Faculty Spotlight

Faculty

Professor Mackubin T. Owens is Professor of National Security Affairs at the United States Naval War College. From 1999 until 2010, he was also Associate Dean of Academics for Electives and Directed Research. He is a Senior Fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI) in Philadelphia, and editor of Orbis, FPRI’s quarterly journal. He specializes in the planning of US strategy and forces, especially naval and power projection forces; the political economy of national security; national security organization; strategic geography; energy security; and American civil-military relations. In addition to the core Naval War College course, he has taught electives on The American Founding, Strategy and Policy of the American Civil War, The Statesmanship of Abraham Lincoln, Sea Power and Maritime Strategy, Strategy and Geography, and US Civil-Military Relations.

Dr. Owens is a contributing editor to National Review Online and a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal, writing primarily on security affairs. His articles have appeared in International Security, Orbis, Armed Forces Journal, Joint Force Quarterly, The Public Interest, The Weekly Standard, Defence Analysis, US Naval Institute Proceedings, Naval War College Review, Marine Corps Gazette, Comparative Strategy, National Review, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Christian Science Monitor, the Jerusalem Post, St. Louis Lawyer, The Washington Times, The Claremont Review of Books, The Dallas Morning News, The New York Post and New York Daily News. He is co-editor of the textbook, Strategy and Force Planning, now in its fourth edition, for which he also wrote the chapters entitled "The Political Economy of National Security," "Thinking About Strategy," and “Strategy and the Logic of Force Planning.” His book, US Civil-Military Bargain after 9/11: Renegotiating the Civil-Millitary Bargain was published in January 2011 by Continuum. He is also completing a book for the University Press of Kentucky tentatively titled Sword of Republican Empire: A History of US Civil-Military Relations.

Before joining the faculty of the War College, Dr. Owens served as National Security Adviser to Senator Bob Kasten, Republican of Wisconsin, and Director of Legislative Affairs for the Nuclear Weapons Programs of the Department of Energy during the Reagan administration. Dr. Owens is also a Marine Corps veteran of Vietnam, where as an infantry platoon commander in 1968-1969, he was wounded twice and awarded the Silver Star medal. He retired from the Marine Corps Reserve as a Colonel in 1994.

MAHG Course of Study

Program Structure

Each course in the program is offered for two (2) semester credit hours. Courses are offered in two formats:

  • As residential Weeklong Summer courses during the months of June and July at our Ashland, Ohio campus.
  • As Live Online webinar courses offered on various schedules throughout the academic year.

The degree requires a total of 32 semester credit hours. Students may choose from either a thesis, capstone project, or a comprehensive examination track.

The minimum time to completion is 15 months of full-time study, starting in June and continuing until August of the second year. For students whose personal and profession lives require part-time study, a more reasonable timeline to completion is two to four years depending upon the student's desired course load and track option.

Students may take up to four (4) Weeklong Summer courses during any one summer semester. Students may take up to two (2) concurrent fall or spring semester Live Online courses, and no more than four (4) during any one semester. Students may not take a Weeklong Summer and a Live Online course concurrently.

Students should consult with their program advisor to discuss their semester-by-semester load. All degree requirements must be completed within ten (10) years from the date of their first course. 

Core Courses

The full 12 semester credit hour Core is required for all degree students.

Course Number Course Title Hrs Prerequisites
AHG 501 The American Revolution 2 None
AHG 502 The American Founding 2 None
AHG 503 Sectionalism and Civil War 2 None
AHG 504 Civil War and Reconstruction 2 None
AHG 505 The Progressive Era 2 None
AHG 510 Great American Texts 2 None

Elective Courses

All students must earn 20 hours of elective credit. 

Students on the Thesis or Capstone Project tracks must complete 7 elective courses (14 semester hours), plus AHG 690 (2 semester hours) and either AHG 691 or AHG 692 (4 semester hours).

Students on the Comprehensive Examination track must complete 10 elective courses (20 semester hours) and AHG 693 (0 semester hours). 

Course Number Course Title Hrs Prerequisites
AHG 601  Sources of the American Regime  2  None
AHG 602  European Discovery and Settlement  2  None
AHG 603  Colonial America  2  None
AHG 604  The Early Republic  2  None
AHG 605  The Age of Enterprise  2  None
AHG 606  America between World Wars  2  None
AHG 607  America during the Cold War  2  None
AHG 610  American Foreign Policy  2  None
AHG 611  The American Way of War  2  AHG 610
AHG 620  The Reform Tradition in America  2  AHG 503, 505, or 607
AHG 621  Race and Equality in America  2  None
AHG 622  Religion in American History and Politics  2  None
AHG 623  Gender and Equality in America  2  None
AHG 630  American Statesmen  2  None
AHG 631  American Political Rhetoric  2  AHG 630, 632, or 633
AHG 632  The American Presidency I, Washington to Lincoln  2  None
AHG 633  The American Presidency II, Johnson to the present  2  None
AHG 640  The Congress  2  None
AHG 641  The Supreme Court  2  None
AHG 642  Political Parties  2  None
AHG 660  Topics in American History and Government  2  None
AHG 670  Directed Study  2  None
AHG 690  Research Methods  2  Completed 20 Hours
AHG 691  Thesis  4  AHG 690
AHG 692  Capstone Project  4  AHG 690
AHG 693  Comprehensive Examination  0  Permission

The Comprehensive Examination, Capstone Project, and Thesis Tracks

Students may choose the thesis, the capstone project, or the comprehensive exam track. In choosing a track, students should consider their professional and educational goals and needs in consultation with their academic advisor. The comprehensive examination and capstone project tracks are appropriate for students who do not plan to continue their studies beyond the master's level. The thesis track is open to any student, however it is strongly recommended for those students who plan to continue their studies beyond the master's level.

Each option serves the same goal: that is, by completing the comprehensive examination, capstone project, or thesis a student will demonstrate mastery of the topics taught in the program. In addition to content mastery, students must also display well-developed analytical and interpretive skills in the use of original documents and their relationship to the broader subject of American history and government.

The student need not choose a track until the semester during which he or she reaches 20 hours in the program. With the permission of the program chair, the student may switch tracks after he or she has made an initial decision.

Comprehensive Examination Track

Students who choose this option must earn 12 hours of core course credit and 20 hours of elective credit. At the time the student registers for his or her final semester the student should contact the program director to schedule their exam and to receive more information about the exam format and preparation.  

The comprehensive examination is composed of essay response questions based upon the core and elective courses taken by the student as part of their curriculum. The exam is offered once each semester (fall, spring, and summer), generally five to six weeks prior to the end of the semester. Students may repeat the examination once. If the student fails to successfully pass the exam after their second attempt, the student may face dismissal from the program.

Capstone Project Track

Students who choose this option must earn 12 hours of core course credit, 14 hours of elective credit, and successfully complete AHG 690 and AHG 692.

The Capstone Project allows a student to demonstrate his or her mastery of subject matter, as well as analytical and interpretive skills in a practical, useful, or creative format of the student's choosing. A capstone project combines different kinds of practical experience (e.g., as a docent or historical reenactor) or other written work (e.g., lesson plans or historical fiction) with analytical and interpretive writing in the form of one or more essays. Capstone projects may include:

  • Creation of a selection of materials (e.g. primary documents) to enhance a curriculum, with essays providing justification of the selections and analysis and interpretation to assist in their use.
  • Participation in a Civil War battle reenactment, with interpretive essays explaining the significance of the battle in the military and political outcome of the Civil War.
  • Development of an exhibition at a school, library, or museum, along with analytical and interpretive essays explaining the significance of the exhibition.

Students will work individually with the program's faculty to plan their capstone project proposal during AHG 690 (Research Methods). Students may register for and begin work on AHG 690 around the time that they complete 20 hours in the program. The capstone project requires the approval of the program's faculty committee, which will review proposals to make sure they meet substantive and methodological requirements of a master's program. Once the proposal is approved by the program's faculty committee, the student may begin work on the project. Each student will have a capstone advisor to help him or her complete the capstone project.

Thesis Track

Students who choose this option must earn 12 hours of core course credit, 14 hours of elective credit, and successfully complete AHG 690 and AHG 691.

The Thesis allows a student to demonstrate his or her mastery of subject matter, as well as analytical and interpretive skills in a traditional written format. A thesis is a written work stating a claim or interpretation and supporting it with data and argument. For example, a thesis might claim that a certain type of protestant theology is responsible for political reform movements in the United States and support that claim by examining, in one of a number of different ways, the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

Students will work individually with the program's faculty to plan their thesis proposal during AHG 690 (Research Methods). Students may register for and begin work on AHG 690 around the time that they complete 20 hours in the program. The thesis requires the approval of the program's faculty committee, which will review proposals to make sure they meet substantive and methodological requirements of a master's program. Once the proposal is approved by the program's faculty committee, the student may begin work on the thesis. Each student will have a thesis advisor to help him or her complete the thesis.