World War II Studies, MA

At a Glance: program details

  • Location:
  • Second Language Requirement: No

ASU faculty, historians of the National WWII Museum, and valuable archival resources provide you with an in-depth understanding of the effects of World War II on current and future world events. This first-of-its-kind online program is a distinct partnership between ASU and the National WWII Museum.

Program Description

Degree Awarded: MA World War II Studies

Through advanced interdisciplinary study, students in the MA program in World War II studies explore the causes and effects of World War II; the global nature of the conflict; the evolution of governance and political systems; and human responses to conflict, violence and genocide. Program coursework also helps students contextualize current events through study of the war's historical, political and cultural legacies.

Degree Requirements

Curriculum Plan Options

  • 30 credit hours including the required capstone course (WWS 597)

Required Core (12 credit hours)
WWS 561 Decision Points I (3)
WWS 562 Decision Points II (3)
WWS 563 The Lived Experience of World War II (3)
WWS 566 World War II Today (3)

Electives or Research (9 credit hours)

Other Requirements (6 credit hours)
HST 454 History of Genocide (3) or WWS 564 The Global War (3)
WWS 460 World War II (3) or HST 460 World War II (3)

Culminating Experience (3 credit hours)
WWS 597 Capstone (3)

Additional Curriculum Information
Students should refer to the academic unit for the approved electives and research course list.

For the other requirements section, students must take either HST 454 or WWS 564. If a student chooses to take HST 454 to fulfill the requirement, they may take WWS 564 as an elective. Likewise, if a student chooses to take WWS 564 to fulfill a requirement, they may take HST 454 as an elective. Other coursework may be used with approval of the academic unit.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's degree (or equivalent) or master's degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Students from any field who demonstrate potential are considered for admission.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. three letters of recommendation
  4. letter of intent or written statement
  5. written responses to unit-developed prompts
  6. resume
  7. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of their current residency.

An applicant's potential for success is determined by the quality of writing and clarity of thought demonstrated in the letter of intent and responses to the application questions. During the application process, applicants are prompted to write short written responses to World War II-related questions. These responses serve to demonstrate to the committee a student's writing ability and potential for thoughtful participation in degree coursework.

Letters of recommendation that point to a student's ability to deliver high-quality academic work and persist to an academic goal receive priority.

An applicant's GPA and academic performance, particularly in humanities coursework, also indicate potential.

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Application Deadlines



Session A/C
July 21st
Session B
September 14th



Session A/C
December 10th
Session B
February 13th

Learning Outcomes

  • Analyzing the causes, course and memory of the genocidal nature of World War II, will be able to compose evidence-based arguments grounded in the analysis of sources.
  • Able to evaluate the global, social, cultural, economic and political legacy of World War II since 1945, with particular attention to differing narratives.
  • Able to analyze the decision-making process within the larger context of the Second World War.

Career Opportunities

The Master of Arts program in World War II studies provides students the fundamental training needed for careers in research, teaching, public history, government service and a host of other positions in the public, private and nonprofit sectors.

Graduates serve as first-rate historians; highly qualified teachers at the elementary and secondary levels and community colleges; researchers and consultants; archivists; foreign service officers; management professionals; community organizers and public servants.

Other career examples include:

  • archivist
  • college instructor
  • editorial and publishing professional
  • museum director and staff
  • nonprofit director
  • research professional

Global Experience

With over 250 programs in more than 65 countries (ranging from one week to one year), study abroad is possible for all ASU students wishing to gain global skills and knowledge in preparation for a 21st-century career. Students earn ASU credit for completed courses, while staying on track for graduation, and may apply financial aid and scholarships toward program costs.

Attend Online

ASU offers this program in an online format with multiple enrollment sessions throughout the year. Applicants may view the program description and request more information here.

Program Contact Information

If you have questions related to admission, please click here to request information and an admission specialist will reach out to you directly. For questions regarding faculty or courses, please use the contact information below.