International Peace Studies


The Master of Global Affairs – International Peace Studies concentration builds on the master’s degree offered for 30 years by the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.

Peace Studies is an interdisciplinary field that examines the causes of armed conflict — including war, terrorism, genocide and violations of human rights — and develops ways to prevent and resolve violent conflict and build peaceful and just systems and societies. Strategic peacebuilding, the signature concept of the Kroc Institute, focuses on the structural roots of violence and on inclusive, sustainable efforts — across all levels of society — to transform conflict.

Students who choose to specialize in International Peace Studies join more than 500 master’s graduates worldwide working to build sustainable peace and justice through policy analysis and political change, government and organizational leadership, and conflict analysis and transformation.

See selected positions of alumni in international peace studies.

Meet master’s students in the Class of 2017.

The International Peace Studies concentration is directed by Susan St. Ville.

Career opportunities:  Policy advising in government, regional or global organizations or NGOs; research and analysis in NGOs and civil society organizations focused on human and economic development, human rights, dispute resolution, environmental protection, and international law and justice; political organizing and advocacy; human rights implementation; religious, faith-based, and inter-faith work; education at all levels; socially conscious business and entrepreneurship; mediation and facilitation from the grassroots to the international level; restorative justice; program development and training in conflict transformation.

In the Classroom and in the Field

Master’s students in International Peace Studies take:

Core Classes – for all Master’s students
Foundational Seminars (2)
Global Politics (1)
Economics, various offerings (1)
Research design for practitioners (1)
Integration Labs (4) including an extended field experience (nearly 6 months)

International Peace Studies classes
Foundations of Peace Studies (1)
Reflective Practice and Strategic Peacebuilding (1)
Skills and Methods Courses (2)
Elective Courses (2)


Photo by Matt Cashore  peace studies students 1

The Integration Lab for International Peace Studies

In the Keough School’s Integration Labs, students work with faculty-mentors to synthesize academic knowledge, skill development, and hands-on practice throughout all four semesters of the Master in Global Affairs. Through the Integration Labs, students acquire two years of professional experience as they partner with organizations on real-world challenges and opportunities. 

For students specializing in International Peace Studies, Integration Labs include an extended (nearly 6-month) embedded internship with an organization engaged in a broad range of professional work in strategic peacebuilding.

Students specializing in International Peace Studies work from July-December at a partner organization at field sites in Colombia, South Africa, Israel/Palestine, Uganda, the Philippines, or Washington, D.C. After their internships, students return to Notre Dame for additional elective courses and to develop their capstone project.

Recent student fieldwork placements have included: 

  • World Vision
  • Asociación Sembrando Semillas de Paz
  • The World Bank
  • International Rescue Committee
  • Observatory for Internal Displacement, University of Cartagena
  • Center for International Policy
  • Social Justice Coalition
  • Catholic Relief Services
  • Ndifuna Ukwazi (Dare to Know)
  • Refugee Law Project
  • Western Cape Religious Leaders Forum
  • Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation
  • Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office
  • Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
  • Institute for Justice and Reconciliation
  • Rabbis for Human Rights
  • Geodgedacht Forum
  • Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center
  • Applied Research Institute
  • Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel
  • Wi’am, Palestinian Conflict Resolution Center
  • Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative
  • Gulu Women’s Economic Development and Globalization
  • Institute for Social Policy and Understanding
  • The AIDS Support Organization
  • The Justice and Reconciliation Project
  • Institute for Inclusive Security
  • Arms Control Association
  • Future of Peace Operations (Stimson Center)

Oct. 3, 2009; South Bend, IN, USA;

Read more about the Master of Global Affairs »

Selected courses in International Peace Studies:

Foundations of Peace Studies

Conflict Analysis and Transformation

International Peace Research

Strategic Peacebuilding and Reflective Practice

Structural Violence

Psychology of Peace

Restorative Justice: Theory, Practice

Trauma and Peacebuilding

International Dispute Resolution

Social Movements

Mediation and Negotiation

Organizational Leadership

Gender and Peace Studies

Anthropology of Poverty

Modern Genocide

Migration and Human Rights

Social Movements

Policy Advocacy

Islamic Ethics of War and Peace

Catholic Peacebuilding

Repression and Dissent

Ethnographic Methods for Peace Research

Politics and Reconciliation

Civil Wars

Ethnographic Methods for Peace Research

International Political Economy

Accountability for Gross Violations of Human Rights

International Law

Questions about International Peace Studies?

Contact:  Susan St. Ville, Director, International Peace Studies concentration,

Frequently Asked Questions about the Master’s Program

Other areas of specialization

Global Affairs
Sustainable Development