M.A. Program Responds to Changing World

Author: Joan Fallon

The Kroc Institute has revised its master’s curriculum to bolster its strength in preparing students for positions of professional leadership and high-impact careers in peace and justice. The changes are designed to ensure that Kroc master’s students are both broadly educated in the fundamentals of peace studies and trained in one specialty area of professional peacebuilding.

Beginning in fall 2010, all master’s students will take two new foundational courses that immerse them in the history, concepts, and methodology of the field of peace studies.

In addition, each student will choose one of three professional tracks:   

  • conflict analysis and transformation (for students who aim to be on-the-ground peacebuilders);
  • organizational leadership and management (for students who will pursue positions in nongovernmental organizations focused on peace and justice);
  • policy analysis and political change (for students who intend to build peace through work in government, international organizations, or advocacy).  

In light of these changes, Kroc’s admissions process will give high priority to prospective students who, along with outstanding academic credentials, have peace-related work experience. By focusing on educating emerging peacebuilders who have already worked in conflict zones around the world, the master’s program will leverage students’ skills and knowledge and take them to a new level in their careers. 

The changes to the master’s program come at a time when the world urgently needs highly skilled peacebuilders who can hit the ground running, said Scott Appleby, director of the Kroc Institute.

“This is a time of change and crisis in global affairs,” he said. “Kroc has responded by expanding its multidisciplinary peace studies faculty – now 24 members strong and still growing – who are able to create and teach a number of relevant new courses and to mentor students as they prepare for a lifetime of work in peace and justice.”  

The program’s sharper focus on preparing professional peacebuilders, Appleby said, also balances and complements Kroc’s new Ph.D. program, which trains young scholars in peace research and history, political science, sociology, and psychology. 

Kroc’s master’s program accepts up to 20 students from around the world each year. Upon graduation, the majority of these students return to their home countries to work in organizations that promote peace, justice, and human rights. Current students in the program are from Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Germany, Indonesia, India, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Republic of Macedonia, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, and the United States. 

(The changes do not affect students currently in the master's program.)  

Contact: Joan Fallon,(574) 631-8819, jfallon2@nd.edu