The School of Peace and Conflict Studies evolved from the Center for Peaceful Change, which was established in 1971 as a “living memorial” to the students killed by the Ohio National Guard during a student protest against the Vietnam War on May 4, 1970.  

The Center was created to be interdisciplinary in nature, and to do teaching, research and public service relative to peaceful change, with a teaching focus on learning from experience. In 1994, the name of the Center was changed to the Center for Applied Conflict Management, with a continued emphasis on interdisciplinary learning and applied skills. In 2017 the Center was transformed into the School of Peace and Conflict Studies. Today the School builds upon the legacy of its predecessors, regularly enrolling more than 1,000 students each year in courses that teach applied skills in conflict management and nonviolent change.

Our Commitment


  • We, the Faculty and Staff of the School of Peace and Conflict Studies, express our solidarity with the families, loved ones and communities of all the victims of police brutality and racist violence including, but by no means limited to, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Trayvon Martin and Tamir Rice; with all members of the Black community who have suffered centuries of racism; and with the protestors in the US and abroad who are taking a stand against the varied forms of direct, structural and cultural violence that stems from systemic racism.

  • We recognize and condemn the fact that Black Americans experience racism in all aspects of life: in the criminal justice system, education, healthcare, the job market, the institutions of government, in representation in popular culture and in the silencing of the histories and contemporary lived experiences of the Black community. We believe addressing racism in America will require reform across all areas of life.

  • As a school originally created as a living memorial to the students killed and wounded on May 4, 1970 while protesting for peace, we reaffirm the right to protest, oppose efforts to deny this right to citizens, condemn the excessive use of police force against protestors and call for an end to the militarization of policing that facilitates the state-sponsored use of force against citizens.


  • As a School of Peace and Conflict Studies we are committed to empowering people to build more just and sustainable peaceful communities, to equality and inclusion and to respect for the diversity of identity, culture, belief and thought. Central to this is a commitment to overcome the historical, structural, and cultural roots of racial discrimination and to advance the cause of racial justice.  Nevertheless, we recognize that this moment requires us to consider how our own organization can and must do more to promote racial justice. We also recognize that white privilege is embedded within higher education and that our Black students and colleagues are disproportionately impacted.  

  • We therefore renew our commitment to learning from people taking courageous actions for racial justice, working with students, communities, and other partners in solidarity, and striving to realize long-term systemic change that promotes the human rights and dignity of all citizens. More specifically, we will redouble our existing efforts to promote dialogue amongst activists and community groups on questions of race and identity in the region. We also reaffirm our commitment to promoting and practicing diversity in our recruitment practices; to decolonizing the curriculum of peace and conflict studies; to reflecting the diversity of the world in all aspects of our teaching, research and practice; and above all, to empowering people with the knowledge, skills, and awareness to prevent, resolve and transform all forms of conflict, including those rooted in the legacies and contemporary forms of systemic and institutionalized racism.

Latest Updates


Although our offices are currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, advising for undergraduate and prospective undergraduate students is available via email, phone or online.

For advising related to Peace and Conflict Studies coursework or questions about the PACS major or minor, please contact Karen Cunningham at

For advising related to college requirements (non-PACS courses), schedule an appointment for email or phone advising with the  College of Arts & Sciences Advising office.  The College of A&S also has information about applying for graduation.




Kent State University's Center for Applied Conflict Management (CACM) became the School of Peace and Conflict Studies within the College of Arts and Sciences effective August 2017.  

The Center for Applied Conflict Management (originally called the Center for Peaceful Change) was established in 1971 as a “living memorial” to the students killed by the Ohio National Guard during a student protest against the Vietnam War on May 4, 1970.

  • The School's undergraduate degree program, established in 1973, is one of the oldest -- and currently one of the largest -- peace and conflict studies programs in the country. Our popular "Introduction to Conflict Management" class is open to all majors, and satisfies Kent CORE and diversity requirements. 

  • The Conflict Analysis and Management track in the Political Science doctoral and master's degree programs is attracting graduate students from all over the world.  Students interested in a broader, interdisciplinary masters degree can study can study with SPCS faculty through Kent State’s Master in Liberal Studies program.

  • Our alumni are employed in a variety of fields which include business, finance, social services, nonprofit management, government, human resources, education and training, law, mediation, community organizing and activism.

  • We love to share stories about our students and alumni — news about awards, new jobs, special events, latest activities and interesting stories can be found here. If you have a story to share, please let us know!

Our Alumni Share Their Stories 


Did You Know? 

Contact Us

Phone: 330-672-3143
Fax: 330-672-0668

Need help resolving conflict? 
Find Conflict Resolution Services on campus.

The SPCS Listserv sends out periodic emails about jobs, internships, news and events related to conflict management and social change. Sign up to join the listerv.