Nation’s First Graduate Program in Military Ethics

Case Western Reserve Military Ethics Program

Image: Case Western Reserve University


“Case Western Reserve University has established the nation’s first graduate program in military ethics.

The Master of Arts in Military Ethics program formalizes a field of study that contends with questions of how advancing military technologies relate to the common humanity of both enemy and ally, the university said.

While the study of military ethics has long supported humanitarian goals, such as preventing unjust wars, war crimes, and other atrocities, students in the program will be trained in emerging areas of ethical consideration, such as cyberwarfare, human enhancement, and the use of new weaponry, including drones.

The college is accepting applications for classes that begin this fall. The deadline to apply for full consideration for fall admission is April 10; however, applications will continue to be accepted on an ongoing basis for rolling admission.

Designed to prepare students for career advancement or teaching in military ethics, law, foreign affairs, veterans affairs and other fields, the program is taught by faculty experts in an array of topics, including international relations, public policy, journalism, history and others.

Shannon French, the Inamori Professor in Ethics and director of its Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence, will lead the program. The university recently became the host institution for the International Society for Military Ethics.

Here are the basics:

  • Students can complete the degree in one year or at their own pace.
  • Graduates will earn a specialized degree that stands alone, pairs with a law or other advanced degree or serves as a stepping stone to a doctorate program.
  • The curriculum is designed for students seeking to enter government, policy and foreign affairs. That includes humanities and social sciences undergraduates; mid-rank military officers who often pursue a graduate degree to achieve senior rank; military chaplains, who act as ethical advisors to those in command; as well as law students and professional students whose future careers may intersect with military issues.
  • Coursework includes military ethics, international and humanitarian law, international relations, military bioethics, human rights, comparative religion and wartime journalism.
  • The degree program is based in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Philosophy and is offered in partnership with the School of Law, College of Arts and Sciences’ Departments of Art History and Art, Classics, Political Science and Religious Studies, and the Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence.”



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