Earning a Master’s in Military Studies Online

What You’ll Learn & What You Can Do After Graduation

Should I Pursue a Master's in Military Studies Online?

Students in master's in military studies programs explore national policies, economics, and defense. Learners examine past and present military strategies, along with future trends that impact national security and politics. This information provides the background for analyzing threats and weaknesses, and finding resolutions for these issues. Program graduates can earn military and government positions in intelligence analysis, cyberwarfare, foreign relations, and homeland defense.

These programs prioritize security concepts that relate to nonmilitary information security positions. The degree teaches strong research, problem-solving, and leadership skills, so it may appeal not only to military personnel, but also to historians, museum curators, and senior operations managers. Ideal students for military studies programs boast strong management and communication skills, and should excel at finding creative solutions to complex problems.

Employment Outlook for Master's in Military Studies Graduates

Master's in Military Studies Careers

A master's in military studies prepares students for military careers, but also nonmilitary professions, such as archivists and historians. Specifically, program candidates learn to research, analyze, and solve problems for the military, government, and external organizations. Programs may also explore negotiation, technology, and security concepts that help companies function fluidly and securely.

For any of these careers, candidates should boast leadership, organizational, and communication skills. They should also understand global issues as they relate to policy, culture, and finances.


Annual Median Salary: $59,120

Historians research people, ideas, and events. This process involves finding primary and secondary sources and then collecting and analyzing relevant facts and viewpoints. Historians deliver presentations on their findings as well as publish books and articles on the same. Advanced degrees, such as a master of arts in diplomacy and military studies, give historians credibility by verifying their field expertise.

Archivist, Curator, or Museum Worker

Annual Median Salary: $47,360

These individuals help museums preserve documents and artifacts by cleaning and cataloging works. Additional responsibilities include maintaining records, creating exhibits, performing researching, building policies for museums artifacts, and guiding museum tours. Archivist, conservator, and curator positions typically require a master's.

Government Program Manager

Annual Median Salary: $88,860

These managers direct programs that fulfill government objectives while fostering relationships with external groups. Candidates alter program plans when necessary, complete projects within deadlines, and consider financial aspects of programs. These positions may only require a bachelor's, but a master's in military studies verifies one's expertise in analysis and strategic planning.

Source: PayScale

What Can I Expect from an Online Master's in Military Studies Program?

Programs details like credit requirements and academic milestones vary by school, particularly since departments focus on unique military concepts. For instance, one school may offer a master of military and defense studies, while another institution delivers a master of arts in diplomacy and military studies. These programs would involve different curricula. That said, most programs will require similar courses, such as the ones below.

Curriculum for an Online Master’s Degree in Military Studies

Military Thought and Theory

In this course, students explore political and tactical aspects of warfare. Classes may focus on specific time periods and wars, and may also address military strategists and certain types of combat, such as nuclear warfare. These courses prepare candidates for tactical military positions.

The Making of Strategy

These courses examine military tactics for solving political issues. Along with case studies, students may use historical texts on military conflict like Sun Zi's. Classes train learners to build analysis-based plans for cyber- and physical warfare. Coursework relates to strategist positions in the military and in private industries.

Future Warfare

Courses address how technology and globalization will impact warfare in the future with regard to culture, finances, and politics. Departments explore popular military theories and international regulations for civilized warfare. Addressed topics also include drones, surveillance, and geographic boundaries. This information relates to homeland security positions, such as cybersecurity experts.

The Non-State Soldier

Classes address nonmilitary groups who engage in warfare. Departments may deliver this information through case studies on terrorist groups and well-known individuals. Students may also examine common terrorist strategies and the history of non-state aggression. Coursework prepares students for counterterrorism positions.

International Economics

Learners may study economic theories, structures, and trade methods, and gain insights on globalization, free trade, protectionism, exchange rates, and tariffs. These courses prepare students for economist positions in which they evaluate investments and deal with changing economic policies across the globe.

Certifications and Licenses a Master’s in Military Studies Prepares for

  • Certified Homeland Protection Professional: This homeland security credential requires four years of supervising experience and college coursework. Candidates must complete classes in vulnerability assessment, weapons of mass destruction, and incident management. They must also submit an application and pay a $495-$595 fee. Recertification occurs every three years and requires 24 certification credits.

Professional Organizations & Resources

Professional organizations benefit students and alumni with various networking opportunities. Organizations may also offer training, certifications, and coursework that either lead to career advancement or fulfill continuing education requirements for licenses and certifications. Group websites typically provide resources on military history, structure, and news; they can also include job postings. Military studies graduates and learners should consider the following organizations and resource sites for these benefits.

  • National Guard Educational Foundation: This organization provides information on National Guard history and a scholarship for children of fallen personnel. Candidates can network through a golf tournament and the group's celebration of the National Guard's birthday. The foundation also participates in the Army Ten Miler and maintains a blog that explores U.S. military history.

  • Society for Military History: SMH hosts a yearly meeting and publishes the quarterly Journal of Military History. Members can earn awards from the society, including the Samuel Eliot Morison Prize, and explore careers and fellowships through the site.

  • Military Operations Research Society: MORS delivers events, such as the 2019 Artificial Intelligence and Autonomy meeting. The group offers certificates in wargaming and analytics, along with professional development opportunities on combat identification and dynamic programming. The site also connects viewers to open positions.

  • Institute for the Study of War: This institute hosts the President's Circle Dinner, Asymmetric Threat Symposium, and the Annual Security Conference. The group also offers research and resources concerning Iraq, Russia, and Syria.

  • Association of the United States Army: AUSA offers the AUSA Book Program and ARMY magazine for resources on military topics. The group also hosts meetings that include a job fair and the Global Force Symposium and Exposition.

  • National Archives: The National Archives connects site viewers to resources on U.S. history, including information on the Department of Defense (DoD) and the history of military branches. The site also links to resources for specific wars, military records, and women in the armed forces.

  • Military OneSource: This site provides resources on deployment and tips for finding a job. Members can access library resources and research topics like military retirement and veteran benefits.

  • U.S. Army Center of Military History: This organization explores U.S. military history by time period, such as the Colonial Era and the Cold War. The group publishes a magazine called Army History and helps candidates locate nearby army museums.

  • The Newberry: This research library in Illinois hosts public events on topics such as the impact of newspapers in American history. Candidates can browse digital resources and virtual journals, and they can explore library collections on U.S. history and culture.

  • U.S. Department of Defense: The DoD's website provides information on each military branch. Candidates can view videos on military careers, such as avionics specialists, marine firefighters, and veterinarians. The website also addresses general questions for military recruits, including college financing and family concerns.

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