Painting: On the Shoulders of Giants by Ezra Tucker

Concentration in War and Society Studies

The Master of Arts degree in history with a concentration in War and Society Studies is designed to provide special knowledge and training to those who aim to study the causes, conduct, and costs of war from a historical perspective with a view to enabling critical public policymaking and informed citizenship. The concentration examines broad conceptual, historical, and policy issues relating to three main areas of exploration: how societies go to war, experience and are shaped by war, and cope with war’s consequences; how war has framed different societies’ national/human security and foreign policies; and how societies remember and consider war through history, myth, and memory.

Students enrolled in the War and Society Studies concentration will explore topics in the following thematic areas:

  • The interrelationships between home fronts and fighting fronts
  • The interactions between war and societal beliefs on class, gender, race, and other social distinctions
  • The impact of war on civilians and noncombatants and on the behavior of armies and soldiers
  • The relationship of armed force to grand strategy and foreign policy
  • The nature of historical myth, memory, and memorialization

Core Courses (all)

  • Fundamentals in War and Society Studies
  • HIST 601; HIST 665; Thesis or Comprehensive Exam

Core Reading Areas (Students will choose 1 of 3 to be satisfied by existing graduate course offerings)

  • Peace, War, and American Society
  • War and Culture in Global History
  • Readings in War, Myth, and Memory

Core Research Areas (Students will choose 1 of 3 to be satisfied by existing graduate course offerings)

  • National Security and Grand Strategy in the Modern Era
  • Soldiers and Civilians: The Experience of War
  • Conflict, Collaboration, and Resistance

Potential Interdisciplinary Electives (1)

  • Ethics of War
  • Non-Violent Resistance Movements
  • Peace, Conflict, and Human Rights

Master of Arts in History Degree
Concentration in Military History

Nine Units

  • HIST 600 Fundamentals in War and Society
  • HIST 601 Seminar in Historical Methods
  • HIST 665 Research Seminar in History

Nine units selected from

  • HIST 610 Seminar in Public History
  • HIST 620 Dir. Readings in European History
  • HIST 630 Dir. Readings in United States History
  • HIST 640 Dir. Readings in Latin American History
  • HIST 650 Dir. Readings in Asian History
  • HIST 680 Dir. Readings in Selected Topics

Select 500-level courses (see below)

Six units selected from 500-700 level HIST catalogue courses, three units which must be outside the department with approval from USS Midway Chair or designee

Plan A (six units)

  • HIST 665 Research Seminar in History (2 of 2)
  • HIST 799A Thesis

Plan B (six units)

  • HIST 795 Area Studies in History
  • and three units selected from
    HIST 610 to 680


Top image credit: On the Shoulders of Giants, Ezra Tucker. Courtesy of the Air Force Art Collection.