What Grades Learn World History?

If you are a student studying history, you might be curious about which grades cover world history. World history is a vast subject that spans centuries and continents.

It covers the rise and fall of civilizations, political changes, cultural movements, and significant events that have shaped the world we live in today. In this article, we will discuss which grades learn world history and what topics they cover.

Elementary School

World history is not typically taught in elementary school. Most elementary schools focus on introducing students to basic concepts such as reading, writing, math, social skills, and science. However, some schools may offer general social studies classes that introduce students to different cultures and traditions from around the world.

Middle School

Middle school is where most students begin to learn about world history. Sixth-grade students usually start with ancient civilizations such as Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome.

They learn about these civilizations’ influential figures such as Julius Caesar and Cleopatra. Seventh-grade students typically study medieval times with an emphasis on European history during the Middle Ages.

In eighth grade, students usually cover modern world history. This period includes events such as the Renaissance in Europe, the Age of Exploration and Discovery by European powers like Spain and Portugal during the 15th century AD – 16th century AD), the Industrial Revolution in Europe (18th century AD), World War I (1914-1918), World War II (1939-1945), and other critical global events of the 20th century.

High School

In high school, world history courses become more specific. Students can choose from a variety of courses depending on their interests or future career aspirations.

For example:

  • AP World History – This course is designed for high school students who want to take an advanced placement test at the end of the year. It covers world history from prehistory to the present day and emphasizes critical thinking, writing skills, and analysis of primary sources.
  • Ancient World History – This course focuses on the civilizations of ancient Greece, Rome, China, and India.

    Students learn about the significant events that shaped these societies and their contributions to modern civilization.

  • Modern World History – This course covers major events of the last several centuries such as industrialization, imperialism, nationalism, world wars, globalization, and contemporary issues such as climate change and international relations.
  • Middle Eastern History – This course explores the history of the Middle East from ancient civilizations to modern times. Students learn about Islam’s origins and its impact on Middle Eastern societies, conflicts in the region (e.g., Arab-Israeli conflict), political instability in certain countries (e., Iraq), and other relevant topics.


In conclusion, world history is a fascinating subject that covers a wide range of topics. Most students begin to learn world history in middle school and continue through high school if they choose to take specialized courses. Regardless of which grade you are in or which course you take, studying world history can help you understand how past events have shaped our present-day society.