Course Summary
Credit Type:
Organization's ID:
SS473, ST473
Prometric DSST exams are offered at colleges, universities or military bases that are not owned by Prometric.
2 hours
Dates Offered:
Credit Recommendation & Competencies
Level Credits (SH) Subject
Lower-Division Baccalaureate 3 History of the Vietnam War
Credit is recommended for examinees with scores of 400 or above.


This exam was developed to enable schools to award credit to students for knowledge equivalent to that learned by students taking the course. This examination includes the roots of the Vietnam War, pre-War developments (1940-1955), American involvement in the War, Tet (1968), Cambodia, Laos and lessons following the War.

The exam contains 100 questions to be answered in 2 hours.  Some of these are pretest questions that will not be scored.

Skills Measured:

1. Vietnam Before 1940 -
Religious and cultural traditions
Chinese political and cultural domination
A tradition of resistance to invaders
French conquest and colonialism
Development of nationalism & communism
Ho Chi Minh

2. World War II, the Cold War, and the First Indochina War (1940-1955) -
Vietnam during World War II
Vietnamese declaration of independence
Restoration of French rule
Global containment
Viet Minh military strategies vs. French military strategies
Eisenhower’s Vietnam policy
The Geneva Conference

3. Diem and Nation-State Building (1955-1963) -
Strengths and U.S. support for Diem
U.S. military and economic assistance
The growing Southern insurgency
JFK’s commitment to counter-insurgency
Internal opposition including the Buddhist crisis
The coup against Diem

4. LBJ Americanizes the War (1964-1965) -
Introduction of the North Vietnamese Army
The Gulf of Tonkin Incident & Resolution
The role of Vietnam in the 1964 Presidential Campaign
US air campaign over Vietnam: Flaming Dart to Rolling Thunder
Introduction of U.S. combat troops (March through July 1965)

5. America Takes Charge (1965-1967) -
US Strategy in Vietnam
Measures of success
The role of technology
The impact of the war on Vietnamese society
Stabilization of the Saigon regime
America’s army in Vietnam
Search and destroy: the combat experience
Ia Drang Valley (LZ X-Ray)

6. The War at Home (1963-1967) -
Support for the war
Kennedy's credibility gap
Congressional dissent
Media coverage of the war
Initial opposition to the war
The draft and draft resistance
Johnson's Great Society: guns vs. butter

7. Tet (1968) -
North Vietnamese strategies and objectives
The Tet offensive
Reactions in U.S. and Saigon
LBJ decides not to run
Bombing halt and beginning of peace talks
The 1968 election

8. Vietnamizing the War (1969-1973) -
Nixon, Kissinger, and Vietnamization
Pacification and the Phoenix program
My Lai and the deterioration of the U.S. military
Secret negotiations (1969-1971)
The 1972 Spring offensive
The October agreement
The Christmas bombing
Triangular diplomacy: the U.S., the Soviet Union, and China

9. The War at Home (1968-1972) -
Campus protests
The Miami and Chicago conventions
The counterculture, antiwar movement, and silent majority
The Pentagon Papers

10. Cambodia and Laos -
JFK and Laotian neutrality (1962)
Ho Chi Minh Trail
The secret war in Laos and Cambodia
Sihanouk and Cambodia’s neutrality
Lon Nol and the U.S. incursion

11. “A Decent Interval" (1973 - 1975) -
Paris Peace Accords (1973)
The cease-fire violations
Watergate and Nixon’s resignation
Congressional passage of the war powers act
The Easter Offensive
The fall of Saigon

12. U.S. Legacies and Lessons -
Impact of the war on Vietnam
The impact of the Vietnam Syndrome on American foreign policy
The experience of returning vets
Economic consequences
The impact on the U.S. military
POWs and MIAs
Instruction & Assessment
Supplemental Materials

Other offerings from Prometric Inc, DSST Credit-by-Exam