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PhDs in Peace and Conflict Studies

There are many reasons to study PhDs in Peace and Conflict Studies. For one, this field of study can provide students with an in-depth understanding of the root causes of conflict and how to resolve them. Additionally, those who pursue peace and conflict studies may also be able to help prevent future conflicts from breaking out. Finally, graduates of this discipline often go on to work in government or international organizations where they can help shape policy and make a real difference in the world. Here are a variety of PhDs in Peace and Conflict Studies:

PhD in Peace Studies – Notre Dame University (USA)

Notre Dame University is home to the Kroc Institute, one of the foremost global centers for interdisciplinary peace research. Their sizeable PhD program allows students to choose amongst 6 different degree programs, each featuring a different disciplinary alignment: anthropology, history, political science, psychology, sociology, and theology. Combining peace studies with traditional disciplines gives students greater options if they choose to enter the academic job market. Graduates are prepared for scholarly research and teaching positions as well as roles in governmental, NGO, and religious organizations.

Funding details: Students receive fellowships or assistantships that provide full tuition and stipend for five years. Additional funding may be available for research travel.

PhD, Irish School of Ecumenics – Trinity College, Dublin (Ireland)

The Irish School of Ecumenics, part of the Confederal School of Religions, Peace Studies, and Theology, is a world leader for studies of dialogue, peace, and reconciliation in both Irish and global contexts. The department also works with the Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation program at the Belfast Campus in Northern Ireland, making this a unique, cross-border degree program. Popular research areas include ethics, human rights, interreligious dialogue, gender, development and globalization, and reconciliation. Students receive rigorous training in both theoretical, foundational texts as well as applied field research in communities, governments, and institutions across the world.

Funding details: Competitive postgraduate studentships are available based on academic achievement. These cover all fees and provide an annual maintenance allowance.

PhD in International Relations, Concentration in International Peace and Conflict Resolution – American University (USA)

This program approaches peace studies from a secular, international relations approach. As such, the training has a strong foundation in public policy research and knowledge production including focuses comparative social theory, region studies, and quantitative methodologies. The department emphasizes the importance of writing and students are urged to author journal articles, present at conferences, and collaborate on faculty research. As a result, graduates are well equipped to teach in a university setting as well as work for government and non-government organization around the world.

Funding details: Admitted students receive four-year fellowships that include tuition remission and living stipend. Additional funding for conference travel is also available.


PhD in Peace and Conflict Studies – Upsala University (Sweden)

With an emphasis on scientific research, this program balances one year of course work with 3-4 years of research and writing. Some popular courses include Classics in Peace Research, Research Design in Peace and Conflict Research, and Ethics of Field Research. In addition, the department partners with the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes to offer an advanced international training program entitled Peace and Security in Africa. Participants gain theoretical and practical knowledge about peace and security in Sub-Saharan Africa and work with regional partners to prevent, manage, and resolve armed conflicts in the region. This unique on-the-ground cross-cultural experience places students at an advantage in the global NGO and development job market.

Funding details: As is typical of Swedish universities, PhD candidates are considered employees and are not charged tuition fees. In addition, there are external fellowships and additional university resources available for qualified applicants.

PhD Conflict Analysis and Resolution – George Mason University (USA)

This PhD program is housed within the university’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution. Students are given rigorous academic professionalization, including opportunities to publish in academic journals, build a research and teaching portfolio, and apply for prestigious grants and scholarships. In addition, special travel courses allow students to learn by doing in regions that have been affected by conflict, including Colombia, Indonesia, Jordan, Northern Ireland, the Balkans, and Israel-Palestine. Students can further develop their academic profile by completing a certificate program focusing on Collaborative Leadership; Prevention, Reconstruction and Stabilization; or World Religions, Diplomacy, and Conflict.

Finding details: All graduate students are invited to apply to several competitive university- and department-wide scholarships. In addition, select graduate students are offered research and teaching assistantships that include tuition, health insurance, and a living stipend.

PhD in Peace and Conflict Studies – University of Manitoba (Canada)

Combining conflict resolution, social justice, and peace studies approaches, this program produces versatile scholars and human rights professionals. All students must complete courses within the field of peace and conflict studies as well as a related cognate area of their choice, such as sociology, law, Native Studies, etc. Graduates find work in academia as well as non-profit agencies, governments, hospitals, schools, and the business world. The program is housed within the Arthur Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice which is dedicated to peace, social justice, and human rights with a specific focus on the role of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in promoting global citizenship and harmony. The Centre also hosts a storytelling initiative focused on promoting peace and renewing communities.

Funding details: While funding is not guaranteed, there are a number of competitive fellowships available through the department and university.

PhD in Social Psychology, Psychology of Peace and Violence – University of Massachusetts, Amherst (USA)

This psychology-focused approach to the study of peace and violence is the first of its kind in the United States. The department aims to use scientific research and approaches to find innovative solutions to resolve conflict, promote reconciliation, and build peace. Students fulfill department requirements for a degree in Social Psychology while also completing additional research in conflict and peace studies. In addition, they complete an internship with a NGO or community-based organization, conduct long-term independent research projects, and assist faculty. Graduates are well placed to work in the either field of academic psychology or peace and conflict resolution.

Funding details: Nearly all students have tuition and fees waived through assistantships, fellowships, or traineeships. These also provide living stipends. Some assistantships and traineeships are also available in the summer.