Department of Peace and Conflict Studies

School of Health and Human Sciences

For information about the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies programs, please email or call 336.334.4781.

Mission and Values

“The PACS Department teaches, researches, and practices at all levels of human interaction which aims towards the understanding of conflict and the assistance of communities to realize the development of peace and justice. We do this through adherence to the following core virtues and values:

  • fostering interdisciplinary collaboration;
  • striving for positive peace;
  • maintaining patience in the long-term philosophy of conflict transformation;
  • building evidence-based skills in conflict management and resolution;
  • engaging actively in the community;
  • doggedly pursuing peace research and praxis;
  • maintaining critical pedagogy and scholarship;
  • empowering social and ecological sustainability, and;
  • honoring equity and justice.


The Peace and Conflict Studies programs are dedicated to knowledge development along with the provision of high-quality, professional training in conflict transformation, resolution management, and peace building.  These Programs focus on pragmatic approaches to solving problems in a variety of social settings, as well as providing the theoretical foundations for professional practice in the areas of human rights, social justice, restorative practice, and cultural awareness. Our students receive theoretical, hands on training, and skill building in their classes.

You will be exposed to a wide array of theoretical approaches, techniques, and strategies for nonviolent solutions to conflicts that arise in diverse personal, professional, organizational, and community environments. In addition, you will become well-versed in multiple conflict prevention and intervention skills; these include mediation, negotiation, conflict transformation, violence intervention, and collaborative problem solving.

Please see our Global Journal of Peace Research and Praxis for more information about us.

Master of Arts in Peace and Conflict Studies (33 semester hours, On-Line & On-campus)

The Master of Arts (MA) in Peace and Conflict Studies program was launched in 2004. The Master’s program promotes a systemic perspective to the challenges facing individuals, families, organizations, and communities.

With an interdisciplinary sensibility and a commitment to individual, cultural, and social integrity, we train professionals to employ collaborative and equitable methods for resolving human problems.

Our goal is to mold reflective conflict practitioners – professionals with a critical understanding of theory and method and who operate within an overarching framework of diversity, human rights, social justice, and responsibility.

You are encouraged to explore a range of professional applications of your practice skills, as you are closely mentored and supported by the faculty in the newly created professional seminar series offered throughout your first year of study. The program is built on a comprehensive integrated core curriculum, varied electives, and flexible time schedules allowing students of all ages and needs to participate in the learning process.

The PACS MA Online Program offers courses during 7.5-week semesters using an asynchronous instructional format.

The Post Baccalaureate Certificate Programs (12 semester hours, On-Line & On-campus)

The Certificate programs prepare our students for the changing nature of professions, businesses, and community services. The Certificate program is beneficial for those who have already received a graduate degree, but would like to specialize in conflict resolution as a new area of focus. It is also appropriate for those who possess an undergraduate degree and are seeking to obtain fundamental knowledge of the conflict resolution field of study or for professionals who have already earned a graduate degree in their professional field, but who would benefit from academic study of applications of conflict resolution in their current profession.

Any earned credits in this certificate program can be counted toward the MA in Peace and Conflict Studies, if the student applies for and is accepted to the master’s program at a later date. This is why the admissions criteria are the same for both programs.

Bachelor of Arts in Peace and Conflict Studies (122 semester hours, On-Line & On-campus)

In Fall 2013, the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS) began accepting students into its Peace and Conflict Studies BA Program.  The Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Peace and Conflict Studies Programs takes a dynamic and interdisciplinary approach to the study of peace and the practice of conflict management, resolution, and transformation. Undergraduates in this field of study will gain an understanding of peace science and peace scholarship while actively engaged in their communities proactively transforming conflict.
Most courses are open to major and non-majors. The PACS BA Online Program offers courses during 15-week semesters using an asynchronous instructional format.

Minor in Peace and Conflict Studies  (15 semester hours, On-Line & On-campus)

Students, in consultation with a Peace and Conflict Studies adviser, plan a minor that fits their professional and educational goals.