Top Online Military Studies Degree Programs

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WHAT IS An Online MILITARY STUDIES DEGREE?

An online military studies degree program looks at the nature of diplomacy, and war. It’ll often examine military decision making from a historical and ethical context.

Along with basic knowledge, military studies major aims to help you grow as a leader. As such, it may be a useful degree to pursue if your goal is a career in the armed forces or in the private sector.

Things you should know about online military studies degree

Associate DEGREE

Associate of Arts in Military Studies


A broad general-education curriculum with studies specific to the United States military, including government, politics, and the role of the military as a peacekeeping force. 


  • Intro to Military Studies
  • Politics
  • Ethical Issues related to the Military

Bachelor’s DEGREE

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Military Studies


This program may help you understand military history and global conflicts. You’ll study military operations from classical times to the 20th century.


  • Peacekeeping
  • Intro to Military Studies
  • Military Leadership

MASTER’s DEGREE

Master of Arts (MA) in Military History


This program may help you understand the military history and global conflicts. You’ll study military operations from classical times to the 20th century


  • Global Military History
  • Military Thought and Theory
  • Amphibious Warfare

ONLINE MILITARY STUDIES DEGREE PROGRAMS

The typical bachelor’s degree in military studies is a Bachelor of Arts degree. As such, you are likely to take a range of liberal arts classes besides your major. Apart from electives, you may need to complete a final research project.

Most military studies programs have broad and narrow themes. Broad themes may look at armed conflicts in the context of history. They’ll also take a deep dive into American military operations and the anthropology of war.

You may also take classes in areas like political science and global affairs. Such topics often help you to make sense of the ways war defines our world. The effects to the economy, culture and fabric of society.

Narrow topics look at the role of the military during times of peace and conflict. Such classes may take a deep look at the U.S. Military institution and its impact. Side topics often shed light on peacekeeping and institutions like NATO.

At the same time, you may study different ways to deter or deal with military threats and risks. These classes may look at real-world security issues as well as ethics and strategy.

Another area you are likely to study is leadership. These classes focus on the military decision process. How to apply these high-impact principles and practices to the workplace.

To do this, you’ll often study history and the actions of military leaders throughout time. These courses may help you assess pros and cons especially as you study the past to learn from it.

What Classes Will I Take? Take a look at some sample Military Studies courses below

  • Intro to Military Studies
  • International Relations
  • Survey of the American Military
  • American Military History
  • Peacekeeping & Conflict Resolution
  • Military Leadership

What Military Studies Degree Courses Will I Take?

If you’re pursuing military studies as a grad student, there are different paths to choose as well. Some programs focus on how to provide counseling to military families and individuals. Others may focus on military history and research

  • Intro to Military Studies:This course explores and analyzes the past and present. You’ll take a look at war and peacekeeping from a historical lens. Other topics may help you refine leadership and decision skills.
  • Peacekeeping & Conflict Resolution: Students may learn how to manage peace and mitigate conflict in an ever evolving and complex conflict environments. The courses typically focus on skill development of communication, negotiation and mediation.
  • Military Leadership: Typically, this course examines world and U.S. military leadership principles. Students may analyze various topics on the evolution of military leadership, its issues and strategy.
  • International Relations: These courses typically cover the complex relationships between various countries from politics to security issues.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO EARN A MILITARY STUDIES DEGREE?

It may take four years full time to earn an online military studies degree. This is because the typical bachelor’s degree program consists of 120 credits.

If you have transfer credits, you may be able to shorten the time to completion. Some schools accept credits from military experience or an associate’s degree.

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ONLINE MILITARY STUDIES DEGREE PROGRAMS THAT COULD BE COMPLETED IN 208 WEEKS

SchoolDegree# of Credits RequiredStart DatesMinimum Months to Complete
Ashford UniversityBA in Military Studies120Multiple208
Norwich UniversityMA in Military History364 Start Dates per year78
Southern New Hampshire UniversityMA in History- Military History33Multiple65

HOW MUCH DOES A MILITARY STUDIES DEGREE PROGRAM COST?

Tuition costs for Military History majors vary. On average it costs $6,216 for in-state public colleges and $23,160 for out of state private colleges.

Other variables that may affect prices are transfer credits and discounts. U.S. service members and the spouses of those on active duty may be eligible for a discounted rate. If you have transfer credits, you’ll have fewer to do and pay for.

SchoolDegree Level# of Credits RequiredCost Per CreditTotal Tuition Cost
Ashford UniversityBachelors120 credits$485$58,200
Norwich UniversityMasters36 credits$704$25,344
Southern New Hampshire UniversityMasters33 credits$627$20,691

TOP SCHOOLS FOR MILITARY STUDIES DEGREE PROGRAMS

Last check, there were 7 schools that offer Military History degrees or programs. From those schools there were 196 Military History degrees awarded to students. The majority (87%)) of these programs were master’s degrees.

School2017 Grads total/degrees awardedTuition (Out of State)
American Public University System149$6,480
Norwich University45$35,318
Hawaii Pacific University15$23,160
United States Airforce Academy45$0
Columbia College6$7,887
Austin Peay State University11$21,456
United States Military Academy10$0

CHOOSING AN ACCREDITED MILITARY STUDIES DEGREE ONLINE PROGRAM

You’ll find six agencies that are in charge of accrediting the schools in their region. Such schools meet levels of quality set by the U.S. Department of Education.

  • Higher Learning Commission
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ACCJC, SCUC)

To receive the status of an accredited school, the institution first submits to a review. This review generally looks to see if the school meets criteria. It usually includes an on-site evaluation of programs, services, policies and processes.

Once a school receives its status, it must renew – about every 7 years. This entails another review and some effort by the school to maintain or improve its quality.

Regional accreditation is important for several reasons. For one, students at accredited schools may be eligible to receive federal financial aid. Also, only accredited schools have transfer policies. This is important if you want to use past or future credits towards a degree.

WHAT CAN I DO WITH A MILITARY STUDIES DEGREE?

There are 988,521 people in the civilian-military history workforce, a number that is growing by 0.54%. Most are male with an average age of 44.5 years. Over half (51%) have a bachelor’s degree.

Per BLS.gov, enlisted personnel make up about 82% of the Armed Forces. They are the ones who carry out military operations. The remaining 18% are officers. These military leaders manage enlisted personnel and operations. About 8 percent of officers are warrant officers. They are technical and tactical experts in a specific area such as Army aviators.

Top Salaries by State for Military Historians

STATEEMPLOYMENTANNUAL MEAN WAGE
District of Columbia220$106,610
California220$85,690
Maryland110$79,310
New Mexico40$76,100
Colorado50$75,870

CAREERS WITH A MILITARY STUDIES DEGREE

A bachelor of arts in military studies may ready you to pursue a variety of careers. Whether you choose a military or civilian career may depend on your goals.

MILITARY OFFICERS

Members of the U.S. military service maintain the U.S. national defense. Some military officers work in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. Others work in civilian occupations such as nurses, doctors, lawyers, logisticians and counselors.

Median salary: Pay is based on rank and time in service
Job Growth through 2026: N/A
Entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree

POLITICAL SCIENTISTS

political scientist may work to make sense of election data and public opinion. Some have jobs in foreign affairs where they may have a hand in diplomatic efforts. Others may keep their finger on the pulse of current events and policy decisions. They’ll do this to track and forecast political, economic and social trends.

Median salary: $115,510
Job Growth through 2026: 3% (slower than average)
Entry-level education: Master’s degree or PhD

MILITARY HISTORIANS

Historians use their research skills to look at past events. They’ll gather historical data from various sources. This includes taking a critical eye to scan archives, books, and artifacts. Their role is to try and interpret history, then write about what they found. Doing this helps to inform the public as well as governments and businesses.

Median salary: $59,120
Job Growth through 2026: 6% (as fast as average)
Entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree for some non-historian roles, Master’s degree or PhD more common

© Education Connection 2019. All Rights Reserved.

EducationDynamics maintains business relationships with the schools it features.

Sources for school statistics is the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.

This is an offer for educational opportunities that may lead to employment and not an offer for nor a guarantee of employment. Students should consult with a representative from the school they select to learn more about career opportunities in that field. Program outcomes vary according to each institution’s specific program curriculum.