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Degree overview: Conflict resolution and peace studies

Conflict resolution and peace studies are related multidisciplinary fields encompassing the practical and theoretical bases of mediation involving research, education, and skills-based training to help build conditions necessary for peace, constructive social change, and universal respect for human rights.

Students learn how to analyze conflict and how to uncover the underpinnings of conflict situations. They gain skills to defuse and prevent conflict situations that arise among individuals, groups, and countries.

People seeking conflict resolution and peace education can find these type of programs:

  • Certificate programs or adult learning programs in conflict resolution life skills
  • Graduate certificate programs in conflict resolution
  • M.S., M.A. in peace studies with some conflict resolution
  • M.S., M.A., Ph.D. in conflict resolution
  • Specializations within, and/or joint degrees with professional schools (law, international affairs, education, social work, business)
  • Conflict resolution concentrations within other Ph.D., M.S., and M.A. programs

Conflict resolution and peace building can take on a variety of focal points, from working on international human rights throughout the world to creating healing relationships between victim and offender in your own neighborhood. Therefore, as an academic field, conflict resolution and peace studies can focus on different aspects of conflict and peace, preparing you for different roles to play depending on the issue.

Graduates of conflict resolution and peace studies programs can become activists, negotiators, mediators, teachers, and business executives, and focus on a wide range of issue areas including education, human rights, the environment, international affairs, law, and economic development.