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The Peace and Conflict Studies program addresses the causes of conflict and methods to build peace. It draws on a variety of disciplines, including cultural studies, criminal justice, history, philosophy, political science, psychology, economics and sociology, to address the field’s central questions:

  • What are the causes and conditions that generate and sustain violent and nonviolent conflict?
  • What are the principles and methods for the resolution of violent and nonviolent conflict?
  • What are the norms, practices and institutions for building peace?
The Peace and Conflict Studies program is ideal for students with a bachelor’s degree, as well as returning students with experience in a variety of work and community settings.
  • The 30-credit program offers concentrations in conflict resolution, policy analysis and organizational leadership. A capstone practicum, thesis or project is also required.

    Sample courses include:

    • Strategies in Conflict Transformation
    • Diplomacy and Cross-Cultural Negotiations
    • Community Conflict Resolution
    • Mediation: Theory and Practice
    • Working with Groups
    • Peace and Conflict Field Experience
    • Comparative Terrorism/Counterterrorism
    • Asylum and Refugee Policy

    For more information including course listings and degree pathways, visit the Graduate Catalog.

    Bachelor's-to-Master's Option

    The accelerated Bachelor's-to-Master's program makes it possible to complete both a bachelor's degree and a master’s degree in Peace and Conflict Studies in as little as five years. You can apply during your junior or senior year. Once accepted, you can take up to 6 credits of graduate level coursework and count the credit towards both your undergraduate and graduate degrees.

    Graduate Certificate

    UMass Lowell also offers a 12-credit Graduate Certificate in Peace and Conflict Studies.

  • All Applicants

    • Submitted online application
    • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
    • An undergraduate grade point average of 3.000 or better
    • 2 references from individuals familiar with the educational and/or professional performance of the applicant
    • A personal statement
    • A resume or curriculum vitae summarizing education and work experience
    • $50 application fee
    • An interview may be requested by the Graduate Admissions Committee

    International Applicants

    • Students for whom English is not a national language must also submit a score for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

    See the Graduate Catalog for detailed requirements of the program. 

    Visit Graduate Admissions for more information.

  • Current tuition information for on-campus and online students is available on the Graduate & Professional Studies website.
  • Peace and Conflict Studies graduates can have careers in peacebuilding, economic development and security, conflict resolution, diplomacy, mediation, business and nonprofit management, human rights advocacy, community planning and policy analysis, violence prevention and education. The program prepares students for doctoral work, as many alumni are currently enrolled in doctoral programs.

    Alumni of our program have attained jobs as:

    • Executive Director, Metrowest Mediation Services
    • Community Relations Manager, International Institute of New England
    • Executive Director, African Community Center, Lowell
    • Program Manager, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Cambodia
    • Administrative Services Manager, Human Resources, Tufts University
    • Research Analyst, Documentation Center of Cambodia
    • Policy Analyst, Governance Commission, Liberia
    • Instructor in Mediation, UMass Lowell
    • Coordinator of International Operations, International Students & Scholars Office at UMass Lowell

Why Choose the Peace and Conflict Studies Graduate Program at UMass Lowell?

Kripa Joseph, right, on stage with another female student.

"I want to be working at a place for people who are vulnerable, do not have a voice and need a platform."

Kripa Joseph is earning her B.A. and M.A. in Peace and Conflict Studies in four years, while pursuing internships that promote diversity and respect among cultures.
UMass Lowell Economics Research Prof. David Turcotte (right) with Asst. Teaching Prof. in Sociology Thomas Pineros-Shields Image by Meghan Moore

Expert Faculty

Students are taught by faculty who are experts in social organizing and nonviolent action, understanding terrorism, religion and democracy, responses to genocide, regional conflicts and disputes, women’s movements for peace, mass media and the role of technology in conflict resolution, and the politics of human rights.


Internationally Renowned Scholars

The program is affiliated with the Peace and Conflict Studies Institute at UMass Lowell, which selects and invites internationally renowned peace scholars to campus each year. Past scholars have included Nobel Peace Prize winners Leymah Roberta Gbowee and Tawakkol Karman.

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