The Master of Arts in Military History explores the historiography of military and warfare that shaped future civilization. While pursuing this online master’s degree, you’ll discover the strategy, command, leadership tactics, and technological advances in weaponry that altered the outcome of some of the most significant battles in history. The graduate curriculum not only examines military battles, it addresses social structures, military attitudes, organizational relationships between officers and troops, and the interrelationships between military and civilian societies. Additionally, this online military history program emphasizes valuable research, writing and communication skills required by professionals in government, military services, or general business.

Many university faculty members teaching these courses are published historians or military leaders who bring unique perspectives and relevant research into the classroom. You’ll also connect and interact online with other students who share your enthusiasm for history.

Degree Program Objectives

In addition to the institutional and degree level learning outcomes objectives, this degree also seeks the following specific learning outcomes of its graduates. With reference to each of the respective areas of military studies, graduates in this degree program will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a broad knowledge of historical individuals and events and the global complexity of human experiences over time and place.
  • Distinguish the historical schools of thought that have shaped scholarly understanding of the profession.
  • Apply persuasive arguments that are reasoned and based on suitable evidence.
  • Evaluate secondary resources, through historiographical analysis, for credibility, position, and perspective.
  • Assess a variety of primary sources, digital and archival, in the process of deeply researching the past.
  • Generate research that makes original contributions to knowledge, through the use of advanced historical methods.
  • Produce a high-quality research paper that meets professional standards typical for a conference presentation or academic publication.

Degree at a Glance

Core Requirements12
Select one of the following concentrations:18
Final Program Requirements6
Total Semester Hours36
 

Degree Program Requirements

Core Requirements (12 semester hours)

HIST500Historical Research Methods 13
HIST501Historiography3
MILH510Studies in U.S Military History3
MILH511Great Military Philosophers3
Total Semester Hours12
1

Required as the first course in this program.

Students must choose a concentration for this degree program and may select from the Concentrations in American Military History, the American Revolution, the Civil War, World War II, or War Since 1945.

Concentration in American Military History (18 semester hours)

This Concentration in American Military History focuses on the major conflicts from the Revolution to the Cold War period. The course selection includes the methodology and historiography of the military periods under study and an examination of theoretical concepts including the nature of warfare, strategy, and leadership as well as civil-military relations and foreign relations. The courses offer students a clear understanding of key historical events and human behavior in relation to the history of American warfare including the economics, politics, and social issues.

Objectives

Upon completion of this program students will be able to:

  • Analyze the characteristics of leadership common to great military leaders and decision-making skills that are inbred and/or learned by the great leaders throughout military history.
  • Dissect and critique the American Revolution from its antecedents to its legacy including events leading to the revolt, Declaration of Independence, strategy and tactics, campaigns, and the aftermath of war on the new nation.
  • Discern and assess the political, economic, cultural, social, and military aspects of the Civil War specifically including their impact on causative factors, conduct of the war, and post-war aftermath.
  • Compare and contrast all theaters of World War II and events in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Southeast and Southwest Asia, the Pacific, and Latin America as well as the role of diplomacy and strategy, the impact of war upon society, and the fighting on land, at sea, and in the air.
  • Examine the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States with emphasis on the actual scene of superpower conflict in the Third World and an analysis of the varied levels of power and their interrelationships that made the Cold War unique.

Concentration Requirements (18 semester hours)

MILH536The American Revolution3
HIST552The Civil War: Seminal Event in American History3
HIST558The Great War3
HIST560World War II in Context3
MILH621The Cold War Era and Aftermath3
MILH668The War in Vietnam3
Or select 1 course from the following:
Special Topic: History 1
Independent Study: History 1
Total Semester Hours18
1

Students will need permission from the Department Chair to take this course.

Concentration in the American Revolution (18 semester hours)

APUS offers one of the nation’s only graduate concentrations on the American Revolution. Students study the philosophies, personalities, strategies, leadership, and other factors that led to, influenced, and resulted from the United States of America’s foundation and permanent break from Great Britain. As a major event in the larger sweep of the Enlightenment, the following aspects of the American Revolution are analyzed: principles of colonialism, monarchy, democracy, republic, and nation-building; military leadership, strategies and individual soldiers on each side; international diplomacy; economics; and American culture.

Objectives

Upon completion of this program students will be able to:

  • Dissect and critique the American Revolution from its antecedents to its legacy including events leading to the revolt, Declaration of Independence, strategy and tactics, campaigns, and the aftermath of war on the new nation.
  • Analyze the American Revolution in reference to the operational contributions of American and British military leadership using selected land battles as examples of the strategies and tactics involved.
  • Evaluate an early and pivotal campaign in the American Revolution by critiquing the strategy, tactics, and results of campaign on the subsequent course of the Revolution and post-war Anglo-American relations.
  • Explain the perspective of the American Revolution from the British viewpoint in relation to colonial policies, diplomacy, military leadership, and other influences in Great Britain during and after the war.
  • Assess and critique the conclusive military strategy of the American Revolution and why the strategy was distinctive from other military theatres of operation.

Concentration Requirements (18 semester hours)

HIST553History of Colonial America3
MILH637The Seven Years War3
HIST551The American Revolution in Context3
MILH531Strategy, Tactics & Leadership of the American Revolution3
MILH532British Perspective of the American Revolution3
MILH536The American Revolution3
Or select 1 course from the following:
Special Topic: History 1
Independent Study: History 1
Total Semester Hours18
1

Students will need permission from the Department Chair to take this course.

Concentration in the Civil War (18 semester hours)

Often referred to as the "seminal event" in American history, this program studies the political, cultural, economic, and military issues related to the War Between the States. The degree covers (1) major figures, such as Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant, (2) obscure figures unknown to the casual observer yet critical to how one understands of the war, and (3) minor figures that are rarely provided the coverage deserved of history such as the common soldier on each side of the conflict. The major campaigns are analyzed using cutting edge texts and professors’ expert analyses. The war itself is viewed in context; the issues leading up to it and resulting from it are critically analyzed. Graduates of the program can expect to be on their way to becoming "experts" in the Civil War; several graduates of this program have published books and/or articles related to the war.

Objectives

Upon completion of this program students will be able to:

  • Place events of the Antebellum period, the Civil War, and Reconstruction into the broader scope of American History by assessing the similarities and differences in social, cultural, economic, and political developments in North and South.
  • Discern and assess the political, economic, cultural, social, and military aspects of the Civil War to specifically include their impact on causative factors, conduct of the war, and post-war aftermath.
  • Examine the operational contributions of Union and Confederate military leaders by critiquing selected land battles of the war as examples of the strategies and tactics involved.
  • Compare and contrast the national, theater, and operational command structures of the Union and Confederacy in relation to leadership styles of key military leaders on both sides and the evolution of command and control during the war.
  • Identify, assess, and explain the diverse historical assessments and interpretations of the Antebellum, Civil War, and Reconstruction eras as presented in the writings of prominent and influential historians.

Concentration Requirements (18 semester hours) 

HIST657Antebellum America: Prelude to the Civil War3
HIST552The Civil War: Seminal Event in American History3
MILH541Civil War Strategy and Tactics3
MILH542Civil War Command and Leadership3
MILH646Civil War Cavalry and Intelligence3
HIST658Reconstruction and Post-Civil War America3
Or select 1 course from the following:
Special Topic: History 1
Independent Study: History 1
Total Semester Hours18
1

Students will need permission from the Department Chair to take this course.

Concentration in World War II (18 semester hours)

Students in the World War II concentration study the history, politics, leaders, strategies, and campaigns under which the 20th century's history, (and some would argue, the modern world's), seminal events unfolded. The World War II student takes a course of study that includes study of the major political and military leaders of both Allied and Axis powers as well as study of the war's major theaters. Students then have the opportunity to study of major and lesser campaigns and battles, military strategy and leadership, and World War II political and military institutions.

Objectives

Upon completion of this program students will be able to:

  • Discern and critique the strategies, tactics, leaders and lessons learned during the fighting in the China-Burma-India Theater, New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, the Aleutians, and in the Philippines.
  • Explain and assess the strategy, tactics and leadership from the blitzkriegs into France, the Balkans, and the Soviet Union to the campaigns in North Africa and Italy.
  • Explain and assess the Allied victory in Europe to include the generalship and decisions concerning the amphibious invasions, airdrops, and the crossing of the Rhine.
  • Distinguish the politics, political leadership, and diplomacy in Germany, Japan, and Italy that enabled the rise of the respective countries’ Axis leadership that ruled during World War II.
  • Distinguish the political leadership that defined the Allied powers of the United States, Great Britain, and Russia before, during, and after World War II. 

Concentration Requirements (18 semester hours)

HIST560World War II in Context3
MILH551World War II in Europe3
MILH552World War II in the Pacific3
MILH555World War II: Politics, Political Leadership and Diplomacy3
MILH654World War II and the Eastern Front3
HIST642Nazi Germany and the Holocaust3
Or select 1 course from the following:
Special Topic: History 1
Independent Study: History 1
Total Semester Hours18
1

Students will need permission from the Department Chair to take this course.

Concentration in War Since 1945 (18 semester hours)

Students will focus on the American culture of war from World War II to the present. It traces the history and evolution of American strategic, operational, and tactical doctrine during the Cold War as well as United Nations peace-keeping operations in this time period. Topics cover national security interests including foreign policy and military operations and their relation to domestic political, economic, and social components as well as the major foreign wars and the emergence of the United States as a world power. In addition, students have the opportunity to examine our response to selected regional issues in the Balkans, Middle East, and other threat situations in the world.

Objectives

Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Examine the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States with emphasis on the actual scene of superpower conflict in the Third World and an analysis of the varied levels of power and their interrelationships that made the Cold War unique.
  • Contrast the evolution and functioning of United Nations peacekeeping operations during the Cold War period to include comparative assessments of each peacekeeping operation as a tool of conflict management.
  • Analyze of the origins and structures of insurgency and revolution to include the actual history of specific groups of insurgents and revolutionaries such as the Chinese Communists, the Viet Minh/Viet Cong, and the militant Islamist insurgents.
  • Assess great and middle power military interventions into civil wars during the 1990s and extraordinary security enjoyed by the great and middle powers of the Western world in the Cold War's aftermath.
  • Evaluate turbulent areas in the history of the world with emphasis on modern political and military issues including the Balkans, Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan, and other regions.

Concentration Requirements (18 semester hours)

MILH620War Since 19453
MILH621The Cold War Era and Aftermath3
MILH622Great Power Military Interventions3
MILH667The Balkans: Conflict and Peace3
MILH668The War in Vietnam3
Select 1 course from the following:3
Special Topic: History 1
Independent Study: History 1
Total Semester Hours18
1

Students will need permission from the Department Chair to take this course.

Final Program Requirements (6 semester hours)

HIST691Writing a Thesis Proposal3
MILH699Military History Capstone (Prerequisite: HIST691 - Writing a Thesis Proposal. Cannot be taken concurrently with HIST691) 13
Total Semester Hours6
1

Taken once all other degree requirements have been met.