About This Program
The Peace and Conflict Studies M.A. program covers topics such as conflict resolution, social justice, human rights and nonviolent communication. With experienced faculty and practical experiences, you'll gain the knowledge and skills to become a leader in promoting peaceful conflict resolution in local and global communities. Read more...
Examples of Possible Careers and Salaries*
Arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators
- 7.7% faster than the average
- 7,300 number of jobs
- $66,130 potential earnings
Human resources managers
- 6.3% faster than the average
- 165,200 number of jobs
- $121,220 potential earnings
Human resources specialists
- 7.0% faster than the average
- 666,500 number of jobs
- $63,490 potential earnings
- Intergovernmental or International Governmental Officer
- International Humanitarian and Relief Specialist
- International Project Management and Development Specialist
* Source of occupation titles and labor data comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook. Data comprises projected percent change in employment over the next 10 years; nation-wide employment numbers; and the yearly median wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less.
For more information about graduate admissions, visit the graduate admission website. For more information on international admissions, visit the international admission website.
- Bachelor's degree in peace studies or related discipline from an accredited college or university
- Minimum 2.750 undergraduate GPA on a 4.000 point scale1
- Official transcript(s)
- Résumé or curriculum vitae
- Goal statement highlighting relevant professional experience and academic background
- Writing sample
- Two letters of recommendation from professional or academic evaluators
- English language proficiency - all international students must provide proof of English language proficiency (unless they meet specific exceptions) by earning one of the following:
- Minimum 550 TOEFL PBT score
- Minimum 79 TOEFL IBT score
- Minimum 77 MELAB score
- Minimum 6.5 IELTS score
- Minimum 58 PTE score
- Minimum 110 Duolingo English score
Admission to the program is competitive and selective. Applicants will be reviewed holistically, by the school’s graduate coordinator, who may conduct interviews with select candidates to ensure qualifications and fit with the program. The coordinator will render admission decisions after consultations with the faculty and school director.
- Fall Semester
- Application deadline: April 15 (international student) and July 1 (domestic student)
Applications received after these deadlines will be considered on a space-available basis.
Program Learning Outcomes
Graduates of this program will be able to:
- Analyze and apply key theories, concepts and policies relevant to the field of peace and conflict studies, in general and in their specific concentrations.
- Synthesize the interplay of conflict sources at different levels of analyses (from interpersonal to structural) with the dynamics relevant to all conflict situations.
- Analyze and apply appropriate intervention practices for successful conflict resolution or transformation at relevant levels of conflict.
- Describe and evaluate the key role that leadership plays in conflict intervention and crisis management.
- Integrate and apply learning from across the program to real-world situations.
- Apply knowledge about the field to develop personally tailored career plans.
The Master of Arts degree in Peace and Conflict Studies is designed for students interested in gaining the knowledge and practical skills necessary to become a professional peace practitioner, one who is equipped to promote peaceful change and social justice whether in the local community, across the country or at the international level.
Students have the opportunity to learn at the School of Peace and Conflict Studies, Kent State’s ‘living memorial’ to the four students killed on May 4, 1970, and one of the oldest and most well-known institutions for the study of peace and conflict. Students work with faculty who are leading experts in their field and with students from all over the world — all of whom are dedicated to building peaceful local communities, societies and states in a time of increasing incivility, rancor and conflict.
In the program, students examine the causes and consequences of violence; develop methods for preventing, resolving and transforming conflicts; and critically analyze the values and institutions of peace. Students study relevant academic and policy literature and develop an advanced understanding of the field. Above all, however, they embark on a multidisciplinary program with a strong focus on experiential learning, the development of advanced skills relevant to the field (e.g., mediation, conflict analysis, project management), training in leadership and career planning for future employment, whether as a peace practitioner or researcher.
Through the school's partnership with the Center for Conflict Management at the University of Rwanda, students have the opportunity to undertake a study abroad course in Africa to examine both how the country has responded to the challenges of post-genocide reconstruction, and how it is addressing contemporary environmental challenges.
The Peace and Conflict Studies comprises two concentrations:
- The Applied Conflict Transformation concentration focuses on the domestic dynamics of peace, including human relations, organizational conflict and conflict resolution, group and community conflict transformation. Students specialize in a wide range of electives (e.g., peace psychology, public sector conflict transformation, peace education). This concentration provides students with knowledge and applied skills necessary to pursue a career in fields such as mediation, arbitration and dispute resolution; in the service and social and community service sector; or in roles in businesses, non-profits and government entities that requires skills of mediation and conflict resolution (e.g., human resources).
- The Peace, Conflict and Development concentration explores the intersection between peace, conflict and development in fragile or insecure states and societies around the world. Students examine policy and practice in the fields of international conflict prevention, international peacekeeping, post-conflict peace-building, sustainable development and good governance. Students specialize in a wide range of electives, including on issues such as environmental change and conflict, reconciliation after conflict and the global governance of military technologies. This concentration is designed to appeal to those students wishing to obtain work in fields and organizations dealing with the local and international dimensions of peace, conflict and development in the global south, including governments, international organizations, international development and humanitarian-relief non-governmental organizations (NGO).