The Master of Arts programme in International Peace Studies is designed to enable students from diverse cultures and backgrounds to attain a deep understanding of the central issues of peace and security, which will determine the future of humanity. The programme is intended to educate and train practitioners in international, development and international affairs, mainly for cooperation among countries.
Students graduating from this programme are able to have the knowledge and the skills contained in fourteen courses (34 credits), which include foundational courses in peace and conflict studies and research methods, and other courses that enable them to understand the nature of the conflict and contemporary international issues related to peace, security, violence, democracy building, intra- and inter-state wars, peace operations, conflict management, mediation and negotiation, conflict transformation, sustainable development and social entrepreneurship, humanitarian law. As a capstone academic endeavor students must complete a graduation project that can be one research, one curriculum development, one internship, one project proposal or any other meaningful outcome that demonstrate that the students are able to identify a issue, analyze it and produce a systematic and scholarly report on the project. The graduation project has the recognition of 8 credits. In order to receive the degree, students should complete a total of 42 credits.
The required courses are:
PCS 6000 Foundation Course in Peace and Conflict Studies (3 Credits)
IPS 6022 Aspects of Conflict: Introduction to a Systemic Approach (3 Credits)
IPS 6020 Research Methods (3 Credits)
IPS 6023 The Nation State, State Weakness and Intrastate War (3 Credits)
IPS 6030 Political Economy of Conflict and Peace (3 Credits)
ELECTIVES (3 Credits) Participants can choose an elective course offered by the UPEACE Institute
IPS 6025 Sustainable Development and Social Entrepreneurship (3 Credits)
IPS 6031 Humanitarian Law (2 Credits)
IPS 6035 Peace Operations (2 Credits)
IPS 6033 Practices of Conflict Management: Mediation and Negotiation (2 Credits)
IPS 6034 Be Peace Workshop (2 Credits)
IPS 6028 Capstone Workshop on Peace and Democracy Building (1 Credit)
IPS 6032 Peace Building and Conflict Transformation (3 Credits)
IPS 6027 Seminar: Mainstreaming UPeace Pillars (2 Credits) IPS 7000 Graduation Project (8 Credits)
Graduates in this MA programme should have the knowledge, skills and attitudes that enable them to work in international organizations -both governmental and non-governmental- leading development and humanitarian programmes; in foreign ministries, performing initial diplomatic tasks; and universities, teaching subjects related to peace, security, and social and international conflict management.
According to the UPEACE Charter, as approved by the General Assembly, "the University is established with a clear determination to provide humanity with an international institution of higher education for peace". To this end, the University was authorized by the General Assembly, inter alia, "to grant master's degrees and doctorates" . This unique world-wide authorization to award academic degrees, recognized by all countries which are members of the General Assembly, has been the basis of UPEACE's work ever since.
Building on the strength of this unique and universal international mandate, the University established an International Academic Council, composed of distinguished academics from around the world, to review, validate and ensure the highest academic standards of its programmes and courses.
Since 2008 UPEACE has also been a full member of the National Accreditation System of Costa Rica (SINAES) and the Central American Higher Education Accreditation Council (ACAP).