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