Conrad Grebel University College

Conrad Grebel University College is affiliated with the University of Waterloo. Students at Conrad Grebel receive undergraduate or graduate degrees from the University of Waterloo, a publicly funded institution.

Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS), a social justice-oriented discipline within the Faculty of Arts at the University of Waterloo, is both an undergraduate and Master’s degree program. “The mission of PACS is to educate students to pursue peace and justice in the context of diverse investigations into the origins and nature of conflict and violence. The program strives to educate, invigorate and mobilize students to make use of conceptual and/or practical models to imagine and build a culture of peace between individuals, in our communities, among nations and around the world.”

The peace and conflict studies undergraduate program is a dynamic 3 or 4 year BA in which theory and practice come together through unique instructors and diverse course offerings. PACS courses are taught by both practitioners in the field as well as committed and engaged faculty members who have assorted research interests and areas of expertise. Students can explore the world and career opportunities through the flexible Field Study option that can be done anywhere in the world. Students majoring in PACS will take a mix of PACS core courses and courses from a list of 120 offerings in 20 other departments that focus on issues of justice and peace from a different lens. This flexibility in core and elective courses allows students to tailor their degree to individual interests, including topics such as conflict resolution and mediation, violence and nonviolence, religion and culture in peacebuilding, and human rights and social justice.

Conrad Grebel also offers a distinctive interdisciplinary professional Master’s program in Peace and Conflict Studies that prepares students with the knowledge and practical skills needed to contribute to nonviolent peace building efforts. Placing a unique focus on the pivotal role that individuals within civil society play, the MPACS program explores the potential of civil society to advance peace through principled advocacy, effective programming, and dynamic engagement with the state and marketplace. A key focus of this program is to prepare students for careers as practitioners, through an optional internship in a local, national, or international setting. Student experiences range from working at Community Justice Initiatives (CJI) mediating disputes, to working as a support worker for refugees at FCJ Refugee Centre, to working for Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) as a project consultant in Tanzania, and working for the United Nations in Cambodia, Switzerland, China and Thailand.

In addition to the academic program, the PACS department hosts a vibrant and growing Conflict Management Certificate Program, offering over 30 skills training workshops for both public and student interest. Workshops can be taken individually or as part of streams focusing on workplace, family or congregational conflict. The program has been part of the College since 1998, and has developed a strong reputation for consistency and quality, engaging leading field practitioners and academics, while responding to current issues and models of conflict resolution.

Program Director:
Lowell Ewert
(519) 885-0220 ext. 24380


DePaul University

DePaul University, the country’s largest Catholic university, began offering a major in peace, justice and conflict studies in 2009. It emphasizes conflict analysis and intervention across a spectrum of different types of conflict, from international warfare to governmental, communal, organizational and interpersonal levels. Students in the program also spend significant time studying the root causes of conflict; they take part in “frank debate about the efficacy” of nonviolent and violent means of social change.

The peace, justice and conflict studies curriculum requires 52 credit hours of coursework, including the capstone in the general education program, as well as study of conflict resolution, social change, activism, human rights, poverty, and fine arts relating to war and peace. Each major must complete a 100-hour internship. Students can also receive academic credit towards the peace, justice and conflict studies major through DePaul-sponsored study abroad trips to El Salvador or Colombia, and elsewhere, as arranged with an adviser.

The program encourages students to pursue a double major. Common complementary majors include history, political science, international studies, public policy, religious studies, and women’s and gender studies. DePaul allows applicable courses to count towards both majors. A 24-credit peace, justice and conflict studies minor is also offered.

Depaul also offers two combined degree programs: a BA, with an MA in Journalism, and a BA, with MS in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies. Both allow three graduate courses to be done during the senior year and the degree completed in a summer and one academic year.

Program Director:
Dr. Mary Jeanne Larrabee
(773) 325-1147

George Mason University

For more than 30 years, faculty, students, and alumni of the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University have been committed to addressing justice and peace issues through rigorous academic programs and innovative research and practice. Our undergraduate program offers a B.A., B.S., minor, and Accelerated Master’s degree. Undergraduates learn to address deep-rooted conflicts and work toward their resolution at the interpersonal, community/organizational, and global levels. Students analyze conflict from multiple perspectives and pursue a uniquely designed concentration of elective courses chosen from across the humanities and social sciences.

Experiential learning, undergraduate research, study abroad, internships, and extracurricular activities are enhanced by our proximity to the nation’s capital and provide students the opportunity to gain practical, real-world experience in the Washington, D.C. metro area. Our focus on developing students’ abilities in analysis, writing, inquiry, problem solving, and conflict resolution skills equips graduates with sought-after job skills and prepares them for placement in a wide variety of careers and graduate programs in business, law, government and public administration, international policy and diplomacy, education, community and global development, health, and the social sciences.

Program director:
Dr. Mara Schoeny
(703) 993-4165






Kent State University

In 1971, the year after the infamous killing by the Ohio National Guard of four of its students protesting the U.S. war in Vietnam and Cambodia, Kent State University established its Center for Applied Conflict Management as the university’s original living memorial to the student victims. The center began offering an undergraduate degree in peace and conflict studies in 1973. With more than 1,000 students regularly enrolled in its classes each year, and with six full-time faculty with graduate degrees in peace and conflict studies, it is one of the country’s largest such programs.

Majors in applied conflict management must take nine core courses, including ones on conflict theory, international conflict resolution, nonviolent action, mediation, transitional justice, and gender & power issues, plus an internship with an outside organization. The 33-credit undergraduate degree is completed with two additional applied conflict management electives. The program is designed to give students “a solid background in the theory and skills of conflict management while allowing the flexibility to concentrate in a particular area of professional interest.” A 21-credit minor is also available.

In the fall of 2013, Kent State University also began offering conflict analysis and management as a concentration or track in its political science PhD program. In addition, students wishing a Master’s degree may enroll in the Masters in Liberal Studies, a self-design graduate degree where they can elect conflict analysis and management as one of their foci, taking the many conflict management courses offered in the political science doctoral degree.

Program Director:
Dr. Patrick Coy
(330) 672-3362
(330) 672-2875

King’s University College

King’s University College is a Catholic institution affiliated with the University of Western Ontario. It offers a major in social justice and peace studies that examines structural injustice in the world and “calls for social action to transform the world in the interests of equity and the pursuit of peace.” The program is “consciously rooted in the tradition of Catholic Social Teaching.”

The curriculum includes four core courses offered by the social justice and peace studies department – many of which are on changing “special topics” within the field – with the remaining classes drawn from a wide range of other disciplines. Students are required to fulfill a mandatory service requirement.

The university offers “experiential learning” programs that examine issues of social justice and peace in El Salvador, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, India and other destinations. It also sponsors the Centre for Social Concern, which supports research, awareness and engagement on social justice and peace in Canada and globally. The centre brings speakers to campus, encourages student activism and works closely with the social justice and peace studies program. 

Program coordinator:
Dr. Patrick Ryan
(519) 433-0041

University of California, Berkeley

The University of California, Berkeley, has offered an undergraduate major in peace and conflict studies since 1985. The program was founded under the premise that “war and other forms of violence, despite their ubiquity, can be mitigated and transformed through the application of knowledge.” Emphasis is placed on connection between studying peace as an academic discipline as well as active participation in peacebuilding activities.

After taking a required introductory class, undergraduates can declare a major in peace and conflict studies, which consists of nine upper-level courses and four semesters of foreign language study or an equivalent proficiency. Four of the upper-level courses are designed around a concentration. Those currently offered are: conflict resolution; culture and identity; global governance; human rights; human security; and nonviolence. Students also have an option to create their own concentration with the help of a faculty adviser. A senior seminar is required.

Up to three upper-level courses, plus courses to fulfill the foreign language requirement, can be met during a study abroad with pre-approval from an adviser.

Majors can fulfill special honors criteria by meeting GPA requirements and completing a thesis paper of around 75 pages. The university also offers a peace and conflict studies minor that requires six upper-level courses.

Program Director: Dr. Max Auffhammer
(510) 642-4466

University of North Texas

The University of North Texas – one of only two large, public universities on this list – established its peace studies program in 2000, and offers the only such degree program in a very large geographical area that includes most of the southern United States. It is one of the fastest-growing degree programs at the university, couched within the international studies program.

The curriculum is interdisciplinary, with focuses on structural causes of conflict as well as ways in which it can be resolved through nonviolent methods. Peace studies majors take just one required class, an introduction to the field, and select their remaining courses from options grouped by theme: determinants of violence, conflict management, and issues of justice. Majors are strongly encouraged to complete an internship to fulfill elective credit, and all students within the international studies department are strongly encouraged to study abroad at some point during their college careers. The University of North Texas has several different scholarship funds available to students in the peace studies program.

Program contact:
Dr. David Mason
(940) 565-2386

University of Toronto

The Trudeau Centre for Peace, Conflict and Justice administers the Peace, Conflict and Justice program (PCJ) in the Munk School of Global Affairs.

The program provides undergraduates with an interdisciplinary education covering three central pillars: the meanings and causes of peace, conflict and justice; the lived experiences of living in the context of conflict and struggles for peace and justice; and approaches to resolving conflict and producing peace and/or justice. The topics of study are wide-ranging, including the study of peacemaking and peace-building, interstate war and intrastate conflicts, insurgencies, revolutions and rebellions, ethnic strife, global justice, and negotiation theory. We address some of the world’s most urgent humanitarian problems, and train students to deeply analyze these issues across several levels of analysis, from the local through the national and the global.

Established as a degree program in 1985 and as a centre in 2001, this multidisciplinary undergraduate program attracts some of the top-achieving students who go on to take positions in prominent international organizations such as the United Nations, work on social justice issues through non-governmental organizations, and pursue graduate degrees in law and social science. The Centre also provides opportunities to conduct original research in the field, engage with some of the world’s top researchers on the causes and resolution of violence, and conduct internships at relevant organizations.

Scholars associated with the Centre work within and beyond the traditional purview of international affairs, studying interstate war as well as major conflict inside countries, including revolution, insurgency, ethnic strife, guerrilla war, terrorism, and genocide. They seek to identify the deep causes of this strife—from poverty, resource scarcity, and weapons proliferation to competing claims for justice and failures of foreign-policy decision making.

Students can pursue a major or specialist stream within the program, and all students graduate with an Honours Bachelor of Arts.

Program administrator:
Kevin Rowley
(416) 946-0326