Where Can I Find Free Online Military Science Courses?

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers students a chance to learn about military science online for free. Course materials are available for independent study at any time. Schools offering Human Services - Military Resilience degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Studying military science can help you understand how and why nations fight wars and strengthen your ability to analyze and discuss military strategy and national security matters that affect your life. You can find free online military science courses through accredited colleges and universities like MIT. These courses generally include a bibliography of reading materials, which you can opt to purchase.


Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) offers multiple course options on matters of military science. Understanding modern military operations is a free non-credit OpenCourseWare (OCW) course in which you can access materials that were included in the for-credit version of the course taught to graduate students at MIT. A background in military science is not required.

MIT's U.S. budgets for national security course is another free OCW course that doesn't require enrollment. Rather, it is a self-study course based on a class initially offered to graduate students on campus.

MIT's comparative grand strategy and military doctrine course was originally a for-credit class designed for on-campus graduate students. It's also now available as a non-credit OCW course.

Understanding Modern Military Operations

What Topics Are Covered?

In this course, you'll study the basic elements of military operations, like weapons, technology, communications, materials, military doctrine and troop deployment. You'll examine the methods used by military leaders to devise war strategies and deploy war materials.

What Assignments Will I Complete?

You could write a 20-30-page research paper that examines either military space activity or the doctrine of technology used in military decisions by the U.S. and USSR over the course of the Cold War. Also, you could write about the differences of the Military Reform Movement versus the U.S. Air Force, post-Vietnam War.

What Materials Are Provided?

A bibliography of textbooks, journal articles and case studies is available. These materials cover topics like precision air strikes, urban warfare, air combat and World War II bombing strategies. Sample topics for the research paper are also available.

U.S. Budgets for National Security

What Will I Learn?

The course reviews United States defense spending over the last three decades and examines how the federal government determines its defense budget. You'll study military spending categories and the impact of international and domestic policy issues on budget decisions. Upon completing this course, you might able to assess defense spending choices made by the U.S. government.

What Assignments Will I Complete?

Assignments include an opinion piece on a national security issue and an annotated briefing proposing a new U.S. security strategy and budget. The course also assigns a paper that argues for or against a change in U.S. national security policy while examining its impact on the federal budget. All assignments are optional.

What Materials Are Included?

There is a link for the course textbook. You'll also be provided with links to the Department of Defense (DOD) budget, the federal budget, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

Comparative Grand Strategy and Military Doctrine

What Topics Are Studied?

Course topics compare the military and political strategies that France, Britain, Russia and Germany used to fight for control of Europe between the late 19th century and the middle of the 20th century. The course focuses on the nations' strategies before and during World War I and II.

What Assignments Will I Complete?

You could write two critical essays that each compare at least two concepts covered in course readings. There is also a take-home final exam consisting of three essay questions. These assignments won't be graded by an instructor.

What Materials Are Available?

Lecture notes cover the origin of grand strategies used in World Wars I and II. You'll also study notes on military organizations, military power, nationalism and the business of war. A bibliography cites textbooks, papers and journal articles on topics covered in the lecture notes. Some listed textbooks may be purchased through an online retailer.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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