International Peace & Conflict Resolution
The faculty and Board of Trustees approved the International Peace and Conflict Resolution master's degree program in 1998 as part of Arcadia's Political Science Department. This new graduate program required that students take courses and complete internships abroad, in keeping with the University's mission of preparing students for life in an increasingly global society.
Having begun in 2000 with six students, the program now has about 50 full- and part-time students enrolled. IPCR students come primarily from the United States, but each year international students and students with international experience have added unique perspectives to the program. International students have come from Kosovo, Japan, Liberia, Ghana, Bulgaria, Lebanon, Burkina Faso, Iran, Nigeria, Italy, Sri Lanka, Kenya, India and Turkey. Small class size and personal attention from faculty allow M.A. candidates to master their leadership and analytical skills as well as to pursue, through student-driven research and internship projects, their own academic and professional interests.
The program is designed to provide first year students with a strong background in all curricular areas that this emerging field encompasses-international law, health and human rights, sustainable development, mediation, conflict resolution theory, international organizations, post-conflict relief and development. During the second year of the program, students are required to study abroad, fulfill an internship requirement and successfully write a master's thesis; the second year of the program is driven by student career interests in the field. Through the IPCR program, students have traveled all over the world: the West Bank, South Africa, Liberia, Tanzania, Argentina, Bolivia, Israel, Ukraine, Hungary, France, Spain, the Netherlands, the UK, Ireland, Thailand, Mexico, Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, Rwanada, Uganda and India.
In its effort to educate and train students in the field of International Peace and Conflict Resolution, and with the support of the University, the program has developed and incorporated unique structures and project-based learning opportunities. Today this includes an annual field study to Northern Ireland to study peace and reconciliation on the ground in a post-conflict zone and an annual field study program to Costa Rica in collaboration with the United Nations' University for Peace in San Jose, where students study environmental development and conflict management and its impact on indigenous rights.
The program also has established relationships with a mediation certification program with the Institute for Advanced Dispute Resolution in Colorado as well as a formal partnership with the American Graduate School of International Relations and Diplomacy (AGS) in Paris, France. Today, in collaboration with the East African Community (EAC), the International Peace and Conflict Resolution program is developing the Julius Nyerere Centre for Peace Research in Arusha, Tanzania.