Conflict is ubiquitous in human societies. Understandably, the study of conflict has become a major field of study both on and off the Boulder campus. The Certificate in Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS) is designed to help students explore why conflict and violence occur and to learn how conflict can be managed and transformed to accomplish constructive ends. The certificate is granted by the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, but any student at the University of Colorado may earn it.
The program has three specific educational objectives: 1) to prepare students to contribute to the creation of just, equitable and peaceful conditions in the world through understanding the complex dynamics of peace and conflict at interpersonal, organizational, societal and global levels of human interaction; 2) to provide students with analytical skills and expression competencies for pursuing careers in human rights, conflict resolution, peacerelated endeavors and more generally, in responsible undertakings in a wide range of professional settings; and 3) to provide an appropriate academic background for students interested in advanced study in peace and conflict or related fields.
The program takes an interdisciplinary perspective to the study of conflict, cooperation, war and peace. Course work from various departments focuses on personal and social change, intra and international conflicts, processes of conflict resolution, creative nonviolent activism and the analysis of violence of various forms. The program encourages handson, “in the field” learning of peace and conflict issues through volunteer and internship placements with a wide variety of peace, justice and development agencies. The integration of personal, professional and political aspects of life is pursued through a commitment to positive relations with others and the environment and a thoughtful exploration of values. Students are encouraged to explore different cultures and consider race, ethnicity, gender and class structure in relation to conflict.
PACS students participate in related programs on campus and beyond through study abroad and internships. Upon graduation, their career paths may lead them to graduate study and a growing number of organizations working to moderate conflict and build peace and justice at all levels of national and global society.