What is Peace and Conflict Studies?

The Peace and Conflict Studies minor is a broad and interdisciplinary program designed to promote a critical, holistic, and intellectually rigorous understanding of:

  1. the complex nature, causes, and modes of expression of violence and conflict and the ethical debates surrounding the use of violence;
  2. the history, philosophy, and strategies of nonviolent action and resistance;
  3. the conditions to create and promote peace, justice, and conflict resolution.

Students examine and analyze positive and negative peace and conflict at numerous levels — interpersonal, intergroup, interstate, and global – and consider violence and conflict and the struggle toward peace and nonviolence in many forms, including:  war, militarism, human rights, structural violence, injustice, inequality, discrimination, and environmental destruction.  In their study of peace and conflict, students are encouraged to integrate the methods and essential questions of different fields – the social sciences, humanities, and behavioral sciences.

The minor encourages students to search for ways to reduce violence and work toward justice and peaceful means of resolving conflicts, in and beyond the classroom, and in our local and global communities.

A minimum of 20 semester hours are required, including the four-hour course, PCS 350 – Foundations of Peace and Conflict Studies.

PCS 121 and PCS 122, as well as an internship, are recommended.