including Frederick Douglass, W. E. B. Du Bois, Zora Neale Hurston, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, and Ta-Nehisi Coates - and considers how their perspectives have shaped history for all Americans. Led by Professor John Stauffer, Harvard University.

Standard Price: $39.99 Affiliate Price: $29.99

Colonial North America

Explore the British, French, Spanish, Dutch, and other European colonies in North America in an attempt to understand colonial life on its own terms, rather than simply as a precursor to the American Revolution. Led by Professor John Fea, Messiah College.

Standard Price: $39.99 Affiliate Price: $29.99

Conflict and Reform: The United States, 1877-1920

This course is about the history of the United States during a period of great social change and conflict. Over these four decades, the US became a predominantly urban and industrial nation, a nation of immigrants and wage-earners, an imperial nation, and a nation where progressive reform was the order of the day—though its definition and aims were furiously contested. We will seek to understand how and why these tumultuous changes occurred—and who gained and who lost in the process. 


Standard Price: $39.99 Affiliate Price: $29.99

Democracy in the Early Republic

Explore the evolving concept of democracy in the Early American Republic from the 1790s to the eve of the Civil War. Led by Professor Andrew Robertson, Lehman College, City University of New York.


Standard Price: $39.99 Affiliate Price: $29.99


Go beyond the Emancipation Proclamation to dig deeper into the complex process of emancipation, examining the efforts of thousands of men and women struggling for freedom before and during the Civil War. Led by Professor James Oakes, The Graduate Center, City University of New York.


Standard Price: $39.99 Affiliate Price: $29.99

Famous Trials in American History

Examine twelve of the most famous trials of the past century, consider the role politics, race, gender, religion, and celebrity played in the proceedings. Led by Professor Jack Ford, television journalist and visiting lecturer of law at Yale University.

Standard Price: $39.99 Affiliate Price: $29.99

Lives of the Enslaved

This course is a study of enslaved people and the ways in which human beings coped with captivity. It is also a course that listens to their voices through audio files, diaries, letters, actions, and silences. Centering on the people of slavery rather than viewing them as objects shifts the focus to their commentary on slavery. In addition to listening to enslaved people, students will have the opportunity to engage some of the most cutting-edge scholarship on the subject.

Standard Price: $39.99 Affiliate Price: $29.99

Race and Rights in America

Explore the diverse political philosophies of influential black Americans as they sought to secure their dignity as human beings and rights as citizens.

Standard Price: $39.99 Affiliate Price: $29.99

Revolutionary America

Gain insight into the Revolution with new scholarly approaches to traditional topics, including American resistance to British rule, the decision for independence, America's victory, and the role of marginalized groups in the struggle for independence. Led by Professor Denver Brunsman, George Washington University.

Standard Price: $39.99 Affiliate Price: $29.99

Teaching with Documents: Using Primary Sources in the Classroom (Online Course)

Teaching with Documents is an online course with instructional videos and lesson plans for teachers of grades 5-12. Each video focuses on a different way to use primary sources to improve student content knowledge and core literacy skills. Teaching with Documents demonstrates the same tested, Common Core-aligned approach used in Gilder Lehrman’s Teaching Literacy through History™ professional development program.

Standard Price: $39.99 Affiliate Price: $29.99

The Age of Jefferson

Explore Jefferson's career and thought, using his eloquent writings to illuminate Jefferson's era from the imperial crisis through his presidency. Led by Professor Peter Onuf, University of Virginia.

Standard Price: $39.99 Affiliate Price: $29.99

The American Civil War

Consider the legacy and memory, as well as the tactics and military strategy, of the four-year conflict that left six hundred thousand dead, two million refugees, and destroyed legal slavery in the United States. Led by Professor Allen Guelzo, Gettysburg College.

Standard Price: $39.99 Affiliate Price: $29.99

The American Presidency

Take an in-depth look at the executive office through case studies of six twentieth- and twenty-first-century presidents. Led by Professors Meg Jacobs and Julian E. Zelizer, Princeton University.

Standard Price: $39.99 Affiliate Price: $29.99

The American West

This course will trace the expansion of the United States to the Pacific, the exploration of the West, the defeat and dispossession of its Native peoples, and environmental transformations unmatched at few if any other places on earth. The history of the West was as well a revelation of the industrial, social, technological, and scientific forces that were remaking the nation and world. Within all of this were compelling human stories and, with Indian peoples, some of the darkest tragedies of continental history.

Standard Price: $39.99 Affiliate Price: $29.99

The Era of Theodore Roosevelt

Explore how the final years of the nineteenth century and opening decades of the twentieth gave birth to the modern United States. Led by Professor Bruce Schulman, Boston University.


Standard Price: $29.99 Affiliate Price: $22.49

The Global Cold War

Examine how the Cold War shaped the world – from the conflict’s impact on the culture and daily life of the United States and Russia, to unexpected nations across Eastern Europe, Africa, and Asia – using the latest scholarship to delve into the Cold War’s complexities, twists, and turns. Led by Jeremi Suri, University of Texas at Austin.

Standard Price: $39.99 Affiliate Price: $29.99

The History of American Protest

This course examines the rich tradition of protest literature in the United States from the American Revolution to the present. The primary focus is on three enduring strands of protest: civil rights (beginning with antislavery); women’s rights; and workers’ rights. Using a broad definition of protest literature, it pays particular attention to the cultural production and consumption of dissent as a powerful voice of both individuals and movements.

Standard Price: $39.99 Affiliate Price: $29.99

The Kennedy Presidency

Through the lenses of imagery, symbolism, media, leadership theory, and public policy, explore the strengths, weaknesses, successes, and failures of President John F. Kennedy. Led by Professor Barbara Perry, The Miller Center, University of Virginia.


Standard Price: $39.99 Affiliate Price: $29.99

The Life and Writings of Frederick Douglass

These twelve lectures, the readings, and the discussions are to probe the nature of the life, the work, and the thought of the nineteenth century abolitionist, orator, and author Frederick Douglass.  We will examine in depth the public and private sides of Douglass’s life, his importance as a thinker, and as a political activist in the great dramas of the Civil War and Reconstruction eras.                                                                                                                


Standard Price: $39.99 Affiliate Price: $29.99

The South in American History

Trace the important role the South has played in American history, from the first permanent English colony in North America, to the emergence and end of the most powerful slave society in the modern world, to the upheavals of the 20th century and the conflicted South we know today. Led by Professor Edward Ayers, University of Richmond.

Standard Price: $39.99 Affiliate Price: $29.99

The Supreme Court and the Constitution in the 20th Century

Examine nine defining cases and themes to gain an understanding of how regular people, social movement activists, politicians, scholars, lawyers, and judges have fought about what the Constitution means inside and outside of the courtroom. Led by Professor Melvin Urofsky, Virginia Commonwealth University.

Standard Price: $39.99 Affiliate Price: $29.99

The Vietnam War

This course covers the long struggle for Vietnam, waged between 1940 and 1975, with particular attention to the period of direct American involvement.

Standard Price: $39.99 Affiliate Price: $29.99

The World at War

Explore the role of the two world wars in shaping modern American history, using scholarly interpretations of what the years 1914-1945 meant for America on a domestic and international level. Led by Professor Michael Neiberg, United States Army War College.

Standard Price: $39.99 Affiliate Price: $29.99

Women and Gender in 19th-Century America

Examine six moments in the 19th century when women and gender were central to the fundamental struggle and nature of the republic itself, from the aftermath of the American Revolution to the industrialization of America. Led by Professor Stephanie McCurry, Columbia University.

Standard Price: $39.99 Affiliate Price: $29.99

Women and Politics in 20th-Century America

Explore the struggles and successes of American women fighting for equality in American politics, culture, and life, from the struggle for suffrage through the campaign for fair wages. Led by Professor Linda Gordon, New York University.

Standard Price: $39.99 Affiliate Price: $29.99

Women in the American Revolution

Explore the many roles women played in the War for Independence, from the earliest protests and boycotts to the American victory at Yorktown. You will also explore the changing gender roles and ideal—from “notable housewife” to “Republican woman” spurred by women’s participation in the creation of the new republic.

Standard Price: $39.99 Affiliate Price: $29.99

World War II

Explore the myths and half-truths that Hollywood has bequeathed to Americans about the war, while being introduced to arguments that have emerged from the latest scholarship on themes like the home front, the actual fighting of the war, and the processes of peacemaking.

Standard Price: $39.99 Affiliate Price: $29.99