Online PhD in Military History: Program Info

Dec 04, 2019

Research Ph.D. programs in military history, which have few on-campus requirements. Find out about program requirements, course topics and career options to determine if this course of study is right for you.

Essential Information

Online doctoral programs in military history do not exist, but most programs don't require on-campus studies for the duration of the program. However, many programs require only one year of in-person studies. Students spend most of their time doing research and writing their dissertation. The length of the programs, like the curriculum itself, is flexible, but many schools do require that doctoral programs be completed within eight years of beginning studies.

Entrance into doctoral programs often requires a passing score on entrance exam. Most doctoral programs teach students about historical military policies and theories and how sociological and economic issues factored into warfare over the years. Some programs ask that student choose a secondary field of study, usually in history. Topics such as American studies, film or sociology may be allowed as a secondary field. In-person requirements include a two-semester residency as well as the dissertation defense.

Students take several examinations to progress in these programs, and a dissertation is usually required.

Ph.D. in Military History

Doctoral degree programs in military history provide candidates with enhanced educational opportunities for careers that include historians or professors. Students investigate advanced analytical theories to develop a greater knowledge and understanding of the role the military plays in American and world history. Sociological, economic and political issues used in the creation of military policy are central to the program.


Applicants typically must hold a master's degree in history or a related discipline from an accredited college or university. Entrance requirements vary according to the institution; however, students must complete an entrance exam. Many schools require Ph.D. candidates to complete a residency requirement of at least two consecutive semesters; however, students need not be on campus for the entire duration of the program. In addition to coursework and a residency requirement, candidates are required to complete and defend a dissertation.

Course Topics

Doctoral students examine nations' use of military action to achieve their domestic and international goals. Students gain advanced knowledge of the philosophies and theories that have guided military policies and actions throughout history.

Students can take courses in specific wars, such as the Korean War or World War I, or study topics such as the Samurai in Japan. Courses and seminars in ancient warfare are also part of the program.

European Military History

This course covers the history of military conflict in Europe from ancient times to the present day. Students examine a variety of texts and readings to gain greater perspective on the major European military and diplomatic events that have shaped the continent.

War and American Society

Students explore the political, economic and social effects of military conflict in American society from the Revolutionary War period through the current day. The curriculum discusses the roles governments and civilians play in military conflicts.

American International Policy

In this course, students are provided with an overview of policies adopted by the United States and other nations to achieve their domestic goals in an international environment. The program focuses on researching the public policy, laws and military resources used by the United States to achieve international and national goals.

Career Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected a faster-than-average growth of 1o% for anthropologists and archaeologists from 2018-2028, but a much-faster-than-average growth (11%) for postsecondary teachers (

As of May 2018, the BLS reported median annual wages of $74,590 for postsecondary history teachers (

While there are no online doctoral programs in military history, most programs only require a short term of residence. These programs require students to complete a certain number of courses before beginning to research and write a dissertation.

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