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Information on Master of Arts (MA) Degree in Military History

Majors Overview November 16, 2015

This article talks about Master of Arts (M.A.) degree programs in Military History and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master of Arts (M.A.) Programs in Military History

Enrollees in Master of Arts (M.A.) degree programs in Military History get the opportunity of enhancing their knowledge of warfare through the ages, including strategies, causes, and effects. Students may be allowed a choice of specialization in the study of conflict, from the Classical through the modern age. Most schools require the completion of a thesis or a capstone project that highlights a specific research area. Students can complete these programs comprising 36 semester hours of coursework within two years.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree. In most schools, the degree could be either a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in any major. Criteria in most schools include submission of transcripts of previous coursework, Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) scores, and letters of recommendation.


Program coursework may commonly incorporate the study of civil, international, religious, ethnic, and cultural conflict, including European and American history, or the history of other regions such as the Middle East. Students are also made to examine various types of warfare including medieval, naval, or samurai. The emphasis of program coursework is typically on historiography, including analytical skills and research methodology as relating to emerging and established theories. Students learn about political events and conflict leading to military movements; their findings are analyzed to build on current theories in the area of study.

Students may also study additional topics such as concepts related to the executing military campaigns. They may also look into the effectiveness of military campaigns, including leadership, strategy, politics, gender, race and resources, in addition to major events, personalities, and milestones in military history. Students examine modes of performing historical research and historiography, in addition to theoretical concepts. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Air combat
•Research methods
•Theories of warfare
•Non-Western military methods
•European warfare
•Ethics in warfare
•Medieval War
•The American military
•Military revolutions
•Philosophy of war
•Theological warfare

Career Choices

Program graduates can seek careers in business, government, research or education, although they may need additional training and education for some careers. They may pursue possible job positions such as:

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

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a six percent job growth has been predicted for historians. In May 2012, these professionals brought in an average annual wage of $52,480 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). By contrast, postsecondary teachers in all disciplines are expected to see a nineteen percent job growth during the 2012 – 2022 decade. In May 2012, these professionals earned a median annual wage of $68,970 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Enrollees in graduate certificate programs in history with a military history specialization get the opportunity of continuing their education. They may also gain familiarity with new theories in the particular area of study, often offered within the curriculum of an MA program. A Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree program in History or Military History can lead to careers in university-level research or academia. Students may take over four years to complete a doctoral program and may commonly be required to complete a doctoral dissertation and a series of exams.

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