The Peace, Justice and Conflict Studies Program offers students a BA major curriculum that is rooted in the values of active and strategic nonviolence. It helps them reflect critically on the origins and causes of conflict and violence, whether direct, cultural, or institutional. It studies social injustice and other forms of systemic violence, introducing nonviolent strategies for resolving interpersonal, communal, and international conflicts in order to promote the common good and the healing needed for community work. The Program invites frank debate about the efficacy of nonviolent in comparison with violent approaches to social change. The inclusion of conflict theory and citizen-led nonviolent intervention at the core of this program is distinctive. 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 and Conflict Studies question what constitutes a just society and world and how attitudes toward social justice and violence 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 consensus-building and advocacy, 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, particularly due to its core value of strategic nonviolence. 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.