Peace Studies is an interdisciplinary academic field. We ask questions such as “What are the causes of war? How can armed conflict be prevented? How do wars end?” We seek to understand and prevent mass atrocities of many kinds, including terrorism and genocide. And we seek to better understand how we can build more peaceful and just systems and societies.
Peace is defined as not only the absence of violence, but also the presence of the conditions that create sustainable peace, including social justice and human rights. The Peace Studies concentration encourages students to explore the individual, local, national, and international dimensions of peace and conflict. How can we transform conflicts in our society and worldwide so that they generate development and justice rather than oppression and destruction? When is nonviolent struggle effective? When is violence justified? Students will investigate these questions and develop skills to wage peace.
Undergraduates may concentrate in Peace Studies to complement any major. Students may also design a major in Peace Studies via the University’s self-designed major. The concentration draws together the knowledge of many disciplines, including Chemistry, Economics, Education, English, Geography, History, International Development and Social Change, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Screen Studies, Sociology, and Theatre.
Course work, research and internships enable students to apply their theoretical understanding of the issues of peace and conflict to situations in the U.S. and worldwide. Students who complete a concentration in Peace Studies are prepared to enter careers and graduate study in such fields as public policy, international development, labor relations, environmental policy and stewardship, and international relations, and to take an active role in shaping policies in the public sector and civil society.
For more information, please visit the Peace Studies Program’s website, or stop by the Peace Studies Office at CGRAS, first floor of Dana Commons.