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Craig Bondra
Norwich Graduate, Class of 2014

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Master of Arts in Military History

Explore Your Passion for Military History

Develop a thorough understanding of military history and global conflict by earning your Master of Arts in Military History online from Norwich University. Designed as a comprehensive examination of global military history, this highly regarded online master’s degree improves on your proficiency as a historian, and places our world’s military achievements and conflicts in chronological, geographical, political, and economic context.

Founded as the nation’s first private military college, Norwich University is an important part of America’s proud military history. Our Master of Arts in Military History program reflects, honors, and extends Norwich’s military heritage.

Download a free brochure for more information about this program.

  • Master of Arts
  • Students select elective courses.

Why Norwich

Build a wide base of historical knowledge in the field of military history.

Learn from expert faculty to improve your historical insight, research, writing, analysis and presentation skills.

Explore different theaters of conflict, including America, Asia, Africa, Latin America and China.

Benefit from our unique curriculum, which is informed by the American Historical Association.

Apply to one of four start dates per year.

Recognized as offering Best Value with respect to high academic quality and low net cost of attendance, according to the U.S. News & World Report.*

*Rankings are based on undergraduate programs and on students who received the average level of need-based financial aid.

Quick Info

1 Week Residency

Visit campus for culminating experience

15 Students

Maximum number of students per class

18 Months

Average time to program completion

2 December

Next Start Date

4 November

App Deadline

Accreditation & Recognition

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Norwich University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (formerly the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.).


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Recognized for academic excellence, U.S. News & World Report ranks Norwich University in the top 100 for Regional Universities in the North. Rankings are based on undergraduate programs.



We're Here to Help

Tara  Salt
Admissions Advisor

Help us learn more about your experience and see if you qualify for the Master of Arts in Military History program.


Online Master of Arts in Military History Curriculum

Norwich’s military history program curriculum is composed of six courses, each of which is delivered over 11 weeks for a total of 36 credit hours. Students master one course at a time, to create a strong foundation of knowledge and context for future topics.

Our graduates can:

  • Develop the critical thinking, research, writing, and analytical skills necessary for work in the field of teaching at the secondary or post-secondary level, or in public history venues, as well careers in professional writing, and to prepare students for Ph.D.-level work in history.
  • Apply historical knowledge within the field of military history.
  • Increase awareness of differing historical interpretations and develop the ability to synthesize diverse types of historical knowledge.
  • Conduct research and expand their writing, analysis, and presentation skills.
  • Learn to think like a historian and develop historiographical sensibilities and historical habits of mind.

Core Course

Every student in the military history program begins with a history and historiography introductory course followed by elective courses.

  • Introduction to History and Historiography
    MH510 6 credit hours

    This introductory course examines the development of military history as a topic of study and trains you in the key disciplines of historiography and methodology. Historiography examines historical thought and research from the first works of history in the classical world to those of the present. You will explore historical methodology and informational literacy, the ways historians gather information and formulate hypotheses, the development of research methods including the use of primary and secondary sources, and the challenges of objectivity, selectivity, and bias in historical interpretation.

Tailor Your Online Master of Arts in Military History Coursework

Students select three courses below to fulfill their second, third, and fourth course in the military history program.

  • Global Military History to 1800
    MH520 6 credit hours

    This course examines the global patterns of warfare, on land and at sea, from the ancient world to the eve of the Industrial Revolution. Special emphasis is placed on continuity and change in warfare, as well as the impact of socioeconomic and cultural factors.

  • Military Thought and Theory
    MH530 6 credit hours

    This course examines the most influential military theoreticians and strategists from the period of the Thirty Years’ War to the present. You will examine the theories of Clausewitz, Jomini, Douhet, Mahan, Corbett, and Mao Tse-Tung, as well as the theories of deterrence and nuclear war and post-Maoist revolutionary warfare.

  • Non-Western Military History
    MH540 6 credit hours

    This course examines some of the major historical factors that have shaped the military trajectory of the modern extra-European (and North American) world, comprising China, Israel, Middle East, Africa, India/South Asia, Ethiopia, Latin America/South America, and Turkey/Ottoman, with particular focus on the 19th and 20th centuries.

  • Chinese Military History
    MH541 6 credit hours

    This course provides an introduction to Chinese military history and covers topics including military thought, strategy and tactics, technologies, and cultural factors as they pertain to the waging of war. You will be introduced to the latest scholarship and interpretations and will be encouraged to engage in comparative thinking throughout the class. In the process, you will attempt to determine if any society approaches warfare uniquely or if universal approaches outweigh the specific.

  • Amphibious Warfare
    MH543 6 credit hours

    This course examines amphibious operations from antiquity to the present. It also sketches broader contexts for amphibious warfare as it has affected political, diplomatic, and economic change by determining to what degree, if at all, various amphibious actions figured in what has been labeled as an early-modern “military revolution” that contributed to the “Rise of the West.”

  • U.S. Military History
    MH550 6 credit hours

    This course examines America’s unique experience of warfare and the development of military institutions and military policy in the United States. You will explore the country’s military history from the Colonial era to the present, with an emphasis on the Revolutionary War, Civil War, frontier wars, America’s rise to great power status, World War I and World War II, and the conflicts of the Cold War era. Throughout the course, you will also examine the efficacy of the Russell Weigley's “American Way of War,” as well as America’s civil-military relations.

  • Race and Gender in Military History
    MH551 6 credit hours

    This course covers the complex issues surrounding racial integration in military institutions, including questions about citizenship and ethnicity. You will also examine the history of women’s participation in warfare and issues of gender integration in the military.

  • Total War
    MH552 6 credit hours

    This course examines the origins of the concept and practice of “total war” in the period from the French Revolution to the end of the Cold War. The French Revolution, Napoleonic Wars, American Civil War, World War I, and World War II will be studied. You will also examine the evolution of modern war, the characteristics of “total war,” and the usefulness of the concept in describing such massive conflicts.

Fifth Course and Capstone

Required for all students in the military history program.

  • Directed Readings in Military History
    HI550 6 credit hours

    This course is designed to help students gain a detailed, graduate-level understanding of specific areas or topics in military history and historiography that will prepare students for comprehensive examinations, capstone papers/thesis projects and for teaching.

  • Capstone Course
    MH562 6 credit hours

    As a degree requirement, you will write and submit a capstone paper that explores in depth a program-approved topic of your own choosing that demonstrates effective use of appropriate academic sources. The expected length of the capstone paper is 45 to 50 pages.

Optional Master's Thesis

The optional master’s thesis is an original research project demonstrating your ability to conduct primary-source research and demonstrate mastery of the historiography germane to the research question. This option is recommended for those interested in continuing their studies in history at the doctoral level. The thesis must reflect 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 Capstone/Thesis Director during the second semester. The petition must be accompanied by a thesis proposal and letters of recommendation from two faculty members of the Master of Arts in History or the Master of Arts in Military History program.

The thesis option is, at minimum are two 11-week three-credit seminars. Accompanying sustaining and thesis fees will be applied.

Prerequisites: Approval of thesis petition and successful completion of the five previous core courses.

  • History Thesis I
    MH570 3 credit hours

    This is the first of two required seminars for the thesis project in the History and Military History programs. Students will conduct primary and secondary source research and write drafts of their thesis under the guidance of a faculty thesis advisor. Students pursuing a research question requiring primary and/or secondary sources in one or more foreign languages must demonstrate advanced reading proficiency in the pertinent foreign language(s). External assessment such as the Defense Language Proficiency Examinations, Foreign Service Institute examination or reading comprehension tests approved by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages will be used to assess foreign language proficiency. If required for the research project, proof of foreign language competency must accompany the petition for the thesis option. Thesis and additional fees will be applied.

    Prerequisites: approval of Program Director, Associate Program Director for Academics and Capstone Director, successful completion of Seminars 1-5, and, if applicable, advanced reading knowledge of the pertinent foreign language(s).

  • History Thesis II
    MH571 3 credit hours

    The second of two required seminars for the thesis project. Students will continue their research related to their thesis and will write a final version of the thesis under the guidance of their thesis advisor. Upon approval of the thesis advisor, the student will submit their thesis to their thesis committee and schedule an oral defense with his/her advisor and program thesis readers. A successful oral defense and final manuscript meeting the approval of a majority of the thesis committee will result in a grade of S (Satisfactory).

    Prerequisites: MH570: Thesis I.


Our online Master of Arts in Military History program ends in a residency at the historic Norwich University campus in Vermont. During this time you will have the opportunity to meet with fellow students, faculty, and program staff in both formal classroom and informal settings. Academic recognition ceremonies and commencement cap off the week, and family and friends are encouraged to attend.

Norwich covers the cost of all meals and accommodation on campus.


At a Glance

  • No GRE/GMAT required
  • Undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or higher

Admissions Requirements »

Eligibility Requirements

  • A bachelor's degree from a regionally or nationally accredited U.S. institution, or an equivalent degree from a foreign institution, as evaluated by WESIERFSpanTran, or CED.
  • If English is not your first language, proof of English language proficiency is required. This can be demonstrated in one of three ways:
    • TOEFL - a minimum score of 550 (paper-based test) or 80 (Internet-based test) is required.*
    • IELTS – a minimum composite score of 6.5 is required.*
    • The applicant holds a baccalaureate or master’s degree from a college/university/institution in which the primary language of instruction was English.

Please Note:  All eligibility requirements are expected to be met unless noted in specific articulation agreements or memoranda of understand (MOUs).

Application Process

We encourage you to contact an admissions advisor (see below) if you need help at any stage of the application process. You will be required to submit the following items:

  • Application form
  • Resume
  • Official transcript of your undergraduate degree from a regionally or nationally accredited university
  • Letter of intent
  • Admissions essay demonstrating graduate-level writing and critical thinking skills, or the GRE with the following scores:
    • For GRE tests taken within the past six years:
      • 85th percentile or higher on the verbal test and a 5 or higher on the analytical writing test
  • One letter of recommendation from a professional or academic contact*
    • Proof of English language proficiency if applicable (TOEFL)

* A second letter of recommendation may be requested, at the discretion of the Director of Admissions, program staff, or Program Director, in the admissions file review process.

To contact an admissions advisor:

Call: 1-877-348-8153

Next Start Date

Monday, December 2, 2019

Application Deadline

Monday, November 4, 2019

Contact Admissions

Mon - Fri: 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EST

Call: 1-877-348-8153

  • student writing in notebook
    Transfer Credits
    You may receive the equivalent of up to 12 semester credits for study conducted elsewhere. Norwich complies with VA regulations and guidelines as it pertains to transfer credits.
  • norwich-2017-0623-0169-flexbox
    Academic Scholarships
    The Master of Arts in Military History program now offers an academic achievement scholarship for newly enrolled students! Complete your application to qualify for one of the scholarships.
  • benjamin bragdon on norwich campus, graduate
    Norwich Alumni Benefits
    Reconnect with Norwich to complete your master's degree. As apart of our alumni community, you are eligible for a $2,500 scholarship and other benefits.

Non-Discrimination Statement

Norwich University, in compliance with Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, or physical handicap in any of its policies, practices, or procedures.

Tuition & Fees


When applying for the Master of Arts in Military History program at Norwich University, there are two essential factors to consider: what does it cost, and how can you pay for it? There are many ways to get financial assistance and several financial strategies that can help you achieve your academic and professional goals. We are here to help you identify and pursue the options that are best for you.

Tuition at a Glance

  • Credit Hours: 36
  • Cost Per Credit Hour: $719

2019-20 Tuition and Fee Schedule - Master's Programs

Rate Per Credit
Additional Expenses Total

Technology - $300/term
Library - $75/term
Graduation - $150/one-time


Careers & Outcomes

Career Opportunities for Military History Graduates

Our online Master of Arts in Military History program serves as a stepping stone to advancement in a variety of fields and can help you increase your earning potential. While the average historian earns $55,110, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than a quarter of our graduates earn a salary between $70,000 and $89,000, and more than 40% earn more than $90,000.*

The online Master of Arts in Military History program attracts highly motivated and passionate students from across the country. Our graduates have leveraged their in-depth exploration of military history and the key skills they have developed in their professional and personal lives.

Our graduates have pursued a variety of roles, including:

Career Roles

  • Surface Warfare Officer
  • Historian
  • Teacher
  • Assistant Professor
  • Chief of Force Structure

Our alumni have attained positions at top organizations, including*:

Places of Work

  • State and local government entities
  • Federal government agencies
  • Museums
  • Archives
  • Historical socieities
  • Research organizations
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Consulting firms
  • Academic institutions

What our graduates have to say:

  • 93% of responding Master of Arts in Military History graduates said their degree helped open new professional opportunities.**
  • 100% of responding Master of Arts in Military History graduates say they were successful in advancing in their field or career.**
  • 93% of responding alumni believe that their Master of Arts in Military History degree was a worthwhile investment.**
  • Read more about our Master of Arts in Military History student outcomes.

**Source: Norwich University Master of Arts in Military History Graduate Survey, fielded March 2016

Where are Norwich Alumni Today?

Eileen Pawloski

Military history graduate was published in the Iroquoia.

Class of 2019

Edward Nevgloski

MAH graduate to take on role of Chief of Marine Corps History and Director of the Marine Corps History Division.

Class of 2008

Timothy Enas

Alumnus advances to Director role at the National Archives Research Services (RDT).

Class of 2011

Robert Ranstadler

Independent military historian and freelance writer launches online portfolio website.

Class of 2017

Faculty & Staff

At the heart of the Master of Arts in Military History program is our faculty. They include prolific authors and editors, prominent speakers, and nationally recognized experts who regularly present their work at the annual Society for Military History conference. In addition to cultivating a highly interactive learning environment, faculty members serve as mentors to students throughout their program of study.

We have an in-house instructional design team that work hand-in-hand with program faculty and staff to ensure an efficient and interactive online learning experience in each course.

Program Director

David J. Ulbrich, PhD

David J. Ulbrich was named program director and associate professor in the Master of Arts in History and in Military History programs in August 2017. He served as an adjunct instructor, course developer, and capstone advisor for Norwich University from 2007 until 2017, before he joined Norwich in his current capacity. During those years, Ulbrich taught more than 200 students and advised more than 40 capstone projects. Ulbrich previously taught at Ball State University, Ohio University, and Rogers State University. He earned his doctorate in history in 2007 from Temple University where he studied with Gregory Urwin, Richard Immerman, and the late Russell Weigley.

Ulbrich is an award-winning author, instructor, and consultant. Ulbrich's first book, Preparing for Victory: Thomas Holcomb and the Making of the Marine Corps, 1936-1943 (Naval Institute Press, 2011), won the “2012 General Wallace Greene Jr. Prize” from the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation and an honorable mention for “2012 Samuel Eliot Morison Book Award for Naval Literature” from the Naval Commandery of New York City. Ulbrich and co-author Matthew Muehlbauer published the second edition of Ways of War: American Military History from the Colonial Period to the 21st Century (Routledge, 2017). Muehlbauer and Ulbrich also co-edited The Routledge History of Global War and Society (Routledge, 2018). Together with co-author and long-time Norwich instructor Bobby Wintermute, Ulbrich most recently published the Race and Gender in Modern Western Warfare (DeGruyter Oldenbourg, 2018). Ulbrich’s future projects include revising a textbook on World War II and co-editing an anthology on the history of amphibious warfare.

Ulbrich’s articles and reviews have appeared in such periodicals as War and Society, Journal of Military History, War in History, Journal of Asian Studies, Marine Corps University Journal, Marine Corps Gazette, Rethinking History, and Army History. Two of his articles are receive the “Robert Debs Heinl Prize” outstanding article on Marine Corps life and history. Ulbrich’s contributions to Marine Corps history were also recognized in the “2012 Edwin Simmons-Henry Shaw Award” for distinguished service to the U.S. Marine Corps History Division. Ulbrich has lectured widely on military history at the British Library, International Committee on the History of the Second World War (China), Australian Defence Force Academy, University of London’s Institute of Historical Research, National World War II Museum, U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center, U.S. Naval War College Museum, Marine Corps University, Ohio University’s Center for Contemporary History, Temple University’s Center for the Study of Force and Diplomacy, Cantigny First Division Museum, and New York Military Affairs Symposium.

In addition to academic employment, Dr. Ulbrich possesses significant experience in the Public History field. In 2015-2016, he worked as a contract history for the U.S. Army. From 2009 to 2013, he served as a civilian historian at the U.S. Army Engineer School in Missouri. From 2007 to 2009, he worked as a historical consultant and on-air segment host for the award-winning “Echoes of War: Stories from the Big Red One” television documentary; and as co-director of the Cantigny First Division Oral History Project. Both these projects were generously funded by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

Meet David J. »

Program Staff

John Broom, PhD
Associate Program Director of Academics
Sandra  Rotter, MPA
Associate Program Director
Melissa Neilson, MA
Student Support Advisor

Featured Faculty



Get to know the graduates of Norwich’s online Master of Arts in Military History program.

Frequently Asked Questions

What courses can I take in the military history program?

After completing the program’s core courses, students can choose from a variety of courses specific to their interests in the field of military history. Course topics include historiography, Western military history, Asian military history, U.S. military history, Total War theory, and the role of race and gender.

Is there a thesis or capstone option?

Yes. The last course of the program is devoted to your capstone paper. An optional thesis track provides the opportunity for a focused research and scholarly investigation in addition to your coursework.  The thesis option extends the program time to completion by at least one additional semester.

How long is the military history program?

The program’s six courses (each six credits) take approximately 18 months to complete. Depending on when you start the program, you can expect your degree to be conferred in 18 to 24 months. Thesis students will spend an additional seminar to complete their studies.

How have graduates of the program applied their degree?

While some military history students enter the program with specific career goals, others complete the program to fulfill lifelong personal goals or interests. Nearly every year, one or more military history graduates enter a PhD program, though as a percentage of the entire class the number is quite small.

Military history alumni are employed by the U.S. Army, Navy, American Defense Systems Inc, Boeing, and other organizations. They work as writers, archivists, museum personnel, and in positions not directly related to the field.

How are the military history program faculty members selected?

Military history program faculty all have terminal degrees, and have extensive subject matter expertise in military history, American history, or both. They must demonstrate a wide range of university/college-level teaching experience, and a strong research record. Our faculty members are also active in publishing their academic scholarship, presenting at conferences and editing manuscripts.

What are the eligibility requirements for applying to the program?
  • A bachelor's degree from a regionally or nationally accredited institution or an equivalent degree from a foreign institution, as evaluated by WES, IERF, or SpanTran.
  • An undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or higher (overall or in a relevant undergraduate major, such as history or political science).
  • Proof of English language proficiency if English is not your first language. This can be demonstrated in one of three ways:
    • TOEFL — a minimum score of 550 (paper-based test) or 80 (internet-based test) is required.
    • IELTS — a minimum composite score of 6.5 is required.
    • Presentation of a baccalaureate or master’s degree from an institution in which the primary language of instruction was English.
How much is the online Master of Arts in Military History program?
  • Price per Credit: $719
  • Term tuition: $4,314
  • Library Fee: $75/term
  • Technology Fee: $300/term
  • Graduation Fee: $150/one-time
  • Total Program Cost (6 terms): $28,284
Does Norwich accept transfer credits?

When you apply for admission to the Master of Public Administration program, you can submit transcripts and course outlines from previously attended institutions of higher education to be considered for transfer credits. Transfer credits will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and may be accepted for up to 12 credits. Norwich complies with VA regulations and guidelines as they pertain to transfer credits.

How can I help you?