New! Master of Arts in Peace and Conflict Studies

Beginning in Fall 2023, SPCS will offer a Master of Arts degree in Peace & Conflict Studies (MAPCS).  Students pursuing this degree will choose from concentrations in Applied Conflict Transformation (ACT), or Peace, Conflict, & Development (PCD). Students in the MAPCS program will examine the causes and consequences of violence, develop methods for preventing, resolving, and transforming conflicts; and analyze the values and institutions of peace. They will study relevant academic and policy literature, develop an advanced understanding of the field and the applied skills necessary to become effective practitioners.

All MAPCS students will take a common core of theory and praxis courses designed to help them develop a solid foundation upon which they can advance in their chosen concentration:

  • PACS 60000      Foundations of Conflict Analysis & Management
  • PACS 60001      Advanced Negotiation (praxis)
  • POL 60010        Qualitative Research Methods
  • PACS 60009      Leadership for Peaceful Change (praxis)

This core is complemented with one Common Elective, chosen from:

  • PACS 60020      Identity-Driven Conflicts
  • PACS 60021      Power, Conflict & the Politics of Gender
  • PACS 60022      Social Movements & Nonviolent Conflicts
  • PACS 60023      Peace Psychology
  • PACS 60024      Visual Methods for Peace & Change


Applied Conflict Transformation (ACT) Concentration

The Applied Conflict Transformation concentration focuses on the intellectual foundations and applied skills necessary to pursue careers embedded in the domestic dynamics of peace and conflict, including human relations, organizational conflict resolution, and group and community conflict transformation. ACT students take a common core of three courses, plus a choice of two more from courses offered by SPCS and other departments at KSU. The concentration core courses are:

  • PACS 60002      Advanced Mediation (praxis)
  • PACS 60003      Community-Based Conflict Transformation
  • PACS 60004      Organizational Conflict & Cooperation

This concentration core is complimented with 2 electives. ACT Concentration Specific Electives include:

  • PACS 60040      Facilitation & Training: Design & Practice (praxis)
  • PACS 60041      Peace Education
  • PACS 60042      Public Sector Conflict Transformation
  • POL 60106        Urban Policy & Politics
  • CRIM 57003      Restorative Justice & Victim Assistance
  • AFS 57100        Race, Gender & Social Justice
  • AFS 53100        Race, Class & Feminist Thought
  • AFS 57122        Seminar in Activism & Social Change* (taking all 3 AFS courses may qualify students for KSU’s graduate minor in Race, Gender & Social Justice)

Plans of Study for ACT Concentration (2 or 3 years)


Peace, Conflict & Development (PCD) Concentration

The Peace, Conflict & Development concentration explores the intersection between peace, conflict, and development in fragile or insecure states and societies around the world, particularly in the global south. It provides the intellectual foundations and applied skills necessary to pursue careers in international conflict prevention, sustainable development, peacebuilding, and good governance. PCD students take a common core of three courses, plus a choice of two more from courses offered by SPCS and other departments at KSU. The concentration core courses are:

  • PACS 60005      Peace, Conflict & Development
  • PACS 60006      Post-Conflict Peacebuilding
  • PACS 60007      The Praxis of Conflict-Sensitive Development

This concentration core is complimented with 2 electives. PCD Concentration Specific Electives include:

  • PACS 60070      Conflict Transformation & Reconciliation
  • PACS 60071      Society, Technology & Security
  • PACS 60072      Environmental Change & Conflict
  • POL 60502        Global Governance
  • POL 60510        Politics of Development
  • POL 60511        International Political Economy
  • GEOG 51077     Water and Society
  • GEOG 54010     Geographies of Global Development

Plans of Study for PCD concentration (2 or 3 years)


Culminating Experiences

The MAPCS has both a required integrative experience and a culminating experience. The integrative experience is encapsulated by the final praxis course, Leadership for Peaceful Change, which brings all the students together to share and profit from their individual experiences in internships, thesis research or the project course, to glean additional meanings from the same. Here students integrate theory and praxis, place themselves within the best practice debates in the field, and develop an advanced understanding of both the ethics of reflective practice and the strategies of networking and coalition building. The course culminates with two key elements. The first is a crisis simulation exercise where students integrate the knowledge and skills they have learned across the program and apply to them a concrete policy problem. Second, students will be expected to develop a career plan for entering and progressing in the profession. We plan to offer this course as a stand-alone online professional development course that can also be targeted at those already working in the field interested in additional training to inform their practice and advance their careers.

In addition, students will choose from one of three culminating experiences available.

  1. Thesis for 6 credit hours
  2. Intervention Design & Implementation or Internship for 6 credit hours
  3. An Internship for 3 credit hours with an extra elective for 3 credit hours

The internship and project course options are designed for those students who seek a more hands on and practical set of experiences with which to develop and integrate their classroom learning. The thesis is recommended for those students seeking to work either in the policy field or continuing to doctoral level work.

For more details about the individual courses, see SPCS Graduate-Level Course Descriptions


For more information about applying, see our Information for Applicants page or contact our graduate coordinator at