About the Graduate Program


The Department of History at the University of Southern Mississippi allows students to concentrate in a wide variety of research areas related to the study of war. War & Society scholars ordinarily examine the links between the social, cultural, and political values of societies and the wars they wage.  Several members of the Department of History have specialties that complement this approach.  Our graduate program can also support more traditional Military History topics such as operations, strategy, and tactics. Thus our program allows for a great deal of flexibility and creativity in combining War & Society and traditional Military History approaches to the study of the history of conflict.

We hope to produce students who can speak to wide literatures and enter the job market as well-defined and broadly-trained scholars. As home to a faculty with a unique concentration of interests related to the study of war, the department is an ideal place to train graduate students for careers in teaching, research, and public service.



The Department of History offers several competitive assistantships for both MA and Ph.D. students.  The deadline to apply is February 1. First time applicants should indicate on their application that they wish to be considered for an assistantship.  Students on assistantships who are working on their MAs usually serve as a grader or an assistant to a faculty member.  At the Ph.D. level, students may serve as a grader, a faculty assistant, or teach their own sections of History 101 or 102. Other types of assistantship may also be assigned.  Assistants work no more than twenty (20) hours a week; they receive a stipend, tuition waiver (in-state or out-of-state if necessary) and basic health insurance (with a student co-pay each pay period).

In addition to the normal graduate assistantships, the Dale Center offers several fellowships on a competitive basis to augment assistantship funding:

  •   Colonel W. Wayde Benson (USMC ret.) Fellowships

The DCSW&S is also pleased to offer several Colonel W. Wayde Benson (USMC ret.) Fellowships every academic year, which offer a stipend to exceptional students specializing in the field of War & Society in Southern Miss's graduate history program. Stipends are available to newly admitted and current graduate students on assistantships, and are announced each summer.

  • Margaret Boone Dale Fellowship for Research in Women and War

The Margaret Boone Dale Fellowship supports the research of a War & Society graduate student working on a project that addresses issues examining women in war, families in war, or war and gender.  Fellowship recipients are selected by the Faculty Fellows of the Dale Center in years.

  • Lamar Powell Graduate War & Society Scholarship

The Lamar Powell Scholarship is awarded each year to a graduate assistant in the History Department who has served above and beyond the call of duty assisting the endeavors of the Dale Center for the Study of War & Society.  The award recipient is selected each year by the Faculty Fellows of the Dale Center.



The University Libraries at Southern Miss have a growing collection to support our concentration areas in War & Society studies. Of special importance is the USM’s Vietnam War Archive. In addition, the university's award-winning Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage houses a collection of hundreds of interviews focused on the American experience of war.  

The War & Society program at USM also boasts an active study abroad component, in conjunction with the university’s International Programs center.  Enrolled students can conduct primary research abroad and have the opportunity to study the history of war in places such as France, Britain, and Vietnam.




These courses are just some of the classes taught in the War & Society curriculum at Southern Miss:

  • War in Pre-modern Europe 
  • Early American War & Society
  • American Revolution 
  • U.S. Civil War 
  • World War I 
  • World War II
  • World War II-British Studies Abroad 
  • The Vietnam War
  • The Vietnam War-Vietnam Studies Abroad 
  • U.S. Foreign Relations 
  • Woman and War 
  • Topics in the History of War & Society (various topics)
    • Asian Military History Through Films
    • U.S. Conflicts since Vietnam
    • War and American Communities
  • War & Society Historiography 
  • Graduate Seminar in War and Society (various topics)
    • Women and Gender in War
    • The Cultural History of 20th Century European Warfare
    • The American Civil War: The Latest Historiography

More Information

More information on our graduate programs
More information on the application process