Our Degrees and Certificates
The Spark M. Matsunaga Institute for Peace & Conflict Resolution offers courses at both undergraduate and graduate level. Undergraduates who wish to specialize in the field may obtain a Certificate in Peace Studies (the equivalent of a minor) or a B.A., offered in cooperation with Interdisciplinary Studies. The Graduate Certificate can be taken by itself or in conjunction with a masters or PhD program.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is Peace Studies?
In Peace Studies, students learn critical thinking related to issues of justice, human rights, conflict resolution, security, and peace. They examine the causes of war and other forms of violence, ways to resolve destructive conflicts, and the conditions necessary for creating positive peace, including human rights and social justice. As an interdisciplinary field, Peace Studies finds its center in the social sciences but also extends to the humanities and the natural and physical sciences.
What is Conflict Resolution?
Conflict Resolution is a range of methods for identifying and alleviating sources of conflict. The term "conflict resolution" is sometimes used interchangeably with the terms dispute resolution and alternative dispute resolution. Processes of conflict resolution generally include negotiation, mediation, and diplomacy. More formal processes, such as arbitration and litigation, are generally referred to as dispute resolution. Processes of mediation and arbitration are often referred to as alternative dispute resolution.
What is a Certificate?
The Undergraduate Certificate in Peace Studies is a 15-credit program that fulfills the requirement that all undergraduate students complete a minor in order to graduate. It is ideal for students who wish to major in another field but acquire the core principles and skills of peace studies.
The Graduate Certificate in Conflict Resolution is part of the Program on Conflict Resolution, one of sixteen university programs that were developed with funding from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The Graduate Certificate can be pursued by itself or in conjunction with a Masters or PhD program.
Undergraduate Certificate in Peace Studies
The Certificate in Peace Studies is designed to expose students to the central ideas and work in the field, and to supplement study in other academic and professional fields. It is flexibly structured, interdisciplinary, and meant to broaden and strengthen any major in any school. The certificate may be taken by undergraduate students in degree granting programs. Some students may want to focus primarily on peace studies as a personal, intellectual endeavor. Others may be seeking a career in some area relevant to peace studies and will use the peace certificate as a way of enhancing their credentials and expertise.
Our students learn:
- critical thinking related to issues of justice, conflict resolution, security and peace
- knowledge of ways to effect desired outcomes and goals through strategies and skills for peacemaking at all levels,local to international
- knowledge of the creation and evaluation of policies relevant to the fields of peace and conflict resolution
- and knowledge of the major theoretical foundations of the fields of conflict resolution and peace studies
For more information download our Undergraduate Certificate in Peace Studies brochure
Undergraduate Major in Peace and Conflict Resolution
In cooperation with the Interdisciplinary Studies BA Program, the Matsunaga Institute for Peace offers an undergraduate major in Peace and Conflict Resolution. The major is interdisciplinary in nature and is concerned with the academic study of war and other forms of conflict (both direct and structural). The Major focuses on conflict resolution and on ways to prevent destructive conflict. With the exception of three required courses, students are free to design their own program with the guidance of an Interdisciplinary Studies and Peace Institute faculty advisor.
To qualify you must:
- be enrolled in the Colleges of Arts and Sciences
- submit for approval a proposal of your course of study.
- have a minimum Grade Point Ratio (GPR) of 2.0 - keep in mind that your GPA may need to be higher if you are including courses from other programs in which admission demands are higher
- Upon the acceptance of your Peace and Conflict Resolution proposal, a minimum of 21 credits must still be completed under this program at the start of subsequent semester
- Required GPA in your major is 2.5 and no grade below a C
- Before getting started, it is imperative that you attend an orientation at the Interdisciplinary Studies office early in your Junior year.
For more information download our Undergraduate Major in Peace and Conflict Resolution brochure
Graduate Certificate in Conflict Resolution
Conflict resolution skills are in demand! The tools of conflict resolution – particularly facilitation, mediation, and everyday collaborative practices - are critical for successful professional practice and for navigating daily interpersonal and community relations that characterize modern life in a global society.
Our Certificate introduces students to:
- the fundamentals of conflict resolution: communication and negotiation
- a variety of mediation systems
- the dynamics of group conflict
- skills for organizing and leading group deliberations
- and culturally appropriate dispute resolution processes