International Peace Studies

International Peace Studies

Building peace and justice at every level — from grassroots to global


The peace studies concentration in the Master of Global Affairs is for students committed to building sustainable peace and justice through careers in policy analysis and political change, leadership in public, private, and nonprofit sectors, and conflict analysis and transformation. You’ll join a global network of more than 500 master’s graduates addressing the causes of violent conflict and sustainable peacebuilding, human rights and human development, environmental sustainability, and related issues.

This concentration builds on the program offered for 30 years by the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.

ARVE Error: No oembed html

About peace studies

Peace studies is an interdisciplinary field that examines the causes of violent conflict — including war, terrorism, genocide, and violations of human rights — and develops strategies to build peaceful and just societies, systems, policies, institutions and relationships.

Strategic peacebuilding focuses on the structural roots of violence and on inclusive, sustainable efforts to transform conflict at all levels of society.

In the classroom and in the field

Students in International Peace Studies engage in extended fieldwork (July to December of the second year) with an organization at field sites around the world, including Colombia, El Salvador, Myanmar, Uganda, the Philippines, Washington, DC, and more.

Students then return to Notre Dame for additional elective courses and to develop their capstone project, pursuing an individualized course of study that best fits their personal interests and career goals.

View courses & curriculum

Read about student field experiences

Career opportunities

  • Policy advising in government or NGOs
  • Research and analysis in human/economic development, dispute resolution, environmental protection, international law/justice
  • Political organizing/advocacy
  • Human rights implementation
  • Religious, faith-based and interfaith work
  • Education at all levels
  • Socially conscious business and entrepreneurship
  • Mediation/facilitation – grassroots to international
  • Restorative justice
  • Program development and training in conflict transformation


Construct your identity as a peacebuilder


Test your theories with intensive practice in the field, conduct independent research with faculty mentors and field advisors, and synthesize your experiences to become an informed, ethical, and effective peacebuilder.

The International Peace Studies program is uniquely positioned among global programs in its commitment to peace as a common good. This binds together many of the theories and experiences that students encounter throughout the program, including a formative field internship.

All students spend six months in the field, connecting knowledge from the classroom with real-world experience in partnership with a leading peace and justice organization. Students are challenged to:

  • test theories against practice
  • question their assumptions
  • learn the complexities of peacebuilding—on micro- and macro-levels, informed by diverse perspectives and disciplines.

Students graduate with the training, connections, and experiences to become reflective practitioners, distinguished for their commitment to peace and human flourishing worldwide.

Recent Student Field Placements

  • 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

Learn more


  • Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation
  • Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office
  • Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
  • Geodgedacht Forum
  • Western Cape Religious Leaders Forum
  • Ndifuna Ukwazi (Dare to Know)
  • Future of Peace Operations (Stimson 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
  • Refugee Law Project