best military history phd programs

Last Updated on September 5, 2022 by Smile Ese

More than 1.3 million adults have studied at a U.S. military academy, but the number of students enrolled in civilian Ph.D.-granting programs with military history and government as their focus is small when compared to the much larger number of American undergraduates who study at civilian institutions and obtain bachelor’s degrees in those fields. The army has more soldiers than any other branch yet the army is one of the few that do not get numerous students in the history department, In most cases when someone begins their study looking at a specific topic they may find themselves drawn to a different topic halfway through…

Collegelearners affords a plethora of information on military history courses, best phd history programs in the world, military history courses and so much more. Ensure you peruse through our catalogue for relevant information on similar topics.

best military history phd programs

University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina is one of the best universities if history is your passion. Overall, they are ranked 29th in the US and their history department is ranked 11th overall. 

If you are an academic at heart and military history is your passion, then UNC should be at the top of your list. Not only do they offer undergraduate programs, but they offer both an M.A and Ph.D. in military history. And while studying for such a great course, you should also target producing great research work. You can buy cheap dissertation writing services online from trustworthy service EduBirdie. It can also help you with other writing requirements like thesis, essays and term papers.

Their success is in part due to their relationship with Duke University as they have close relationship and share military resources. They have a superior collection of historical documents that you can be lost in for a lifetime. 

Duke University in Durham, North Carolina 

Duke University is one of the nation’s top universities and its scholarly library is second to none. They are currently ranked 10th in the US and boast an astounding library, boasting over 6 million volumes. Their history department is particularly renowned and also offers both Masters and Doctoral degrees in different historical fields. 

You could probably find material on military self-defense techniques if you spend some time in the library. Duke also offers a number of courses online and is on its way to becoming one of the best online schools for the military. If that isn’t enough, they even offer a number of free courses that you can sink your teeth into.

And to complement your online studies, you can also opt for an expert essay service. The qualified academic writers there can help you with selecting the right essay topic, provide research tips and help your write the final piece perfectly.

University of Houston, Texas

University of Houston houses one of the most compelling history departments around. For their undergraduates, they offer a Bachelor of Arts in History, the Bachelor of Arts in History with Teacher Certification and a minor in History. 

For the military history lover, the real appeal starts with their post-graduate programs, where they offer a Master of Arts in History and a Doctor of Philosophy in History. 

It sounds as though their program is pretty standard, but you need to be committed and have an already established knowledge of American and World History. Still, your analytical and critical thinking is what will be tested the most. 

University of Kansas, Kansas

The University of Kansas has developed an amazing history department, but more specifically, military history. For the last 30 years, they have produced over 50 post-graduate students who specialized in military history. They largely owe their success to their close relationship with the research faculty, as well as their close ties with students of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. 

Their library collection is rather unique as they have access to extensive holdings of the Combined Arms Research Library at CGSC. The faculty is by no means crowded, so you will be assured of individualized contact sessions with your lecturers.

University of North Texas, Texas

Leaving the best for last, the University of North Texas is pushing the envelope when it comes to their military history program. They are not merely focused on the American military but have some of the world leaders on military history on their faculty staff list. 

Their programs are extensive and look at some of the great conflicts of the past, military thought and strategy, diplomacy and also war and society. The one area where they excel in and are also miles ahead of the rest is in the future of warfare.

military history courses

  • American Revolution
  • Civil War and Reconstruction
  • Early US Military History to 1815
  • 19th Century US Military History
  • 20th Century US Military History
  • US in the World to 1898
  • US in the World 1898-1945
  • US in the World since 1945
  • War and American Society
  • History of the US Navy
  • Warfare in the Age of Enlightenment and Revolution
  • Warfare in the Age of Napoleon
  • The Wars of Napoleon
  • The Age of Napoleon
  • The Military History of England and Its Colonies
  • The Rise of English Sea Power
  • Race and Gender in British Imperial Wars
  • War, Gender and Religion in the British Empire
  • British Empire and Commonwealth
  • The British Empire in WW I
  • Maritime History in the Age of Sail
  • The Military Revolution
  • The Art of War: Theory and History
  • Warfare and Society in Europe from the French Revolution to World War II
  • Age of Empire: Europe and the World 1871-1914
  • World War I
  • World War II
  • Chinese Military History 1750 to the Present
  • China’s 20th Century Wars
  • Chinese Military History and Strategic Culture
  • The Korean and Vietnam Wars
  • World War II in Asia and the Pacific
  • Ancient Military History
  • Ancient Near East
  • Rome’s Jewish Wars and the Roman Near East
  • Late Byzantine Empire
  • Early Medieval Europe
  • Europe 1914-1945
  • Nazi Germany
  • The Holocaust
  • Nazi Racial Policy
  • Modern Germany
  • War Crimes, Genocide, and Justice

best phd history programs in the world

North Dakota State University

North Dakota Residents $405/credit
Minnesota Residents $514.58
Non-US Students $607.77
International Students $709.07
The North Dakota State University has offered its master’s degree in history since 1954. It wasn’t until 2002 that it began offering a PhD program in History. NDSU’s PhD program commonly takes three to five years to finish for full-time students, although it is not uncommon for some students to take longer.

Admission is available year-round, and applicants are required to provide GRE scores. International students whose first language is not English must pass the TOEFL. To apply for the PhD program, you must already have a master’s degree in history or hold one from another closely-related field.

There are limited funding and financial aid opportunities available at NDSU, primarily as assistantships with tuition waivers and small stipends. This funding is renewable for four years for PhD students, provided academic requirements are met.

Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a program that allows distance learning, you will not find it in NDSU. NDSU also requires one year of residency on campus.

Boston College – Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences
Boston college

Your full-time PhD studies at Boston College will be fully paid for by tuition remissions with the expectation of good grades and an obligation to complete research/teaching assistantships and teaching fellowships.
You may also get stipends of up to $35,875 per year.

Boston College offers masters and PhD degrees in different history specialties, with British, medieval, modern European, and United States history as some of their strongest. There are also other graduate studies interests in South Asian, East Asian, and Latin American history, and the history of religion.

Earning your PhD at Boston College means you can expect small class sizes that allow for individual and specialized attention. This institution’s program also allows for flexibility, although you are expected to complete your studies full-time.

Boston College is located in one of the best academic life centers globally, allowing students to network and collaborate with other universities through their studies.

University of Texas Arlington
University of texas arlington

$10,828 per year in-state
The University of Texas Arlington offers students an on-campus PhD program that they can participate in part-time or full-time. Full-time course loads are nine credit hours per term, and full-time students are expected to complete their doctoral degrees within six years, while part-time students may take longer.

To apply for the PhD program at the University of Texas Arlington, you must have a BA or MA in history or a minimum of eighteen hours of upper-division history courses during your undergrad. You must also provide your GRE scores.

The PhD in history program at the University of Texas Arlington specializes in transatlantic, transnational, and global history approaches focusing on US, European, Latin American, Transatlantic, and Transnational history. The award-winning faculty at this institution provides personalized attention to small class sizes.

The University of Texas Arlington has North America’s only specialized History of Cartography track that provides students access to the Garrett Map Collection, a world-famous map library.

Alumni of the program often establish careers as educators. They may find work as museum professionals or archival administration specialists outside of academia. They may also work for nonprofits or the government, and enjoy careers involving writing, research, and analysis at the highest level.

The University of Texas at Dallas – PhD in History of Ideas
University of Texas at Dallas

$18,276 per semester
The University of Texas at Dallas offers something a little different — a PhD in History of Ideas. This PhD program was designed specifically for those who want to do advanced research or teach at a college level or higher. It concentrates on the study of philosophy as well as intellectual and cultural history with a focus on European and American history.

Students of this program can expect a flexible interdisciplinary approach to their studies that connects among specific areas of interest. Aside from their coursework in the History of Ideas, students must also attend two seminars each for visual & performance arts and literature.

Alumni of this program may become teachers and educators. They can also become curators of museums or historical sites. Other potential careers are research, history administrator, and archivist. Additionally, graduates of this program can work as managers of public or private historical organizations and work for governments or non-profit organizations.

University of California – Santa Cruz
University of California Santa Cruz

$13,850 in-state
$28,952 out-of-state

The University of California Santa Cruz offers an on-campus history PhD program that emphasizes a cross-cultural and interdisciplinary approach to the study of history with a transnational and global orientation.

UCSC provides a rigorous program that blends instruction and independent work with the intent of training students in original historical research techniques. Students are encouraged to think innovatively and trained to talk, think, and teach beyond boundaries. This program prepares its students to teach university-level courses while also providing them with the tools they need to succeed in careers outside of academia.

The University of California’s Department of History, as well as its Santa Cruz campus, is well-known for its many strengths including:

Gender, Sexuality, & Feminist Studies
Critical Race Studies
Decolonial and Postcolonial Studies
Class & Transnational Labor Studies
Admission to UCSC’s history PhD program is highly competitive. The institution states that they only admit the most qualified, highly motivated applicants and welcome and encourage diversity in their student body.

Note: The University of California Santa Cruz no longer requires applicants to provide GRE scores.

Indiana University – Bloomington
​​Indiana University Bloomington

Indiana residents: full-time direct costs $25,406/total estimated costs $33,272
Non-Indiana residents: full-time direct costs $45,594/total estimated costs $53,460
​​Indiana University Bloomington has one of the largest libraries and history departments in the United States, making it one of the top choices for those interested in a future career in the field. This institution provides one of the best history doctoral programs nationwide taught by 50+ talented faculty members.

According to the program itself, Indiana University Bloomington is dedicated to training first-class historians for careers in and out of the classroom. Despite having a larger faculty, classes remain small in size so that students can receive individualized attention and advisor support.

Interested students may apply for a PhD directly without having a master’s degree. Admitted students are allowed seven years to complete their coursework and another seven years for their dissertation. However, students commonly finish their studies at a much faster pace than the allowance.

Provided they qualify, students in need of financial aid can find it by working as an associate instructor, course assistant, research assistant, or editorial assistant. Fellowships and grants are also within reach for those interested enough to apply.

New York University (Arts & Science)

$50,638 per year
Most new students at the NYU GSAS receive multi-year funding through the Henry M. MacCracken Program that offers four/five-year award terms, tuition remission for degree-required courses, health insurance, a nine-month living expenses stipend OR research assistantship, and a one-time $1,000 grant that students can use at their discretion.
New York University’s Graduate School of Arts and Science, founded over a century ago in 1886, is one of the oldest schools in the US that offers doctoral degrees. It has one of the best history PhDs available in the country.

Earning your PhD at NYU GSAS means you’ll need to commit to full-time studies of 12 points per semester. A PhD is 72 points, and students must complete 24 units within the first three years of their studies.

Learning is on-campus and there are no distance-learning opportunities at this time.

The history PhD program at the New York University Graduate School of Arts and Science is research-focused. Its main objective is to develop students’ professional skills in historical research and teaching history. This objective prepares students for an eventual career in academia or research. It also prepares future graduates for other jobs such as archival management.

NYU GSAS’s major areas of study include but are not limited to:

African Diaspora
African History
Atlantic History
East Asian History
Latin American and Caribbean History
Medieval European History
Early Modern European History
East Asian History
South Asian History
United States History
*Interested students do not need to take the GRE if they apply for a standalone master’s or PhD in history. However, applying to joint PhD studies will require GRE results.

*International students whose first language is not English must pass the TOEFL.

Rutgers (School of Arts & Science)

New Jersey residents: $19,724/year
Non-New Jersey residents: $32,132/year
Rutgers offers funding opportunities for qualified students in the form of partial or complete tuition remission and a stipend of up to $25,000 disbursed annually. Students eligible for this aid are obligated to complete fellowships and assistantships throughout their studies.

The history PhD program at the Rutgers School of Arts and Science was designed for full-time study, taking 5 years on average. The distinguished faculty of more than 60 historians cover all sorts of areas of study and time periods, though they have strong specializations in traditional regional, thematic, transnational, comparative, cultural-intellectual, social history, and more.

Students in the program publish their research and scholarly work relatively often in major historical journals. They also present their research both nationally and internationally.

This institution’s history PhD programs such as women’s and gender history, modern U.S. history, and African-American history are often some of the most top-ranked nationwide.

University of California Berkeley

Admitted students receive a fully-funded fellowship that includes tuition and fee remission, insurance, and an additional stipend.
In the following years, students receive a salary and a stipend during teaching assistantships and instructorships.
A department research year grant is also awarded alongside a stipend.
To find out more, see their financial aid page here.
UC Berkeley’s history department is one of the top-ranked in the USA, and it offers one of the best PhD history programs in the nation.

Students learn from award-winning faculty members who have won some of the most prestigious awards in the field, including the MacArthur “Genius Award” and more. The faculty and their research cover practically everything — most of the globe and almost all of humanity’s recorded history.

The PhD program at UC Berkeley is well-known for cultural history, but it also specializes in the history of science, political history, religious history, economic history, urban history, and more.

It prepares students in four fields of study:

Three selected fields in history (first, second, and third)
One outside field in another discipline
UC Berkeley is committed to diversity in its student body and accepts students from all over the world.

University of Michigan (College of Literature, Science & Arts)
University of Michigan History

Admitted students receive a six-year funding package that includes full tuition remission, medical and dental insurance, and a yearly stipend.
The plan involves six terms of fellowship support and six years of appointment as a grad student instructor or GSI.
Students also receive summer support for the first four years.
After the six years are over, there are additional funding opportunities possible.
The history PhD program at the University of Michigan has an interdisciplinary, global, and multidimensional approach to student education and training. It is regularly among the top-ranked history departments in the United States, which is a testament to the quality of education the diverse students receive here.

The program combines innovative teaching by the institution’s talented faculty with state-of-the-art research and techniques. The aim is to provide students training and preparation in their research fields, allowing them to succeed in their careers in or out of academia.

After graduation, alumni of this program enjoy relatively great placement numbers. The institution reports that only three out of nineteen graduates say they are unemployed or have no opportunities upon graduation in the past two years.

Because of the generous funding package and bright future for alumni, this program is extremely competitive. It receives around 350-400 applications for only eighteen open slots per year. It’s also worth mentioning that the average master’s GPA for applicants is 3.87.

Students must complete one year (18 credits) of the program in residence on-campus and complete the entire program within six to seven years.

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