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Program Requirements

  • Minimum GPA for Admissions: 2.5
  • Cumulative Minimum GPA in Certificate Coursework for Graduation: 2.5
  • Cumulative Number of Required Credits: 21
  • Courses may not be taken on a pass/fail basis except for those courses which are only taught pass/fail.

Lower Division Courses

Students must complete one course (3 credits) at the 1000- or 2000-level from the following list of courses: 

POLS 2400 Geopolitics [I] – This course tackles topics such as foreign policy, nationalism, terrorism, borders and networks, and great power competition.

POLS 2500 International Studies [I] – In this course students study the role of states and non-governmental organizations (such as the United Nations), development and gender, human rights, social movements, just war, and types of peace and conflict.

SOC 2650 Globalization and International Development [I] – This course provides an overview of a global approach to many social issues that are foundational for working toward global peacebuilding. Including both theoretical perspectives and real world examples, the course addresses issues such as global inequality, development, climate change, migration, and war/conflict and peace.

RELS 1070 Religion, Violence, and Peace (BHU) [I] – Is religion inherently violent? Or is peace the essence of “true” religion? This course explores the ways in which various religious traditions have contributed to both violent conflict and peacebuilding in historical and contemporary societies around the world.

HIST 1510 Modern World (BHU) [I] – This course engages students with major themes in the creation of the modern world, including conflict, peace and reconciliation, environmental change, and social movements.

Area Requirements

Students must complete two upper-division courses from each of the three areas (A, B and C) below for a total of 18 credits.

Area A: Global Conflict

HIST 3340 The Holocaust in History and Memory (DHA) [A] This course examines the historical precedents and context for the period now known as the Holocaust. Students will look at the history and meaning of anti-Semitism, racism, genocide, and war in twentieth-century Europe and investigate how it was possible for groups of people to be targeted for deliberate destruction.

HIST 3550 War in the Age of Cinema [A] – This new course examines the impact of the war film as it emerged with rise of modern conflict in the early twentieth century. The course will use key historical (contemporaneous) and retrospective films about modern war to explore film, history, and the nature of war itself.

HIST 4815 World War I: A Global Conflict (DHA) [A] – This course examines the global rupture created by the First World War with a focus on the transnational experiences of ordinary people caught up in conflict and their efforts at making peace

HIST 4820 World War II in Europe [A] – The Second World War unleashed unprecedented misery upon European populations, both through deliberate genocide and targeting of civil populations and via mechanized, modern warfare.

HIST 6660 Total War, Modern War [A] – What is a total war? Is this a useful term? In this graduate-level class, we will address these questions by examining scholarship on the major twentieth-century wars and their legacies in comparative, global, and especially imperial contexts.

POLS 4220 Ethnic Conflict and Cooperation [A] – Despite what you may see on the news, the modal outcome in human history is peace and cooperation among ethnic groups. So how does group identity relate to peace and conflict? This course will investigate why people belong to identity-based groups, why those groups become the basis for political loyalty, how ethnic differences lead to conflict, and how identity-based conflict can be prevented and resolved.

POLS 4464 International Security [A] – Why do governments settle their disagreements peacefully most of the time, yet other disagreements escalate to armed violence? Shouldn’t rational opponents reach peaceful settlements without the cost of blood and treasure? Understanding the reasons for violence allows us to discern conditions for lasting peace. In addition to studying how states avoid wars (negative peace), this course also focuses on the determinants of the depth of interstate cooperation (positive peace).

Area B: Peace and Human Rights

HIST 4540 International Women’s Movements [B] – This class focuses on gender, violence, and nonviolence, examining global projects and tactics employed therein that struggle to promote human rights, peace, and intersectional social justice that center around gender.

HIST 4540 International Women’s Movements [B] – This examines global projects for suffrage, anti-slavery, peace, and human rights. [note that we will be renaming this later this year!]

LING 2100 Languages in Society (BSS) [B] – This course focuses on the role of language as it relates to power in society. Students examine the effects of linguistic prejudice at the local, national, and global level.

LING 2500 Language & Religion [B] – This course focuses on sociolinguistic aspects of religious practices around the world. Students examine topics related to the use of language in ritual and liturgy, the translation of key religious terms, the learning of special languages for religious purposes, and the linguistic characteristics of the experience of religious minorities.

POLS 4210 European Union Politics [B] – This class addresses the institutions of the European Union, its policymaking processes, as well as political conflict in and about the EU. Students will consider questions such as, how has Europe combined high economic output with a mostly low military profile? How has the Union helped transform a perpetual zone of (potential) conflict into a stable security community?

POLS 4500 The Politics of Social Movements (DSS) [B] – This class introduces students to the study of social movements through concrete examples as well as broader theoretical perspectives. When do movements successfully mobilize? Why do movements rely on different tactics? Are peaceful tactics successful in achieving social change? How do social movements interact with established political actors like governments and political parties?

Area C: Peacebuilding Skills and Career Development

CHSS 4250 Advanced Internship/Co-op[C] - Internship or cooperative education position of a more professional level, with increased complexity, approved by the college.
CHSS 5250 Interdisciplinary Workshop [C] - Check with major department for limitations on number of credits that can be counted for graduation.


POLS 3400 United States Foreign Policy – This course provides an introduction to the study of U.S. foreign policy. Topics to be addressed include the role of power, interests, and norms within the international system; the role of interest groups, public opinion, and the news media in shaping foreign policy; changing beliefs and ideas regarding the United States and its place in the world; the U.S. role in forming and managing international institutions; and current debates regarding the future of American policy.

POLS 3230 Middle East Politics and Government – This course provides and overview of the politics of contemporary Middle East (1917-present). It examines prominent explanations for the supposed democratic deficit in the Middle East and explores the ways that a variety of factors—including foreign intervention, persistent authoritarianism, oil, and religion—have affected domestic politics in Middle Eastern countries.