About the International Peace & Conflict Resolution Master’s Degree Program
Students in the graduate program in International Peace and Conflict Resolution pursue a Master’s degree that includes one-year of intensive academic training as well as one-year of study abroad and internship experience. In their first year of study, students complete the core curriculum, which includes courses in theories of peace and conflict resolution and research methods, as well as elective courses on Non-Governmental Organizations, International Organizations, International Law, Health and Human Rights, Development, Mediation, and Peace Education.
In their second year, students choose a semester-long study abroad program that complements the academic training they receive at Arcadia and provides them with the opportunity to specialize in a specific field of study.
Students also complete an internship directly related to their academic and professional interests. Internships allow students to develop critical professional skills and contacts and enable students to successfully transition to the professional world upon graduation. Upon graduation, our students have been successful in securing employment at the American Friends Services Committee, the International Rescue Committee, the Nationalities Service Center of Philadelphia, Project Hope, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), United Nations Association and the World Affairs Council among others. Others continue to pursue their graduate studies and many have successfully completed PhDs in International Relations and Political Science.
The IPCR program is structured to develop competencies in:
- Theories and dynamics of conflict, conflict resolution, post-conflict reconstruction & development, international law & organizations.
- Tools and techniques of conflict management, conflict resolution and conflict transformation.
- Conflict analysis, which involves developing an understanding of how states and other third parties impact conflict.
- The methods used to diffuse conflict on a variety of levels— interpersonal, groups and institutions.
- Interdisciplinary perspectives on the field of peace and conflict resolution.
- Critical thinking skills and research methods, which span the spectrum of qualitative and quantitative methods.
- Cultural sensitivity and inter-cultural understandings through international and field experiences.
- Oral presentation and communication skills.
Students can complete specialized courses in areas of a student’s choosing, including international law, sustainable development, mediation, public health, human rights, and peace education.
Arcadia’s IPCR program is one of the few graduate programs in the field of conflict resolution with a built-in overseas component—one that is founded in Arcadia’s long tradition of University-based international programs. During the first year of the program, IPCR students have the option of participating in a weeklong intensive field study in Northern Ireland.
Also in the first year, students may take Interdepartmental (ID) courses that explore topics relevant to IPCR and include short-term field study. ID courses vary from year to year and depend on student interest and faculty availability. Past field study courses have traveled to Ukraine, Rwanda, Costa Rica, Kosovo and Cyprus. ID courses count as electives only, not for study abroad credit.
Students are required to study abroad for an extended period, usually one semester, during their second year. Sites available for study abroad in the program include but are not limited to the following:
- The Nyerere Centre for Peace Research, operated by Arcadia and the East African Community in Arusha, Tanzania
- The American Graduate School of International Relations and Diplomacy, Arcadia’s affiliated program in Paris, France
- The United Nations University for Peace in San Jose, Costa Rica
- The M.A. program in Ethnic Conflict at Queens University in Belfast, Northern Ireland
- The M.A. program in Peace and Development Studies at the University of Jaume I in Castellon, Spain
The second year of study and fieldwork experience abroad may be individually designed to reflect the IPCR student’s specific area of interest. With the permission of the program director, M.A. candidates also have the option to fulfill second-year study and fieldwork credits within the United States.