Military personnel who want to further develop their leadership skills and knowledge may be drawn to an online master’s degree in military studies. This graduate level program develops student’s knowledge of military affairs in areas like civilian relations, peacekeeping, geopolitics, and historiography. Graduates may go on to advance in military or government occupations, as well as continue their education and pursue their doctorate in a related field.
Why a Master’s Degree?
A master’s degree allows for more specialization than an associate or bachelor’s degree in military studies can provide. Military and government personnel interested in gaining more advanced knowledge in their area of practice would therefore benefit from an online military studies degree. An online degree also allows for a greater level of flexibility, enabling students to pursue their academic goals while continuing to work full-time, from anywhere in the country or world.
Getting Into a Master’s Degree Program
Application requirements for military studies masters degree programs are determined by each school. Here are some of the materials and qualifications that are typically demanded of potential graduate students:
- Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education
- Minimum GPA
- GRE score
- Letters of recommendation
- Official transcripts from all previously attended colleges and university
Inside a Military Studies Master’s Degree Program
Master’s degree programs range from one to three years, depending on the school and whether it’s full time or part time. Courses students take during a master’s in military studies typically cover a range of history and strategy. Examples of potential classes include Great Leaders in U.S. Military History, Just War Philosophy, and National Defense Policy. Students would also have the opportunity to specialize in an area of interest, such as joint warfare or strategic leadership, that best suits their academic and career goals.
Graduate students also often have to complete a research paper. The subject of the paper would be in an area of their choosing but must be approved. This thesis would require significant research, so students should look into what types of resources schools provide to online students, such as 24/7 access to publications, books, and texts, or a librarian especially for online students.
What’s Next for Military Studies Master’s Degree Holders?
Graduate programs are designed to produce highly trained experts in their specific field of interest who are prepared for leadership positions. Graduates of a military studies master’s degree would be prepared for leadership positions within their own field of expertise and area of service. This could mean the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard, or Department of Defense.
Scholars who want to further advance their field may also consider continuing their academic training at the doctoral level. This is the highest degree anyone can earn and culminates with a dissertation that contributes original research to a specialized area. After earning their Ph.D., graduates may pursue upper-level positions within government, or teach at a college or university.