War and the Military in Society Concentration

Study of war and security in the past, present and future

Catalog Year: 2022-2023


Green Leaf

The MAIS in interdisciplinary studies is for students who seek a master's degree that integrates knowledge from several disciplines. It addresses the rapidly evolving demand for unique graduate study by promoting advanced scholarship that transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries. Students can pursue one of the following structured interdisciplinary concentrations and also have the opportunity to design an individualized concentration to meet the special needs of their careers.

The MAIS in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Energy and Sustainability is a Green Leaf program

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.

Degree Requirements

Total credits: 36

Students should be aware of the specific policies associated with this program, located on the Admissions & Policies tab.

Students pursuing this degree must successfully complete 36 credits of graduate coursework in a concentration. Students must submit a curriculum worksheet that has been approved by their concentration head and the director. All students complete their work in the program with a project or thesis.

Concentration in War and the Military in Society (WMS)

The concentration in war and the military in society 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 that provides a variety of methods and tools to frame and analyze these questions, 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.

All students will complete a capstone research project that provides an opportunity to do deep research into an historic or contemporary case. In addition, students may also complete an experiential learning requirement that combines practical knowledge and real-world experience to engage in problems connected to war and society.

Required Course of Proseminar

MAIS 696 MAIS ProSeminar 1
Total Credits 1

Interdisciplinary Perspectives on War and the Military in Society  (27-30 Credits)

Students take 9-10 courses from 2 or more interdisciplinary perspectives below to complement the skills and subject matter expertise they have already acquired through formal education and professional experience, or other courses to enhance their portfolio that are chosen in consultation with the concentration head. Students who do a project (1 credit) in lieu of a thesis (4 credits) for their capstone will take an additional 3-credit course.

Historical Perspectives

These courses draw upon conflicts from two thousand years of human experience, from ancient Rome to contemporary issues in civil-military relations. The historical perspective focuses upon the past and the way that problems related to war and society have changed over time.

Problems in American History (when topic is The Second World War or Civil Military Relations)  
Topics in the American Civil War Era (when the topic is The Civil War)  
Era of the American Revolution  
Problems in European History (when the topic is Fall of the Roman Empire, The First Global Wars, Revolutions in the Atlantic, The Second World War, or Technology and Power)  
The Vietnam War  
War and Remembrance  
Contemporary Policy Perspectives

These courses focus on the applied study of security and on concrete, modern-day issues related to the particular challenges of organized violence in the twenty-first century.

BIOD 609
Biodefense Strategy  
BIOD 709
Nonproliferation and Arms Control  
BIOD 722
Examining Terrorist Groups  
BIOD 725
Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction  
Selected Topics (when the topic is Urban Warfare)  
GOVT 733
Islam and Politics  
Topics in Policy and Government (when the topic is Middle East Security, European Security, or International Money Laundering and Terror)  
Interagency Operations in Conflict and Post-Conflict Settings  
Analysis for Peace Operations  
International Police Operations  
Theoretical Perspectives

These courses focus on theories of war, peace, and security across a broad range of contemporary and historic cases and through a variety of disciplinary lenses.

BIOD 610
Advanced Topics in Global Health Security (when the topic is Cyber Warfare Strategy/Policy)  
Dynamics of Civil Wars  
Selected Topics in Geography (when the topic is Military Geography or Insurgency)  
GOVT 540
International Relations  
GOVT 745
International Security  
Topics in Policy and Government (when the topic is Intelligence and Public Policy, Disruptive Technology and National Security, or Information Intelligence and Smart Power)  
Grand Strategy  
Ethics and the Use of Force  
Practical or Applied Perspectives
GBUS 551
Experiential Learning 1  

Research Methods

Students select one research methods course from the following: 3
Interdisciplinary Research Methods  
The Study and Writing of History  
OR 651
Military Operations Research I: Cost Analysis  
OR 652
Military Operations Research Modeling II: Effectiveness Analysis  
Topics in Policy and Government (when topic is Qualitative Research Methods)  
Total Credits 3


MAIS 797 Interdisciplinary Studies Proposal 1
Total Credits 1

Project or Thesis

Select one from the following: 1-4
Interdisciplinary Studies Project (take 1 credit)  
Interdisciplinary Studies Thesis (take 4 credits)  
Total Credits 1-4


Philosophy, MA and Interdisciplinary Studies, MAIS Dual Degree

Students interested in pursuing a dual master's program linking philosophy and another discipline should discuss their interest with the graduate program directors of both programs and review the university policies regarding Individualized Dual Master's Degree Programs. Students approved to pursue dual master's study linking the MA philosophy degree and the Interdisciplinary Studies, MAIS with a concentration in women and gender studies will complete WMST 630 Feminist Theories across the Disciplines/PHIL 658 Feminist Theory and 3 additional credits of WMST courses approved by the Department of Philosophy to apply to the philosophy degree as elective credit. Six credits of approved PHIL credits will apply to the MAIS degree as elective credit. Application to the second master's program should be pursued with consultation of the directors of both programs. Admission to the second master's program will require that the student has met the minimum prerequisites for admission to the second program. If a student lacks the minimum prerequisites and seeks to be admitted to a second master's program, the director of the second program may identify ways in which the prerequisite can be completed prior to admission.