American University

The primary focus of the International Peace and Conflict Resolution program at American University is its extensive and well-regarded graduate programs. The university does, however, offer a joint B.A./M.A. program to outstanding undergraduates enrolled in the School for International Studies. This program allows undergraduates to earn graduate credits and move directly to the master’s program, which they can then complete in a shorter amount of time than otherwise.

The International Peace and Conflict Resolution program is “concerned with understanding the causes of war and organized violence, developing strategies for resolving conflict, and constructing conditions for peace.” A significant aspect of the program’s commitment to peace is the Mohammed Said Farsi Chair of Islamic Peace, the “first chair endowed at any university in the United States that is devoted to the study of Islam and peace.”

The International Peace and Conflict Resolution program offers concentrations in Applied Conflict Resolution; Human Rights; Identity and Culture; International Negotiation; Peacebuilding; Regional Concentration; Research and Policy; and a Self-Designed Concentration.

Program Director:
Dr. Hrach Gregorian
(202) 885-6698

Program Coordinator:
Nicole Smith
(202) 885-1622


Arcadia University

Peace studies at Arcadia University largely centers on its master’s degree program in international peace and conflict resolution, and is included in this list only because of its programs that allow undergraduates special and accelerated access to its graduate program. The graduate program’s curriculum is based on theory and practice in conflict analysis, management and resolution.

Qualified undergraduates can consult with their advisors and receive assured acceptance into the master’s program, typically after majoring in a social sciences or humanities field. Arcadia also offers a selective five-year B.A./M.A. program in international peace and conflict resolution. Students in this program complete the requirements for an undergraduate major either in international studies (including a required study abroad) or political science within three years before transitioning to graduate-level coursework. The graduate program also requires study abroad. It “is designed to produce graduates who are well-prepared for mid-level positions in a wide variety of government agencies and non-governmental organizations.”

Program director:

Amy S Cox, PhD

Bethel University

Affiliated with the Baptist General Conference, Bethel University offers a 34-hour bachelor’s degree in reconciliation studies that includes a mandatory term of study at Cornerstone Christian College in Cape Town, South Africa. At present, the major primarily focuses on racial and cultural reconciliation. With a curriculum drawing from the fields of restorative justice, conflict transformation, religious studies and justice and peace studies, the university says this degree is distinctive in that “its core understanding of reconciliation emerges from a Jesus-centered theological foundation.”

The South Africa term centers around an in-depth study of the reconciliation process that took place there after the apartheid system ended. In South Africa, students enroll in four classes offered by Cornerstone Christian College, plus two additional classes on South African history and culture. Bethel University also offers a 19-hour reconciliation studies minor that does not include the study abroad component.

Department co-chairs:
Dr. Harley Schreck
(651) 638-6104

Dr. Curtiss DeYoung
(651) 635-8611

Butler University

Butler University offers an interdisciplinary major and minor in peace and conflict studies. The major requires 36 credit hours of study, including six hours of internship or service-learning, intended for students “interested in issues of violence, conflict, social justice, ecological integrity, human rights and peace.”

Core courses within the major include community mediation and international conflict and peacebuilding. Internship and service-learning opportunities in Indianapolis include the American Friends Service Committee, Earth Charter Indiana, the Peace Learning Center, and the Borgen Project to abolish global poverty. This curriculum requirement can also be fulfilled through a semester internship in Washington D.C. or a study abroad experience. Butler University “strongly encourages” its students to study abroad in one of the programs offered in more than 40 countries.

Program Director:
Dr. Craig Auchter
(317) 940-9571

Canadian Mennonite University

Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) offers an undergraduate major in peace and conflict transformation studies focusing on conflict analysis and exploring “alternative ways of dealing with conflict that develop healthy relationships and prevent violence.” Both three- and four-year B.A. programs are offered.

The curriculum for the four-year B.A. in peace and conflict transformation studies requires two introductory courses and a senior seminar. Remaining coursework is drawn from long lists of electives grouped by two thematic areas: analyzing peace and violence, and peacebuilding. There is also a credit requirement for practical training in a peace skills field, such as mediation or nonviolent direct action, as well as a practicum in a relevant placement. The three-year B.A. is identical except that fewer credits are needed.

Building on over 25 years of experience in delivering undergraduate programs in conflict resolution, peace, and international development studies, CMU now offers a Master of Arts in Peacebuilding and Collaborative Development that blends these core themes, designed both for practitioners and for those pursuing academic studies.

CMU also sponsors the Canadian School of Peacebuilding, which offers intensive summer courses on topics relevant to peacebuilders from around the world, and publishes Peace Research: The Canadian Journal of Peace and Conflict Studies.

Program contact:
Wendy Kroeker
(204) 487-3300


Chapman University

One of the oldest universities in California, Chapman University offers a major and minor in peace studies, based on a belief of “positive peace” that “implies more than just the absence of war,” including “social justice as well as non-violent conflict resolution.”

The 42-hour major in peace studies includes core courses in peace studies, conflict resolution, social change and other theory-based study, plus 15 elective credits and four additional courses within another department to develop specific expertise in a field of concentration. Majors are “strongly encouraged to consider overseas study as well as internship opportunities.”

Chapman’s Model United Nations program is popular among peace studies majors, with a delegation dispatched to New York each spring break to participate in the National Model United Nations.

Chapman University prides itself in its commitment to diversity, having offered admission to women and minorities since its founding in the 1860s. Historically affiliated with the Disciples of Christ, the university now subscribes to a list of 10 ethical ideals based in that heritage but not explicitly tied to any religious tradition or belief.

Director of Peace Studies:
Dr. Donald Will
(714) 997-6620

Colgate University

Students majoring in the peace and conflict studies program, founded at Colgate University in 1970, focus on one of three specialty areas: collective violence, human security or international social justice. The 11-course curriculum advances through four levels, beginning with introductory classes to peace and conflict study and theory. In the second and third levels, majors choose one of the three specialties and then focus on a specific region of the world. The fourth level consists of a thesis integrating all the previous levels of study.

Students are “strongly encouraged” to study abroad in the regions they choose as a focus during the third level of study. Over the past three years, peace and conflict studies students have studied abroad in nearly 30 countries, either through Colgate-affiliate programs or other approved options. Colgate also offers a six-course minor in peace and conflict studies. Colgate was founded in 1819 and has become a very selective university.

Program Chair:
Dr. Nancy Ries
(315) 228-7806

College of St. Benedict & St. John’s University

Students enrolled at the College of St. Benedict, a Catholic women’s college, and St. John’s University, a Catholic men’s college, take classes together under a joint academic program. In the peace studies department, students apply humanities and social sciences methods to the study of violence and peace.

Core courses for peace studies majors include classes on nonviolent struggle, mediation and conflict resolution, an internship and a capstone seminar. Additionally, each major takes elective courses in an individually developed focus, such as human rights, ethics of war, or public health.

For their internships, students spend a minimum of 160 hours in a placement relating to their focus area. This component of the curriculum, plus other “service-learning” activities, reflects the College of St. Benedict’s and St. John’s University’s emphasis on community-based education.

While the two schools, about six miles apart, share academics, they maintain separate campuses, athletic teams and other programs. Both universities emphasize Benedictine Catholic values, including peace, sustainability and community, in all facets of students’ lives.

Program Administrator:
Dr. Kelly Kraemer
(320) 363-2151

Creighton University

Creighton University is committed to a Jesuit vision of “competence, conscience and compassion in service of a faith that does justice.” Through its justice & peace studies program and its department of cultural and social studies, Creighton offers an interdisciplinary major in justice & society that is intended for students interested in careers in social change and social justice. Graduates will be prepared to “advocate for and with the poor and marginalized, and be insightful, faithful, lifelong agents for social justice and peace.” The curriculum has a strong grounding in social sciences theory and methods; it also requires extensive study of Catholic teaching related to peace and justice.

Creighton offers Encuentro Dominicano, a semester of study, service, immersion, and reflection in the Dominican Republic. In summers, faculty-led programs in recent years have taken students to China, Tanzania, Peru and South Africa, where the focus is often on justice and peace issues.

Program director:

Dr. Roger Bergman
(402) 280-1492

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