This introductory course examines the development of military history as a topic of study and trains you in the key disciplines of historiography and methodology. Historiography examines historical thought and research from the first works of history in the classical world to those of the present. You will explore historical methodology and informational literacy, the ways historians gather information and formulate hypotheses, the development of research methods including the use of primary and secondary sources, and the challenges of objectivity, selectivity, and bias in historical interpretation.
Master of Arts in Military History
Norwich’s military history program curriculum is composed of six courses, each of which is delivered over 11 weeks for a total of 36 credit hours. Students master one course at a time, to create a strong foundation of knowledge and context for future topics.
Our graduates can:
- Develop the critical thinking, research, writing, and analytical skills necessary for work in the field of teaching at the secondary or post-secondary level, or in public history venues, as well careers in professional writing, and to prepare students for Ph.D.-level work in history.
- Apply historical knowledge within the field of military history.
- Increase awareness of differing historical interpretations and develop the ability to synthesize diverse types of historical knowledge.
Conduct research and expand their writing, analysis, and presentation skills.
Learn to think like a historian and develop historiographical sensibilities and historical habits of mind.
Every student in the military history program begins with a history and historiography introductory course followed by elective courses.
Second and Third Course
Students select two courses below to fulfill their second and third courses in the military history program.
This course examines the global patterns of warfare, on land and at sea, from the ancient world to the eve of the Industrial Revolution. Special emphasis is placed on continuity and change in warfare, as well as the impact of socioeconomic and cultural factors.
This course examines the most influential military theoreticians and strategists from the period of the Thirty Years’ War to the present. You will examine the theories of Clausewitz, Jomini, Douhet, Mahan, Corbett, and Mao Tse-Tung, as well as the theories of deterrence and nuclear war and post-Maoist revolutionary warfare.
This course examines some of the major historical factors that have shaped the military trajectory of the modern extra-European (and North American) world, comprising China, Israel, Middle East, Africa, India/South Asia, Ethiopia, Latin America/South America, and Turkey/Ottoman, with particular focus on the 19th and 20th centuries.
This course provides an introduction to Chinese military history and covers topics including military thought, strategy and tactics, technologies, and cultural factors as they pertain to the waging of war. You will be introduced to the latest scholarship and interpretations and will be encouraged to engage in comparative thinking throughout the class. In the process, you will attempt to determine if any society approaches warfare uniquely or if universal approaches outweigh the specific.
This course examines amphibious operations from antiquity to the present. It also sketches broader contexts for amphibious warfare as it has affected political, diplomatic, and economic change by determining to what degree, if at all, various amphibious actions figured in what has been labeled as an early-modern “military revolution” that contributed to the “Rise of the West.”
This course examines America’s unique experience of warfare and the development of military institutions and military policy in the United States. You will explore the country’s military history from the Colonial era to the present, with an emphasis on the Revolutionary War, Civil War, frontier wars, America’s rise to great power status, World War I and World War II, and the conflicts of the Cold War era. Throughout the course, you will also examine the efficacy of the Russell Weigley's “American Way of War,” as well as America’s civil-military relations.
This course covers the complex issues surrounding racial integration in military institutions, including questions about citizenship and ethnicity. You will also examine the history of women’s participation in warfare and issues of gender integration in the military.
This course examines the origins of the concept and practice of “total war” in the period from the French Revolution to the end of the Cold War. The French Revolution, Napoleonic Wars, American Civil War, World War I, and World War II will be studied. You will also examine the evolution of modern war, the characteristics of “total war,” and the usefulness of the concept in describing such massive conflicts.
Students select one course below to fulfill their fourth courses in the military history program.
This seminar introduces students to the main themes and historiography of Early America. Students read overviews of the Colonial, Revolutionary, and Early Republic periods, but most of the assigned books are research monographs that explore particular historiographical themes and perspectives, such as religious controversies, political ideologies, gender relations, and slavery’s evolution. Although topics mostly address British North America from 1607 until the early 1800s, requisite attention is also given to Native American experiences, as well as those non-British peoples living along the borderlands.
The seminar is not a recitation of dry and lifeless facts. The nineteenth century is a period of much drama, humor, and sadness in American history---a time of great achievements and unspeakable horrors. This seminar maintains a sense of the enormity of this national drama---to experience what historian Bruce Catton has described as "history with the blood in it." The objective of this sort of history is to capture the "feel" of the era as well as the "facts” during the years 1815 – 1903. Broad topics include constitutional debates about slavery, American western expansion across the continent, the American Civil War in history and memory, and the challenges of American industrialization.
This seminar explores American history beginning with the turn of the twentieth century and introduces students to major themes and historiographic trends of the period. Among these are the ways historians have interpreted the struggles for equality for women and minorities, the evolving relationships between the natural and built environments, and the increasing American involvement in international economics and foreign conflicts. At times, large groups of people such as immigrants receive attention, while at times in the course, the influence of key individuals receives close scrutiny.
This seminar examines the human development from the dawn of civilization and the development of agriculture to the onset of European discovery and colonization of the New World in the late 1400s CE. In addition to examining the forces responsible for the development of human civilization in this period, major historiographic debates, historical themes, and methodological problems receive careful attention. Topics include why diverse environments fostered the development of the earliest civilizations, religion and its cultural impact on various societies, the rise and fall of great empires, the social development of class structures and cultural roles of women, and the causes and consequences of major wars. The overall framework of the seminar also allows for the consideration of how different societies influenced and interacted with each other over time.
This seminar examines the development of human cultures and civilizations from the late agrarian era to the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, which is more traditionally known as the Early Modern Epoch (1500-1800). In addition to analyzing new patterns in trade and increased global interactions, motivations and methods of expansions of empires emerge as key interests in the course. The role of religion, as well as the introduction and spread of new technologies such as firearms, played critical roles in the growth and competition among empires. The readings showcase major historiographic debates, historical themes, and problems for this era.
This seminar examines history from a global perspective, beginning with the social and political upheaval of the French Revolution and ending with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the emergence of the contemporary post-Cold War world. The growth and dissolution of European colonial empires, the emergence of the United States and Russia as global rivals, and the upheaval of two World Wars provide the contours of this seminar. Readings comprise seminal works in the historiography of Modern Global History as well as more recent contributions that expand beyond the traditional focus of historical analysis on great leaders and major conflicts.
This course examines the origins, sources, and nature of the western legal tradition from the rediscovery of Roman Law in the 11th century CE to the Age of Revolutions in the late eighteenth century. Students survey the development of western legal traditions, including theories and practices of governance through political institutions, legislative bodies, and courts of law, as well as informal and formal arrangements between states and empires designed to mediate relations of war and peace. The course concludes with the transformation of the western rule of law into an international and global legal tradition that continues to shape national and international law within and beyond the United States and Europe in the twenty-first century.
This seminar explores the issues of race and gender in American constitutional legal history from 1789 to the present. Focusing on landmark Supreme Court decisions, this seminar provides a broad historical survey of the interactions between law, race, and gender in American society. The first several weeks explore the legal construction and regulation of questions and issues related to race, including slavery, reconstruction and the 14th amendment, desegregation, national security and citizenship, and affirmative action. Then the second half of the seminar explores how American constitutional law has shaped gender relations through the regulation of citizenship, marriage, work, and reproduction.
An intensive 11-week graduate-level seminar that defines the field of public history. The seminar will teach the professional skills and knowledge in non-teaching history-related careers in preservation, oral history, archival work, records management, museology, digitization, documentary editing, corporate history, and living and public parks history. Attention will also be paid to developing grant-writing skills.
An intensive 11-week graduate-level seminar teaching the technical skills and knowledge needed to systematically identify, select, protect, organize, describe, preserve, and make available archival materials to users. Attention is also paid to increasing responsibility to engage and educate the public, to learning grant-writing techniques, to diversify the historical record and the profession, to solve problems and use archival materials creatively, to perform in the digital realm, to advocate for the profession, and to enhance the public good in ethical ways.
An intensive 11-week graduate-level seminar teaching the technical skills and knowledge to work in permanent institutions in the service of society and its development, which acquire, conserve, research, mediate, interpret, communicate, digitize, and/or exhibit the tangible and intangible heritage in ethical and professional ways for the purposes of education, study, and enjoyment of the public.
Fifth Course and Capstone
Required for all students in the military history program.
This course is designed to help students gain a detailed, graduate-level understanding of specific areas or topics in military history and historiography that will prepare students for comprehensive examinations, capstone papers/thesis projects and for teaching.
As a degree requirement, you will write and submit a capstone paper that explores in depth a program-approved topic of your own choosing that demonstrates effective use of appropriate academic sources. The expected length of the capstone paper is 45 to 50 pages.
Optional Master's Thesis
The optional master’s thesis is an original research project demonstrating your ability to conduct primary-source research and demonstrate mastery of the historiography germane to the research question. This option is recommended for those interested in continuing their studies in history at the doctoral level. The thesis must reflect graduate-level analysis, synthesis, and argument and make a compelling case for the argument's historical and historiographic significance. Students interested in this degree completion option must petition the Capstone/Thesis Director during the second semester. The petition must be accompanied by a thesis proposal and letters of recommendation from two faculty members of the Master of Arts in History or the Master of Arts in Military History program.
The thesis option is, at minimum are two 11-week three-credit seminars. Accompanying sustaining and thesis fees will be applied.
Prerequisites: Approval of thesis petition and successful completion of the five previous core courses.
This is the first of two required seminars for the thesis project in the History and Military History programs. Students will conduct primary and secondary source research and write drafts of their thesis under the guidance of a faculty thesis advisor. Students pursuing a research question requiring primary and/or secondary sources in one or more foreign languages must demonstrate advanced reading proficiency in the pertinent foreign language(s). External assessment such as the Defense Language Proficiency Examinations, Foreign Service Institute examination or reading comprehension tests approved by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages will be used to assess foreign language proficiency. If required for the research project, proof of foreign language competency must accompany the petition for the thesis option. Thesis and additional fees will be applied.
Prerequisites: approval of Program Director, Associate Program Director for Academics and Capstone Director, successful completion of Seminars 1-5, and, if applicable, advanced reading knowledge of the pertinent foreign language(s).
The second of two required seminars for the thesis project. Students will continue their research related to their thesis and will write a final version of the thesis under the guidance of their thesis advisor. Upon approval of the thesis advisor, the student will submit their thesis to their thesis committee and schedule an oral defense with his/her advisor and program thesis readers. A successful oral defense and final manuscript meeting the approval of a majority of the thesis committee will result in a grade of S (Satisfactory).
Prerequisites: MH570: Thesis I.
Our online Master of Arts in Military History program ends in a residency at the historic Norwich University campus in Vermont. During this time you will have the opportunity to meet with fellow students, faculty, and program staff in both formal classroom and informal settings. Academic recognition ceremonies and commencement cap off the week, and family and friends are encouraged to attend.
Norwich covers the cost of all meals and accommodation on campus.
Career Opportunities for Military History Graduates
Our online Master of Arts in Military History program serves as a stepping stone to advancement in a variety of fields and can help you increase your earning potential. While the average historian earns $55,110, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than a quarter of our graduates earn a salary between $70,000 and $89,000, and more than 40% earn more than $90,000.*
The online Master of Arts in Military History program attracts highly motivated and passionate students from across the country. Our graduates have leveraged their in-depth exploration of military history and the key skills they have developed in their professional and personal lives.
Our graduates have pursued a variety of roles, including:
- Surface Warfare Officer
- Assistant Professor
- Chief of Force Structure
Our alumni have attained positions at top organizations, including*:
Places of Work
- State and local government entities
- Federal government agencies
- Historical socieities
- Research organizations
- Nonprofit organizations
- Consulting firms
- Academic institutions
What our graduates have to say:
of responding Master of Arts in Military History graduates said their degree helped open new professional opportunities.**
of responding Master of Arts in Military History graduates say they were successful in advancing in their field or career.**
of responding alumni believe that their Master of Arts in Military History degree was a worthwhile investment.**
Read more about our Master of Arts in Military History student outcomes.
**Source: Norwich University Master of Arts in Military History Graduate Survey, fielded March 2016
At the heart of the Master of Arts in Military History program is our faculty. They include prolific authors and editors, prominent speakers, and nationally recognized experts who regularly present their work at the annual Society for Military History conference. In addition to cultivating a highly interactive learning environment, faculty members serve as mentors to students throughout their program of study.
We have an in-house instructional design team that work hand-in-hand with program faculty and staff to ensure an efficient and interactive online learning experience in each course.
Speak to one of our knowledgeable admissions advisors today - we can help answer your questions about your program of interest.
David J. Ulbrich was named program director and associate professor in Norwich University’s Master of Arts in History and in Military History programs in August 2017. He previously served as an adjunct instructor, course developer, and capstone advisor for Norwich from 2007 until 2017, before he joined Norwich in his current capacity. Ulbrich taught more than 250 students and advised 50 capstone projects. Ulbrich also taught at Ball State University, Ohio University, and Rogers State University. He earned his doctorate in history in 2007 from Temple University where he studied with Gregory Urwin, Richard Immerman, and the late Russell Weigley.
Dr. Ulbrich is an award-winning author, instructor, and consultant. His books include:
- As author, Preparing for Victory: Thomas Holcomb and the Making of the Modern Marine Corps, 1936-1943 (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2011)
- “2012 General Wallace Greene Jr. Prize,” the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation
- Honorable mention for “2012 Samuel Eliot Morison Book Award for Naval Literature,” the Naval Commandery of New York City
- As second co-author with Matthew Muehlbauer, Ways of War: American Military History from the Colonial Period to the Twenty-first Century (London: Routledge, 2014, 2nd ed., 2018)
- As second co-editor with Matthew Muehlbauer, The Routledge History of Global War and Society (London: Routledge, 2018).
- As second co-author with Bobby Wintermute, Race and Gender in Modern Western Warfare (Berlin: DeGruyter Oldenbourg, 2019)
- As author of first draft manuscript draft, Essayons: The Origins and History of the U.S. Army Engineer School (Fort Leavenworth, KS: Army University Press, 2020.)
- As second co-author with Michael Lyons, World War II: A Global History, 6th ed. (Routledge, 2021)
- As third co-editor with Brian Farrell and S.R. Joey Long, Great Powers, Grand Strategy, Geopolitics, and Reordering the Asia Pacific, 1900-1954 (Berlin: DeGruyter Oldenbourg Press, forthcoming in 2022)
- As second co-editor with Mark Charles Fissel, The Influence of Amphibious Warfare on History (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, in preparation)
Ulbrich’s contributions to Marine Corps history were also recognized in the “2012 Edwin Simmons-Henry Shaw Award” for distinguished service to the U.S. Marine Corps History Division. Ulbrich’s has published articles, reviews, or blogs in War and Society, Journal of Military History, Marine Corps History, War in History, Journal of Asian Studies, Marine Corps University Journal, Marine Corps Gazette, Rethinking History, Army History, and War on the Rocks. Two of his articles received the “Robert Debs Heinl Prize” for the outstanding article on Marine Corps life and history. Ulbrich has lectured widely on military history at the National University of Singapore, British Library, International Committee on the History of the Second World War (China), Australian Defence Force Academy, University of London’s Institute of Historical Research, National World War II Museum, U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center, U.S. Naval War College Museum, U.S. Naval Academy Museum, Marine Corps University, Ohio University’s Center for Contemporary History, Temple University’s Center for the Study of Force and Diplomacy, Cantigny First Division Museum, and New York Military Affairs Symposium.
In addition to academic employment, Dr. Ulbrich possesses significant experience in the Public History field. In 2015-2016, he worked as a contract historian for the U.S. Army. From 2009 to 2013, he served as a civilian historian at the U.S. Army Engineer School in Missouri. From 2007 to 2009, he worked as a historical consultant and on-air segment host for the award-winning “Echoes of War: Stories from the Big Red One” television documentary, and as co-director of the Cantigny First Division Oral History Project. Both these projects were generously funded by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.
- Mitch Yockelson
- Kelly DeVries
- Sviatoslav Dmitriev
- Antulio Echevarria
- Mark Fissel
- Jonathan House
- Lance Janda
- Ginger R. Davis
- John Jennings
- Sean Kalic
- John Kuehn
- Xiao Bing Li
- Stephen Morillo
- Lisa Mundey
- Joyce Sampson
- David J. Ulbrich
- John Votaw
- Bobby Wintermute
Develop a thorough understanding of military history and global conflict by earning your Master of Arts in Military History online from Norwich University. Designed as a comprehensive examination of global military history, this highly regarded online master’s degree improves on your proficiency as a historian, and places our world’s military achievements and conflicts in chronological, geographical, political, and economic context.
Founded as the nation’s first private military college, Norwich University is an important part of America’s proud military history. Our Master of Arts in Military History program reflects, honors, and extends Norwich’s military heritage.
Request more information about this program.
- Students select elective courses.
Build a wide base of historical knowledge in the field of military history.
Learn from expert faculty to improve your historical insight, research, writing, analysis and presentation skills.
Explore different theaters of conflict, including America, Asia, Africa, Latin America and China.
Benefit from our unique curriculum, which is informed by the American Historical Association.
Apply to one of four start dates per year.
Recognized as offering Best Value with respect to high academic quality and low net cost of attendance, according to the U.S. News & World Report.*
*Rankings are based on undergraduate programs and on students who received the average level of need-based financial aid.
Norwich University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (formerly the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.).
Dr. John "Doc" Broom served for many years as a scout and tank platoon sergeant in the US Army as well as a history instructor at the Armor School and the Command and General Staff College. Since 1991 he has taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels for several colleges and universities. Broom specializes in military change and transformation especially in the US, Great Britain, and Germany in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Moe joined the Norwich team in May of 2019. Moe’s academic advising experience prior to joining Norwich was in athletic academic advising at both the Division I and Division III levels in Boston since 2017. Moe obtained a masters in higher education administration from Suffolk University, a masters in communication from Stevenson University, and a bachelors in communication from the University of Massachusetts.
Jennifer West joined the advisor team in July 2017 as a Student Services Advisor for the several graduate programs. After 20 years in education, administration and education technology, she is thrilled to be a part of Norwich University and bring her experience and communications expertise to these programs. She arrived to Norwich University from California where she earned her master's degree at Stanford University, education credentialing from Santa Clara University and undergraduate degrees from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
Mitch Yockelson is a professor of military history in the graduate program at Norwich University. He is an investigative archivist in the Office of the Inspector General at the National Archives and Records Administration, where he investigates the theft of historical documents. Additionally, he is the chief historian for the United States World War One Centennial Commission.
Get to know the graduates of Norwich’s online Master of Arts in Military History program.Resources
At a Glance
- No GRE/GMAT required
- Undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or higher
Monday - Friday: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EDT
Extended hours available by appointment
Transfer CreditsYou may receive the equivalent of up to 12 semester credits for study conducted elsewhere. Norwich complies with VA regulations and guidelines as it pertains to transfer credits.
Academic ScholarshipsThe Master of Arts in Military History program now offers an academic achievement scholarship for newly enrolled students! Complete your application to qualify for one of the scholarships.
Norwich Alumni BenefitsReconnect with Norwich to complete your master's degree. As apart of our alumni community, you are eligible for a $2,500 scholarship and other benefits.
To contact an admissions advisor:
When applying for the Master of Arts in Military History program at Norwich University, there are two essential factors to consider: what does it cost, and how can you pay for it? There are many ways to get financial assistance and several financial strategies that can help you achieve your academic and professional goals. We are here to help you identify and pursue the options that are best for you.
Financial Aid Resources
Tuition at a Glance
- Credit Hours: 36
- Cost Per Credit Hour: $719
Technology - $300/term
Library - $75/term
Graduation - $150/one-time
After completing the program’s core courses, students can choose from a variety of courses specific to their interests in the field of military history. Course topics include historiography, Western military history, Asian military history, U.S. military history, Total War theory, and the role of race and gender.
Yes. The last course of the program is devoted to your capstone paper. An optional thesis track provides the opportunity for a focused research and scholarly investigation in addition to your coursework. The thesis option extends the program time to completion by at least one additional semester.
The program’s six courses (each six credits) take approximately 18 months to complete. Depending on when you start the program, you can expect your degree to be conferred in 18 to 24 months. Thesis students will spend an additional seminar to complete their studies.
While some military history students enter the program with specific career goals, others complete the program to fulfill lifelong personal goals or interests. Nearly every year, one or more military history graduates enter a PhD program, though as a percentage of the entire class the number is quite small.
Military history alumni are employed by the U.S. Army, Navy, American Defense Systems Inc, Boeing, and other organizations. They work as writers, archivists, museum personnel, and in positions not directly related to the field.
Military history program faculty all have terminal degrees, and have extensive subject matter expertise in military history, American history, or both. They must demonstrate a wide range of university/college-level teaching experience, and a strong research record. Our faculty members are also active in publishing their academic scholarship, presenting at conferences and editing manuscripts.
- A bachelor's degree from a regionally or nationally accredited institution or an equivalent degree from a foreign institution, as evaluated by WES, IERF, or SpanTran.
- An undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or higher (overall or in a relevant undergraduate major, such as history or political science).
- Proof of English language proficiency if English is not your first language. This can be demonstrated in one of three ways:
- Price per Credit: $719
- Term tuition: $4,314
- Library Fee: $75/term
- Technology Fee: $300/term
- Graduation Fee: $150/one-time
- Total Program Cost (6 terms): $28,284
When you apply for admission to the Master of Public Administration program, you can submit transcripts and course outlines from previously attended institutions of higher education to be considered for transfer credits. Transfer credits will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and may be accepted for up to 12 credits. Norwich complies with VA regulations and guidelines as they pertain to transfer credits.
Norwich University offers a range of opportunities to help you lower your overall tuition costs. Contact our admissions team today to learn more about the below options. Please note that scholarships are not additive. In addition to the below scholarships, students may also be eligible for discounts if their organization partners with Norwich University.
Recognizing your past academic and professional achievements, the Achievement Scholarship is for newly enrolled students. You could receive a $4,200 scholarship, which will be distributed equally over the courses of the program. To be considered for this scholarship opportunity, submit your application package (application form, resume, letter of intent, and essay (if applicable)) for your program of interest at least one week prior to the upcoming application deadline. The Scholarship Selection Committee will review all application materials and select the recipient.
Norwich Alumni Scholarship
Norwich University alumni and their spouses, parents, and children are eligible to receive our Alumni Scholarship. The scholarship is award for each term of enrollment at $425 per term.
Active Duty Military Scholarship
Active duty, National Guard, and Reserve personnel are eligible to receive a $250 award for each term of enrollment in an online master’s degree program.
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