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Program in the Transnational History of WWII


2019 Program Students

















2019 WWII Students, Omaha Beach, Normandy

Our powerful interdisciplinary academic/study abroad program is an in-depth look at how World War II shaped our world. We expect our students to build a strong foundation for their future leadership rolesin their professions, their communities, and their world.

The History Department’s Program in the Transnational Study of World War II is among the most unique educational opportunities available at The Ohio State University.  Both immersive and experiential, it combines prerequisite courses with a May term study-abroad course in Europe that carries classroom learning to many of the war’s most crucial sites.

The program is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the most destructive period in human history, the varied impacts the war had in different places and among different peoples, and how the war continues to reverberate today.  Beyond that, the program asks students to confront in depth some of the most difficult ethical and moral problems of that time and ours, ones of race hatred and human rights, the place of non-combatants in wartime, and the fine lines between collaboration and resistance.  Through both the intensive study of these difficult issues and exhilarating, if exhausting, travel, we hope that program students begin to develop a sense for where they fit in the world as intellectually-emboldened global citizens.  (View an informational video about the program.)

May Travel Itinerary


London 2019


















Jared Del Orfano speaking at London’s Imperial War Museum


Normandy 2019


















Breanne Yashko at the Grave of Capt. Robert Lane, OSU Class of 1934, Coleville sur Mer, Normandy


Paris 2019


















Leaving Les Invalides Museum of the Army, Eifel Tower in the background


Krakow-Auschwitz 2019


















Auschwitz-Birkenau Extermination Camp


Berlin 2019


















2019 Comrades at Jesse Owens Allee, Olympic Stadium

Prerequisite Courses

Once accepted into the Program, students must take (or have taken) History 3570, The History of WWII, with Professor Peter Mansoor; and History 3670, The Transnational History of WWII in Europe, with Professor David Steigerwald. History 3670 must be taken in the Spring term before travel to Europe.  



Applications are welcomed from students across the university regardless of major.  In the program’s seven years, our more than 140 students have been almost perfectly divided between History Majors and non-majors. See these testimonials from previous students.

Students must have completed at least 30 semester hours at Ohio State to apply. A letter of application, student advising report, and a letter of reference from an Ohio State University professor or staff person is due for the 2024 program on October 13, 2023. 
Applications will be accepted only through the Global Education website.

Students should be aware that the WWII Program is competitive.  Each year’s cohort is limited to 20-24 students.  

The ideal applicants are those students who demonstrate a keen interest in the subject matter and intense curiosity about the world.  GPA, participation in campus and community organizations, long-range goals, and quality of application essay are all considered in the selection process.  None of these measures, however, are in themselves either qualifying or disqualifying.  

Students who have taken the following courses are especially encouraged to apply: German 3351, Democracy, Fascism and German Culture; History 2475, The Holocaust; History 2454, The History of Anti-Semitism; History 2500, Twentieth Century International History; History 3312, World War II in Africa; History 3552, War in World History, 1900-present; and History 3561, American Military History in the Twentieth Century.

Interested students should begin exploring the program at Global Education information sessions.  In addition, Professor Steigerwald welcomes individual office visits.  

For more information, contact Professor David Steigerwald at steigerwald.2@osu.edu and Tiffany Pierskalla at the Office of International Affairs—Global Education Program at pierskalla.5@osu.edu

World War II Endowment Scholarships 

Because of the extraordinary generosity of Friends of WWII Studies, this program has an exclusive endowment used only to help defray student costs. All students accepted into the program will be considered for some degree of aid.