Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Ella Baker, Nelson Mandela, Dorothy Day, and Abdul Ghaffar Khan all started in the same place—as ordinary people drawn into a great cause. As a peace studies major you'll learn how to become an agent for positive change by studying the theory and practice of nonviolent peacemaking, human rights and conflict resolution.

Chart a journey based on your interests and curiosity.

Questions of peace and justice permeate our lives. By choosing from courses in many disciplines (including political science, nursing, sociology, history, business, theology, psychology, education and other fields), you can explore peacemaking on three distinct levels: personal (faith and values), interpersonal (relationships between individuals, ethnic groups, and states) and systemic (interactions with political, social, and economic systems).

Study the most compelling narrative of our time.

The world is changing; both globalization and nonviolent resistance are driving this change. Did you know that from 1900 to 2006 there were 83 nonviolent campaigns in the world that successfully accomplished regime change or the expulsion of foreign occupiers? In the same time frame, nonviolent campaigns achieved success 78% of the time, compared to only 38% for violent campaigns. In the US, nonviolent resistance has driven successful struggles for justice and equity and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future, while transformative practices continue to be implemented in a wide range of settings. Recent events suggest that we will continue to see entire societies transformed by nonviolent resistance — you will have a front-row seat as this plays out.

Focus on issues that matter to you.

In peace studies you will hone your critical thinking skills and direct your creativity and ingenuity toward solving some of the most pressing issues in the world. Through experiences inside and outside the classroom you will gain a better understanding of the world around you and practical ways to contribute to building a more just and peaceful world.

Keep an eye on your future.

Peace studies pushes you to grow and think outside the box, providing you with skills and experiences that employers are looking for. You will gain and refine valuable skills such as strategic thinking, conflict resolution, creative problem solving, negotiation, persuasion, critical analysis and effective communication while working side-by-side with other top students in a climate that promotes academic rigor and friendship. To make the job search easier and to help you build a strong professional network, we bring professionals, recruiters and high profile speakers to campus.

Pursue experiences that will shape your life.

Build memories that will last a lifetime and provide you with a unique perspective on peacemaking by participating in study abroad programs, immersion programs or the Center for Peacemaking’s student peacemaking fellowship program. Students have studied and implemented peacemaking projects in more than 10 U.S. states and over 20 countries including Argentina, Bosnia, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, India, the Philippines and South Africa.

Some of the classes you may take:

  • Introduction to Peace Studies
  • Theologies of Nonviolence
  • Empathy, Crime and Justice
  • Conflict Resolution and Restorative Justice
  • African-American Social Thought
  • World Conflict and Security
  • Community Organizing 
  • Politics of Migration
  • Culture and Health
  • Environmental and Natural Resource Economics

For a complete listing of required courses for the program in peace studies, please visit the Marquette University Online Bulletin at this link.