District of Columbia Masters in Conflict Resolution & Peace Studies

A Masters in Conflict Resolution & Peace Studies explores social conflict and violent behaviors. While peace studies focus on addressing these issues using nonviolent methods, war studies address the use of violent means to achieve an outcome. Conflict and peace studies master's degree programs may also be known as: international conflict security, conflict management and negotiations, social change, human rights, terrorism, global security, conflict analysis, conflict resolution, mediation, social justice and human rights.

An interdisciplinary field, conflict and peace studies combines many of the social sciences, including:

  • History
  • International relations
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology
  • Psychology
  • Economics
  • Political science
  • Any relevant religious, ethnic, racial or gender studies

Aspiring peace and conflict graduate students should ideally be interested in the following:

  • An interdisciplinary approach
  • Social sciences
  • Research
  • Collaborative problem solving
  • Communication skills
  • Conflict prevention
  • Travel

Masters in Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies Program Application Requirements

Most applicants to conflict and peace studies grad programs are required to submit an application including a personal statement, letters of recommendation, transcripts, and GRE scores; TOEFL scores if applicable. In addition, some schools have a language proficiency requirement. Undergraduate and graduate work in the social sciences, volunteer and study abroad experience in the field, and/or internships and past job experience can strengthen an application.

Conflict and Peace Studies Masters Degree Program Curriculum

As noted above, there are a wide variety of graduate programs falling under this discipline. Each offers a different angle through which to approach these issues. However, a standard cross-section of commonly-seen core courses might include:

  • Human rights and peace culture
  • Peace and gender
  • War and gender
  • Peace and intercultural dialogue
  • War and intercultural dialogue
  • History of peace and war
  • Peace and humanitarian aid
  • War and humanitarian aid
  • Peace and international organizations
  • War and international organizations
  • Interpersonal conflicts
  • Human security
  • International law
  • Research methodologies
  • Journalism

Since the field of conflict and peace studies often applies to worldwide issues, it’s common for masters programs to offer study abroad opportunities. Some of these opportunities focus on areas known for conflict. Many masters in conflict resolution and peace studies, as well as Ph.D.’s in conflict and peace studies require a thesis, capstone project, dissertation, or another form of research. Proficiency in at least one foreign language is often a requirement. Some graduate schools also require an internship. The course of study differs from institution to institution, check with the school of your choice regarding its particular requirements.

Conflict and Peace Studies Career Paths

For the most part, graduates of conflict and peace studies programs pursue academic, political, and journalism careers. Some examples include:

  • Diplomat
  • Mediator
  • Negotiator
  • Journalist
  • News anchor
  • Trainer
  • Professor

In addition, a degree in conflict and peace studies in conjunction with a complimentary degree may provide a lawyer, politician, or businessperson with a unique area of specialization.

Conflict and Peace Studies Salary and Job Outlook

The salaries and career opportunities students who have earned a graduate degree in conflict and peace studies are extremely varied. Aggregate data is not available for the median salaries of individuals holding this degree. Opportunities and salary will vary according to education, experience, location, and industry, and position.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2012, mediators earned an annual median salary of $61,280.  Jobs for mediators are predicted to grow by 10% between 2012 and 2022. The BLS reported the 2012 median annual salary for political scientists was $102,000, jobs for political scientists are projected to grow by 21% between 2012 and 2022.  The graph below provides salary information for mediators and political scientists working in select industries.

Masters in Conflict Resolution Salary Information

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