Military History Degree Programs with Class and Course Info

Essential Information

Military history degrees are available at the associate's, bachelor's, and master's levels, and research skills are emphasized increasingly with degree advancement.

Applicants for graduate degrees in military history are required to have a bachelor's degree in a related field, an undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or higher, a resume, a letter of intent, letters of recommendation and minimum GRE scores. Master's students may also be required to submit a research proposal.

Common subjects in all of these programs include American foreign policy initiatives, military theory and military leadership.

Graduates of such programs may be eligible for military promotions, secondary and postsecondary teaching positions, or careers as military historians.

Associate of Arts in Military History

Associate's degree programs in military history expose students to the long history of national and global warfare. Topics include strategy, tactics, weapons systems, leadership and social structures within the military.

Students pursuing this degree will also learn how conflict has shaped other aspects of society, such as foreign policy and economics. Through intensive reading and introduction to research methods, students will learn how to identify patterns of warfare and how technological advances influence conflict.

Common core coursework includes the following:

  • American foreign policy
  • Introductory military history
  • Research methods in history

Bachelor of Arts in Military History

Bachelor's degree programs in military history examine the history of warfare as an art and a science. Emphasis is placed on how technology has influenced human conflict and how warfare has shaped society. Coursework focuses on specific military battles, leaders and philosophers and the military tactics and strategies employed.

Graduates will be better able to strategize, a skill that can serve them well in a variety of fields, including government, military and business. Members of the military often pursue a bachelor's degree when seeking a promotion, while civilians may earn the degree to teach or work in government.

Common core coursework includes the following:

  • American military history
  • Diplomacy and war
  • History of peacekeeping
  • Modern military geography
  • Special operations strategy and tactics
  • War and national security

Master of Arts in Military History

This graduate degree program is a mixture of historical reading and research methodologies that focuses on warfare from the classical period through the present. Students will be expected to effectively prepare, analyze and present historical research; many pursue careers as historians or history teachers upon graduation.

Programs typically focus on critical thinking, research writing, historical interpretations, presentation skills and pedagogy; students showcase these skills via the completion and presentation of a unique research proposal.

Core coursework may include the following:

  • Military thought and theory
  • Race and gender in military history
  • Military historiography and criticism
  • Research methods
  • Philosophical perspectives on war and justice
  • Homeland security

Popular Career Options

Students who enroll in a master's degree program in military history are generally pursuing career opportunities for advancement as military historians or professional history writers. However, a few other career options are available, including the following:

  • Secondary or postsecondary educator
  • Specialized military officer
  • Government official
  • Institutional planner

With a range of degree options at the associate's, bachelor's, and master's levels, students with military history degrees can go on to work as educators, academics, military officers, or public administrators.

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