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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.

View learning outcomes assessment results.

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.

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

MILS680

Special Topic: Military Studies

MILS690

Independent Study: 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.

NSEC610

National Security and Globalization

MILS510

Strategic Military Leadership

MILS541

Campaign and Battle Analysis

MILS562

Joint Warfare Command and Control

MILS620

Studies in Future War

NSEC501

Institutions of National Security

MILS572

Special Operations Forces Application

MILS583

Insurgency and Revolution

MILS671

The Non-State Soldier

MILS680

Special Topic: Military Studies

MILS690

Independent Study: 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.

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

INTL649

Case Studies in Foreign Cyber Threats

MILS620

Studies in Future War

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 AMU 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 AMU admissions representative at 877-755-2787 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, AMU 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

AMU 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.

School of Security & Global Studies


School of Security & Global Studies

This program resides in the American Military University School of Security & Global Studies where many of the university’s flagship programs were created by experts from the Departments of State, Defense, and Homeland Security, the intelligence community, and private businesses throughout the world. The programs taught in the School of Security & Global Studies truly embody our Educating Those Who Serve motto because many of our students come from active-duty military and federal, state, and local government agencies.

The AMU faculty is committed to helping you apply educational theories to real-world challenges in preparation for leadership opportunities in criminal justice, public safety, public administration, national security, and more. Many of our professors are highly credentialed and respected leaders in their fields and currently work in the U.S. government.

At AMU, we understand your need for flexibility because most of our students are working adult learners who balance school around work and service commitments. This is why we offer 8-week or 16-week online courses that start monthly. Through an online virtual classroom, you’ll communicate with classmates and professors in forum communities as you work to complete your weekly assignments on your own schedule from anywhere in the world. And with our mobile application, you can work offline and upload your assignments when you reconnect – a strong benefit for deployed personnel.

We encourage you to browse the School of Security & Global Studies webpage to learn more about  what’s happening in the school and to find a program that’s right for you