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University-level Certificate in Veterans Studies

VTS Student Benjamin Congleton

"I was able to show them that some wounds aren’t physical—that some veterans silently carry the burdens of tough choices made in the line of duty into their classes. Veterans Studies should be in every college around the nation." 

-Marine Corps Veteran Benjamin Congleton in "Finding Common Ground," Veterans of Foreign Wars Magazine

Welcome to the Birthplace of Veterans Studies

University-level Certificate - 24 hours

EKU's University-level Certificate in Veterans Studies is one of the most comprehensive credentials available in the field. It represents a deep exploration of veterans' identities, cultures, and experiences. The Certificate complements any field of study and is ideal for students looking to expand their knowledge of veterans beyond a single disciplinary perspective. Available 100% in-person or online. 

Learn More About Our Courses

Core Requirements – 6 Hours

VTS 200 lays the groundwork for critical examinations of veterans’ identities, cultures, and experiences. Students combine all they learn in either a capstone seminar (VTS 400) or a mentored-project (VTS 401). Alternatively, students may petition for a capstone course taught within their Major. 

Core Course (3 Hours)

  • VTS 200 – Introduction to Veterans Studies

Capstone Requirement (Pick One, 3 Hours)

  • VTS 400 – Veterans Studies Capstone (Course)
  • VTS 401 – Veterans Studies Capstone (Mentored Project)
  • Program-approved Capstone in Student’s Major

Cultural Competency Electives - 3 Hours

Cultural Competency courses focus on current and historical forces shaping veterans’ lives. Approved alternatives vary from semester to semester and will focus heavily on military/veteran identities, cultures, or experiences. (Pick One)

  • ENG 386W – War and Peace in Lit Since 1900
  • PLS 375 – Terrorism / Counterterrorism
  • MSL 303 – American Military History
  • VTS 300 – Veterans in Society
  • VTS 350 – Special Topics in Veterans Studies
  • Program-approved courses (e.g., HIS 300A: War and American Society, WGS 300: Gender and War)

Applied Electives – 3 Hours

Applied electives are courses that teach students how to put what they learn about veterans into action. Program-approved electives will come from the student’s major discipline. (Pick One)

  • NSC 442 – Complex Health Systems
  • MGT 300 or MGT 301 (Non-Business Majors) – Principles of Management
  • PSY 258 - Career Development (suitable for non-PSY majors)
  • PSY 405 – Intro to Interviewing / Therapy
  • SWK 365 – Crisis Intervention
  • VTS 349 – Cooperative Study
  • Program-approved Electives

Theoretical Perspectives – 3 Hours

Theoretical Persectives courses teach interdisciplinary thinking and provide students with ways to examine veterans’ identities, cultures, and experiences critically. (Pick One)

  • CMS 205W – Advocacy and Opposition
  • POL 325 – Global Security
  • PSY 300 – Social Psychology
  • SOC 131 – Introductory Sociology
  • SWK 210 – Introduction to Social Work
  • VTS 500 - Veteran Identity Theory

Intersectionality Requirement – 3 Hours

The Intersectionality Requirement provides knowledge about diverse social groups, helping students better understand how membership in these groups impacts veterans' experiences. (Pick One)

  • AFA 202 – The African-American Experience
  • ANT 330 – American Indians
  • CDF 424 – Diversity Awareness for Professional Practice
  • WGS 201 – Intro to Women and Gender Studies

Additional Electives – 6 Hours

The remaining elective requirements provide students with opportunities to narrow their focus and dive deeper into veterans' issues or theoretical perspectives to be applied in the capstone. (Pick Two)

  • HLS 400 – Evolution of the U.S. Intelligence Community
  • HUM 300 – Humanity in the Postmodern Age
  • PHI 130 – Beginning Ethics
  • POL 357 – American Political Thought
  • PSY 308 – Abnormal Psychology
  • PSY 314 – Adolescent and Adult Development
  • PSY 476 – Psychology of Trauma
  • SWK 310 – Social Welfare Policy History
  • SWK 335 – Human Behavior / Social Environment
  • Program-approved Electives


Ready to add the University-level Certificate to your program of study?

1. Get the correct form from the Registrar's website:

- Download this form if you have less than 105 credit hours

- Download this form  if you have more than 105 credit hours

2. Download Adobe Reader if you do not already have it installed.

3. Right click on the form and chose Open With and then Adobe Acrobat Reader

4. The form will populate and you will see the fillable blue boxes. The box for your signature should have a red arrow.

5. First time Adobe users: when you click on the signature line, it will ask you to Configure Digital Signature. Follow the prompts to create your signature. (Here is a step-by-step guide)

6. Fill out the form. Then contact the Veterans Studies Faculty Advisor, Dr. Theresa Botts at Dr. Botts will help you complete the process.

Contact us if you have any questions. We are happy to help!




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Donate to the Kentucky Center for Veterans StudiesDonate to KY Center for Veterans Studies

Veterans Studies Alliance Student OrganizationJoin the Veterans Studies Alliance

  Eastern Kentucky University  
  521 Lancaster Ave.   
  Whitlock 431  
  Richmond, KY 40475  
  Phone: (859) 622-3459  

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The Kentucky Center for Veterans Studies hosts academic programming for both veteran and non-veteran students. Learn about EKU support services for veterans and other military-affiliated students by visiting the Office of Military & Veterans AffairsDonate to Operation Veteran SuccessDonate to Operation Veteran Success