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Study the Past. Lead the Future.
D-Day Normandy Invasion of 1944
Study the Past. Lead the Future.
Naval Fleet

Course Descriptions



COURSE NAME           




MLTH 500 - Methods and the Historiography of Military History                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    




An introduction to the methodologies of military history and the nature of historical sources pertaining to warfare (e.g., archaeological, geophysical, archival, and technological).  It also introduces students to the broader questions, historiographical debates, and epistemological questions regarding the study of war and militaries as institutions.


MLTH 501 - Strategic Thinkers and Military Intellectuals




An examination of the masters of the military art and key military strategists and intellectuals throughout history, including Thucydides, Sun Tzu, Machiavelli, Jomini, Clausewitz, Mahan, Douhet, Eisenhower, and Mao Zedong.  It introduces students to the theories and practices of war; the interrelationships among politics, strategy, technology, and society; and current thought on the future of war.




MLTH 502 - Leadership in the Crucible of War      




An examination of the long history of military leadership in world history. It will examine leadership across time and the different ranks, while also placing leadership within societal contexts. This course considers models and exemplars of military leadership at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels across select epochs in history, from warrior-kings and four-stars to centurions and lieutenants.



MLTH 503 - U.S. Military History





This course examines patterns in U.S. military history from the colonial era to the present day.  Significant attention is placed on operational military history and the larger strategic, political, social, and cultural conditions that have shaped American military history. The course also highlights how and why Americans have waged war; the common soldier’s experience, uniforms, and weaponry in different conflicts; civil-military considerations; and the dynamic ways that technology has affected warfare.


MLTH 504 - Non-Western Military History




This course examines patterns in military history in the non-western world in Africa, the Americas, the Middle East, and Asia. While significant attention will be devoted to operational history and larger issues of strategy, the course will examine how and why these societies waged war.  It will also explore the experience of warfare throughout the non-western world as it affected native peoples, common soldiers, governments, and military institutions.


MLTH 505 - Irregular Warfare




This course examines the history of irregular, or guerrilla, warfare from the ancient world to the present day.  Attention will be devoted not only to the tactical experience of guerrilla war, but also to the social, economic, and political contexts that have fostered these wars.  No less important, the course will examine counter insurgent operations and the strategic and grand strategic considerations that have guided them.


MLTH 506 - Naval and Amphibious Warfare




A history of warfare at sea from ancient times to the present with emphasis on the historical development of naval architecture, technology and organization; the evolution of naval tactics and strategy, and the influence of sea power upon world affairs.  The origins and development of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, and upon the role of joint operations and amphibious warfare, are also examined.

MLTH 507 - The History of Airpower        




An examination of the development of manned flight and the emergence of air power in military history in the 20th century to the present.  Air power theorists and practitioners such as Douhet, Mitchell, Trenchard, de Seversky, Harris, LeMay, and Warden are examined, as well as technological developments in aeronautical engineering and its effects on both the doctrine and application of air power.  The course also examines the possibilities and limits of air power and its offensive, defensive, and deterrent capabilities in national strategy.


MLTH 511- Greco-Roman Warfare




A survey of warfare in the ancient Mediterranean, particularly among the Greeks and Romans, from the era of the Trojan War to the height of the Roman Empire. It addresses cultural attitudes toward war, military service, and violence, the institutions that supported the waging of war and raising of armies, the actual progress of campaigns and battles, the impact of plunder and war losses on ancient societies, and the role of technological and tactical innovations in the changing practice of war. It also considers in what ways or to what extent the warfare of the Greeks and Romans represents the heritage of modern war.



MLTH 513 - French and Indian War (Global Seven Years’ War)





A study of one of the most significant wars in American and world history: the French and Indian War in North America, or the Seven Years’ War (1756-1763) as it was known in a global setting.  The war pitted Britain, Prussia, and the Thirteen Colonies against France, Austria, Russia, and Spain in a global contest for imperial domination stretching from America to the Caribbean, Europe, the Mediterranean, Africa, India, and the Philippines. In America, Indian nations defined much of the character of the war and profoundly influenced the war’s origins, military character, and outcomes.

MLTH 514 - American Revolution




An examination of the origins and consequences of the American Revolution, paying particular attention to the War for American Independence (1775-1783); comparative leadership of American and British forces; the salient role of George Washington and his definition of the Continental Army; the principal campaigns and battles of the war; the naval and international diplomatic aspects of the war; irregular warfare involving rebels, loyalists, and Indians; and the relationships between the Revolution and broader patterns of civil-military relations.


MLTH 515 - Napoleonic Wars




A survey of the Napoleonic Wars, including those of the French Revolution, from a distinctly military perspective.  Although the causes, ideologies, and mentalities of the revolutionary era will be explored, the class will emphasize the study of the conduct of war from the strategic, operational, and tactical perspectives with the goal of understanding how these wars, and Napoleon himself, shaped the future conduct of warfare.  Attention will also be devoted to logistics and the experience of war among the soldiery of the period.



MLTH 516 - American Civil War





A study of the military history of the Civil War.  In so doing the course will discuss those factors and people that influenced and shaped the conduct of war in the middle of the nineteenth century.  Although there will be an emphasis upon strategic, operational, and tactical military history, the course will also explore the experience of combat, logistics, technological innovation, POWs, and the importance of naval operations upon the outcome of the war.


MLTH 517 - American Indian Wars




A study of the patterns of Native American warfare from the advent of European colonization in the 1500s to the end of organized Indian military resistance in the United States in the 1890s.  It particularly examines the specific wars that Native nations waged against European colonizers as well as American settlement expansion.  It also emphasizes comparative history, examining global patterns of warfare involving western or colonial powers and non-western indigenous peoples.


MLTH 518 - World War I




This course studies the history of World War I from its causation to the consequences of the Armistice in 1918.  It will focus on all military aspects of the war from the strategic to tactical.  It will examine the impact of nationalism and the rise of modern total war.  The experience of warfare as well as the profound technological innovations of the conflict will also receive significant attention. 


MLTH 519 - World War II in Europe and Africa




A study of the European and African theaters of World War II from the 1930s to 1945. The class will examine the causes of the conflict and the course of its military campaigns. The course will devote attention to air, land, and naval combat. The class will ultimately place the events and consequences of the war in the context of the military, diplomatic, and political history of the twentieth century.

MLTH 520 - World War II in the Pacific




A study of the Pacific theater of World War II from the 1930s to 1945. The class will examine the causes of the conflict and the course of its military campaigns. The course will devote attention to air, land, and naval combat. The class will ultimately place the events and consequences of the war in the context of the military, diplomatic, and political history of the twentieth century.


MLTH-521 -The Resistance in World War II




An examination of resistance movements and their significance to Allied victory in World War II.  In Europe and Asia, political and religious groups waged a war of resistance as partisans or guerillas against Nazi or Japanese military forces.  Their patterns of resistance included irregular warfare, espionage, media, and sabotage.

MLTH 522 -The Red Army




A study of the Soviet Red Army, from its revolutionary origins to its development as the mighty engine that destroyed the Nazi Wehrmacht on the Eastern Front.  It will trace its post-World War II evolution in the Cold War, its operations ranging from eastern Europe to Afghanistan, and its evolution as the Russian Army of the present.

MLTH 523 - The Vietnam War




An examination of the history of the American war in Vietnam, beginning with the foundations of French imperialism in Indochina, the Japanese occupation during World War II, and the Vietnamese resistance during the First Indochina War.  It will chart the contours of American policy toward Indochina and the escalation of military responses under presidents Kennedy and Johnson.  Significant attention will be placed upon military operations from 1965 to 1972, the war’s impact on American society; and the North Vietnamese conquest of South Vietnam in 1975.

MLTH 524 - The Global Cold War




The Cold War was arguably the twentieth century’s most significant long-term conflict. This course takes an international perspective on its varied causes and consequences in Europe, the Americas, Asia, and the Middle East.  Major topics will include U.S.-Soviet relations and nuclear diplomacy; wars in Korea, Vietnam, and Latin America; crises in Berlin, Budapest, Prague, and Cuba; decolonization and the rise of the “Third World”; “the containment doctrine”; espionage and McCarthyism; and the (surprising) end of the Cold War.

MLTH 525 - Global War on Terrorism




This course examines the US and international military campaigns against global terrorism in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.  Attention is given to the historical origins of Islamic terrorism, and the rise of al-Qaeda, ISIS, and other terrorist organizations, their ideologies, and their methods.  The military campaigns in Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom); Iraq (Operation Iraqi Freedom), and the Levant (Operation Inherent Resolve) will be examined, in a broader political-military context of state-building, counterinsurgency strategies, and counterterrorism efforts.

MLTH 526 - Arab-Israeli Conflict




A study of the turbulent history between the Arab countries of the Middle East and the state of Israel from 1900 to the present. The course will cover the rise of the World Zionist Organization, the impact of WWI and WWII diplomacy on the topic, the creation of the state of Israel, the impact of the state of Israel on the Palestinian people, the various wars and conflicts that have emerged between the Arab states and Israel, as well as the first and second Intifada in the occupied territories, the U.S. role in the conflict, and the impact of the Arab-Israeli conflict on terrorism.

MLTH 530 - Special Topic: Conflict Studies




Examples include the Fall of Rome, the Thirty Years’ War, Korean War, or other interdisciplinary courses on conflicts.



MLTH 550 - History of War and Society in China





This course charts war and violence in China from the Bronze to the Nuclear Age.  It would include topics such as chariot warfare, the emergence of infantry armies and the crossbow, professional generals and their manuals on military strategies and tactics, warfare against the nomads, farmer-soldiers and agricultural garrisons, knight-errantry and revenge killings, banditry, piracy, the development of firearms, peasant rebellions and secret societies, martial arts, the Boxer Rebellion, Warlordism, the Red Army and the Jiangxi Soviet, the War of Resistance against the Japanese, Chinese intervention in the Korean War, the military suppression of the Tian’anmen protests, and the modernization of the People's Liberation Army.


MLTH 551 -The Samurai & the Japanese Military Tradition




A study of the rise of the Samurai warrior tradition during the Heian period, the emergence and endurance of military government in Japan, the Japanese defeat of the Mongols, the feudal Warring States period, Hidoyoshi's invasion of Korea and the start of the First East Asian war, the de-militarization of the Samurai during the Tokugawa period, the infusion of Samurai values during the modernizing Meiji period, the Samurai ethic and the Japanese soldier in the Sino-Japanese War and the Russo-Japanese War, the militarization of the pre-war Japanese government and the invasion of Manchuria, and the Samurai legacy connection with atrocities and Kamikaze during WWII.

MLTH 552 -The Viking Military Tradition




The image of the fierce Vikings, spreading fear and dread across Europe, has been transmitted into the popular culture of today through literature, music and movies. This course will use both primary texts and material culture to consider what gave the Vikings their military prowess, as well as the cultural impact they made in their original homelands, and across Europe, Russia, and Byzantium.

MLTH 553 - King Alfred’s Wars




A study of the social, economic and cultural strategies the Anglo-Saxon king used to counter Viking aggression in England in the 9th Century. It would also look at the major battles fought between the Vikings and Anglo-Saxons while connecting the strategic plans of Alfred's wars to his larger cultural agenda.

MLTH 554 - War and Society in Early Modern Europe, 1350-1650




Examines war as a chronic condition, big business, way of life, and determinant of statecraft in the three centuries following the Black Death. It gives special attention to the logistical, engineering, and financial challenges posed by the advent of firearms and other technical innovations after the 1490s.

MLTH 555 -The Dutch Revolt




Explores the complicated nexus of religious, dynastic, economic, and social developments that produced the Dutch Revolt of 1568-1648. It also considers how eight decades of chronic warfare altered the landscape and shaped the culture of the Low Countries.

MLTH 556 - War and Society in the Age of Total War




Examines the social, economic, cultural, and political dynamics of the home fronts in Europe during World War I and World War II.

MLTH 557 -The Double-V Campaign: African-Americans in World War II




This course examines the Double-V Campaign that was waged by African-Americans during World War II—victory abroad and at home--and how African-Americans mobilized an enduring social movement.

MLTH 558 - Social Movements in the Vietnam Era 




A survey of the political, social, and cultural movements of the 1960s—particularly the Civil Rights Movement, the anti-war movement, and the counterculture—and how they affected world opinion as well as the conduct of US policymaking and warfare in the 1960s and 1970s.

MLTH 559 -The Modern Middle East




A survey of Middle East history with an emphasis upon those events that provide historical background and context for current affairs in the region. It covers from around 1800 to the present, with an emphasis on the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries, beginning with the decline of the Ottoman Empire, and on to the impact of WWI and WWII, Zionism, the rise of modern Middle East states, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Arab nationalism, the rise of political Islam and Islamic fundamentalism.


MLTH 560 - Military Coups and Dictators in Latin America




This course examines the cycle of military coups and dictatorships that has shaped Latin America since 1810.  Students will be asked to consider the following themes throughout the semester: 1) caudillismo, 2) left-wing/right-wing political ideologies, 3) popular reactions/resistance to authoritarianism, 4) U.S./Latin American relations. 

MLTH 561 - History of the U.S./ Mexico Borderland




A survey of the history of the U.S./Mexico border region, from the Pre-Columbian period to the present day.  Students will be asked to consider the following themes throughout the semester: 1) the significance of the Spanish colonial heritage, 2) the treatment of marginalized groups (indigenous peoples, women, peasants, etc.), 3) Manifest Destiny, 4) immigration and globalization. 

MLTH 565 - Special Topics in War and Society




Examples include studies of war and memory, the U.S. Home Front in World War II, war and society in Ireland, the history of American veterans, or other interdisciplinary courses on war and society.

MLTH 600 - Capstone Seminar




The Capstone Seminar creates a cumulative program experience designed to synthesize student knowledge and apply it towards a major research endeavor in a chosen field of study.  Students are expected to demonstrate analytical, research, and writing skills as they produce an essay of significant length.

MLTH 601-602 - Master’s Thesis




These courses enable students to produce a deeply researched and publication-ready work of historical scholarship on a chosen topic of interest.

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