Peace and Conflict Studies

Frequently Asked Questions


What are the admissions requirements?

Please see the page for admissions requirements.

Is there an application due date?

Applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis.

Should I still apply if I do not meet the minimum GPA requirement (3.0 for Master's Degree, 2.8 for Graduate Certificate)?

Yes, at the discretion of the admissions committee, students may be accepted with lower GPAs, especially if they have relevant work experience in the field.

How do I apply to the Accelerated BA to MA

UMass Lowell juniors and seniors (from any major) can apply by filling out the BA/MA Application Form (pdf) and returning it to Graduate Admissions in One University Avenue, Cumnock Hall, Suite 110, Lowell, MA 01854. You cannot apply online to the Accelerated BA to MA.

How do I apply to the Master of Arts or Graduate Certificate?

To apply to the MA or Graduate Certificate you can fill out the online application.

You can also get a paper application for the Master's Degree (pdf) or a paper application for the Graduate Certificate (pdf) and mail it to: Graduate Admissions Office, One University Avenue, Cumnock Hall, Suite 110, Lowell, MA 01854.

You can also obtain applications and forms by calling: 1-800-656-GRAD (1-800-656-4723) or 978-934-2390.

Can I apply to begin in either the fall or spring semester?

While we accept students for both the fall and spring semester, we encourage students to matriculate in the fall to create the best sense of community.

Can the GRE/MAT requirement ever be waived?

We no longer require the submission of GRE/MAT scores. You may choose to send the scores as a supplement to your application, but it is not required.

I am not ready to apply to the Master of Arts or the Graduate Certificate. Can I take one or two courses on a trial basis?

Yes, you can take up to 9 credits (typically 3 courses) without being admitted to the Graduate Certificate or Master of Arts. You can apply those credits towards the graduate programs, should you decide to continue. Contact the UMass Lowell Registrar's Office for more information on registering for courses.

If I complete the Graduate Certificate, can I count the credit I earned towards the Master's degree if I apply and am accepted?

Yes, you can apply your Graduate Certificate credit towards the Master's degree. You will still need to complete the Master of Arts application but you will not have to do the GRE.

Financial Information

How much does your program cost?

The Student Financial Services website lists tuition, fees, and other expenses. For your reference, the Master of Arts is 30 credits and the Graduate Certificate is 12 credits.

What types of funding or scholarships are available?

From time to time, there may be Research Assistant positions or scholarships available. Please contact us if that is a primary consideration in whether you will apply.

How can I apply for a loan?

Visit the Financial Aid website for information on applying for loans.

Can I have an outside job while earning a Master's degree?

Yes, many students have outside jobs while they are in the Master's program.


How long will it take to complete the Graduate Certificate and Master of Arts?

The Graduate Certificate is 12 credits and the Master of Arts is 30 credits. A full-time student load is 9 credits per semester, although students may take additional credits per semester. Courses are also offered during the summer term.

The Graduate Certificate can be completed in two semesters of part-time study.

The Master of Arts can be completed in 3 semesters of full-time study, provided a course (3 credits) is taken during the summer or a student takes 12 credits during one semester.

Peace and Conflict Studies is an inter-disciplinary program. What does that mean?

Scholars and practitioners attempt to understand the key issues in Peace and Conflict Studies from a variety of perspectives. The graduate program at UMass Lowell therefore allows students to select elective courses in disciplines such as Community Social Psychology, Criminal Justice, Economic and Social Development of Region, and Management. This method provides students the most comprehensive understanding of the causes of violence, the ways to resolve conflict, and strategies for building lasting peace. For full curriculum information, see the Graduate Catalog.

What is the Integrative Seminar?

The integrative seminar is a seminar that a Master of Arts student takes to synthesize learning and develop interdisciplinary understanding of their work in Peace and Conflict Studies. Large scale, empirical research studies have demonstrated that student engagement and student learning is significantly greater in programs with strong curricular coherence. The seminar will create a community of learners and enhance each student’s education by bringing them into facilitated dialogues about their cumulative learning. Students will build connections between their courses and have the opportunity to address questions that arise between disciplinary perspectives. 

Do I need to register for both required and elective courses?

Yes, you will need to register for both required and elective courses. You are not automatically registered for any courses. Please speak with your advisor if you have any questions.

Are courses offered on-line?

While none of the required courses are currently offered online, there are several elective courses that are offered online. To see a list of all electives offered this semester, please see the course schedule on the Registrar's Office website.

Some of the required courses are offered during the day. I work full-time and am unable to take courses during the day. What can I do?

In the future, the program may offer required courses in the evening. At this time, students will need to be able to attend courses during the day.

Do I need to write a thesis to graduate from the Master of Arts?

No, Master of Arts students have the option to either do an internship, project, or thesis to complete their requirements. Approximately 75% of Master's students choose to do an internship. 

Is it mandatory to study language as part of the program?

No, language study is not required. If language study is relevant for your interest in Peace and Conflict Studies, the Graduate Coordinator may give permission to count language study towards required elective credit.

I have taken graduate courses at another institution. Can I transfer the credits?

Students who wish to transfer credit must file (within the first semester of matriculation) the Academic Petition form (pdf) available from the  Registrar's Office.

International Students

Can international students apply to the program?

Yes! International students may apply to the program in order to receive a Graduate Certificate or Master of Arts. International students may also choose to study at UMass Lowell for a semester and apply course credits back to their home university. The same application process is required for a semester of study abroad as it is for full enrollment in the program. For more information on being an international student at UMass Lowell, visit the International Students and Scholars website.

How do I get a student visa?

After you are accepted into the program, you will receive an email from the International Students and Scholars office within 2-3 weeks with information on applying for a student visa. You may email with any questions regarding visas.

As a graduate student, am I able to obtain any housing assistance?

Many international students choose to live off-campus. However, if you are an unmarried graduate student, you may live in a traditional on-campus residence hall where graduate students reside with other graduate students and undergraduate students who are at least 23 years of age.

If space is available, you may also live in any of the traditional or suite-style halls with other graduate or undergraduate students.

If you are married, you may have the opportunity to reside with your family at the East Meadow Lane Apartments. These apartments are furnished studio, and unfurnished one and two bedroom units. If you wish to apply for this option, you should contact the Office of Residence Life at 978-934-2112.

If you have any questions about housing, go the Office of Residence Life website, e-mail or write to the Office of Residence Life, University of Massachsuetts Lowell, 100 Pawtucket Street, Lowell, MA 01854.

I am an international student from a country that does not offer the GREs. What can I do?

No problem. We no longer require GRE scores.

Is there an English Language Requirement?

Yes – all candidates, who have not previously studied at an institution of higher education where the language of instruction is English, must submit official TOEFL scores or equivalent as part of the application. The recommended minimum TOEFL scores are 550 on the paper version of the test, 213 on the computer-based version and 79-80 on the internet-based version. The minimum IELTS score is 6.5.

Do you have additional questions not answer here? Please Contact Us.