As a Peace and Conflict Studies major, you will focus on understanding and developing solutions to social injustice and lack of equality.

What courses will you take?

UMass Lowell Image Maryann Ford

The B.A in Peace and Conflict Studies curriculum is interdisciplinary. You will choose a combination of courses from different disciplines (cultural studies, criminal justice, history, political science, sociology and others) to explore:

  • How do factors such as poverty, lack of education and social inequity lead to conflict, both internationally and domestically?
  • What are the causes and conditions which generate and sustain conflict and violence?
  • What are the principles and methods for the resolution of conflict and violence?
  • What are the norms, practices and institutions for conflict transformation and building peace?
Students will get a strong foundation through their required courses:
  1. Intro to Peace and Conflict Studies 
  2. Research Methods in Peace and Conflict Studies 
  3. Intro to Ethics 
Students will choose their electives from three different content areas, creating a defined focus of study:
  1. Global Peace and Diplomacy 
  2. Domestic Peacebuilding and Conflict Resolution 
  3. Sustainability and Environmental Justice 
Students in PCS will complete a practicum course in their Junior or Senior year, allowing them to put their knowledge to work and building their resumes! To gain a global perspective, many students choose to study abroad at partner universities, or the Washington Center in order to satisfy this requirement. 

In the senior year, you will choose an advanced seminar course that will integrate the learning from your electives to address these central questions of the field. Courses for Peace and Conflict Studies

Visit the Academic Catalog for a complete course listing and to learn about the Peace and Conflict Studies minor.

Explore all degree pathways, including those from prior enrollment years.
  • Students who graduate with a degree in Peace and Conflict Studies will be able to:
    • Demonstrate an interdisciplinary knowledge of the major aspects of peace and conflict studies.
    • Understand basic research methods in PCS, including data analysis and interpretation.
    • Communicate in a variety of formats, both oral and written.
    • Demonstrate that ability to use critical and creative thinking in evaluative the causes of conflict and strategies for conflict resolution.
    • Understand the impact of region and culture on peace and conflict.
    • Understand the foundations of Peace and Conflict, and approaches to resolution.
    • Understand the historical roots of social movements and how social justice and equality are being perused in the 21st century.
    • Engage in community based advocacy and conflict resolution.
    • Understand major concepts associated with non-violent social movements, community conflict resolution, responses to genocide, mediation, power and authority, social policy, communications and media, gender, global development, immigration, international politics, restorative justice and human rights.
    • Apply this knowledge in possible careers in:
      • Restorative Justice
      • Human Rights Advocacy
      • Education
      • Women's Advancement
      • Development
      • Diplomacy
      • Non-Profit Management
      • Conflict Resolution

Why study peace and conflict studies at UMass Lowell?

PCS alumni gathering


Gain relevant work experience and industry connections. Recent internships include:

  • Lowell High School, Peer Mediation
  • Angkor Dance Troupe, Youth Cultural Education
  • Active Non-Violence Education Center, Dharamsala, India
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Expert Faculty

Engage with our faculty who are experts in: 

  • Social organizing and nonviolent action
  • Understanding terrorism, religion and democracy
  • Responses to genocide
  • Conflict in the Middle East, Northern Ireland, and other regional disputes
  • Women's movements for peace
  • Mass media and the role of technology in conflict resolution
  • Politics of human rights
2017 Greeley Peace Scholar journalist Noy Thrupkaew at Lowell Community Health Center.

Research Opportunities

Students, faculty, and visiting scholars are engaged in a wide range of research on key issues in Peace and Conflict Studies. 

A female graduate smiles during morning Commencement on May 19, 2018. Image by Tory Germann

Graduate Programs

Advance your knowledge and career options through our graduate programs. UMass Lowell is the only university in New England to offer both an undergraduate major and a Master of Arts in Peace and Conflict Studies.

What can you do with a degree in peace and conflict studies?

Graduates from UMass Lowell's Peace and Conflict Studies program make a difference in diverse career fields, including restorative justice, human rights advocacy, education, women's advancement, diplomacy, non-profit management and conflict resolution.

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Job roles can include:

  • Conflict mediator
  • Family advocate
  • Human rights officer
  • Neighborhood action planner
  • Psychologist
  • Researcher
  • Study abroad counselor
  • Victim contact worker

Meet Our Students & Alumni

Dana Ibrahim, second from left in front, and fellow students touch a statue on street in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Dana Ibrahim '20, '21
Peace and Conflict Studies & Political Science

Dana Ibrahim chose UMass Lowell for its peace and conflict studies program, which lets her combine classes across the social sciences and humanities to suit her goal: to become a diplomat and aid refugees.

You’re not just getting a degree; you’re building your future as you go.
Read More About Dana Ibrahim 
Adeja Crearer in front of video camera
Adeja Crearer '17, '18
English, minors in Political Science and Digital Media

One faculty member opened a door for Adeja Crearer, and it changed her life.

Every opportunity I got came from someone on the faculty or staff who took the time to see my potential and then took the extra step to open a door for me.
Read More About Adeja Crearer 
Jenna Kapp at scenic overlook
Jenna Kapp '19
Peace and Conflict Studies

Peace and Conflict Studies major Jenna Kapp has taken advantage of nearly every opportunity that’s come her way on campus. Now she’s finding more abroad.

I’ve tried to make the most of my opportunities at UMass Lowell. I love this university and all these things I get to do.
Read More About Jenna Kapp 
Jane El Hachem
Jane El Hachem '22
Peace and Conflict Studies

Jane El Hachem, a former journalist from Lebanon, is earning a master’s degree in Peace and Conflict Studies. Her goal is to help with peace efforts in the Middle East.

One day, I want to contribute to the peace process in Libya, in Yemen and even in Lebanon, because there’s still conflict there.
Read More About Jane El Hachem 
Kripa Joseph, right, on stage with another female student.
Kripa Joseph '18, '19
Peace and Conflict Studies

Honors student Kripa Joseph is earning her B.A. and M.A. in Peace and Conflict Studies in four years, while minoring in music and pursuing internships that promote diversity and respect among cultures.

Theater and music are a great way to teach people empathy. You’re telling a story, and stories move people.
Read More About Kripa Joseph