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

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

Goucher College

The peace studies program at Goucher College emphasizes both practical skills, like dialogue and mediation, and theoretical study of the philosophy of nonviolence. As is the case with many such programs, these skills and theories are used to analyze and understand historical and ongoing conflicts on a variety of levels. The peace studies major at Goucher College is 44 credits and the minor is 27 credits.

Since 2006, Goucher College has an absolute requirement that all students study abroad prior to graduation (other colleges that require cross-cultural study typically offer domestic options, usually to provide students with a more inexpensive option). Goucher offers semester-long study abroad options with specific relevance to peace and conflict issues. In 2012-13, the options were a trip to the Balkans to study peacebuilding and reconciliation, a program in Rwanda that looks at rebuilding society after the genocide, and a semester in Uganda that focuses on foreign aid and international development.

Program director:
Seble Dawit
(410) 337-6201

Hampshire College

Hampshire College uses a system of student-designed academic concentrations, rather than traditional majors, and belongs to the Five College Consortium, a group of five colleges in western Massachusetts – Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, Smith and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst – that run some joint academic programs and allow students to cross-register at other member schools. The Five College Program in Peace and World Security Studies (PAWSS), based at Hampshire, is “designed to stimulate student and faculty interest in the study of critical international issues, especially those connecting issues of conflict and the environment.”

The peace and world security studies program based at Hampshire College places less overt focus on social justice and nonviolence than many other peace studies programs but does highlight the links between peace and environmental sustainability. Many of the classes offered to students in the program, both at Hampshire and through the Five College Consortium, emphasize analysis of contemporary issues, such as geopolitical conflict, terrorism, resource competition, and human rights. The flexibility of the academic programs at Hampshire College, however, gives students significant latitude to pursue individual interests.

Program Director:
Dr. Michael Klare
(413) 559-5563

Juniata College

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
(814) 641-3461


Manhattan College

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.”

Program director:
Dr. Kevin Ahern
Director of Peace Studies
(718) 862-3865

Messiah College

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. 

Program coordinator:
Dr. Anne Marie Stoner-Eby
(717) 766-2511 ext. 2046

Nazareth College

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.”

Program director:
Dr. Harry Murray
(585) 389-2760

SIT Graduate Institute

The Conflict Transformation Across Cultures (CONTACT) program brings together people from around the world in a multicultural setting to develop and improve their skills in peacebuilding and conflict transformation. Participants join an alumni network that includes over 1,000 peacebuilders from Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. The CONTACT program facilitates online sharing within and between cohorts so that discussions, professional development, and networking among peers may continue after the program’s completion. CONTACT facilitates programs in Kathmandu, Nepal; Brattleboro, Vermont, USA; and an online Graduate Certificate in Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding.

The Masters of Arts in Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding is designed to engage current and future peacebuilders in the tasks of conflict prevention, intervention, and healing within their own communities and as third-party consultants. The program focuses on SIT’s strengths in human relations and multicultural competence; in working with the nongovernmental organization (NGO) sector; in hands-on, pragmatic pedagogy; and in field-based practicum experience. The program encourages and models values needed for transformation in individuals, in relationships among parties in conflict, and in the local and global structures in which conflict is embedded.

CONTACT Program Director:
Bruce W. Dayton, PhD

MA in CT Degree Chair:
John Ungerleider

Tufts University

The peace and justice studies program at Tufts University was founded to develop students’ understanding of various crises and challenges facing the world and to “encourage involvement in nonviolent attempts to build a world of peace and justice.” Three core classes are required, including an introductory course, an internship, and a senior seminar. To major in this field, students also take one class each from five core areas grouped under the following themes: justice, war and peace, violence and peace in culture, conflict resolution, and creating social change. Further, three electives are selected by students and their academic advisers to develop an educational theme (on broad topics such as race, gender and environmental issues) that culminates in the senior seminar and sometimes a senior thesis.

Program director:
Dr. Bruce Hitchner
(617) 627-2261