MA Program Description

Students may be full or part-time.  Master’s students will complete 36 credits, and pass a final examination.  A full-time student may complete the program in three semesters.  Part-time students should complete it within three years, with extension beyond that requiring program approval.

Nine credits of foundations include

  • An introductory seminar from the program’s Core Faculty.
  • Qualitative or quantitative methods.
  • A course in classical or contemporary social theory.

Distribution requirements include

  • One course each from Core Courses (below) in Social Bases of Conflict and Cooperation, Violent Conflict, and Nonviolent Movements and Recovery from Violence.
  • Electives comprise six to fifteen credits, depending on whether the student accrues credit from experiential education in applied contexts, internships, or faculty-supervised independent study. Electives may be filled by approved courses throughout Rutgers University.

Final Graduation Requirements

For graduation, students are required to fulfill one of three final requirements.  1) Three written examinations, one for each of our distribution areas.  2) A final thesis, according to University regulations.  3) Or, an extended research paper.  (See Graduation Requirements.)


The application is available online (see the link on our program web page) Applicants must possess a Bachelor’s Degree or its equivalent. There is a $70, non-refundable application fee. We encourage applicants of diverse backgrounds and interests. Admission will be based on the over-all strength of the application packet. We look for students with the clear ability to excel in rigorous academic coursework, to think independently and creatively, and who have a commitment to reducing violent conflict through negotiation and nonviolent means.

Admission Requirements for the MA Program

Applicants will submit:

  • A completed application form
  • An official college transcript
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A personal statement of up to 300 words, indicating areas of interest and objectives in obtaining a Master’s degree in Peace and Conflict Studies.
  • Students who are not U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents, of countries where English is not the spoken language, must submit a TOEFL or IELTS score taken within the last two years.
  • Applicants may be requested to provide writing samples, and/or interview personally or by video conference.


Applications for Fall  may be submitted at any time. They will be evaluated promptly when all application material is complete.  We will consider applications up until July 1.

Normally, admission is for Fall only.  The introductory Graduate Seminar is given each Fall, and that is a foundation for participation in the program.  Under special circumstances, we will consider an application for Spring admission.