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Military Studies

Master of Arts

The Master of Arts in Military Studies focuses on strategic military operations in peace and conflict with concentrations in joint warfare, irregular warfare, or strategic leadership. You will study military art through historical and contemporary context and apply theory, established doctrine, and the laws of war to emerging defense and security challenges facing the U.S. You will also learn to identify viable courses of action when doctrine or revolutionary changes in strategy and operation occur.

The curriculum for this online master’s program was developed with input from academic professionals, senior military leaders, and those serving in the national security arena. Coursework provides useful preparation for pursuing mid- to senior-level careers in government or military service, or as a research scholar or military instructor. It also prepares you to publish scholarly works and to pursue a doctorate in a related field. While popular among students from the armed forces and government agencies, this major is open to any student interested in military philosophy, strategy, and operations

Program Courses

The curriculum for this program follows industry trends to help ensure relevancy to today's marketplace. View all courses.

The military studies capstone seminar will be your culminating requirement to earn this master’s degree. The capstone seminar is a major research project where you write a graduate-level thesis to prove your proficiency in the subject.

Program Objectives

In addition to the institutional and degree level learning objectives, graduates of this program are expected to achieve program specific learning outcomes and be able to:

  • Analyze the origins, development, capabilities, and vulnerabilities of both friendly and hostile military forces.
  • Assess the major trends, theories, laws of war, events, and people that have shaped military studies in both an historical and modern context.
  • Evaluate the variables and influences affecting military forces to include the following: leadership, doctrine; strategy, tactics, operations, joint operations and integrated systems, technology, cultures, and the multidimensional battle space.
  • Judge examples of successful and unsuccessful military and strategic leadership philosophies and decisions based on historical and current events.
  • Analyze critical issues and trends in national and international security that affect the strategic employment and sustainment of military forces and the relationship between military power and other elements of national power.
  • Develop effective research, analysis, methodological, and presentation skills relevant to military studies.
  • Synthesize information in a publication-quality paper that presents new knowledge or a new approach to a topic pertinent to the field of military studies.

Degree at a Glance

Concentrations

Concentrations are designed to help you group courses together so you can further specialize in your field and pursue a more focused path to degree completion. You will be asked to select a concentration when you enroll in this program.

Explore the concentrations available for this program.

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Joint Warfare

Focuses on modern joint warfare operations, leadership, and management, including the theory, practice, planning, implementation, command and control, and overarching military philosophy of today’s joint military environment. Topics include coalition warfare; future military conflict; the application of air, land, and sea power in joint operations; and various case studies in joint warfare from World War II to the present.

Sample Courses

  • MILS510 - Strategic Military Leadership
  • MILS561 - Joint Warfare Planning and Implementation
  • MILS562 - Joint Warfare Command and Control
  • MILS563 - Case Studies in Joint Warfare
  • MILS620 - Studies in Future War
  • MILS534 - Air and Space Power Theory: Strategy and Tactics
  • MILS570 - Seminar in Asymmetrical Warfare
  • MILS572 - Special Operations Forces Application
  • MILS583 - Insurgency and Revolution
  • MILS635 - Air Power in Joint Warfare
  • MILS655 - Naval Power in Joint Warfare
  • MILS671 - The Non-State Soldier
  • MILS690 - Independent Study: Military Studies
  • MILS680 - Special Topic: Military Studies
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Strategic Leadership

Traces the principles, theory, and practices of strategy and leadership from historical and contemporary perspectives with a focus on strategic leadership lessons learned under military, civil-military, and government settings and conditions. Also teaches critical analytical thinking skills needed to apply classic strategies, tactics, and teachings of great military philosophers and leaders to key national strategic issues and international concerns.

Sample Courses

  • MILS510 - Strategic Military Leadership
  • MILS541 - Campaign and Battle Analysis
  • MILS562 - Joint Warfare Command and Control
  • MILS620 - Studies in Future War
  • NSEC610 - National Security and Globalization
  • MILS572 - Special Operations Forces Application
  • MILS583 - Insurgency and Revolution
  • MILS671 - The Non-State Soldier
  • MILS690 - Independent Study: Military Studies
  • NSEC501 - Institutions of National Security
  • MILS680 - Special Topic: Military Studies
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Irregular Warfare

Covers the detailed analysis of historical, current, and future irregular warfare theories and concepts, with a focus on intelligence, international relations, terrorism, criminal activities, cyber warfare, and propaganda.

Sample Courses

  • MILS570 - Seminar in Asymmetrical Warfare
  • MILS572 - Special Operations Forces Application
  • MILS583 - Insurgency and Revolution
  • MILS671 - The Non-State Soldier
  • IRLS502 - International Political Systems
  • INTL650 - Counterterrorism
  • INTL652 - Terrorism: Assessing the Past to Forecast the Future
  • INTL653 - Deception, Propaganda and Disinformation
  • MILS620 - Studies in Future War
  • INTL649 - Case Studies in Foreign Cyber Threats
  • MILS680 - Special Topic: Military Studies

Admission Requirements

Please be prepared to submit a legible copy of your valid government-issued photo ID (civilian students) or government issued JST or CCAF transcript (military students) upon request.

An APU admissions representative will contact you with further details about how to submit the required documentation after you complete the enrollment application.

Need help?

Selecting the right program to meet your educational goals is a key step in ensuring a successful outcome. If you are unsure of which program to choose, or need more information, please contact an APU admissions representative at 877-777-9081 or info@apus.edu.


Graduate Tuition Rates 

Per credit hour: $350 | $325 with military grant*

View Tuition and Fees Details  

*To help minimize out-of-pocket costs, APU offers a tuition grant for U.S. active-duty servicemembers, Guard, Reserve, military spouses and dependents, and veterans. See all military-affiliated student benefits.

Paying for School

Because our university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), (the same as the Ohio State University, Univ. of Chicago, and U.S. Air Force Academy, to name a few), we can accept the following forms of financial aid and payments:

Ways to Save

Transfer Credits 

Accelerate your degree completion by taking full advantage of our transfer credit options, including credit for your previous college courses, military service schools, American Council on Education (ACE) and College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests, and prior learning experiences.  

Employer Contributions

APU has educational partnerships with many employers and associations. Be sure to accurately enter your employer information when you complete our admissions application. Your employer might also offer a tuition reimbursement plan as one of your benefits.