Despite great strides in science and technology, the modern world continues to be plagued by war and social conflicts. A growing number of institutions of higher education have come to the conclusion that just as we have service academies to educate young people in the ways of war, we need Peace Studies programs to train students how to work toward the peaceful solution of world problems. More than 200 university level Peace Studies programs have emerged across the United States. Chapman, at the forefront of this movement is among the relatively few universities to offer a full scale academic major in this new field. The Chapman Peace Studies Program is premised on the belief that peace implies more than just the absence of war. Positive peace involves social justice as well as non-violent conflict resolution. Peace is something which must be built, using methods which themselves are non-violent.
How Might a Student Use a Degree in Peace Studies?
Employment opportunities include public service with the government or multi-national institutions such as the United Nations. Specialization in conflict resolution can lead to opportunities in labor management relations or community relations. A wide variety of peace and social action organizations seek persons who are both committed to service and academically grounded in peace and social justice issues. Finally, many churches and religious organizations employ peacemakers.
Academic Program in Peace Studies
Since Peace Studies is an inherently interdisciplinary major, it is built around a core of five courses: Introduction to Peace Studies; Conflict Resolution; Political Economy; Nonviolent Social Change; and the Senior Seminar. These are supplemented with five additional courses offered in Peace Studies or related fields. Examples include: Peace and Conflict in the Middle East; Race and Change in the U.S. and South Africa; Vietnam: War, Peace & Legacy; International Law; International Organization and World Order; Gender Roles. Finally, the Peace Studies student takes a concentration in one department of four courses to provide expertise in an area appropriate to his or her career choice. Internships in Peace Studies are encouraged to permit students the possibility of gaining practical experience. Included among the offerings are occasional study tours to countries such as Mexico (Chiapas), Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Cuba, and South Africa. Peace Studies majors are strongly encouraged to study abroad; recent graduates have done so in Ghana, South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Costa Rica, England, Austria, Spain, Morocco, Northern Ireland, and Nicaragua.
The Model United Nations Program
A popular course among Peace Studies majors is Model United Nations (MUN). Annually, during the spring semester, Chapman sends a delegation to the National Model United Nations held in New York City.
Learn more about the Model United Nations Program