Students enrolled in Peace Studies' courses examine the concept of peace by reading, discussing and analyzing the work of major historical, literary, philosophical, political and religious thinkers and groups. They think critically and profoundly about the nature of peace and read literature from diverse cultures and regions of the world. And they learn to apply that knowledge to a wide variety of contexts, ranging from the hyperlocal to the global.
The program offers a Bachelor of Arts and a minor, offering many opportunities for combining peace studies with another field. Some students cross-major or minor in the Religion Department, which houses the Peace Studies Program. In addition to traditional coursework, students delve into topics in conflict and resolution through capstone projects, apply their knowledge in immersive study abroad programs and present their research at national conferences.
The Capstone Seminar course represents a culmination of the intellectual work of students in the Peace Studies program and an opportunity for each student to further develop their research skills and to produce a piece of writing that showcases their knowledge and abilities.
The seminar group meets once per week, to discuss the research and writing process; to learn new methods and techniques of research; to provide mutual feedback on each student's progress throughout the semester; and to discuss the many, diverse paths and strategies for professional development in the field of peace-building and conflict resolution. Students will also receive robust individualized attention and feedback throughout the semester.
In concrete terms, the goal of the course is for each student to produce a professionally researched and well-written essay of approximately 25 pages in length, which can then be used as an effective component in graduate school and/or job applications.
"The Peace Studies Program at GW showed me how to look at our world with new eyes. I collaborated with peers of different faiths, backgrounds and cultures who have changed my perceptions and encouraged me to see the world from different points of view. This major has been foundational to who I am, and who I want to be."
BA '20, Peace Studies and Communication