Nursing

Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with Community and Public Health Nursing Concentration

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About This MSN Community/Public Health Nursing Online Program

The online Master of Science in Nursing with a Community/Public Health Nursing track at American Military University (AMU) is for registered nurses who have earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing and have a current, active, and unencumbered license. AMU is a military-friendly higher education provider committed to flexible education for motivated working professionals, including active-duty servicemembers and veterans. 

The mission of the program is to provide quality, affordable, and accessible higher education to professional registered nurses by fostering lifelong learning through a spirit of inquiry in order to prepare students for service and leadership roles in a diverse and global society.

AMU’s Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education-accredited MSN in Community/Public Health Nursing provides the opportunity to advance your nursing practice with coursework in:

  • Population-based healthcare
  • Health policy
  • Research- and evidence-based practice
  • Informatics and technology
  • Grant writing

Nursing classes start every other month and there is no waitlist. With the exception of the practicum, courses are online with no fixed login times, and most run 8 weeks long. This gives added flexibility to begin and complete the program.

NOTE: This program has specific admission requirements and is currently not open for admission to residents of Washington state.

 

 

What You Will Do in This Community/Public Health Nursing Program

  1. Apply ethical principles to advanced professional nursing practice
  2. Demonstrate leadership skills that support safe nursing practices and patient care
  3. Advocate for healthcare policy improvement
  4. Apply your knowledge and evidence-based practice to deliver high-quality, safe care to diverse populations in a variety of settings
  5. Apply data management principles to provide cost-effective care and improve health outcomes

View Program Outcome Assessment Results

Degree at a Glance

Accredited
CCNE Accredited
Number of Credits
36
Cost Per Credit
$425 | $250*
$382.50**
Nursing Courses Start Every Other Month
Online
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Program Requirements Printable Catalog Version

Students must choose a concentration for this degree program:

The community/public health nursing concentration prepares nurses to serve, protect, and promote the health of communities locally and globally through the application of three core functions of public health: assessment, policy development, and assurance. Students are taught to serve as change agents practicing with a justice approach that is collaborative, promotes health and equity, and engages community gatekeepers and stakeholders. Graduates are equipped to analyze determinants of health using epidemiological data and other evidence. They are also prepared to apply social and behavioral science theories, models, and principles to develop or improve programs to address public health issues and to promote public health policies, programs, and resources that improve health outcomes.

Objectives:

Upon successful completion of this concentration, the student will be able to:

  • Analyze social determinants of health that affect the health of a community.
  • Evaluate prevention strategies of communities to identify opportunities for improvement in health and disease prevention of vulnerable populations.
  • Enhance the health of a vulnerable population through interprofessional coordination, planning, development, implementation, and evaluation of a public health nursing intervention for a selected community.

Must take all courses for this section.

Course ID: 5349

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This is a practicum course supporting community and public health nurses practicing at an advanced level. The practicum allows students to build on their previous knowledge in learning to design public health programs to improve health outcomes. Topics include assessing community and public health needs along with planning programs to meet those needs. Students work with the practicum coordinator and faculty to identify a qualified preceptor and select a practicum site. Students will complete 40 of the 160 hours of clinical practice required for completion of the program. (Prerequisites: PBHE520, PBHE527, PBHE550, and PBHE607)

Course ID: 4507

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Biostatistics is a fundamental course in public health. This course will prepare the students to collect, analyze and present the data through the understanding of basic concepts, principles, and techniques/methods of statistics as applied to public health. Major topics will include descriptive statistics, statistical models, probability, probability distribution, point and confidence interval estimation, sampling, hypothesis testing, general principles of study design, and comparison of discrete and continuous data such as t-test, ANOVA, correlation, and regression. The lab portion of the course will focus on the application of Biostatistics by using statistical software. The students will learn to apply the concepts learned in the course (PBHE 520, Biostatistics with Lab.) Major topics will include descriptive statistics, probability, probability distribution, point and confidence interval estimation, sampling, hypothesis testing, and comparison of discrete and continuous data such as t-test, ANOVA, correlation, and regression. Students will develop advanced skills in SPSS to run statistical procedures and interpret output. Students will ask questions of data sets, write-up results in briefs, and develop the skills to critique analysis & findings in peer-reviewed literature. NOTE: Students are required to purchase and use the statistical software, SPSS, to successfully complete this course.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
11/27/23 - 05/03/24 05/06/24 - 06/30/24 Spring 2024 Session I 8 Week session
12/25/23 - 05/31/24 06/03/24 - 07/28/24 Spring 2024 Session D 8 Week session
01/29/24 - 06/28/24 07/01/24 - 08/25/24 Summer 2024 Session B 8 Week session
02/26/24 - 08/02/24 08/05/24 - 09/29/24 Summer 2024 Session I 8 Week session
03/25/24 - 08/30/24 09/02/24 - 10/27/24 Summer 2024 Session D 8 Week session
04/29/24 - 10/04/24 10/07/24 - 12/01/24 Fall 2024 Session B 8 Week session

Course ID: 3884

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This course reviews the conceptual, empirical, and theoretical contributions of the Social and Behavioral Sciences as they contribute to an understanding of health and illness.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
11/27/23 - 05/03/24 05/06/24 - 06/30/24 Spring 2024 Session I 8 Week session
01/29/24 - 06/28/24 07/01/24 - 08/25/24 Summer 2024 Session B 8 Week session
03/25/24 - 08/30/24 09/02/24 - 10/27/24 Summer 2024 Session D 8 Week session

Course ID: 3628

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This course teaches the student to design their own empirical research, and evaluate the research of others, in any of the sub-fields of public health. The course begins with an introduction to the field of public health. It introduces the philosophy of social science and several theoretical approaches used in public health. The course then concentrates on teaching the details of public health research design. The course takes the student step-by-step through qualitative, comparative, and quantitative research design and analysis methods. (Prerequisite: PBHE520)
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
11/27/23 - 05/03/24 05/06/24 - 06/30/24 Spring 2024 Session I 8 Week session
12/25/23 - 05/31/24 06/03/24 - 07/28/24 Spring 2024 Session D 8 Week session
01/29/24 - 06/28/24 07/01/24 - 08/25/24 Summer 2024 Session B 8 Week session
02/26/24 - 08/02/24 08/05/24 - 09/29/24 Summer 2024 Session I 8 Week session
03/25/24 - 08/30/24 09/02/24 - 10/27/24 Summer 2024 Session D 8 Week session
04/29/24 - 10/04/24 10/07/24 - 12/01/24 Fall 2024 Session B 8 Week session

Course ID: 2831

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This course provides a graduate level study of epidemiologic concepts and approaches to population problems in public health. It covers a wide spectrum of topics, to include outbreak investigation, test properties, and study design. The course will provide understanding of disease and disease transmission, rates and proportions associated with different forms of outbreak, and epidemiological risk management methods and measures. Students are required to utilize Epi info software to complete their assignments. (Prerequisite: PBHE550)
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
11/27/23 - 05/03/24 05/06/24 - 06/30/24 Spring 2024 Session I 8 Week session
12/25/23 - 05/31/24 06/03/24 - 07/28/24 Spring 2024 Session D 8 Week session
01/29/24 - 06/28/24 07/01/24 - 08/25/24 Summer 2024 Session B 8 Week session
02/26/24 - 08/02/24 08/05/24 - 09/29/24 Summer 2024 Session I 8 Week session
04/29/24 - 10/04/24 10/07/24 - 12/01/24 Fall 2024 Session B 8 Week session

Must take all courses for this section.

Course ID: 4788

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Advanced degree nurses must integrate evidence-based principles into their daily practice, and promote research-based decision-making in themselves and others. This course focuses on the critical analysis of research and its application to current nursing practice. Ethical issues in the design and conduct of research are addressed. (Prerequisite: NURS502)
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
11/27/23 - 05/03/24 05/06/24 - 06/30/24 Spring 2024 Session I 8 Week session
01/29/24 - 06/28/24 07/01/24 - 08/25/24 Summer 2024 Session B 8 Week session
03/25/24 - 08/30/24 09/02/24 - 10/27/24 Summer 2024 Session D 8 Week session

Course ID: 4789

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This course examines how population-based theories and practice inform community/public nursing practice. An emphasis is placed on the ecology of health and the interconnectedness of the biological, behavioral, physical, and socio environmental domains. Students will analyze root causes of health disparities including cultural, political, social, racial, class, gender and economic factors and examine the role of social justice to improving population health. Strategies for collaboration and advocacy with diverse population and groups will be explored.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
11/27/23 - 05/03/24 05/06/24 - 06/30/24 Spring 2024 Session I 8 Week session
01/29/24 - 06/28/24 07/01/24 - 08/25/24 Summer 2024 Session B 8 Week session
03/25/24 - 08/30/24 09/02/24 - 10/27/24 Summer 2024 Session D 8 Week session

Course ID: 4791

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Rapidly changing healthcare systems demand that advanced degree nurses possess knowledge of the effective use of informatics and technology to enhance patient care in a variety of settings. This course provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to improve patient outcomes through effective use of these technological resources. Topics include electronic medical records, data analysis, safe management of patient care technology, health literacy, and related ethical issues. (Prerequisite: NURS502)
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
11/27/23 - 05/03/24 05/06/24 - 06/30/24 Spring 2024 Session I 8 Week session
01/29/24 - 06/28/24 07/01/24 - 08/25/24 Summer 2024 Session B 8 Week session
03/25/24 - 08/30/24 09/02/24 - 10/27/24 Summer 2024 Session D 8 Week session

Course ID: 4792

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Today’s healthcare providers must promote health, influence the health delivery system, and participate in policy advocacy to improve the healthcare outcomes of populations. In this course, students will examine the effects of legal and regulatory processes on healthcare delivery at institutional, local, state, and federal levels. Topics covered in this course will include healthcare policy development, accrediting agencies, quality improvement, and patient quality and safety. (Prerequisite: NURS502)
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
11/27/23 - 05/03/24 05/06/24 - 06/30/24 Spring 2024 Session I 8 Week session
01/29/24 - 06/28/24 07/01/24 - 08/25/24 Summer 2024 Session B 8 Week session
03/25/24 - 08/30/24 09/02/24 - 10/27/24 Summer 2024 Session D 8 Week session

Course ID: 5052

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Today’s nurse leaders must possess the essential communication, critical-thinking and decision-making skills required to effectively manage teams providing high quality healthcare to diverse populations. This course addresses issues related to inter-professional collaboration, quality improvement initiatives, data-driven decision making, leadership and communication styles and their effect on interaction with members of healthcare teams.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
11/27/23 - 05/03/24 05/06/24 - 06/30/24 Spring 2024 Session I 8 Week session
01/29/24 - 06/28/24 07/01/24 - 08/25/24 Summer 2024 Session B 8 Week session
03/25/24 - 08/30/24 09/02/24 - 10/27/24 Summer 2024 Session D 8 Week session
Select any courses that have not been used to fulfill major requirements. Credits applied toward a minor or certificate in an unrelated field may be used to fulfill elective credit for the major.

Must take all courses for this section.

Course ID: 5350

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This practicum provides community and public health nursing students the opportunity to implement population health programs. The emphasis is on working in the community setting to improve the health of communities and populations. The final 120 hours of clinical practice are required for completion of this practicum. The students will also focus on examining the implications of implementing population health programs. Students will evaluate personal leadership skills utilized to improve patient outcomes through evidence-based practices, quality improvement methods, outcomes measurement, and systems knowledge. All core and specialty courses must be completed before taking this course. (Prerequisites: PBHE520, PBHE527, PBHE550, and PBHE607)

What is the MSN in Community/Public Health Nursing?

Both community health and public health nurses share the same goal: improving the health outcomes of the general public. 

Community health nurses target specific populations and typically work outside a hospital and in more localized settings, such as county health agencies or local schools. By contrast, public health nursing is proactive in nature and public health nurses work in roles aimed at preventing the spread of infectious diseases. They are often found in state agencies or federal government agencies, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  

A Master of Science in Community/Public Health Nursing is designed for experienced nurses who want to expand their knowledge of population health and environmental health. Public health theories and research methods, community public health, and healthcare systems are explored. 

Students in this MSN in community/public health nursing examine topics such as health promotion, advocacy, and health policy. Skills in identifying high-risk groups, providing healthcare services to underserved communities, and leveraging nursing interventions to support public health social justice initiatives are cultivated.

An MSN in Community/Public Health Nursing can serve as a foundation for responsibilities involving leadership, research, education, and policy development. Overall, a master’s degree in community and public health nursing is an excellent choice for nurses who want to have a positive impact on the health of communities and the public at large.

group of nurses

Why Choose This MSN in Community/Public Health?

The pandemic underscored the value of community public health. An MSN in Community/Public Health Nursing from American Military University can help you focus your nursing practice on serving the public health needs of communities, promoting healthier living, and approaching the discipline from a social justice perspective.

This community and public health nursing track covers topics such as epidemiology, community health, health policy, and disease prevention. You'll learn how healthcare and socio-economic factors interact to impact the health of the public.

AMU’s program offers flexibility. Our online format and delivery cater to the needs of working nurses. As an online program with no set login times, you will complete weekly assignments on your schedule without the time commitment or expense of commuting to a physical location. 

Nursing classes are mostly 8 weeks long and start every other month, affording added control over your schedule.

About Our Accreditation

American Military University is part of American Public University System, which is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org), an institutional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. 

This MSN in community/public health nursing also holds specialty accreditation. The master's degree program in nursing at American Public University System is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (www.ccneaccreditation.org).

CCNE is an independent accrediting agency that evaluates nursing degree programs based on factors such as curriculum, faculty qualifications, program outcomes, and educational resources. 

CCNE accreditation validates that this program meets the accrediting agency’s comprehensive and rigorous standards. It also affirms that the University is committed to quality improvement and excellence in healthcare delivery. 

CCNE accreditation also assures potential employers that graduates of this program are well-prepared with nursing knowledge and equipped to perform their role as a community or public health nursing professional effectively. Additionally, should you pursue further education, the institution will likely expect that you completed previous academic work through an accredited program.

The University System’s accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission also enables qualified individuals to seek federal financial aid and military tuition assistance.

Curriculum Highlights for this Community/Public Health Nursing Concentration

AMU’s track strikes a balance between public health and community health. It prepares nurses to engage in public health and community health initiatives in order to serve, protect, and promote well-being using appropriate nursing interventions. 

You will learn about public health assessment, policy development, and the prevention of disease. You will be prepared to be a change agent practicing with a social justice approach to address health disparities and promote health equity. 

The goal is to engage stakeholders to support the health of high-risk groups, vulnerable populations, and communities as a whole. This concentration also aims to prepare nurses to develop public health education programs that seek to improve health outcomes. 

Graduates are equipped to analyze social determinants of health using epidemiological data and other evidence. They are also prepared to apply the principles of social and behavioral sciences to develop or improve programs that address public health concerns. Additionally, graduates become proficient in promoting public health policies, programs, and resources.

nurse

Military Opportunities

Those in the military or wishing to pursue military service have several opportunities to defend our nation in a public health nursing capacity.

The Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service, one of seven uniformed services, is one of the most recognized military operations serving on the frontlines in defense of public health worldwide. Dedicated to protecting and preserving the health and safety of our nation, the Corps is one of the most profound expressions of commitment to the cause of community and public health for an individual wishing to serve military duty. If you are an active-duty servicemember, direct questions about opportunities and recruitment to the Corps.

Are you a soldier or do you aspire to join the active-duty military ranks? The Army also has public health nurses as part of the Army Nurse Corps. Their specific endeavor involves assessing health risks to Army communities and promoting the well-being of fellow soldiers. To join in this capacity, you must meet physical requirements and attend Basic Training based on your status as either an enlisted soldier or officer. Questions about serving in the Army as a public health nurse should be directed to an Army recruiter.

How to Finance Your Studies

 

If you are an active-duty servicemember, National Guard member, Reservist, or military family member, you qualify for AMU’s Preferred Military Rate of $250 per credit hour for this program. Family members include military parents, spouses, legal partners, siblings, and dependents. Eligible individuals also receive no-cost ebooks for this program. This can result in significant savings compared to similar programs.  See Materials Cost for additional information.

Interested in other options? For more information about funding your education, visit our website to learn about the many ways to pay for your degree

 

Paths to Earn This Degree

AMU offers two pathways to earn a degree in the community/public health nursing track: 

  • This Master of Science in Nursing: This is a standalone master’s degree program for those who already hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
  • The  RN to MSN program: This path is for the registered nurse who holds an associate degree in nursing (ADN) or diploma and wishes to earn both a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a master’s degree in nursing through a single consolidated program.

Each route includes a practicum as a capstone experience. Clinical practice hours are completed in your local community and you will examine the significance of developing population health programs.

Benefits of Earning This Degree Online

American Military University offers its MSN in Community/Public Health Nursing degree fully online, with the exception of a practicum, conducted on-site at a location in your community. The practicum activity spans two courses.

Online delivery is well suited for those who want to advance their knowledge in community public health while balancing career and family responsibilities. Many students continue working full time while enrolled in AMU’s program, saving time and money on commuting expenses normally associated with campus-based programs.

American Military University's MSN community and public health specialization provides students with quality education in an accessible format. There are no set login times, so students can complete weekly assignments on their schedule. 

Additionally, online learning provides students with exposure to technology in order to enhance their ability to use and navigate digital platforms with confidence.

Also, learners have access to faculty and fellow students who share their real-world experience in the virtual classroom, giving perspective on community health concerns in locations that differ from their own. Through discussion forums, students become familiar with health inequities among diverse communities. 

We have students on military installations around the world in our classes. As they start sharing their experiences, it creates this rich discussion. Students tend to appreciate hearing how a military treatment facility does things differently than a small rural community hospital.
Stacey Malinowski
DNP, RN, NPD-BC, CCRN/K, PCCN, CNE Assistant Dean and Chief Nurse Administrator, School of Health Sciences 

Frequently Asked Questions

PHN stands for public health nurse. This nursing professional engages in nursing practice aimed at protecting and advancing the overall well-being of populations in order to create healthier communities. PHNs look at trends, educate individuals, and develop programs to curb the spread of disease. Much of their work involves research and epidemiology. The discipline merges the study of nursing, social, and public health sciences. They demonstrate particular expertise in designing programs to address the health of vulnerable populations and individuals in high-risk groups.

An MSN in public health is a specialization within a Master of Science in Nursing. A public health nurse has a specific focus on public health programs, especially those aimed at high-risk groups, developing culturally sensitive measures to advance the health and well-being of populations as a whole. Public health nursing is proactive, by nature, and supports health departments by protecting the safety of diverse populations with specialized health considerations. Community health nursing, on the other hand, is more reactive and responds to the health needs of a particular group, such as school children or diabetic patients.

AMU’s MSN in  Community/Public Health Nursing track explores the study of both community health and public health. 

Typically, a nurse works with individual patients on a day-to-day basis. A public health nurse, on the other hand, has the opportunity to make a profound impact on entire communities and populations. Their responsibilities involve analyzing health data and identifying high-risk groups and specific populations in need of education and nursing interventions. During the pandemic, for example, public health nurses helped identify and conduct outreach to those most vulnerable to the gravest consequences of COVID-19. So rather than touching the lives of individual patients one at a time, a public health nurse touches multiple lives by developing wellness programs to ensure healthy patient outcomes for those most susceptible to disease.

Courses Start Monthly

Next Courses Start May 6
Register by May 3

Admission Requirements

This program has specific admission requirements and is currently not open for admission to residents of Washington state.

All AMU master's degree and graduate certificate 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).

In addition, the following is required for admission into this program.  All documentation must be provided prior to course registration:

  • Official transcripts showing a conferred Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from a program accredited by: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN®), or Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (CNEA®)
  • Current and active unencumbered registered nurse (RN) in state where practicums will be conducted
  • Minimum cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for the baccalaureate nursing degree
  • Successful completion of an undergraduate level statistics course with a “C” or higher
  • Current resume/CV
  • Signed statement of understanding (SOU)
  • 500-600 word statement of purpose and goals for graduate education is required for admission. Writing style should be scholarly and coherent with no grammatical errors. Your statement should include a description of relevant work experience, and clearly articulated reasons for applying to the master’s program. Long-term goals or professional career aspirations should be included.

Please read all graduate admission requirements before applying to this program and be prepared to submit the required documentation including a legible copy of your valid government-issued photo ID (civilian students) or government-issued JST or CCAF transcript (military students).

An AMU admissions coach will contact you via email or phone to assist you with the enrollment process, review your documentation, and notify you when you have been admitted into the program and may register for courses.

Note: You must complete this program within 5 years of starting your first nursing (NURS) course.

ACEN® is a registered trademark of the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc.

CNEA® is a registered trademark of the National League for Nursing, Inc. 

Program Goals

The goals of the MSN program are to prepare students to:

  1. Assume service and leadership roles and effectively employ leadership skills to affect practice changes across systems
  2. Foster a culture of personal lifelong learning and professional development to align the nursing profession with the future of health and healthcare systems
  3. Cultivate and lead collaborative inter-professional healthcare teams
  4. Provide a seamless transition for the BSN-prepared Registered Nurse to earn an MSN and provide a foundation for doctoral studies in nursing
  5. Encourage licensed nurses to attain and apply specialized knowledge at the graduate level in the Community and Public Health Nursing concentration

Materials Cost

Most courses in this program use Open Educational Resources (OER). These teaching, learning, and research materials are made available to you at no cost, meaning there are minimal book costs associated with earning this degree.

There is a one-time fee for Typhon student practicum tracking software. This fee will be paid directly to the Typhon group. Technology fee: $85 per course 

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 coach at 877-755-2787 or [email protected].

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2Alumni Graduated with No APUS-incurred Student Loan Debt As of December 31, 2021

Includes alumni who graduated with an associate, bachelor's, or master's degree from APUS. Student loan debt is defined as student loans and private education loans used for tuition, fees, living expenses, and book costs associated with courses taken at APUS. Many APUS students receive military tuition assistance and veterans education benefits, which are not student loan debt.

1The University reserves the right to accept or deny credits according to policies outlined on our University website. Please see the University's transfer credit policy webpage for complete information.

*Cost Per Credit Hour

AMU's Preferred Military Rate is $250 per credit hour for all undergraduate and master's-level courses. This rate is available to all U.S. active-duty servicemembers, National Guard members, Reservists, and military families, including parents, spouses, legal partners, siblings, and dependents.
See all military student benefits.

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