MILH699 - Master's Capstone Seminar in Military History
Preparation for the Master of Arts in Military History Capstone (Thesis) seminar begins on day one of a student's graduate program of study. The theories, research methods and analytical skills, and substantive knowledge obtained through their master's curriculum provide the basis for the thesis project. Students are required to develop primary and secondary source materials on the research topic and address the writing requirements as described in the syllabus and classroom assignments. The thesis proposal must provide a clear description of a question or problem and a proposed method of answering the question or solving the problem. Guidance on the format of the research seminar proposal and a sample proposal are contained in the APUS Thesis Manual. Students take the research seminar after all other course completions.
In addition to the institutional and degree level learning outcomes objectives, this degree also seeks the following specific learning outcomes of its graduates. With reference to each of the respective areas of military studies, graduates in this degree program will be able to:
- Appraise different approaches to history and historical method to evaluate and propose a specific methodology for a particular project.
- Define, classify, and articulate in oral or written form the major trends, events, and people that have shaped military history, and evaluate them in context by comparison and contrast.
- Define, classify, and articulate in oral or written form the major trends, events, and people that have shaped U.S. military history, and evaluate them in context by comparison or contrast.
- Examine, analyze, and evaluate at least one specialized historical sub-discipline such as American Military History, the American Revolution, the Civil War, World War II, and War since 1945.
- Synthesize historical issues into a coherent and comprehensive paradigm of the human condition.
- Analyze data, information, and concepts pertinent to various methodologies of historical research.
- Create an historical research proposal in which data, information, and concepts can be evaluated and synthesized.
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American Military History
Total Credits - 36 Hours
- Analyze the characteristics of leadership common to great military leaders and decision making skills that are inbred and/or learned by the great leaders throughout military history.
- Dissect and critique the American Revolution from its antecedents to its legacy to include events leading to the revolt, Declaration of Independence, strategy and tactics, campaigns, and the aftermath of war on the new nation.
- Discern and assess the political, economic, cultural, social, and military aspects of the Civil War to specifically include their impact on causative factors, conduct of the war, and post-war aftermath.
- Compare and contrast all theaters of World War II and events in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Southeast and Southwest Asia, the Pacific, and Latin America as well as the role of diplomacy and strategy, the impact of war upon society, and the fighting on land, at sea, and in the air.
- Examine the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States, with emphasis on the actual scene of superpower conflict in the Third World and an analysis of the varied levels of power and their interrelationships that made the Cold War unique.
Historical Research Methods
The course addresses the development of core research skills for advanced historical study. Through case studies analyses, the evaluation of different types of historical evidence, and the consideration of how valid research questions are formulated and applied, it is designed to refine the critical thinking, research, and writing skills that are fundamental to valid historical scholarship.
This course is the study of historical thought from its emergence in the classical world to the present. Students concentrate on how history has been interpreted, rather the facts of history themselves as well as contemplate the fundamental questions about the nature of history, and investigate the relationships between theory and evidence in historical writing. Emphasis is on the narratives historians have used to reconstruct the past, and the major historiographical schools of thought that have developed over time.
Great Military Philosophers
This course examines the origin and development of military concepts and ideas by studying the wisdom of the great military thinkers of the past. Among the philosophers are Sun Tzu and Machiavelli, Clausewitz and Jomini, Mahan and Corbett, Douhet and Mitchell, T.E. Lawrence, and the counterinsurgency theorist and practitioner David Galula. Students compare and contrast these great thinkers to gain an understanding of the nature and conduct of war at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels.
Writing a Thesis Proposal
This course is an opportunity for students to write a research proposal in their field of interest under the mentorship of a single professor who is an expert in the field. Students must contact their Academic Adviser at least thirty (30) days prior to registering for this course and must have completed all degree requirements excluding MILH699 – Master of Arts - Thesis. The Program Director will approve the statement of the topic so that the concept can be implemented into a complete syllabus with readings and activities to warrant academic credit. The selection of the professor depends upon the choice of topic and content area.
Choose 15 Credit Hours from the following:
The Civil War: Seminal Event in American History
This course is a study of the political, economic, cultural, and social aspects of the Civil War as a seminal event in our nation’s history. Students explore the causes of the war, how a nation coped with the struggle across multiple dimensions, and how we dealt with the conflict's aftermath. Special emphasis is on the continuing debate that the impact of the Civil War had on both the North and the South.
The Great War
This course examines the origins of World War I; the combatants, strategy and tactics, technological innovation vs. conservatism; the war in France; the war at sea; America's role; the peace settlement; and the occupation. While military aspects of the conflict are studied, the primary focus places the Great War in the context of European and World history, and specific areas include political and diplomatic developments, new developments in weapons technology, economic aspects of the war, and the impact of the war on the culture and social order of the nations involved in the struggle.
World War II in Context
This course is a global history of the Second World War. Emphasis is on the theaters of war and related events in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Southeast and Southwest Asia, the Pacific, and Latin America in relation to their impact on the national and military objectives. In this context, students compare and contrast the economies, industry, society, and culture of the United States, Great Britain, Japan, and Germany as major participants during the war. The role of diplomacy and strategy, the impact of war upon society, and the fighting on land, at sea, and in the air are also examined in terms of modern warfare.
Studies in U.S Military History
This course examines the military heritage of the United States from the colonial period to the present time. Through an in-depth study of the extensive literature in American military history, students assess the key individuals, military policies, postures, organizations, strategies, campaigns, tactics, and battles that define the American military experience.
The American Revolution
This course addresses the War for American Independence from the outset in April 1775 with the events at Concord and Lexington, Massachusetts through the return of the British main force to New York in the summer of 1778 to the final victory at Yorktown. The course analyzes not only the specific events - battles, campaigns, and engagements - but also addresses the nature of strategic decision-making, political issues, leadership, and nature of the opposing forces as well as the context of the War for American Independence in general.
War Since 1945
This course is a seminar in global conflict and confrontations since the end of World War II. Students assess specific military conflicts since 1945 to include limited wars by the United States and Soviet Union; counterinsurgencies and wars of national liberation; the Arab-Israeli conflict; post-Cold War conflicts; and conflict post-9/11. Recommended prior to enrolling in MILH 621, The Cold War and Its Aftermath, and MILH 622, Great Power Military Interventions, which cover the Cold War period in greater detail.
Choose one of the following:
World War II in Europe
This course examines the Allied victory in Europe in World War II. Students assess how the American Army, trained for speed and mobility, performed during campaigns in Italy, France and Germany. The focus is on Eisenhower's generals and their decisions concerning amphibious invasions (e.g., Sicily, Salerno, Anzio and Omaha Beach), airdrops (e.g., Italy and Holland), the race across France and slogging through Italy (e.g., the Gothic siege line and the Huertgen Forest), as well as counter strokes such as Monte Cassino and the Ardennes Bulge.
World War II in the Pacific
This course is a comprehensive analysis of the fighting during World War II in the China-Burma-India Theater, New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, the Aleutians, and the Philippines. Students assess the amphibious campaigns in the central Pacific theatre and evaluate the impact of one of the most massive movements of men and arms in history. Primary focus is on land warfare, its strategies, tactics, leaders and lessons learned.
History of Peacekeeping: 1945 - 1987
This course is a comprehensive survey of the overall evolution and functioning of United Nations peacekeeping operations during the Cold War period. The focus of this course is the detailed analysis and comparative assessment of each peacekeeping operation as a tool of conflict management within the unique parameters in which it was established and conducted.
History of Peacekeeping: 1988 - Present
This course is a comprehensive survey of the overall evolution and functioning of United Nations peacekeeping operations from the end of the Cold War to the present. The focus of this course is the detailed analysis and comparative assessment of each peacekeeping operation as a tool of conflict management within the unique parameters in which it was established and conducted, and future trends for similar types of intervention and conflict resolution.
American Military and Diplomatic History
The course is a seminar in the history of American Military and Diplomatic history from the
Revolutionary War through the First Gulf War. It examines both major and minor conflicts as
well as insular operations. Special emphasis includes the many ways that military action has
been used by civilian leaders to implement aspects of American foreign policy and the many
instances when soldiers have been de facto diplomats. It also considers the ways that diplomatic
necessity has driven the development of military capabilities and institutions, and instances in
which military capabilities have limited diplomatic options.
The Cold War Era and Aftermath
This course is a seminar on the US-USSR Cold War period, which dominated geopolitics and military affairs from the end of World War II to the fall of the Berlin Wall, as well as the first decade of the post-Cold War era culminating with the events of 9/11. Students assess military conflicts and confrontations between the United States, Soviet Union, and their respective allies in the years since 1945. Focus is on the proxy wars of the US and USSR to include wars of national liberation in Africa, Asia, and Latin America; the Arab-Israeli conflict; the Indo-Pakistani conflict; and post-Cold War conflicts in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
The War in Vietnam
This seminar examines the origins, evolution and impact of the Vietnam War. In addition to reviewing the history of U.S. involvement in Vietnam, students explore the political, cultural and social forces and military developments that shaped the behavior of the various Vietnamese and American parties. Purpose is to develop a coherent perspective on what became one of the costliest and most divisive wars in American history.
Special Topic: Military History
This course, when offered, is a one-time offering on an area of special interest that will vary each term. These are open to graduate students as an elective, or to fulfill concentration requirements. A student may appeal to take this course twice, if the subject matter is different enough to merit separate credit.
Independent Study: Military History
This course is an opportunity for Military History students to pursue an independent research project or examine a specific area of history under the mentorship of a single professor. Students must complete 24 credits of study before taking this course. The course will typically involve a major research paper; there will be no examination. Students will submit a proposal prior to the start of the project, and a rough draft of the paper, both of which will count toward the final grade. Prerequisite: University approval and Upper Level standing. Prior to registering, students should first contact the professor with whom they wish to mentor their independent study, coordinate an agreement on the grading requirements, and then NOTIFY their academic advisor with the name of their professor.
Master's Capstone Seminar in Military History
Preparation for the Master of Arts in Military History Capstone (Thesis) seminar begins on day one of a student's graduate program of study. The theories, research methods and analytical skills, and substantive knowledge obtained through their master's curriculum provide the basis for the thesis project. Students are required to develop primary and secondary source materials on the research topic and address the writing requirements as described in the syllabus and classroom assignments. The thesis proposal must provide a clear description of a question or problem and a proposed method of answering the question or solving the problem. Guidance on the format of the research seminar proposal and a sample proposal are contained in the APUS Thesis Manual. Students take the research seminar after all other course completions. Capstone courses are NOT included in the university retake policy. All grades for any capstone attempts will appear on transcript and will be calculated in GPA
Electives are typically courses available at your degree level that are not currently required as a part of your degree program/academic plan. Please visit the catalog to view a complete listing of courses.