The Master of Arts in Military Studies focuses on strategic military operations in peace and conflict with concentrations in joint warfare, irregular warfare, or strategic leadership. You will study military art through historical and contemporary context and apply theory, established doctrine, and the laws of war to emerging defense and security challenges facing the U.S. You will also learn to identify viable courses of action when doctrine or revolutionary changes in strategy and operation occur.

The curriculum for this online master’s program was developed with input from academic professionals, senior military leaders, and those serving in the national security arena. Coursework provides useful preparation for pursuing mid- to senior-level careers in government or military service, or as a research scholar or military instructor. It also prepares you to publish scholarly works and to pursue a doctorate in a related field. While popular among students from the armed forces and government agencies, this major is open to any student interested in military philosophy, strategy, and operations.

Degree Program Objectives

In addition to the institutional and degree level learning objectives, graduates of this program are expected to achieve these learning outcomes:

  • Analyze the origins, development, capabilities, and vulnerabilities of both friendly and hostile military forces.
  • Assess the major trends, theories, laws of war, events, and people that have shaped military studies in both an historical and modern context.
  • Evaluate the variables and influences affecting military forces to include the following: leadership, doctrine; strategy, tactics, operations, joint operations and integrated systems, technology, cultures, and the multidimensional battle space.
  • Judge examples of successful and unsuccessful military and strategic leadership philosophies and decisions based on historical and current events.
  • Analyze critical issues and trends in national and international security that affect the strategic employment and sustainment of military forces and the relationship between military power and other elements of national power.
  • Develop effective research, analysis, methodological, and presentation skills relevant to Military Studies.
  • Synthesize information in a publication-quality paper that presents new knowledge or a new approach to a topic pertinent to the field of Military Studies.

Degree at a Glance

Core Requirements15
Select one of the following concentrations:15
Elective Requirements3
Final Program Requirements3
Total Semester Hours36

Degree Program Requirements

Core Requirements (15 semester hours)

MILS514The Making of Strategy 13
SSGS500Research Design and Methods3
MILS512Great Military Leaders3
MILS521Strategy, Tactics, & the Operational Art3
MILS560Joint Warfare Theory and Practice3
Total Semester Hours15

Students must choose a concentration for this degree program and may select from the Irregular Warfare, Joint Warfare or the Strategic Leadership Concentrations.

Concentration in Irregular Warfare (15 semester hours)

This concentration provides students with an opportunity to research, study, and write in the field of lrregular Warfare (IW). The program experience includes a detailed analysis of historical, current, and future IW theories and concepts. Students will expand critical thinking and their knowledge of IW methods through an examination of materials on intelligence, international relations, terrorism, criminal activities, cyber warfare, propaganda, and the various levels of armed conflict to include conventional, asymmetric, and irregular warfare. The study of insurgent activities and the implementation of these methods provide an understanding of the nature and motivation of movements which challenge legitimate governance through forms of  modem or hybrid warfare.


Upon successful completion of this concentration, the student will be able to:

  • Diagram the changing nature of Irregular Warfare (IW) in terms of current theory, planning, and implementation.
  • Synthesize elements of Irregular Warfare (IW) in historical and contemporary campaigns.
  • Analyze emerging theories of lrregular Warfare (IW), through an understanding of varied methods of implementation.
  • Evaluate Irregular Warfare (IW) concepts within the geo-political and operating environments.

Concentration Requirements (15 semester hours)

MILS570Seminar in Asymmetrical Warfare3
MILS583Insurgency and Revolution3
MILS671The Non-State Soldier3
Select 2 courses from the following:6
Special Operations Forces Application
Studies in Future War
Special Topic: Military Studies
Case Studies in Foreign Cyber Threats
Terrorism: Assessing the Past to Forecast the Future
Deception, Propaganda and Disinformation
International Political Systems
Total Semester Hours15

Concentration in Joint Warfare (15 semester hours)

This concentration studies modern joint warfare operations, leadership, and management. Students will learn of the theory, practice, planning, implementation, command and control, and overarching military philosophy that pervades today’s joint military environment. Going beyond the specific joint military community, students will also study coalition warfare and future war. The application of air, land, and sea power in joint operations can be analyzed as well as seen through past joint operations. Most popular among students from all military services and inter-governmental agencies, this major is open to any interested military or civilian student who seeks to know more of military philosophy, strategy, tactics, history, and contemporary issues.

Concentration Requirements (15 semester hours)

MILS561Joint Warfare Planning and Implementation3
MILS562Joint Warfare Command and Control3
MILS563Case Studies in Joint Warfare3
MILS620Studies in Future War3
Select 1 course from the following:3
Strategic Military Leadership
Air and Space Power Theory: Strategy and Tactics
Seminar in Asymmetrical Warfare
Special Operations Forces Application
Insurgency and Revolution
Air Power in Joint Warfare
Naval Power in Joint Warfare
The Non-State Soldier
Special Topic: Military Studies
Independent Study: Military Studies 1
Total Semester Hours15

Concentration in Strategic Leadership (15 semester hours)

This concentration is for students who seek an understanding of the principles, theory, and practices of strategy and leadership from historical and contemporary perspectives. This program provides students with the opportunity to focus on strategic leadership lessons learned under military, civil-military, and government settings and conditions. With critical analytical thinking skills, students can apply the classic strategies, tactics, and teachings of the great military philosophers and leaders to key national strategic issues and international concerns that are relevant in modern times.

Concentration Requirements (15 semester hours)

MILS510Strategic Military Leadership3
MILS562Joint Warfare Command and Control3
MILS620Studies in Future War3
NSEC610National Security and Globalization3
Select 1 course from the following:3
Campaign and Battle Analysis
Special Operations Forces Application
Insurgency and Revolution
The Non-State Soldier
Special Topic: Military Studies 1
Independent Study: Military Studies 1
Institutions of National Security
Total Semester Hours15

Electives Requirements (3 semester hours)

Select from other graduate courses not taken to meet core or concentration requirements.

Final Program Requirements (3 semester hours)

MILS699Military Studies Capstone 13
Total Semester Hours3