Peace Studies

Take classes that respond to the changing world we live in and learn about the causes of violence, theories of nonviolence and successful social movements. Gain the skills of nonviolent conflict management. Prepare yourself to work for peace in the world locally or globally.

Declared peace studies majors and minors should review course announcements before advising and registration.

What can I do with a degree in peace studies?

Peacemakers work in a variety of professions, and they build peace in tangible and diverse ways. You might not spot these jobs at first glance, but if you look closer, they are everywhere.

Peacemaking Careers Chart

View larger version of Peacemaking Careers.

Explore resources for peacemaking jobs and careers.

What will I learn?

Peace is more than the absence of war. Our curriculum emphasizes four themes:

  • Theories and Practices of Peacemaking – Analyze the underlying causes of violence and war. Learn strategies to resolve and transform conflict. Explore historical examples of nonviolent social change.
  • Justice, Human Rights, and Reconciliation – Examine the social conditions and legal protections necessary for advancing and preserving human rights. Learn practices and policies that prevent conflict from erupting into violence and build a culture of sustainable peace—which includes such fundamentals as human rights, the rule of law, and an equitable economy.
  • Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice and Sustainability – Explore the issue of access to basic needs, human rights, social justice, and equitable and sustainable uses of resources. Study social systems, such as education and health, that promote resilient communities.
  • Structural Violence and Positive Social Change – Investigate complex issues of structural exclusion and violence at the intersection of social class, gender, sexuality, race, national origin, affiliation, region, and religion. Learn strategies that hold out the promise for positive social change in emerging peace research.

For more information and course requirements, visit the interdisciplinary major and minor in peace studies bulletin. Note: This bulletin only applies to students who declared peace studies during Fall 2020 or later. To review the curriculum prior to Fall 2020, please contact

Declare a peace studies major

  1. Fill out, print and sign the Major Declaration Form. Note: No handwritten forms will be accepted. If you need access to a printer, we are happy to print it for you at the Center for Peacemaking.
  2. Have Dr. Louise Cainkar, director of peace studies, approve your form by signing at the bottom. Appointments can be made by emailing her at
  3. Turn the form into the records office of the college of your primary major. If INPS is your primary major, please submit to the Arts & Sciences records office, located in Sensenbrenner Hall, 103.

Declare a peace studies minor

  1. Fill out, print and sign the Minor Declaration Form. Note: No handwritten forms will be accepted. If you need access to a printer, we are happy to print it for you at the Center for Peacemaking.
  2. Turn the form into the records office of the college of your primary major. The Arts & Sciences records office is located in Sensenbrenner Hall, 103 or send your form to from your Marquette email.

Learning Objectives

When students graduate from the Interdisciplinary Peace Studies (INPS) program at Marquette, they have developed a new set of high-level skills and abilities through active participation with our program. Although there are innumerable ways in which the experiences in our program help students develop, the program strives with particular intentionality to help students be able to:

  1. Express a value system consistent with social justice and Jesuit values and ideals. 
  2. Apply complex intersectional analyses to situations of conflict and injustice, using the tools and insights of multiple scholarly disciplines (such as philosophy, sociology, political science, history, theology, and gender studies, among others) in order to identify and address the underlying causes of violence and injustice.
  3. Evaluate, design, and apply appropriate nonviolent strategies that interrupt and resolve situations of violence and injustice and build equitable societies.
  4. Discern appropriate and inappropriate responses to conflicts and social problems, always bearing in mind that violence usually leads to more violence.
  5. Convince/Compel others to believe that non-violent practices and techniques are the most effective strategies for mitigating/resolving conflicts and building equitable societies.
  6. Articulate the ways in which structural inequalities — whether local, national, or global — are forms of violence.
  7. Exhibit cognizance of their own positionality (values, beliefs, privileges) in relation to the structural and ideological elements of a conflict and/or systems of inequality.


Louise Cainkar
Director, Peace Studies Program
Lalumiere Hall, 366
(414) 288-5714

Jenna Harb
Program Associate
Center for Peacemaking
(414) 288-7726