The Peace, Justice, & Conflict Studies Program offers students a BA major curriculum that is rooted in the values of active and strategic nonviolence. The courses trains them to reflect on the origins and causes of conflict, direct, cultural, and institutional, as well as social injustice and other forms of systemic violence. They are introduced to a wide spectrum of conflict intervention, especially organizational peacebuilding, local and interpersonal conflict resolution, citizen diplomacy, and post-conflict transformative justice approaches. Students learn about strategies for resolving interpersonal, communal and international conflicts with active nonviolence and respectful dialogue, as well as about tactics promoting the common good in a way that addresses the structural origins of violence, such as poverty and income disparities. The Program includes frank debate about the efficacy of nonviolent in comparison with violent approaches to social change. The inclusion of conflict theory and active nonviolent interventions is a distinctive aspect of this program. The arena of conflict resolution offers many potential career options. The Program emphasizes hands-on, experiential components in the introductory courses, the final seminars and internship, and the workshops which emphasize skill training.
Students and faculty in Peace, Justice, & Conflict Studies question what constitutes a just society and world, what peacebuilding can accomplish in a world full of conflict, and how attitudes toward social justice, violence, and peace reflect and reveal American and other cultures' values, beliefs, prejudices, assumptions, and perceptions.
Students are expected to gain competency in dealing with situations of conflict and injustice by mastering the theoretical and intellectual frameworks related to peacebuilding, human rights advocacy, and justice development, by learning to interpret and analyze real life situations in their complexity, by understanding how to use strategies for negotiation, consensus-building, advocacy, partnership development, and other intervention tools, and by understanding various research methodologies and the use of media and creative outlets.
Students majoring in any social science, humanities, and other interdisciplinary programs will find it beneficial to double major or minor in Peace, Justice, & Conflict Studies, particularly due to its core value of strategic nonviolence. Students with majors in computer games, documentary film, journalism, and animation have added the PJC second major to add desired content to their creative work. Students who pursue the major are well prepared for graduate work in the humanities or social sciences, and specifically in peace, justice, or conflict studies, as well as for professional training in law, public service, or business, among other areas.