WW2 Museum, Arizona State U, Create Online Master's Degree


NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The National World War II Museum in New Orleans and Arizona State University are starting a new online master's degree program in World War II studies , with classes beginning in January.

A news release describes it as the nation's only graduate degree in World War II history.

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"The Museum's mission has always been to educate future generations on the American experience in the war that changed the world," said Gemma Birnbaum, director of the museum's media and education center. "By partnering with Arizona State University, we are offering students the unique opportunity to learn from leading experts who can provide the most comprehensive view of a global conflict that still shapes our society and political structures today."

Five professors are from the museum and three from the university, according to online material.

Course materials will include "short video lectures," some of them broadcast from museum galleries, and artifacts and oral histories from the museum's collection, the news release said.

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"Regardless of where they live, students will be able to interact with materials in the Museum's collection that have typically only been available to professional scholars," said Penelope Adams Moon, director of online programs for ASU's School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies. She was part of the team that worked together for over a year to develop the program.

Students must meet assignment deadlines, but the only other schedule requirements are weekly interactions with faculty and student discussion groups, according to the online material.

Fulltime students taking at least three courses per semester would pay about $4,800 per semester. Students must take 10 three-hour classes. Nearly all the courses were developed for the program.

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"The revenue generated will be re-invested into the program," museum spokesman Keith Darcey said in an email.

Required courses include two analyzing key decisions of the war, including their origin, impact and controversies. Another looks at personal experiences of people who lived through and participated in the war, and "introduces students to the complexities of oral history collections and methodologies." Another discusses the war's impact and legacy, especially the roots of current problems and issues.

Electives include courses about the war in film, in literature, and in monuments. The class titled "Memory and Monuments" looks at the processes involved and also "how societies remember and forget and how they create collective memory."

Noncredit courses, on a variety of topics including the Holocaust, D-Day, and the Pacific campaigns, are expected to cost $299, Darcey wrote.

"All will focus on storytelling through the Museum's oral history collection and other assets in order to represent how far-reaching and expansive the war was," he wrote. "They will be taught by curators and other Museum content experts in addition to faculty from ASU and the Institute."

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