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10 Top Degrees in Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding

There are many reasons why someone might study conflict resolution and peacebuilding. For some, it may be a way to learn more about how to prevent or resolve conflicts in their own lives. Others may want to use their knowledge to help others in their community or around the world. Some of the skills that students will learn while studying conflict resolution and peacebuilding include:

  • How to identify the root causes of conflict
  • How to effectively communicate with people who have different perspectives
  • How to mediate disagreements and find common ground
  • How to develop and implement strategies for preventing violence
  • How to create long-term plans for sustaining peace in a region or community

Below we have compiled a list of 10 excellent degrees in conflict resolution and peacebuilding.

M.Sc. Conflict Resolution (University of Essex in Colchester)

The University of Essex in Colchester, United Kingdom, offers a Master of Science degree in Conflict Resolution. Students spend one year studying on the campus of one of the top 10 ranked schools for political science in the world. All students take courses in research methods and conflict resolution and complete a dissertation on a topic of interest. Three elective courses are also required and give students a chance to study a broad range of topics related to security, political science, justice and similar topics. A bachelor’s degree with honors and fluency in English are required for admissions consideration.

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M.A. Conflict Analysis and Resolution (Sabanci University in Istanbul)

Sabanci University in Istanbul, Turkey, offers a Master of Arts degree program in Conflict Analysis and Resolution. A 2-year full-time, campus-based program, the course of study includes classes in research methods and academic practices and development. All students complete a dissertation as a part of the program requirements. Electives related to human rights, media, political science, ethnicity, nationalism, and religious freedom round out the curriculum. To be considered for admission, students must hold a bachelor’s degree, submit acceptable graduate program entrance exam test scores and demonstrate fluency in English. A statement of purpose is also required.

M.A. Peace and Conflict Studies (Uppsala University)

Uppsala University in Sweden, offers a master’s degree program in Peace and Conflict Studies. The 2-year full-time program begins with courses in the causes of armed conflict, research methods and international conflict resolution. All students complete a dissertation and have the chance to participate in an internship in Sweden or abroad. Electives on a broad range of topics complete the course offerings. Students must have a bachelor’s degree or be in the final year of a baccalaureate program to be considered for admission. Students who are from countries where English is not the primary spoken language must submit TOEFL or IELTS scores.

M.Sc. Negotiation and Conflict Resolution (Creighton University)

Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, United States, offers a dual Master of Science and Juris Doctor degree program in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution. Students are free to take courses at their own pace with most students completing all of the classes and the required dissertation within 2 years. Required courses include Civic Organizing and Democracy, Arbitration, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Elder Law, Marriage and Divorce, Mediation Process, Negotiation, International Law and Health Care Law. Admission to the program requires separate applications to the law and graduate schools at the university. Students must hold a bachelor’s degree and be fluent in English for admissions consideration.

M.A. Peace and Justice (University of San Diego California)

University of San Diego California in San Diego, California, United States, offers a Master of Arts degree program in Peace and Justice. A 2-year full-time program, the course of study includes a mandatory internship and an independent study research project. All students take courses in Religion: Peacebuilding’s Missing Dimension; International Negotiations; Environmental Justice; Transitional Justice and Responding to Mass Atrocities; Human Rights Advocacy and Special Topics in Peace and Justice Studies. For admission to the program, students must hold a bachelor’s degree and submit satisfactory graduate admission test scores. A personal statement and letters of recommendation are also required.

M.A. Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation (School for International Training in Brattleboro)

The School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont, United States, offers a Master of Arts degree in Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation. The program requires 2 years of full-time study to complete. All students take classes in Practitioner Inquiry and Foundations in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management and then choose a focus concentration area from the following options: Monitoring and Evaluation, Social Innovation and Management and Policy Analysis and Advocacy. Admission to the prestigious program is highly competitive. Only applicants with an exemplary academic record, intercultural and professional experience and demonstrated human rights or peace-building experience will be considered for the program.

M.Sc. Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding (Durham University)

Durham University in Durham, United Kingdom, offers a Master of Science degree program in Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding. Students spend one full year on campus completing the program requirements, which include a capstone exercise in humanitarian intervention and a dissertation. Required courses include Defence, Development and Diplomacy in Conflict: Evolving Actors, Factors and Paradigms; Conflict Prevention and Sustainable Peace; Responses: Peace Processes and Political Negotiation and Recovery and Reconstruction: Building Peace, Civil Society and State-Building from Below. Elective courses can be chosen from a list of dozens of options. To be considered for the program, applicants must have a Bachelor of Arts degree or an equivalent degree.

M.A. Peace, Mediation and Conflict Research

The University of Tampere in Tampere, Finland, offers a master’s degree program in Peace, Mediation and Conflict Research. This full-time program requires 2 full years of study to complete with all courses taught in English. Independent research with a culminating dissertation is the focal point of the program. Students also take courses in human rights, violence, and ethnic and religious rights. Qualified applicants for the program will have a bachelor’s degree in a field related to peace and conflict resolution. Applicants who are from countries where English is not the official language must submit TOEFL or IELTS scores to demonstrate fluency.

M.A. Reconciliation and Peacebuilding

The University of Winchester in Winchester, United Kingdom, offers a unique Master of Arts program in Reconciliation and Peacebuilding. Instead of taking residence on campus, students complete the majority of the classes required for the 1-year program online. Some of the required classes include research methods, building networks of peace and religion and peacebuilding. Admission to the program requires a bachelor’s degree in a related subject. Individuals who have extensive work experience in the field may be able to enter the program even if they do not have a bachelor’s degree. Fluency in English as evidenced by IELTS scores is also mandatory.

M.A. Sustainable Peacebuilding (University of Wisconsin Milwaukee)

The College of Letters and Science at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States, offers a Master of Sustainable Peacebuilding degree program. The full-time program includes course work in The Politics and Policy of Sustainability, Complex Human-Environmental Interactions, Preparing for Sustainable Peacebuilding and Social Change, Holistic Peacebuilding Practice, Research Literacy for Sustainable Peacebuilding, Negotiation and Conflict Management for Sustainable Peacebuilding, Information Technology for Sustainable Peacebuilding and Project Management for Sustainable Peacebuilding. To be accepted to the program, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in social sciences, humanities or another related field. Previous work experience related to the course of study and fluency in English are also required.