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Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution


Peace studies and conflict resolution programs focus on how conflicts start between people, cultures, and nations and how they are resolved. Some programs are called peace and justice or conflict resolution.

Students learn about global politics, law, and the history of nonviolence. They also study ways to prevent conflict.

Peace studies and conflict resolution programs include topics such as:


Community colleges and other two-year schools offer associate degree programs in peace studies and conflict resolution. An associate degree usually takes two years to complete. After earning an associate degree students can transfer to a college or university for further study.

Several colleges and universities offer bachelor's degrees in peace studies and conflict resolution. More schools offer a minor or concentration at the undergraduate level. Some schools offer interdisciplinary bachelor's degrees in peace studies and conflict management. Interdisciplinary programs combine courses from several college departments. In peace studies and conflict management it may be history, psychology, and political science. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study.

Some universities offer graduate degrees or certificates in peace studies and conflict resolution. A master's degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor's degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master's degree.

See schools that offer this program.

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Careers to Consider

Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Graduate Admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree, good grades, and good test scores.

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

This undergraduate program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

In addition, you take courses about specific regional and international conflicts.

Graduate Program Courses

While some schools offer graduate degrees in peace studies and conflict resolution, most offer certificates that you combine with graduate study in another area.

Graduate certificates in peace studies and conflict resolution typically include:

Things to Know

Some schools combine peace studies, conflict resolution, and international studies into a single bachelor's degree program.

Internships allow students to develop skills at companies or organizations. Internships and community service projects that deal with conflict resolution, negotiation, and mediation are usually offered and sometimes required. Often internships include traveling to foreign countries.

With a background in peace studies and conflict resolution, you can be a policy-maker for a government agency or nonprofit group. You can work as a professional mediator or negotiator for businesses, courts, and schools. You can work for labor unions or prisons.


East Side Area

Washington State University - Pullman

King-Snohomish Area

Seattle Pacific University

University of Washington - Seattle

Spokane Area

Eastern Washington University

Whitworth University

Tacoma Area

Pacific Lutheran University