Online College Course

U.S. History I

U.S. History I

Sophia's US History I course builds your knowledge of key events and figures in the history of the United States from American prehistory through the era of Reconstruction. This course emphasizes critical thinking skills and consideration of multiple perspectives through the analysis of primary sources. You will learn how to think like a historian and apply a historian's lens to real-world situations. Full Description

3 semester credits

  • Guaranteed to transfer to our 28 partner network institutions.* See Partners
  • Sophia courses have been transferred for credit to over 300 institutions*. See the List
  • Recommend for credit to the ACE and DEAC college and university networks. (See below for details.)

Category: Social Science

Take this 3-Credit College Course FREE!*
* For real. No strings attached. This college course is 100% free and is worth 3 semester credits.
This course is ACE Credit® recommended for transfer to many different colleges and universities.* Learn more
This course is DEAC-approved as meeting the criteria for Approved Quality Curriculum (AQC) status. Learn more


Guaranteed to transfer to our partner colleges and universities.* See Partners

No Textbooks, Subscriptions or Hidden Fees

Everything you need to succeed is built right into our Sophia courses; there are no textbooks to buy, monthly subscriptions to pay for or any other added fees.

Free Trial & 30 Day Money Back Guarantee

Sophia offers all of our students a free trial to make sure our courses are right for you. Sophia wants you to be completely satisfied with your learning experience. We offer a 30 day money back guarantee.

Payment Plan

We offer a 3 part payment plan option to provide flexibility and allow students to fit courses into their budget.

Start Instantly

There is no need to wait for the first day of class; with Sophia you can sign up and instantly start your education.

Learning Built for Your Life and Your Schedule

You pick your start date and work at your own pace on your phone, tablet or computer.

Complementary Learning Coach Support

Call, email or live chat with our team of friendly and knowledgeable Learning Coaches.


U.S. History I

Course Description
Sophia's US History I course builds your knowledge of key events and figures in the history of the United States from American prehistory through the era of Reconstruction. This course emphasizes critical thinking skills and consideration of multiple perspectives through the analysis of primary sources. You will learn how to think like a historian and apply a historian's lens to real-world situations.

Assessments & Grading

This is a pass/fail course. You must complete 12 Challenge assessments (these are like quizzes) and 4 Milestone assessments (these are like tests) with an overall score of 70% or better.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course, you'll be able to:

  • Interpret or analyze a primary source to draw conclusions about a historical event
  • Apply different historical lenses in order to critically analyze historical events through a variety of
  • Understand the events, people, and motivations involved in the settling of the Americas
  • Recognize the events and factors that lead up to the American Revolution
  • Analyze the political, social and economic climate during and after the drafting of the constitution
  • Evaluate the events leading up to the Civil War and understand the key players, battles, and rationales
  • Analyze how historians have interpreted the era of reconstruction and the causes for the collapse of reconstruction
  • Trace the evolution of slavery and examine the experience of slaves from the age of exploration
    through the era of reconstruction

Sophia's Many Ways™
This course provides you access to Sophia's Many Ways™ learning model. This model provides you with various instructional styles for each learning objective. With this unique model, you can find a method that appeals to your individual learning preference.


412 Student Reviews
by Diana P. on July 9, 2020
Course is challenging and entails a lot of reading...
by Shauna G. on July 8, 2020
This was a tough course, but a necessary one! Phew! There was an ABUNDANCE of information to attempt to remember.
by Elissa E. on July 8, 2020
I really struggled with this class and I'm so happy that it's over. There is so much information but nothing really goes into tremendous detail to have it stick. Lots of dates and wars and the curriculum moves through things very quickly. At one point I needed to switch over to the audio version because reading about wars - taxes or tariffs actually put me to sleep. Like I fell asleep twice. I do however appreciate having a refresher on US History especially being able to apply it to our current economic and political climate. I'm deeply ashamed of America and our role in creating this deeply systemic racist society and culture. Black and Brown people never had a chance - how we as a society can ever pay restitution for robbing indigenous people of their lands and the enslavement of black people is beyond me. White men in politics - when will this ever change?
by Jennifer J. on July 8, 2020
A very informative course, but a lot of reading and a vast amount of information covered. Not an "easy A" course.
by Piper A. on July 8, 2020
For me, It was horrible. The material and format was perfect, but for me and my learning style, there was too much information given at once.
by Amanda W. on July 8, 2020
For someone struggling to pass a History CLEP but not wanting to take a full 8 week class, this was AWESOME! I was able to go at my own pace, the information was interesting, the site is easy to navigate, and as long as you read and pay attention to the questions you will surely pass. Thank you!
by Quentin W. on July 8, 2020
Lots of material to cover
by KATHY S. on July 8, 2020
The US History I course was very informative and relevant to yo the current civil unrest happening in the United States, but extremely intense. The challenges and the milestones offered a host of difficult, multiple-choice questions and statements which caused me to waste an exuberant amount of time looking through the tutorials for information. I often second-guessed my knowledge and my answers. I felt very stressed each time. None the less, I passed and have earned the necessary credits to transfer to Ashford University.


  • Q: What does "Try it for Free" mean?

    A: The Free Trial allows you to access the course of your choice, or multiple courses. It gives you access to the first unit ("Challenge 1") in the course. This will let you meet the course instructors, sample the instructional content, and answer a set of assessment questions in the Challenge. You can also read the Student Guide and watch an Orientation Video to learn more about the course format, requirements, and resources.

    Any work you complete in the Free Trial is saved, so if you decide to register, you do not need to repeat it. Of course, we also let you reset it and start over if you wish.

  • Q: Does Sophia accept third-party payment for tuition, such as financial aid or military benefits?

    A: Sophia courses are not eligible for most third party payment methods. Course tuition is paid by the student, using a credit or debit card. Tuition is due at the time of course registration. Sophia offers a payment plan option for course tuition.

  • Q: When do the courses start and how long do I have to complete a course?

    A: You choose your own course start date and have 60 days from your chosen start date to complete each course. Sophia courses are self-paced, so many students complete a course in less than 60 days.

  • Q: Where do I get the textbooks for my course?

    A: You do not need any textbooks for Sophia courses. All material is taught by video and text-based tutorials that are in the courseroom, and are included in the course tuition.

  • Q: How am I graded in the course?

    A: Sophia courses are graded on a pass/fail basis, with 70% overall required to pass the course. Your score is based upon points earned in the formative assessments ("Challenges"), summative assessments ("Milestones"), and if applicable, the authentic assessments ("Touchstones"). Currently, our Foundations of English Composition, English Composition I, and Public Speaking courses contain Touchstones.

  • Q: How do I know which courses I should take?

    A: Consult with your academic adviser at your university to determine specifically which Sophia courses could fit into your program. You can download the course syllabus directly from our site to share with your school advisor.

  • Q: Are the tests proctored?

    A: Sophia courses utilize keyboard biometrics as an alternative to proctoring. No webcam is needed for a Sophia course.

  • Q: I'm taking a course where I have to submit Touchstones. How long does it take for my Touchstone to be graded once it's submitted?

    A: We provide our faculty graders with up to 7 business days to grade a Touchstone. The actual time may vary based on volume and grader capacity.