The Peace, Justice and Conflict Studies Program offers students a BA major curriculum that helps them reflect critically on the origins and causes of conflict, violence, and social injustice and then introduces them to strategies for resolving interpersonal, communal and international conflicts nonviolently and tactics that promote the common good in a way that addresses the structural origins of violence. The Program invites frank debate about the efficacy of nonviolent in comparison with violent approaches to social change. The inclusion of conflict theory and intervention as part of this program is distinctive; the arena of conflict resolution offers many potential career options. The Program emphasizes hands-on, experiential components in the introductory course, the final seminar/internship and the workshops which emphasize skill training.
Students and faculty in Peace, Justice and Conflict Studies question what constitutes a just society and world, what active nonviolence and peacebuilding can accomplish in a world full of conflict, and how attitudes toward social justice, violence, and peace reflect and reveal the values, beliefs, prejudices, assumptions, and perceptions of United States culture and those of other nations. Students are expected to gain competency in dealing with situations of conflict and injustice by mastering the theoretical and intellectual frameworks related to them, by learning to interpret and analyze real life situations in their complexity, by understanding how to build 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 other programs will find it beneficial to double major or minor in Peace, Justice and Conflict Studies. Students can also pursue an LAS or other college double major, such as with Health Sciences in the College of Science and Health, Journalism in the College of Communication, or the 3+3 BA/JD with the College of Law. Students who pursue the major are well prepared for graduate work in the humanities or social sciences, as well as for professional training in law, public service, or business.