Juniata College offers students “Programs of Emphasis” (POEs – the equivalent of a major) that allow them significant freedom to design their course of study and to build personalized degrees. The Baker Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies offers POEs in peace and conflict studies, as well as in communication and conflict resolution. The peace and conflict studies POE emphasizes the study of violence, social justice, conflict resolution, peacebuilding and nonviolent social change. The program also offers individualized internship opportunities and supports both short and long term study abroad experiences and programs around the world, including Northern Ireland, Rwanda, Ecuador and many other countries. Students also graduate with specific skills sets including mediation, conflict intervention, peacebuilding through the arts, and group facilitation.
Students are encouraged to pursue personal interests and gain skills through experiential learning opportunities. The program offers funding for student research, travel, independent studies and internships.
Polly O. Walker, Phd
Director of the Baker Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies
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.
Dr. Patrick Coy
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.
Dr. Patrick Ryan
In 1948, Manchester University launched the first undergraduate peace studies degree program in the country. Today, the university offers an interdisciplinary major in peaces studies with concentrations in several different areas related to conflict resolution, nonviolence and international studies. The curriculum is based on a relatively large group of core courses that examine conflict transformation, nonviolence, war and peace, philosophy, religion, environmental studies and social movements. As a whole, the program aims to “explore the frontiers of nonviolent alternatives to conflict.”
Manchester University maintains a close connection to the Church of the Brethren, one of the historic “peace churches.” Its Peace Studies Institute, which sponsors conferences and public programs on issues of peace and justice, and an active undergraduate peace club also serve as another resource to undergraduate peace studies majors.
Dr. Katy Gray Brown
A Catholic college that embraces community and social action as one of its core values, Manhattan College has offered a peace studies major since 1971. The program is designed to educate students in solutions-based approaches to “problems of war, injustice, genocide and violence.” Central to the program’s philosophy is an understanding of “positive peace” that implies justice and harmony between people, rather than a simple absence of violence.
Majors in the program are required to study theories of peace and justice as well as current and historic conflicts in the world. An internship or a “field project” – some sort of practical, off-campus training in a relevant skill or topic – is also required. The college’s location in New York City offers students “numerous opportunities for internships and participation in peace and justice activism.”
Dr. Kevin Ahern
Director of Peace Studies
The Peace Studies major at Marquette University is an undergraduate program that focuses on establishing peace by working nonviolently for justice. As an interdisciplinary program, students choose from courses across many disciplines including: communications, economics, English, history, philosophy, sociology, social welfare and justice, and theology. These courses are divided into four groupings: theories and practices of peacemaking; justice, human rights, and reconciliation; social, cultural, and economic development; and topics in peace studies (includes race, ethnicity, and migration studies as well as holocaust and genocide studies).
The Marquette University Center for Peacemaking
is an important part of the university’s commitment to peace and justice. Peace studies students have access to summer peacemaking fellowships, international travel opportunities, internships, student employment, and career advising through the Center for Peacemaking.
The peace and conflict studies major at Messiah College, which maintains ties to several Christian traditions including the historically peaceful Anabaptist movement, focuses on “the Christian foundations for peacemaking and reconciliation.” Through a required class, plus an internship or practicum, students also learn mediation and reconciliation skills, and have opportunity to receive certification as basic conflict mediators in the state of Pennsylvania. Theological and religious studies are also important parts of the core curriculum, which is augmented by electives in history, sociology, political science and other related fields.
Peace and conflict studies majors are strongly encouraged to study abroad through Messiah College’s international studies program, with affiliated programs in more than 40 countries. They are also encouraged to spend a semester at its Philadelphia campus, where students live in an intentional community setting while experiencing urban life and taking classes through Temple University. The college’s major and minor programs in peace and conflict studies is a part of its Sider Institute for Anabaptist, Pietist and Wesleyan Studies, which also hosts a series of peace lectures and sponsors the student peace fellowship.
Dr. Anne Marie Stoner-Eby
(717) 766-2511 ext. 2046
Named for an 11th-century Buddhist scholar in India, Naropa University was founded in 1974 as in institution to “combine contemplative studies with traditional Western scholastic and artistic disciplines.” Academic programs, including a peace studies major, are based around a Buddhist-inspired curriculum of contemplative education.
Peace studies majors must earn 36 credits. Half of those come from required classes, including: study of nonviolence; the theory and practice of conflict transformation; peacebuilding skills, including restorative justice and dialogue; and a senior project. The rest of the classes to meet the major’s requirements are drawn from a variety of other academic programs, including environmental science, religion, psychology and art. Majors must also complete a three-credit internship.
A 12-credit peace studies minor is also available. Each year, the peace studies department sponsors a lecture by a prominent peace academic, activist or thinker.
Contact: Juliet Wagner
Nazareth College established its peace and justice studies major in 2009 – a “provocative” program that examines questions of peace, social justice and conflict resolution. Core courses include classes in nonviolence, conflict resolution, ethics, political philosophy and liberation thought, which explores the theology and ethics of “liberative social change and environmental responsibility.” Peace and justice majors are required to complete a two-semester community service internship and complete a senior seminar on nonviolence, which includes a senior thesis requirement.
Electives in the peace and justice studies major are divided between six concentration tracks: economic justice; faith, peace and justice; gender and racial justice; global justice; peace and war; and social change. One of the central questions addressed by this major is “whether peace and justice are ends that can be achieved through violence, or are means as well as ends.”
Dr. Harry Murray
The Peace and Justice Studies (PJS) program at Pace University examines direct, structural, symbolic and environmental violence; social justice; theories and practice of nonviolence and conflict transformation; conflict resolution techniques including negotiation, mediation and facilitation; and interdisciplinary perspectives on peacebuilding and peacemaking. The program reflects our commitment to theory and practice in this interdisciplinary field and is consistent with Pace University’s mission of civic engagement and global citizenship. PJS students in the major and minor program emerge as
- as competent and confident researchers;
- engaged in the prevention of suffering and the cessation of violent conflict; and
- interested and committed to their own education and the education of the world around them.
New York City is an ideal place to study Peace and Justice Studies as the city offers opportunities to intern with social service or government agencies, experience cutting edge art and drama that addresses social issues, explore a landscape that is overflowing with historical markers related to social justice, participate in and observe social protest movements, take advantage of the many offerings of the United Nations and meet people from all over the world whose life stories contribute firsthand testimonies about both conflict and peace building.
Emily Welty, PhD
Peace and Justice Studies Program Director
New York City Campus
Mailing address and office location:
Women’s and Gender Studies Department
c/o Pace University
41 Park Row
New York, NY 10038