BA in Peace Studies

A student writing on a notebook in a classroom

Peace studies majors complete 30 credits in required work, including a capstone project, which provides an opportunity to gain real-world experience and delve into a specific focus within peace studies. Students choose a concentration from one of three areas: Philosophical and Religious Approaches to Peace; International Peace and Conflict; and Social, Economic and Environmental Justice.

Elective courses include Philosophy of Human Rights, The Arab-Israeli Conflict, Economics of Crime, Environmental Quality and Management, War Crimes Trials and many more.


Curriculum Details 



In addition to core peace studies coursework, students in the major must pass (C- or higher) courses from each of the three focus areas:

  • Philosophical and Religious Approaches to Peace
  • International Peace and Conflict
  • Social, Economic and Environmental Justice


Language Requirement

Students in the major must complete a foreign language requirement, which may be fulfilled in one of three ways:

  1. Twelve credits in a modern foreign language
  2. Placement into the third year of a modern foreign language by examination
  3. Six credits in two modern foreign languages (for a total of 12 credits)


Students interested in earning special honors in peace studies to be noted on their transcript must:

"Because of the interdisciplinary structure of the major, I can thoroughly explore diverse subjects and gain a deeper appreciation of peace as an idea and a reality. I am constantly challenging my own opinions. I have the flexibility to study abroad. And there are so many internship opportunities in D.C. that affirm the importance of a peace studies major in the career field."

Carmella Saia
BA '22

Course Requirements

The following requirements must be fulfilled:

The general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Undergraduate Programs.

Program-specific curriculum (below)

Two years of a single foreign language, or placement into the third year of a foreign language by examination, or one year each of two modern foreign languages*.

The following two courses (6 credits):
PSTD 1010Introduction to Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution
PSTD 3190Capstone Seminar (Offered only in the fall semester)
Eight courses (24 credits selected from the following categories as indicated:
Philosophical and religious approaches to peace: two courses (6 credits)
PHIL 2132Social and Political Philosophy
or PHIL 2132W Social and Political Philosophy
PHIL 2133Philosophy and Nonviolence
PHIL 2134Philosophy of Human Rights
REL 2921The Religions Wage Peace
REL 2922Ethics and World Religions
REL 3923Violence and Peace in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
REL 3931Interfaith Dialogue in World Religions
REL 3990Selected Topics in Religion
PSTD 3099Variable Topics
PSTD 3191Special Topics Peace Studies
PSTD 3999Independent Study
International peace and conflict: three courses (9 credits)
ANTH 3506Politics, Ethnicity, and Nationalism
COMM 3174Intercultural Communication
GEOG 2120World Regional Geography
GEOG 2147Military Geography
GER 3185Literary Voices and the Fascist Experience—in English
HIST 2340U.S. Diplomatic History
HIST 3033War and the Military in American Society from the Revolution to the Gulf War
HIST 3035The United States and the Wars in Indochina, 1945–1975
HIST 3045International History of the Cold War
HIST 3046The Cold War in the Third World
HIST 3061The Holocaust
HIST 3062War Crimes Trials
HIST 3332History of American Foreign Policy Since World War II (Part 1)
HIST 3333History of American Foreign Policy Since World War II (Part 2)
HIST 3334The Nuclear Arms Race
PSC 2334Global Perspectives on Democracy
PSC 2336State–Society Relations in the Developing World
PSC 2338Nationalism
PSC 2440Theories of International Politics
PSC 2442International Organizations
or PSC 2442W International Organizations
PSC 2444Public International Law
PSC 2446U.S. Foreign Policy
PSC 2449International Security Politics
or PSC 2449W International Security Politics
PSC 2451Theory of War
or PSC 2451W Theory of War
PSC 2476The Arab-Israeli Conflict
Social, economic, and environmental justice: three courses (9 credits)
ANTH 3513Anthropology of Human Rights
or ANTH 3513W Anthropology of Human Rights
ECON 2136Environmental and Natural Resource Economics
ECON 2151Economic Development
or ECON 2151W Economic Development
ECON 2167Economics of Crime
ECON 3161Public Finance: Expenditure Programs
GEOG 2133People, Land, and Food
GEOG 2134Energy Resources
GEOG 2136Water Resources
GEOG 2148Economic Geography
GEOG 3132Environmental Quality and Management
GEOG 3143Urban Sustainability
or GEOG 3143W Urban Sustainability
GEOL 3131Global Climate Change
PHIL 2124Philosophies of Disability
or PHIL 2124W Philosophies of Disability
PHIL 2125Philosophy of Race and Gender
or PHIL 2125W Philosophy of Race and Gender
PHIL 2135Ethics in Business and the Professions
PHIL 2281Philosophy of the Environment
PSC 2221African American Politics
PSC 2225Women and Politics
PSC 2240Poverty, Welfare, and Work
PSC 2337Development Politics
PSC 2367Human Rights
or PSC 2367W Human Rights
PSYC 3125Cross-Cultural Psychology
PSYC 3126Multicultural Psychology
or PSYC 3126W Multicultural Psychology
PSYC 3173Community Psychology
PUBH 2114Environment, Health, and Development
PUBH 2115Health, Human Rights, and Displaced Persons
PUBH 3132Health and Environment
PUBH 3133Global Health and Development
PUBH 3150Sustainable Energy and Environmental Health
SMPA 3460Race, Media, and Politics
SMPA 3471Media in the Developing World
SMPA 3472Media and Foreign Policy
SOC 2170Class and Inequality in American Society
or SOC 2170W Class and Inequality in American Society
SOC 2173Social Movements
SOC 2175Sociology of Sex and Gender
SOC 2177Sociology of the Sex Industry
SOC 2179Race and Minority Relations
SOC 2184Violence and the Family
Special topics courses may count toward the major with the approval of the program director.

*Students are encouraged to study abroad.