View Full Version : Norwich Univ. MA in Military History

02-13-2007, 05:45 PM
So I'm here at lunchtime, looking at a SWC google ad for Norwich University, and it strikes me that an education track like that might be very interesting. About 3/4 of what I read for pleasure is military history, with the last 1/4 being gun rags and foreign Affairs.

Anyone here have any background with that MA path (online)? I used to be down on online, distance education, but after I watched my wife attend an online discussion session for one of her classes, it just might work.

John T. Fishel
02-13-2007, 06:03 PM
I've used them as supplements for masters and upper division undergraduate classes. My feeling is that they add a dimension that you don't get in the classroom but they do not substitute for the classroom. That said, on-line discussions are far better than the old correspondence course approach.

I do believe that an on-line masters program could be very effective and certainly much more convenient for one who does not live close to the program.

Surely, there are folk who chime in to this discussion board who have taught at American Military University or other on-line programs who can contribute better insights than me.

J Wolfsberger
02-13-2007, 08:13 PM
I've been thinking about that program, too. From what they write about it at their site, it looks pretty good - solid content, good structure, etc. It's a reputable school, so I tend to think the program would be pretty good.

02-13-2007, 08:20 PM
Even with military tuition assistance, Norwich was too expensive for me so I went with American Military University. While I initially had some misgivings about online degrees (my undergraduate and law degrees were in a traditional setting), I have to say that it is really a good way to get a degree.

AMU has a number of professors that not only have the academic credentials, but also have some real world experience to back up what they're teaching. For example, I once took a course in the use of airpower in small wars from Wray Johnson. He wrote the book titled Airpower in Small Wars and served with special ops in the Air Force. Many of the other professors also have quality military experience. You can check out the classes and professors at www.amu.apus.edu.

My classes have mostly involved written assignments. For example, my current class requires short weekly assignments and a 15-20 page final paper. As long as you work well in an unstructured environment, it should be fine.

I have no idea what a degree from AMU would mean when looking for employment (although it is regionally accredited), but I didn't enroll for that reason anyway. However, I'd be curious to hear what others think of the quality of AMU's National Security Studies program.

John T. Fishel
02-14-2007, 12:23 AM
I just checked AMU's acreditation. It is fully acredited by one of the major regional acrediting agencies just like every other acredited college or university in the country. Norwich is acredited by its regional. So, these programs should be solid.

02-14-2007, 12:51 AM
I looked into the Norwich program about a year ago and filled out the online survey to try to find out more. Now I get 2-3 calls a month that have become more of a pain in the @ss than anything else. I'm almost at the point of enrolling so they'll quit calling. :rolleyes:

02-14-2007, 12:55 AM
I'm almost at the point of enrolling so they'll quit calling.

Oh crap! I guess I should have waited for replies here before I clicked that damn button.

John T. Fishel
02-14-2007, 02:07 AM
If they get too obnoxious, you could always offer to teach for them - for a good salary, of course. Or, ask if they will give you a full ride fellowship.:)

The Patriot
02-14-2007, 03:22 AM
I've known many people enrolled at both Norwich and AMU and all of them seem to be pleased with their respective programs. I'm enrolled in the International Relations program at Troy University (formerly Troy State) and I've been very pleased with the courses so far. I've completed seven of twelve courses, with a concentration in National Security Studies. There are a lot of military folks going through Troy, as well as civilians, so there is some diversity in the discussions, which I find helpful. Hope this helps, and good luck...


02-14-2007, 12:52 PM
All I want to know is how much it costs. I've never gotten that far into the conversation with the dudes that call. Anyone know?

J Wolfsberger
02-14-2007, 03:04 PM
Here are some thoughts:

Overall, the Norwich program provides broad coverage of the history of war. In fact, it almost seems more of a "military science" than "military history." On the other hand, I can't see how "Race and Gender in Military History" deserves 17% of the coverage. Relevant? Sure. 17% of the field? No.

The AMU military history focuses on one (of three) US wars. The emphasis is the detailed history of a period, not the overall history of the field of warfare. AMU also offers the military studies programs, with specializations in different areas of contemporary warfare. One of those is unconventional warfare.

I'd suggest picking the program that matches your interest.

02-14-2007, 03:57 PM
I think the AMU set-up would work extremely well to suit my needs, and I like the diversity of programs offered.

Every quarter or so I get energized to stop by the website again and see what's going on. I was initially turned off around 5 years ago when I was very serious about pursuing a Sec Management degree, but got little help from any admissions folks on working grants and the GI Bill efficiently so I didn't pay out of pocket.

I didn't perservere to get the answers beyond a few emails with an obviously inexperienced young lady who wasn't hearing what I was saying, and obviously talked past my questions so she wouldn't have to actually do any work. AMU wasn't particulalrly interested in my matriculation at that time, and that incident left me sufficiently jaded. I admit that I'm a lazy bugger when it comes to education. I want someone to show me where to sign on the dotted line, give mealistof books I need to buy, and give me a rough outline of course discussion topics, then let me go at it. Starting back up in the education cycle shouldn't be like a second job.

02-14-2007, 10:33 PM

How did you work the financials of the AMU track? I'm all over the MA in Security Management, but like I said before, I'm lazy. I have the full GI Bill to tap into, as well as tuition assistance (although I'm ignorant as to how TA works for officers working a masters) I suppose.

I'd like to incur no out-of-pocket expenses when everything is said and done. Granted, I understand semester payments have to be made up front, but when I finish in however many months, I'd hope to have received enough GI Bill payments to have covered them. Is that possible?

02-15-2007, 04:08 AM
Commissioned officers incur a two-year service obligation when they use TA. Can this obligation be waived?

The officer's military branch makes the decision to waive the two-year obligation. The military branch can require officers to serve
the two-year obligation in lieu of reimbursement of TA funds. Officers should contact the appropriate branch to determine if the
obligation will be waived, and reimbursement allowed. Once waived, officers must reimburse the unserved portion of the service obligation as defined in AR 621-5, Army Continuing Education System, Chapter 6. This policy has recently been extended to include COMMISSIONED WARRANT OFFICERS.

From the Fort Hood Education Center Website (http://esd.hood.army.mil/ta2.htm) and why I do not plan on using TA.

02-15-2007, 10:57 AM
From the Fort Hood Education Center Website (http://esd.hood.army.mil/ta2.htm) and why I do not plan on using TA.

If you're sticking around anyway it's not a bad deal. I didn't know about this. It's helpful to know. Thanks.

02-15-2007, 03:19 PM
Although I not sure if all branches handle it the same (I'm USAF), I receive TA in the amount of $250 per credit hour. AMU recently increased their tuition to $275 per hour so I'll have to pay $75 per class out of pocket plus books. I haven't heard anything about whether TA will increase in the near future.

Once you register for a class, you use the online TA program to enter specific information about the course and the USAF sends a check directly to AMU. It's really quite simple and I haven;t encountered any problems to date. I believe you can use the GI Bill to cover expenses that TA doesn't cover, but I'm not familiar with that program since I used the GI BIll for my undergraduate degree when I got out the first time.

A two year committment is incurred with each receipt of TA, but it runs concurrent so you're basically committed for two years after you graduate or quit the program. I'm already over the hump with 12 years so that isn't an issue for me.

If you already have a master's degree or higher, there are some restrictions in the USAF program. I had to get approval and could only get a degree in certain programs. It's really not a bad deal and with classes beginning every month, you can pick and choose to suit your schedule. Let me know how it turns out and if you have any more questions. Good Luck.

05-03-2007, 09:07 PM
Having been a Professor of Land Warfare, Military Science, Military History, and Intelligence for American Military University from 2000-2002, I'm probably biased in favor of online education. I'm also doing online education as an instructor for the Marine Corps University College of Continuing Education for Command and Staff College Distance Education Program.

I've reviewed Norwich's program from their materials and it looks very good. AMU is pretty good too...and I'd compare both to see what is best for you. Regardless which way you go, there's a few pointers for you as an online student.

#1. Online education isn't for everyone. You have to be a motivated self-starter kind of person who doesn't mind a lot of independent study, research, and writing. If you need the social interaction of resident study, online matriculation may not be for you.

#2. Beware the diploma mill attitude--in yourself and in your professors. There are those who just want to put the check in the assignment block and that's it. Sure, you can get that...you can do that. And some of the professors will let you get away with that...and some more will barely give you any feedback whatsoever. Personally, I can't stand it--either as a student or a professor. The best thing about online matriculation is that you can--CAN--get more professor student interaction and discussion than you'd ever get in a resident program of study. I know...I've done both. If you are student that likes engagement and your professor isn't giving that to you, demand it.

#3. On the flip side, just because you can get a lot of interaction with the professor, this doesn't mean you can be stupid with your/his/her time. Make sure the time you get is productive time...don't waste it on silly things. Use those opportunties to discuss assignments and current events as a chance to really learn as well as make a good impression on your prof.

#4. Understand the disadvantages of not having ready/easy access to other students in the program. This means you might not have the interaction you need to prep for assignments/tests with your classmates. Even more importantly, you won't know what classes/professors to take...or to avoid.

05-04-2007, 01:51 AM

Do you know of any special buttons to press with AMU to get good financial assistance planning support?

Put another way, is there a super-secret number I might be able to call in order to get a living person who can help me get tuition assistance and the GI Bill to cover the majority, if not all, of the costs?

06-12-2007, 01:46 PM
I've attened both schools.

Norwich is the more expensive of the two

AMU is $800 per class

Both are well regarded programs.

01-18-2008, 05:57 AM
First time poster, but I've been reading SWJ online now for about 4-5 months. I learned about it in a CT course at Norwich. In fact, much of that particular class was spent on the dynamics of insurgencies and how to respond to them (our text for the opening of that class was Bard O'Neill's Insurgency & Terrorism). My intellectual journey was certainly broadened by the ideas and commentators I've found here! :)

As for Norwich, it was demanding, fascinating, and the online format was perfectly feasible for receiving a legitimate education- at least, at the graduate level. Those in my cohort were phenomenally qualified (veteran ATF agents, officers/NCOs in all branches, State Dept officials, and local LEOs), and I learned as much from them as from the professors (who were professional, knowledgeable, and a pleasure to work with) and the readings. The cost was certainly expensive (about $25k), but not prohibitive. I'd certainly pay it again for an experience as rewarding as I had at Norwich. Ultimately, I'd say you'll find you get more than enough bang for your buck if you're willing to put the time and effort in.

Oh, the post here regards MMH, but I was in the Diplomacy program with a concentration in Terrorism (6 classes: theory, pol eco, intnl law, Terrorism as Phenomenon, State Sponsors, and Response to Terrorism). Within the Diplomacy program, you could also choose Conflict Resolution or Intnl Commerce. Hope this is helpful!

04-06-2008, 11:01 PM
I graduated Norwich. Excellent program. Bring money.