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Master of Arts (MA): Military History Degree Overview

Master of Arts degree programs in military history offer students the chance to increase their knowledge of warfare through the ages, including causes, effects and strategies. Learn about the program, courses and job outlook.

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Essential Information

Students may choose to specialize in the study of conflict, from classical to modern times. In most programs, students need to complete a capstone project or a thesis highlighting a particular area of research. These programs can be completed in two years and consist of roughly 36 semester hours of coursework. Applicants need a bachelor's degree, GRE scores and letters of recommendation.


Master of Arts in Military History Degree

These programs may include the study of international, civil, ethnic, religious and cultural conflict. Most include American and European history, or they focus on other regions such as the Middle East. Also studied are types of warfare such as naval, medieval or samurai. Programs typically emphasize historiography, including research methodology and analytical skills as they relate to established and emerging theories. Students can learn about conflict and political events leading to military movements and analyze their findings to build on existing theories in the field. The curriculum covers the methodology of performing historical research and historiography, as well as an examination of theoretical concepts. Course topics could include:

  • Ethics in warfare
  • Non-Western military methods
  • Philosophy of war
  • Theological warfare
  • Military revolutions
  • Medieval war

Popular Career Options

Graduates can seek opportunities in government, business, education or research, although some careers may require additional preparation. Job titles could include:

  • Historian
  • College or university history teacher
  • Regulatory affairs manager
  • Compliance manager

Career Outlook and Salary Information

Historians might see opportunities for employment increase by two percent from 2014 until 2024, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted. These professionals earned a median annual salary of $55,800, reported the BLS in May 2015.

In comparison, the BLS predicted 13% growth for postsecondary teachers in all disciplines during that same decade. The professors who specialized in history earned $69,400 in median wages, the BLS found.

Continuing Education

Graduate certificate programs in history with a military history specialization offer individuals the chance to continue learning and become familiar with new theories in this particular field. These may be offered as part of an M.A. program. Those interested in research or university teaching can apply to a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree program in military history or history. A doctoral program can take more than four years to complete and commonly requires completion of a series of exams and a doctoral dissertation.

Students interested in studying the history of various kinds of conflicts throughout the ages, can earn a master's degree in military history. Graduates can work as historians or professors and may choose to pursue a Ph.D. in the field.

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