Master of Arts in Military History

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Program Overview  

Program Director: James M. Ehrman
Associate Program Director of Academics: John Broom

The mission of the Norwich University Master of Arts in Military History program is to:

  • provide students with a base of historical knowledge within the field of military history,
  • build an awareness of differing historical interpretations and the ability to synthesize diverse types of historical knowledge,
  • build and refine student research, writing, analysis and presentation skills,
  • provide students with an introduction to historical pedagogy,
  • provide students with a foundation for developing a professional identity as a historian and,
  • help students “learn to think like a historian” and develop “historiographical sensibilities” and “historical habits of mind.”

The Master of Arts in Military History curriculum is guided by the goals for history M.A. degrees outlined by the American Historical Association. The curriculum is designed to provide students with a base of historical knowledge, graduate level historical research skills, an introduction to historical pedagogy, the foundation for an identity as a historian, and the “habits of mind” of a professional historian.

Master of Arts in Military History students come from all walks of life and a variety of different professions and seek to earn their M.A. in Military History for both personal and professional reasons. Some students enter the program simply to learn more about a field they care deeply about. Many students who are professional educators utilize the Masters of Arts in Military History to further their expertise in the field of military history. The degree is also a means of professional development to military personnel who see the degree as highly relevant to their profession. A few students use the degree as preparation for further work in the field at the Ph.D. level.

Curriculum Map

Semester 1CreditsSemester 2CreditsSemester 3Credits
MH 510 Introduction to Military History: Historiography and Method6MH 530 Military Thought and Theory6Select one elective course6
MH 520 Global Military History to 18006Select one elective course6Select one capstone academic exercise16
  MH 595 Residency20
 12 12 12
Total Credits: 36

Students selecting to take the comprehensive exam as their completion course must also enroll in one additional elective.


Students are required to attend a one-week, on campus Residency Conference the June following or concurrent with their final course.

Curriculum Requirements

Core Seminars
MH 510Introduction to Military History: Historiography and Method6
MH 520Global Military History to 18006
MH 530Military Thought and Theory6
Elective Seminars
Select one of the following:
Non-Western Military History6
Chinese Military History6
Amphibious Warfare6
Select one of the following:
U.S. Military History6
Race and Gender in Military History6
Total War6
Dir Readings Military History6
Capstone Academic Exercise
Select one of the following:
Capstone Paper6
Comprehensive Exam 10
M.A. Thesis 26
Culminating Academic Requirement0
MH 595Residency0
Total Credits36

 Co-requisite: One six-credit elective


 By permission only

Capstone Paper

Students have the option of writing a capstone paper as a degree completion exercise in their sixth and final seminar. The capstone paper is the opportunity to conduct research in an area of interest to the student and is designed to be an article-length original paper which builds upon skills and knowledge developed in the program. The capstone paper is completed during MH 562.

Comprehensive Examination

In lieu of a capstone paper or thesis students elected to complete their degree via written comprehensive examinations following the successful completion of their sixth seminar. If students choose this degree completion option they may take an elective in their sixth seminar and enroll in the comprehensive examination sessions held each quarter. For students selecting this option the degree cannot be conferred until the student successfully completes this degree requirement. Pre-requisite: successful completion of seminars 1-6.

One-Week Residency

All degree candidates of the Master of Arts in Military History are required to attend a one-week Residency Conference on the Norwich University campus, during which they may attend professional presentations, participate in roundtable discussions with faculty, and present papers. The one-week residency is a degree requirement.

M.A. Thesis

The M.A. thesis is an original research project demonstrating the student’s ability to conduct primary source research and mastery of the historiography germane to the research question. The thesis must also demonstrate graduate level analysis, synthesis, and argument and make a compelling case for the argument’s historical and historiographic significance. Students interested in this degree completion option must petition the Program Director, Associate Program Director for Academics and Capstone Director during their fourth seminar. The petition must be accompanied by two letters of recommendation from two M.A. in Military History faculty and a thesis proposal.

Faculty Member Institution at which highest degree was earned
James Ehrman, PhD (Program Director)Kansas State University
John Broom, PhD (Associate Program Director of Academics)The Union Institute
Mark Danley, PhDKansas State University
Kelly DeVries, PhDUniversity of Toronto
Sviatoslav Dmitriev, PhDHarvard University
Antulio Echevarria, PhDPrinceton University
Mark Fissel, PhDUniversity of California, Berkley
David Hogan, PhDDuke University
Jonathan House, PhDUniversity of Michigan
John Jennings, PhDUniversity of Hawaii
Sean Kalic, PhDKansas State University
Bill Kautt, PhDUniversity of Ulster
John Kuehn, PhDKansas State University
Xiao Bing Li, PhDCarnegie Mellon University
Stephen Morillo, PhDJesus College, Oxford University
Lisa Mundey, PhDKansas State University
Mike Neiberg, PhDCarnegie Mellon University
Charles Oliviero, PhDRoyal Military College of Canada
Joyce Sampson, PhDFlorida State University
Dennis Showalter, PhDUniversity of Minnesota
Ken Swope, PhDUniversity of Michigan
David Ulbrich, PhDTemple University
John Votaw, PhDTemple University
Robert Wintermute, PhDTemple University
Miles Yu, PhDUniversity of California, Berkley
Xiaoming Zhang, PhDUniversity of Iowa
Pingchao Zhu, PhD Miami University