War and the Military in Society (WMS) equips students with skills and knowledge to evaluate, analyze, and solve problems related to the use of organized violence, including questions of national security and national strategy, international relations, defense policymaking, and domestic, fiscal, legal, and social policy surrounding the instruments of national defense. Students will engage in interdisciplinary coursework, using historical and contemporary case studies to better understand the dilemmas and opportunities facing policymakers and military professionals in their efforts to think strategically about a variety of challenges. Recent events have demonstrated the degree to which military issues affect social groups, global politics, and the world economy. The ways that armies are raised and funded, the reasons troops serve, the conditions military personnel and civilians endure during wartime, and the ways that nations conceive their military apparatus all have direct bearing on future policy decisions.
Who's in the Program
In the 21st century, the thorough study of global security demands thinkers who can make broad connections across time and apply the methods of several disciplines to solve complex problems. Students range from recent college graduates to mid-career professionals.
This concentration provides broad training for careers in national defense, intelligence, and international security.
Faculty and Research
George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university. Students in the MAIS program have the opportunity to access faculty and their expertise from across the university including the History Department, the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution and the Schar School of Policy and Government. The Carter School is at the forefront in developing theories, conducting research, and crafting techniques to resolve issues at home and abroad. As experts in their fields, the Schar School’s faculty are renowned for their active role in research, policy analysis, and recommendations on key issues that captivate the Washington, D.C. policy community. All History Department members believe that through their courses students not only learn about the past but also acquire critical reading, writing, visual, and research skills that are essential for today's careers.
The proximity of George Mason University to Washington, DC, gives the unique opportunity to partner with public and private businesses, governmental agencies, and the military. Besides taking classes in a variety of perspectives of war and the military in society, you will have the opportunity to work one-on-one with faculty on your project or thesis of interest. Additionally, Mason’s proximity to the Washington, D.C., area provides an excellent opportunity to attend seminars offered by the military, NGOs, visiting professors, defense contractors, and government employees.