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About the Course

PACS 2500 is a survey course that introduces students to the central issues and concepts associated with the interdisciplinary field of peace, conflict, and security studies (or what we call PACS here at CU Boulder). As a scholarly field, PACS attempts to understand the factors that give rise to acts of collective violence and that enshrine the place of militarism within societies. PACS uses these insights to develop and promote a range of less-violent and (hopefully) more peaceful interventions in international conflicts, as well as domestic struggles over environmental, economic, and social injustice. During this course we will discuss what it means to work for peace, as well as what peaceful, just, and equitable societies might look like. We will also interrogate the causes, justifications, and practices of violence and warfare. Additional topics we will consider include: terrorism, civil and interstate wars, nuclear weapons, nonviolence, human rights, and international diplomacy (to name just a few), as well as the linkages that connect matters of war and peace with efforts at promoting justice.


PACS 2500 Syllabus - Content is similar for both the in-person and online versions.

Class Attributes

  • This course counts for Arts & Sciences General Education: Distribution-Social Sciences

  • This course counts for Arts & Sciences General Education: Diversity-Global Perspective

  • This course is required for students registered for the PACS Certificate


  • This course is offered in person fall and spring terms.
  • This course is offered¬†asynchronously through Continuing Education fall, spring, and summer terms.