The Price of Freedom: Normandy, 1944


GW students receive a tour of the Hillman Bunker


The Price of Freedom: Normandy, 1944, is a special course that includes a spring break trip to the site of the Normandy Campaign in France. This four-credit course satisfies a WID requirement.


Normandy Scholars Website


Tom Long

Tom Long

Assistant Professor of History

“My goal is to give students a perspective on conflict and its impact on individuals and families that you can’t get from reading a book or watching a movie. I want them to feel the weight of the human loss.”

How to Apply - Spring 2021 Semester

Applications for the Spring 2021 class are now closed.

We will be holding Information Meetings for people who are interested in the Normandy Class on Friday, October 15th at 12:00 pm (ET) via Zoom. To participate, please send an email to Professor Long ([email protected]) and he will send you the link. Applications for this year's class are due to Professor Long by October 30. If you are unable to attend the information session or it has already passed, please contact Professor Long directly to set up a meeting time.

Applications for the next Normandy class can be found here. Learn more about the class and see photos from past trips on the Normandy Scholars website.


Course Material


Through class lectures, discussion and film viewings, students examine the causes and impact of the campaign on individuals, communities and the nation. During the course, each student learns about a soldier who died in the Normandy Campaign and is buried in the American Battlefield Cemetery at Omaha Beach. Research is extensive and includes tracking war records, combing through yearbooks and interviewing family and friends. 

A group of students standing in front of a field of white crosses




Trip Agenda and Expenses

Image of a hotel and row of houses along a beach in France


After arrival in France at the beginning of spring break (Please note that, due to COVID-19, the travel date has been moved to either May 17th - May 30th or August 3rd - 17th, depending on health and safety considerations) the class travels to Pegasus Bridge, where British Airborne troops landed on D-Day, June 6, 1944. From there, students participate in a rigorous “staff ride”—army-speak for an educational tour—of the entire campaign to Paris. Each student conducts a briefing about some element of the campaign at the appropriate location. The class concludes its visit to the landing beaches by laying a wreath at the memorial in the American Cemetery. Each student then presents a eulogy for his or her assigned soldier at the graveside. Expenses associated with travel are estimated at $3,500 for items like airfare, hotels, meals, bus transport, etc. Financial aid may be available in some cases.