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Why Choose Peace Studies?

Understanding oppression, resistance, and injustice around the world

What are the causes of war? How can armed conflict be prevented? How do wars end? In the interdisciplinary field of peace studies, we seek to understand and prevent mass atrocities of many kinds, including terrorism and genocide.

Peace is defined as not only the absence of violence, but also the presence of the conditions, such as social justice and human rights, that make it sustainable. In order to learn how we can build more peaceful and just systems and societies, the concentration draws on the knowledge of many disciplines, including chemistry, economics, education, English, geography, history, international development and social change, music, philosophy, political science, psychology, screen studies, sociology, and theatre arts.

As a student in the peace studies concentration, you’ll be encouraged to explore the individual, local, national, and international dimensions of peace and conflict. How can we transform conflicts in our society — and worldwide — so they generate development and justice, rather than oppression and destruction? When is nonviolent struggle effective? When is violence justified? While you investigate these and other questions, you’ll also develop skills to wage peace.

Peace studies is one of seven undergraduate programs affiliated with Clark’s Center for Gender, Race, and Area Studies, a community of faculty and students, from a variety of disciplines, who study diverse, disadvantaged, or marginalized societies and populations, with an emphasis on promoting social justice.

While you can combine this concentration with any major, you also can design a major in peace studies via the university’s student-designed major option.

Minimum number of courses to complete this concentration: 6

Requirements and Courses

Experiential Learning

As a complement to this concentration, you can engage in a variety of related experiential learning opportunities, including internships, study abroad, and research.

Careers

A foundation in peace studies is an asset to those seeking to apply their theoretical understanding of the issues of peace and conflict to situations in the U.S. and worldwide. Students will be prepared to enter careers and graduate study in fields such as public policy, international development, labor relations, environmental policy and stewardship, and international relations, and to take an active role in shaping policies in the public sector and civil society.

Program Director

Professor Ora Szekely       Phone: 1-508-793-7360

Professor Johanna Vollhardt       Phone: 1-508-793-7278