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Bachelor of Science in Military Leadership

Transfer up to
113 Credits
A median of 77 credits accepted
Receive credit for military training

Advance Your Military or Civilian Career with a Bachelor of Science in Military Leadership Online

The online bachelor’s in military leadership program is an excellent choice for active-duty military servicemembers looking to apply their military education and experience to a degree and move ahead in their military or civilian career.

If you fall in this category and want to rise in rank within the Department of Defense, work as an independent consultant, or get a civilian job as an analyst in the defense contracting industry, this Bachelor of Science in Military Leadership program may be a good fit for you. It’s also suited to veterans and civilians who want to deepen their knowledge of military leadership skills and learn how to apply them in civilian work settings.

In this fully online bachelor’s program, you study the ways different types of leaders have succeeded at full-spectrum military operations in recent times and throughout history. Courses for the military leadership curriculum cover how to make sound and ethical choices when faced with difficult decisions on the job, how to use the DIME (diplomatic, information, military, economic) model of national power to solve problems, and how to assess the effectiveness of military leadership in geo-political environments during conflict and peacetime.

Fast Facts:

Employment of police and detectives is projected to grow 7 percent from 2016 to 2026 (Source: BLS)

Bachelor’s degree holders can work in defense contracting, analysis, and project management (Source:

91% of the net increase in jobs held by those at least 25 years old are filled by those with at least a bachelor’s degree (Source:


credit hours

Online BS in Military Leadership Program Details

Of the 120 credits required for the Bachelor of Science in Military Leadership, a total of 30 credits must be earned at the upper level (21 credits in the arts and sciences and 9 credits in electives). As part of these credits, for the core component, a minimum of 33 credits must be earned in the field of military leadership, of which 18 credits must be at the upper level. A minimum GPA of 2.0 is required in the core component.

  • Written English Requirement: 6 credits
  • Ethics: 3 credits
  • Humanities: 6 credits
  • Social Sciences/History: 9 credits
  • Natural Sciences/Math: 9 credits (must include at least 2 credits in each area)
  • Information Literacy: 1 credit

Core Military Leadership Courses: 18 Credits

Military Leadership: Skills for the 21st Century

This course introduces you to contemporary military leadership skills with an emphasis on ethical decision-making and the importance of diversity, inclusion, and cultural competence in the military workplace. Instructional material includes topics in strategic communication, team management, and conflict resolution skills; the impact of history on current military operations; and the role of diplomacy, information, military, and economics (DIME) in governance of the global commons.

National Security Ethics and Diversity

Discover your own leadership type indicator as you learn about issues of moral judgment in public service. Take a closer look at case studies of wrongful obedience, loyal dissent, and whistleblowing; accountability and mitigation; human and ecological interventions in foreign and international affairs; and the benefits of diversity and inclusion in government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and businesses with a global reach.

War and Peace after the Cold War

Analyze key actors and trends in international relations during and after the end of the Cold War. Learn how cooperation changed to rivalry by studying the Balkans Wars; Islamic fundamentalism and the War on Terror; competition between Russia, China, and the United States; national response to terrorist threats and global health and climate dilemmas; and the role of the United States in world politics and the global economy. Pending approval, another international relations course might satisfy this requirement.

Great Military Leaders

This course examines personal characteristics of great military leaders such as George Washington, George Patton, and other historical mavericks, to define the qualities of different types of leadership styles. You come to identify various qualities needed to successfully lead teams in contemporary military operating environments.

Military Leadership Capstone

Become an agile and adaptive leader and decision maker in this advanced course that addresses all aspects of military science and leadership. Class material explores the diplomatic, economic, political, and social aspects of conflict and war, and the ways leaders eliminate obstacles to successful U.S. military operations in global political environments. Assignments require you to evaluate DIME (diplomatic, information, military, economics, cultural/social) power struggles in real-world military endeavors related to the provision of humanitarian aid, disaster relief, and noncombatant evacuations. Other material covers: the impact of the military industrial complex on the U.S. economy; special operations; methods of establishing unit cohesion; and approaches to ensure the well-being of women in combat and diverse populations across all sectors of the armed forces.

Two courses in one of three categories: 6 credits

Military Intelligence/National Security

  • Introduction to National Security
  • Comparative National Security Analysis
  • Analyzing Intelligence, Terrorism, and National Security
  • Emergency Management
  • Infrastructure Security and Policy

Diplomacy/Foreign Affairs/Culture

You may use advanced foreign language credit and credit for Defense Language Institute or Defense Language Proficiency Exams to satisfy requirements in this area.

  • Comparative National Security Analysis
  • Order and Disorder in the Middle East and North Africa
  • The Rise of China in a Pacific Century


  • International Terrorism
  • Domestic Terrorism
  • Counterterrorism
  • Unconventional Weapons Preparation and Response

Two courses in military history or politics: 6 credits

Sample courses include:

  • U.S. Military History
  • Crimes Against Humanity
  • U.S.-Vietnam War
  • Global Cold War
  • World War I
  • Causes of War

Two courses in applications of leadership: 6 credits

Sample courses include:

  • Organizational Behavior
  • Conflict Management
  • Human Motivation

The curriculum requires 53 credits beyond the general education credits (34 credits) and the major requirements (33 credits) that can be satisfied with applied professional and additional arts and sciences credit.

Analyze the application of military leadership in full spectrum operations.

Evaluate the role of DIME in military operations (diplomatic, information, military, economics, cultural/social).

Evaluate decision-making in an ethical dilemma.

Assess military leadership during conflict and peacetime operations.

Critique strategic leadership characteristics within a global-geopolitical environment.

View additional details about programs and courses:

Download the Undergraduate Studies Catalog

Common Careers with an
Online BS in Military Leadership

All Defense Industries and Positions



Defense Contracting

Department of Defense Civilians

Military Leaders/Managers

“I know my bachelor’s degree will help me broaden my career in the military...If [other soldiers] can see me—husband, two beautiful kids, traveling all over the world, deployed—if I can do it, there’s no excuse.”
Willie Short
Bachelor of Science in Military Leadership, 2018


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Excelsior College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104. (267-284-5000).

All of Excelsior College's academic programs are registered (i.e., approved) by the New York State Education Department.

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