Peace Education and Peace Studies

Minor in Peace and Justice Studies (PJS)



Peace Studies is an interdisciplinary field of study and learning process designed to develop the capacity of global citizens to critically understand and transform all forms of violence and the patterns of thought that justify and support them in order to contribute to the creation of a more just and peaceful world through processes of peace building.  Peace building is based upon transformative change processes that address the underlying root causes of violence and conflict.  Violence is the core problematic that the field addresses, and it is broadly defined in terms of the conceptions of direct violence, structural violence, and cultural violence.  Global goals of peace building can be, for example, conflict resolution in war zones, improving mothers’ health, decreasing illiteracy, providing education for all, safeguarding sustainability, and celebrating diversity.  This understanding provides a powerful complementary perspective to any major field of study. 

Peace studies scholarship supports students in the development of fundamental knowledge and awareness of:

  • the philosophical and psychological underpinnings of peace, violence, conflict, and cooperation;
  • histories and evolutions of peace, war, and peace movements;
  • varying forms of violence and how they are sustained, maintained, deconstructed and transformed;
  • the systemic and pervasive dynamics of the crosscutting issues of militarism and patriarchy;
  • systems awareness, holism & interdependence;
  • intra/intergroup dynamics and power dynamics; and structures of oppression and systems and theories of justice; and
  • diversity as a multi-faceted issue of democracy and peace building

The practical dimension of peace studies prepares students in:

  • methods of envisioning alternative futures;
  • practices of designing alternative institutions;
  • development of educational interventions and materials;
  • dynamic and democratic political processes essential for engaging with differences and working toward common goals and purposes;
  • experiences in practices of change and transformation (including conflict transformation, restorative justice, peace pedagogies, political processes of dialogue and deliberation);
  • use of and collaboration with news media and other organizations;
  • and personal and social modes of moral / ethical reflection.

Peace studies also prepares students to address critical issues of the 21st century, requiring students to develop knowledge and awareness and develop new practices and skills to address: 

  • the economics of peace and theories of sustainable development;
  • ethnicity, age, religion, gender, and sexual orientation as cross-cutting issues;
  • environmental justice and sustainability – climate change as a threat to all life; 
  • race and class in the 21st century: revisiting moral exclusion and inclusion; terrorism, the international system and transnational justice;
  • and transformative pedagogies for personal, social, cultural and political change and transformation.

The 18-credit minor includes:

  • 4 core courses (12 credits)
  • 2 elective courses (6 credits) 

Core Courses

PJS 1000      Introduction to Peace Studies: From Paradigms of Violence to Paradigms for Peace 
This survey course provides an overview to fundamental peace knowledge: theories of peace, ethics, violence, conflict and change in the context of historical and 21st century issues and events.

PJS 2000      Nonviolence and Conflict Transformation: Theory and Practice
This course provides an overview of theories and principles of nonviolence, ethics of conflict, and conflict transformation; it engages students in the application of practical methods and skills of peace building through the lenses of these theories and principles.  

PJS 2500      Peace Education: Facilitating Learning for Change in Schools and Beyond
The purpose of this course is to introduce the basic concepts, theories, and approaches to peace education.  The course explores the theories of peace education, including pedagogical approaches to peace learning for formal, informal, and non-formal learning settings.  The course also introduces the substantive areas of peace education.

PJS 3000      Peace Lab: 21st Century Issues and Practices in Peace & Justice
Peace Lab is an experiential, issue-focused laboratory that introduces students to practical skills of research, design and project implementation for applied peacebuilding in a variety of settings. 

Elective Courses

Two elective courses will be selected from those designated in the list below.  Other courses can be taken as well with the approval of the Peace Studies Program Coordinator.


  • ARTH XXXX Arts Diplomacy  (XXXX denotes in the approval process)
  • ARTH 2700 Women Artists in History
  • ARTH 3750 Art and Disease
  • ARTH XXXX Reflective Looking
  • ARTH XXXX Visual Construction of Gender
  • ARTH XXXX The Art of Progress
  • ARTH 3750 Art and Disease
  • ARTH 4000 NM Imaging: Social Documentary Photography


  • COMM 2000 Mass Communication And Society
  • COMM 2050 Media and Society
  • COMM 2870 Communication Theory
  • COMM 2890 - Crisis & Conflict in Organizations
  • COMM 3180 - Mass Communication Law
  • COMM 3500 - Social Media II
  • COMM 3820 - Persuasion Theory
  • COMM 4090 - Mass Communication Ethics
  • COMM 4250 - Mass Communication History
  • COMM 4830 - Gender, Culture & Communication

Disability Studies

  • DST 2020 Introduction to Disability Studies
  • DST 3030 Disability Culture
  • DST 4400 Gender and Disability
  • DST 4XXX Disability in American Literature (at the end of the approval process)
  • DST 4640 Disability, Law, and Human Rights
  • DST 4980 Special Topics in DST


  • ECON 1010 Introduction to Economic Issues
  • ECON 1150 Principles of Macroeconomics
  • ECON 1200 Principles of Microeconomics
  • ECON 2400 The American Economy in the Twentieth Century
  • ECON 3410 World Economic History
  • ECON 3240 Environmental Economics
  • ECON 3270 Economics of Natural Resources

Environmental Studies

  • EEES 1010 Physical Geology
  • EEES 1020 Introductory Geology Lab
  • EEES 1150 Marine Biology
  • EEES 1170 Microbes and Society
  • EEES 2010 Intro Environ Studies
  • EEES 2200 Climate Change
  • EEES 2150 Biodiversity
  • EEES 2400 Oceanography and Water Resources
  • EEES 3050 General EcologyEEES 4750 Conservation Biology

Legal Specialties

  • LGL 1010      Introduction to Law
  • LGL 1160      Legal Research and Writing
  • LGL 2020      Civil Procedure
  • LGL 4030      Contract Law
  • LGL 4330      Mediation:  Topics and Techniques


  • PHIL 1020 - Critical Thinking
  • PHIL 2190 - Life, Nature, Technology
  • PHIL 2400 - Contemporary Moral Problems
  • PHIL 3180 - Environmental Ethics
  • PHIL 3540 - Feminism And Philosophy
  • PHIL 3710 - Philosophy Of Law
  • PHIL 3750 - Social And Political Philosophy
  • PHIL 4400 - Ethics SeminarPHIL 4750 - Political Philosophy Seminar

Religious Studies

  • REL 1220 - World Religions
  • REL 2000 - Introduction To Religion
  • REL 2300 - Understanding The Monotheistic Religions
  • REL 3100 – Islam
  • REL 3420 - Christian Ethical Perspectives
  • REL 3500 - Eastern Thought
  • REL 3570 - Philosophy Of Religion
  • REL 3580 - Contemporary Issues In Islam
  • REL 3980 - Special Topics In Religious Studies
  • REL 3900 - Seminar-Contemporary Religious Thought


  • SOC 2640     Race, Class, and Gender
  • SOC 3640     Social Inequality
  • SOC 4040     Classical Theory
  • SOC 4100     Community Organizing and Development
  • SOC 4170     Law and Society
  • ANTH 3330   Food, Health, and Society
  • ANTH 4450   Exploring the City
  • ANTH 4760   Culture and Health Care

Women and Gender Studies


  • EDP 3200  Applied Psychology for Teachers
  • EDP 3210  Child Development for Early Childhood
  • EDP 3290  Lifespan Development 
  • EDP 4220  Adolescent Behavior and Development
  • RESM 4100  Educational Statistics
  • SPED 2040  Perspectives in the Field of Exceptionalities
  • TSOC 3000  Schooling and Democratic Society
  • TSOC 3540  Education and the Construction of Societies


  • MGMT 3630  Conflict Management: Mediation and Negotiations


  • COCA2000  Mindfulness & Creativity







Last Updated: 6/27/22