Can You Get a Military Degree Online?

Many online colleges and universities offer students opportunities to get a military degree online. These are usually available as a Bachelor of Arts in Military Studies or Leadership. The former is the most common type of degree available, because it prepares graduates to enter certain careers within the different branches of the U.S. military. The latter is a degree favored by students who are interested in careers in political research, leadership and consulting. Many of these colleges demonstrate value for military training and experience by encouraging service members to request credit transfers for their military academic achievements.

Military Studies Degree

Students who successfully graduate from a military studies degree program will understand the complex interrelationships between politics, culture, strategy, economics and warfare. Students will know how to analyze military issues and trends through the lenses of history and geography. Students will understand the delicate relationship between military, civilian and private authorities. Students will understand the importance of applying moral and ethical standards to sensitive situations. Classes in ethics will examine the ethics of military action and leadership. Students will be trained to use critical thinking to determine the ethical implications and legal ramifications of military solutions. These courses use case studies to illustrate moral and ethical dilemmas, so students will understand how the military is simultaneously both an instrument of war and peace.

Classes in the literature of war will cover the history, context, social values and military use of military literature. These classes may study Department of Defense reports, marketing-driven enlistment pamphlets and military propaganda from foreign countries. A military studies degree program will always include classes on American military history, which generally start from colonial times and conclude with current foreign military campaigns. The curriculum will explore how and why the military enters, maintains and exists global military conflicts. These classes always touch on how warfare shapes national strategy, political debates and social conflict. Classes on peacekeeping study how multilateral and unilateral peacekeeping operations offer military and humanitarian benefits.

Military Leadership Degree

Military policy and leadership degrees are rare because the associated curriculum and instruction is unusually only offered only through military service training. However, there are online degrees available in military policy and leadership for non-military students who are interested in pursuing careers in public office, political science and private think tank consulting, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A military leadership degree will provide students with the professional knowledge and management fundamentals that military leaders receive during their enlistment. Classes on tactical operations and leadership will cover the planning, execution and evaluation of military actions and campaigns.

Students will learn how to identify and assess risks, engage in ethical decision-making and leverage critical thinking skills in stressful environments. Classes on national security affairs examine the legal documents, systems and frameworks used by military agencies and leaders to keep the peace, implement control and maintain a state of preparedness. These degrees may offer electives in the geography of terrorism, which study mass violence and regional conflicts, as well as classes on military philosophy, which examine the metaphysical nature of military actions.

Related Resource: Online Social Science Degrees

Anyone who wants to get a military degree online should consider their alternatives. For example, a degree in international relations or politics is perfect for students who want to work in the fields of foreign policy, human rights and foreign government relations.