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About Peace and Conflict Studies

Conflict is part of our shared human experience, and commonly exists within our own minds, as well as in our families, institutions, and local and global communities. The Peace and Conflict Studies program helps students develop the knowledge, skills, and values that empower them to resolve conflict peacefully.

The Peace and Conflict Studies (P&CS) Program is an interdisciplinary program that deals with conflicts ranging from the interpersonal to the global level. The program enables students to understand the dynamics of peace and conflict and to contribute to the creation of more just and peaceable conditions in the home, the work place, and the world. Students choose from an interdisciplinary menu of courses that explore such topics as conflict theory, war and terrorism, just war theory, the history of peace efforts and non-violent social movements, community-based conflict management and resolution, and human rights. Students also take practical courses that challenge them to develop greater self-awareness, communication skills, and dialogue facilitation skills.

The P&CS program encourages students to study peace and conflict both within the self and between people. Students in the major take practicum classes, at local and/or international locations, in which they can have direct experience studying conflict and peace-making efforts. For example, a local project might include work with Utah American Indians, immigrants in Salt Lake City, or refugee populations on the Wasatch Front, whereas international projects might involve visits to Northern Ireland, the Middle East, or South Africa where peace-making efforts are ongoing.

Peace and Conflict Studies offers both a major and a minor in the program.

Across these programs, students will:

Analyze the etiology (origins) and current dynamics of peace and conflict issues from multiple disciplinary perspectives, including those of anthropology, communication, economics, history, philosophy, literature (English), political science, psychology, social work, sociology, and theatre.

Suggest creative approaches and interventions to contemporary peace and conflict issues. For example, students will be encouraged to make connections between the processes used at the interpersonal, group and community levels to discuss, debate, and resolve issues and the types of issues faced at broader levels of society.

Synthesize the approaches to peace and conflict studies that are presented in different disciplines. Ultimately, students are encouraged to formulate personal approaches to dealing with peace and conflict, bringing together their scholarly investigations, discussions with peers, and practical experiences (for example, in community-based or international internships).

Participate in a variety of campus and community fora.
The undergraduate program is closely connected to the Barbara L. and Norman C. Tanner Center for Nonviolent Human Rights Advocacy in collaboration with the College of Humanities.

The P&CS major is a potential springboard to a variety of professions; the minor can be used to complement and support studies in a variety of majors and minors, including other interdisciplinary programs in:


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Last Updated: 1/30/23