Military Studies

Master of Arts

The Master of Arts in Military Studies focuses on strategic military operations, warfare, joint warfare, and noteworthy military leaders, while assessing the major trends, theories, laws of war, and military studies in both an historical and modern context. This master's degree program is useful preparation for pursuing mid- to senior-level careers in government or military service, or as a research scholar or military instructor. While this program is popular among students from military services and government agencies, this major is open to any student interested in military philosophy, strategy, and tactics, in both an historical and modern context.

Program Courses

The curriculum for this online master’s program is reviewed by an advisory council of industry experts for relevancy to today’s marketplace. Depending on your concentration, course topics include:

  • Research methods in military studies
  • Great military leaders, strategy, theories, and tactics
  • Strategic, operational, and tactical dimensions of war
  • Joint warfare theory and practice, and command and control
  • National security and globalization
  • Strategic military leadership

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.

View all courses.

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

  • All graduate programs require you to have earned a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from an institution whose accreditation is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
  • If you have a non-U.S. transcript, please view our International Admissions page for more information.
  • There is no fee to complete our admission application. View steps to apply.  

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 admission representative at 877-777-9081 or info@apus.edu.


Graduate Tuition Rates  

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

View Tuition and Fee Details

*To help minimize out-of-pocket costs, we offer 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

As an accredited university, we 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

The university 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.