Peace & Conflict Studies

Peace & Conflict Studies (PACS) introduces students to the study of peace, conflict, and world order from social, economic, political, historical, and ecological dimensions. Integral to the study is an analysis of the structures and processes of change. Students are encouraged to recognize the linkage between the academic study of peace and active participation in it.

Since the causes of conflict and the processes of peace are multifaceted and complex, students are expected to approach their study from the perspective of a number of disciplines. They must also define and develop a central theme or concentration to explore in depth.

Major Requirements
Lower Division: 

3 courses

  • PACS 10, Intro to Peace and Conflict Studies (You must earn a C or better. This course can only be repeated once)
  • Two additional lower-division social science courses selected from Appendix A in the PACS Handbook.
Foreign Language: 

All students must demonstrate a proficiency equivalent to four college-level semesters in any modern language other than English. Equivalency can be achieved through coursework, AP credit, examination and/or study abroad. For more information on how to complete the language requirement, please consult the PACS Handbook. Languages accepted by the College of Letters and Science are not automatically accepted by the PACS major. Please check with the department for eligible languages.

Upper Division: 

9 courses

  1. PACS 100: Peace Theory: Approaches and Analysis
  2. PACS 190: Senior Seminar (taken in senior year)
  3. Methodology: One course from those listed in Appendix B in the PACS Handbook
  4. Survey: Two courses chosen from two of six topics: Conflict Resolution, Culture and Identity, Global Governance, Human Rights, Human Security, and Nonviolence. See the PACS Handbook for course lists.
  5. Concentration: Four courses. In the Concentration, students pursue advanced study on a particular issue or topic in peace studies. Students may choose on of the six topics listed above (not already chosen for the two Survey requirements) as their Concentration. Or they may design their own Concentration topic in consultation with a PACS faculty advisor. See the PACS Handbook for more information.
How To Declare
Declaring: 

Applications are accepted during the fall and spring semesters from the third week of instruction until the last day of instruction (not the last day of finals). Applications are accepted during the summer from the last week in May until the beginning of the fall semester (not the beginning of classes).

To be eligible to declare students must:

  • be currently enrolled in or have completed PACS 10 with a grade of C or better (PACS 10 can be repeated only once in order to obtain a grade of C or better.);
  • have a major and cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher; and
  • not be in your final semester of undergraduate work.

Additionally, students are encouraged - but not required - to complete two semesters of college-level foreign language or the equivalent before applying to the major.

To get declared, students must both:

  • attend a Major Declaration Workshop (check the Teaching Program Calendar for dates) and
  • meet with an advisor to submit the PACS Application materials.

Bring a completed PACS Application including all materials and transcripts listed below to the Workshop. Application materials may be submitted after attending the Major Declaration Workshop. However, students will not be officially declared until they have both attended a Workshop and submitted all declaration papers.