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.
Dr. Mary Jeanne Larrabee