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ASU, National WWII Museum launch new master's degree: World War II Studies

Unique collaboration will offer the only graduate-level degree in WWII history available in the United States

facade of WWII Museum
August 07, 2018

Editor's note: This story is being highlighted in ASU Now's year in review. Read more top stories from 2018 here.

The war that changed the world has made the case for specialized graduate study.

Arizona State University and the National WWII MuseumBased in New Orleans, the National WWII Museum was dedicated in 2000 as the National D-Day Museum and has since been designated by Congress as America’s National WWII Museum. have announced the launch of a new online master’s degree program, World War II Studies, beginning in January 2019. The fully accredited online Master of Arts degree will provide 30 hours of coursework taught by the world’s top WWII scholars from both ASU and the National World War II Museum. It will also draw upon the museum’s one-of-a-kind collection that includes tens of thousands of artifacts and personal accounts from the WWII generation to create an exclusive learning experience unlike any other.

“The partnership between Arizona State University and the National WWII Museum brings together historians from both institutions as part of a first-of-its-kind graduate degree in World War II studies from a U.S.-based university,” said Phil Regier, university dean for educational initiatives and CEO of EdPlus at ASUEdPlus is the unit that houses ASU Online.. “Following ASU’s commitment to innovation and accessibility, this program reaches global learners, providing a comprehensive and worldwide view of one of the 20th century’s largest global conflicts.”


Video by Suzanne Wilson and Ken Fagan/ASU Now

Designed to meet the educational and professional needs of various types of students, the program's educational focus will also include the importance of preserving oral histories from the war, representations of World War II in film and literature, and the war’s lasting impact on democracies around the world. Classes will feature in-depth discussions on the war’s military campaigns, impact on civilians and the Holocaust.

“The museum’s mission has always been to educate future generations on the American experience in the war that changed the world,” said Gemma Birnbaum, director of the WWII Media and Education Center at the National WWII Museum. “By partnering with Arizona State University, we are offering students the unique opportunity to learn from leading experts who can provide the most comprehensive view of a global conflict that still shapes our society and political structures today.”   

Whether they be history and social studies teachers seeking a master’s degree; those interested in career advancement or degree credentials; or others wishing to strengthen their research, reasoning and writing skills for new employment opportunities, the World War II master’s degree program aims to create intellectually stimulating learning experiences for all students.

Enrollment is now open for the online Master of Arts in World War II Studies program. Deadline for applications is Dec. 1, 2018. Additional information is available on the National WWII Museum's website.

In addition to the master's degree program, ASU and the National WWII Museum also are offering a series of online noncredit courses through Arizona State University’s Continuing and Professional Education program. This curriculum is designed to give history enthusiasts the rare opportunity to engage and interact with academics on a subject matter that has held media and public interest for decades. 

“World War II represents a pivotal period in history. As decades pass, it is critical that we keep the story alive for new generations,” said Darcy Richardson, director of continuing education at EdPlus at ASU. “We are thrilled to be able to partner with the National WWII Museum and the ASU School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies to create an affordable, open-enrollment, noncredit program to share this history through a scalable and accessible online platform.” 

Enrollments for the WWII Professional Studies Certificate program open in October 2018 with classes for the first five-week course — exploring “The Stories of the Pacific” and the United States' entry into World War II — beginning in January 2019.

Top photo courtesy of the National WWII Museum in New Orleans

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