Bachelors In

Military Studies Degrees

The complete guide on what you’ll learn, job prospects, university programs, and saving time and money.
on June 30, 2020

Why We Love It

  • $63,710
    Potential Avg. Salary*
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook

* Salary & growth data is based on the recent Bureau of Labor and Statistics data published at for 13-1071 Human resources specialists 11/2021. Based on national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary.

Designed for both active-duty military and veterans, a bachelor of science in military studies degree is designed to provide individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to expand their career options within the defense and military industries. Graduates qualify to move into leadership roles within their branch, to become defense contractors, or to provide political consulting or analysis on military matters.

What is a Degree in Military Studies?

In a military studies degree program, students engage with significant coursework in history, political science, and ethics, allowing them to understand the role of the military through the past and into the present. They work to form a detailed understanding of the causes of historical wars, the outcomes, and the specific things that led to different victories and defeats. This enables graduates to become better military leaders or political consultants on military matters, recommending more informed moves and decisions.

In addition to a focus on military strategy, students also focus on the moral and ethical concerns in the relationship between the military and society, taking coursework in ethics, logic, international philosophies, and cultural studies. Some students may also choose to take a more business-focused approach to military studies, particularly if they’re interested in careers in defense contracting or defense research. These students take accounting, finance, law, and management courses in addition to military studies coursework.

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What Courses Would I Take For a Major in Military Studies?

  • World Politics
  • The American Political System
  • War & Civilization
  • International Relations
  • American Foreign Policy
  • History of Military Thought
  • The U.S. Presidency
  • National Security Strategy & Policy

What Jobs Can You Get with a Degree in Military Studies?

To qualify for military leadership, military consulting and advising, and defense contracting roles, you generally need to be in the military or a military veteran. Your likelihood of being accepted into the military is usually related to the state of the economy. When the economy is good, there is less competition, but when it’s bad, competition may be fiercer. Earning a military studies degree could help you stand above the competition if you’re struggling to get accepted into your preferred branch.

How Long does it take?

A bachelors in Military Studies will have a typical length of 4 years in a full time schedule. That said, there are many ways to speed up the timeframe by either taking more units via online coursework, community college, or taking free classes at that could transfer to universities in the US.

Online Military Studies Degree

Military studies programs are not common compared to other university programs. It is more common to find military related specializations in other programs. However, you can still find few universities that offer online military studies programs. You may have the chance to complete the program in a shorter duration if you are serving in military forces and have already received military training. It is more common to find military studies as associate or pre-bachelor degree programs.

What Can You Do With a Military Studies Degree?

Military studies refer to the field of science related to military institutions and activities. These studies deal with warfare, military institutions, processes and behavior. The studies also focus on the theories and practices for formation of military forces following national defense policy. Researchers of this field work also to fulfill the economic, social, psychological and political needs to achieve competitive advantage of the military forces compared to other countries. They also work to develop strategies, technologies and tactics that help gain victory during battles. Additionally, this branch of science focuses on providing training, military equipment and weapons to military personnel. Military studies are different from military education and is usually offered as a course to officers as part of their training.

What does a military studies student learn?

Military studies refer to a multidisciplinary field that integrates several sciences with the focus on developing military advantage in accordance with the national defense policy. They also study the ways of securing the resources for this purpose which include finance, technology, human power and politics. The following list shows the courses commonly offered in military studies degree programs:

  1. Military history: this is a major part of military studies as history presents a valuable source of knowledge regarding strategies, tactics, weapons and leadership.
  2. Leadership and decision making: the decisions taken by leaders during wars are a key factor for victory or defeat and can be more important than other factors.
  3. Officership: this course introduces how armies operate and how troops can be managed in different scenarios.
  4. Causes of war: it is a history course that introduces the causes that raised military conflicts including natural resources, historical patterns and religious influence.
  5. Modern security issues: this course introduces the security concerns that are facing the current world including nuclear or mass destruction weapons, cybersecurity and migration.
  6. American military history: this is a course that is offered by US universities to introduce the evolution of military forces in the country including the civil war and the formation of the union.

Now I have the military studies degree…where can I work after graduating?

The nature of military studies is different from other university degree programs. You are mainly prepared to join military authorities and institutes. However, military studies also introduces advanced studies that are common to other fields as politics, leadership, planning and psychology. You may consider the following career options if you have a degree in military studies:

  1. Politician: there is a strong relation between politics and military. Graduates of military studies are prominent candidates for political parties due to their solid knowledge in history, politics and leadership.
  2. Human resources manager: effective communication and leadership skills are essential for military studies graduates which are also the skills needed for successful human resources managers.
  3. Police, detectives and investigators: military studies graduates are qualified to work in investigating crimes due to their knowledge with psychology, weapons and chemicals and other aspects common to crime investigations.
  4. Historians: you may choose to continue studying history and searching for the real story of historical events which adds valuable knowledge to military people and civilians.

Should I choose a military studies degree?

Military studies is a challenging degree program for students. If you have the passion for history, politics and leadership then you should think about military studies. However, you should also think about the nature of your future career which is an important factor for your choice. Joining a military studies program will help you develop a number of skills that is important for success in life in general:

  1. Leadership skills: learning how to lead and motivate lies in the core of military life.
  2. Planning and management skills: you will learn how to manage troops, non-military teams and how to manage the available resources to achieve defined objectives.
  3. Staying update regarding the latest technologies which is essential for building strong military forces in the current world.
  4. Time management: timing is a critical factor for achieving victory during wars. Learning about military history and strategies shows the importance of effective scheduling and time management.
  5. Critical analysis and problem solving: this is important for military leaders who should always be completely aware of their weaknesses and strengths.

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Best Jobs for Military Studies Degrees

Graduates of military studies degree programs can find careers in a variety of military-related roles. Some climb the ranks in their branch and become recruiters. Others go into defense contracting, military consulting, or political advisor roles. Some also take on positions with government agencies but outside of the military, working as Central Intelligence Agency or Federal Bureau of Investigation agents.

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About the Author
Grant founded with a purpose-driven mission: make college accessible and affordable for everyone. After graduating college with an overwhelming amount of debt, he was determined to change how students embark on their education. He's a frequent speaker and author in higher education, and has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek, Business Insider, American Express, AOL, MSN, Thrive Global, Reader's Digest, Inside Higher Ed, Evolllution, EducationDive, and nearly 100 radio shows and podcasts.

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