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


The vision of the School of Peace and Conflict Studies is to:

  • Be a leading international center for interdisciplinary applied research, practice, and experiential learning with a shared commitment to diveristy, inclusion, and peaceful change
  • Empower people with the knowledge, skills, and awareness to prevent, resolve and transform conflict and to build more just and sustainable peaceful communities and societies at local, national and international levels.




The mission of the School of Peace and Conflict Studies is to:

  • Embody and promote the School’s role as a “living memorial” to the four students killed at Kent State on May 4, 1970; and to honor their memory by always working for peaceful change
  • Produce rigorous multidisciplinary research that informs teaching and practice and is capable of shaping broad-based public and policy action for peaceful change
  • Develop in our students the critical and applied skills and knowledge necessary for them to achieve their full potential and to bring about positive peaceful change in the lives of others at personal, organizational, community, national, and global levels
  • Develop and promote innovative practices that produce tangible social impact



Latest Updates


Some PACS courses offered in Fall 2021 will be offered  on campus, while others are being offered online; the Schedule of Classes will identify whether there is an on-campus location or if the course if web-based.   Remote courses may be asynchronous, synchronous, or a combination of approaches.  Your instructor will notify you about the course format.  Our goal is to ensure that our students and faculty have the best experience in teaching and learning, while still being safe.  



During Fall 2021, advising for undergraduate and prospective undergraduate students is available via email, phone or online.  In person appointments may be scheduled if needed.

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 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.