Become a changemaker as a mediator, organizer, activist, advocate or social entrepreneur working to solve the most pressing global challenges in Arcadia’s International Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) master’s program. As a student in the IPCR program you will be educated and trained in cutting edge, practical peacebuilding skills that will enable you to make a difference in the world. This program teaches you how to develop innovative approaches to global and local peace building. Preparing especially for careers in the non-profit/NGO sector as well as other public, private, and academic fields, you will engage in project-based learning, global fieldwork, and internships. You will work with an interdisciplinary group of faculty scholars to understand the social, political, historical, and economics contexts in which peace and conflict are produced, and learn practical, operational skills including program planning, program evaluation, mediation, and conflict assessment to prepare you to change the world.
You will enroll in a three semester (full-time) or six semester (part-time) master’s degree, which includes an applied, professional internship and practical study abroad field experiences. Arcadia’s IPCR program is one of the few graduate programs in the field of conflict resolution with significant practical experiences through internships, project-based learning, and a built-in overseas component—one that is founded on Arcadia’s long tradition of University-based international programs.
Ultimately, hands-on work combined with an extensive theoretical foundation, close student-professor relationships, and individually designed studying abroad and/or internship opportunities were motivating factors that distinguished the Arcadia's IPCR from other similar programs.” —Adriana Miladinovic
Structure Your Experience to Match Your Career Goals
The IPCR program uniquely provides students with both a solid foundation of theory to think and reflect on key issues and challenges, and crucial opportunities to put those theories into practical application through problem solving, project based learning, internships and field experiences.
In our foundation courses you are engaged in deep discussions on theories of war, conflict, and peace, in small, intimate courses with your cohort. Over the course of your program, you will take required courses with your cohort in:
Theories of peace and conflict resolution.
Practices of conflict transformation including mediation, negotiation and facilitation.
A case in conflict including a subsidized, cohort field study trip
The capstone course where students complete practical, applied projects that prepare them for careers in the field.
In addition to your cohort based courses, you will choose electives throughout your program. Electives enable you to pursue your individual career goals, which you will combine with your internship, field studies (GFS) courses, and capstone project to form a professional pathway in an area of professional development like advocacy and activism, NGO management and social entrepreneurship, or policy and governance. These professional pathways are a strategic way to build your professional identity and capitalize on the great variety of opportunities the IPCR has to offer. The IPCR program is specifically designed to help prepare you to enter and compete in today’s workforce.
Electives may include:
Advocacy and Activism
Social Life of War
Deeply Divided Societies
With the help of our expert advisors, practitioners, scholars, and alumni, you choose your own internship. Internships are conducted in the summer or during the final fall term alongside the capstone project. Internships are key field opportunities to develop professional skills, networks and job prospects. Our students have travelled all of the world for the most challenging and exciting internship opportunities. In IPCR, the world is our classroom!
What You Will Learn
The IPCR program is structured to develop competencies in:
Theories and dynamics of conflict, conflict resolution, post-conflict reconstruction and development, international law and organizations.
Tools and techniques of conflict management, conflict resolution and conflict transformation.
Conflict analysis, which involves developing an understanding of how states and other third parties impact conflict.
The methods used to diffuse conflict on a variety of levels—interpersonal, groups and institutions.
Interdisciplinary perspectives on the field of peace and conflict resolution.
Critical thinking skills.
NGO management skills including budgeting, program planning and monitoring and evaluation.
Social justice, advocacy and activism as approaches to conflict transformation and social change.
Cultural sensitivity and inter-cultural understandings through international and field experiences.
Oral presentation and communication skills.
Classmates and Classes
Small class size and personal attention from faculty will allow you to master leadership, conflict resolution and analytical skills as well as to pursue your own academic and professional interests through course selection, field experiences and internships. This program provides a wide range of opportunities for personal and academic development to ensure that you are fully prepared to be a key peace builder in your community, your country, or in the global arena.
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 Albania, Bolivia, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Ghana, India, Iran, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Kosovo, Liberia, Lebanon, Nigeria, Norway, Rwanda, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Turkey.
Required Courses (courses held on the Arcadia campus)
IP501 Introduction to Peace Studies & Conflict Resolution (fall)
Each M.A. candidate has the option of an individually designed program in year two.
IP581 Study Abroad
During their second year, graduate students in the IPCR program have the opportunity to take specialized courses in the area of their choice at a partner institution or an institution of their choosing as approved by the Director. Most students will spend the fall semester of their second year fulfilling this requirement, but in exceptional circumstances summer and short term options may be undertaken per the approval of the director.
The professional internship experience is practical training at the graduate level with a practitioner organization in the field. 240 hours of internship are required, over the course of three to four months. The internship offers candidates substantive experience in their chosen areas of specialization. Candidates prepare a learning contract with their supervisors and the IPCR Director in order to determine their learning goals, resources and means of evaluation.
IP598 Capstone Seminar
Candidates return to campus in the spring of their second year to complete a culminating activity that bridges coursework, study away, and internship experiences. The seminar meets weekly and follows a workshop format. Capstone culminates in a public presentation of the project during the university-wide Capstone week.
Introduction to Peace Studies & Conflict Resolution
This course provides a graduate level introduction to the interdisciplinary field of Peace and Conflict Studies, its relationship with other academic disciplines, and to careers in the field of conflict resolution. It draws upon a variety of disciplines, especially in the social sciences, to examine the interrelationship between personal, collective, national and global levels of violence and war and efforts to reduce it. Course objectives include familiarity with: the causes, symptoms and dynamics of conflict, violence, and war (from interpersonal to global) and conflict resolution.
This course focuses on developing a student's ability to think critically, research effectively and build strong arguments. Through a combination of lecture and workshop style classes, student practice these skills while working on a research project relevant to their interest and course of study
This seminar introduces MA candidates to the fundamental rules and principles of public international law, including the concept of state sovereignty, implementation methods, the sources of international law and their significance, etc. Particular emphasis is placed on the peaceful settlement of disputes, including arbitration and international adjudication, and the rules governing the use of force and the responsibility for unlawful acts on the international plane. MA candidates, moreover, learn about legal reasoning and methodology, research methods in international law, and the use of international law in the course of conflict resolution.
Conflict Transformation in general can be divided into three main areas based on the role of the conflict specialist. Conflict specialists work toward transformation as third party neutrals, as advocates, and as justice facilitators. In each area the conflict worker aims at empowering the disputants to make their own decisions, actively have a say in the processes, in short, author their own histories. This course focuses on two of those three areas: Mediation and Conflict Coaching. In this class students will learn the process and major skills in mediation (neutrality) and conflict coaching (advocacy). As an online course students will interact with other students, multimedia and various websites, and with the teacher. This course will give students a good sense of what happens in mediation and conflict coaching as well as practical exposure to the skills and strategies needed to be effective in both.
Note: This course will replace IP533 Conflict Transformation in the IPCR Conflict Management and Restorative Justice Certificate
This course focuses on understanding the phenomenon of conflict and war in deeply divided societies and to differing paradigms for building peace. The course first lays a foundation for interpreting the diverse landscape that has increasingly given rise to violent conflict during the transition to globalization and liberalization in the aftermath of the Cold War. The course then applies these perspectives to different concepts of peace building using current perspectives from the field of conflict resolution and from selected case studies of international and regional efforts to resolve conflict in divided societies.
A practicum in the mediation process. It examines the range of strategic choices available for managing conflict, including techniques that have proven most constructive in the field of peace and conflict resolution: consensus-based mediation. The first part of the course introduces students to differing approaches to managing and resolving conflict, how the mediation process works and variety of contexts in which it is likely to be used with success. The second part of the course is devoted to designing and conducting a mediation on a selected case in contemporary international relations.
This course examines a new class of conflict that has risen to prominence in the international arena: conflict that is rooted in environmental degradation and resource scarcity. The course covers emerging concepts of environmental security, that, together with other sources of tension, such as poverty, social inequity and ethnic intolerance are increasingly leading to violent conflict. Principles of international economics, regional development and the role of international organization are addressed as well as new paradigms for environmental conflict management and sustainable development.
This course explores relationships between contemporary political, socioeconomic, cultural, environmental and demographic conditions and their impact on health and human rights from an international perspective. A major focus of the course is the evolution of health care delivery systems and governmental and non-governmental responses to health and human rights challenges. Other topics addressed include structural adjustment, population dynamics, child survival policies, water and sanitation, HIV/AIDS, appropriate technologies, international organizations, traditional healing, pharmaceutical policy, and human resources development.
Although religious differences often create barriers to peace making, and at times, people create conflict in the name of their religion, all the major religious traditions also have roots that go deep into the soil of peace making and peaceful living. This class explores the roots of peace making in Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Indigenous American Religions, and others, and from these roots build bridges of common ground, understanding and acceptance of the other. In addition to the five major religious perspectives studied, students will have an opportunity to explore a religious tradition of their own choosing and present a paper on it for class. The class will include lectures, large and small group discussions, role plays, visiting speakers, videos and student presentations.
Non-Governmental Organizations in International Politics
Since the end ofWorld War II, there has been a steay increase in the numbers of transnational non-governmental organizations (TNGO's) working across borders on issues as diverse as emergncy relief, women's rights, environmental sustainability and fair trade. In the 1990's, the TNGO sector expanded at an unprecedented rate and the amount of money channeled through these organizations sky-rocked. Consequently, political scientists started paying more attention to the purpose, activities, power, and authority of TNGOs with the objective of fostering a clear understanding of the unique role TNGOs play in international politics.
This course provides an introduction to the concepts and skills needed to effectively manage non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and their international projects. Through discussion, experiential learning and case studies, students learn how to design a mission statement and objectives; a strategic plan; marketing and fundraising strategies. Further, students learn how to manage human resources, external relationships and finances. In addition, students conduct outcomes assessments and evaluations. Students apply theory to practice by exploring the organizational and managerial challenges NGOs face through case study learning. Students also gain hands-on experience while working on projects proposed by the Philadelphia-based American Friends Services Committee (AFSC).
This 3-credit course offers graduate students in the IPCR program an opportunity to experience on location some of the problems and issues covered in class during their first year with IPCR. The itinerary focuses on sustainable development and human rights, two areas where Costa Rica has a unique record in Latin America. The field study builds on first year IPCR foundation courses in International Law and Economics, Development and the Environment.
The world is our classroom and global field experiences are the cornerstone of the IPCR program providing students with unparalleled practical, hands-on opportunities to hone professional skills, engage in experiential learning, and develop a network and community of colleagues. Our students graduate with significant ‘real world’ experience making them highly competitive job candidates. By graduation, IPCR students are not only well trained and educated but already out in the world actively building peace as advocates, activists, social entrepreneurs, and NGO program managers.
As an IPCR student, you have exciting and unique opportunities to engage in real world, practical projects where you are expected to actively apply theoretical and analytical foundations learned in the classroom to 'real world, real time' professional situations including internships, classroom partnership projects, and global field studies courses students. These fieldwork experiences are a decisive advantage for Arcadia's M.A. candidates over students graduating from other more exclusively academic-based programs.
As a student in IPCR, you are responsible for securing and completing an internship directly related to your chosen concentration and professional interests. Internships allow you to develop critical professional skills and contacts and enable you to successfully transition to the professional world upon graduation. Internships may be domestic or international and take place during the summer and/or final fall term. IPCR faculty work closely with students to guide them through their decision making processes to help ensure that these experiences complement professional goals. A selection of sites where IPCR students have completed internships:
Asian Center for Conflict Resolution; Los Angeles, CA
Amnesty International USA; New York, NY
Intercultural Family Services; Philadelphia, PA
Genocide Watch; Washington, D.C.
National Democratic Institute; Washington, D.C.
Partners in Development; Haiti
Fundacion Cruzada Patagonica; Argentina
Turkish Ministry of Interior; Ankara, Turkey
WINPEACE; Athens, Greece
Berghoff Foundation for Conflict Studies; Germany/Sri Lanka
NATO Kosovo Force; Kosovo, Serbia - Montenegro
Alliance Party of Northern Ireland; Belfast, N. Ireland
United Nations Development Progamme; Kiev, Ukraine
United Nations Development Programme; Lebanon
The Interreligious Coordinating Council in Israel; Israel
PHCRC-Public Health Clinic and Resource Center; Nepal
Earth Rights International; Bangkok, Thailand
United Nations Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda; Arusha, Tanzania
UNICEF; Nairobi, Kenya
Networking Aids Community of South Africa – NACOSA; South Africa
Our scholars are also practitioners connecting their research with real-world application. Our courses reflect that through the incorporation of project based learning. Students in many courses are work independently and in small groups on developing practical solutions to real-world problems. Our partners for classroom based project learning include such prestigious partners as the American Friends Service Committee, The Enough Project, Schools for Sustainability, Heifer International, and Ronald McDonald House to name a few.
Some of our past, course-based projects have included:
U.S. Security Assistance Accountability (monitoring, evaluation and advocacy on accountability for USG security assistance to other countries)
Assessment of security management policies and procedures for the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)
Development of AFSC's Security Strategic Plan
Research and drafting of papers for the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention
Meme development for the Enough Project
Grant database development for the Roland McDonald House
Assessment of trends in professional development across AFSC and its impact on Organizational Learning
Investigation of Collective Impact initiatives and their potential to enhance AFSC's US programs
Development of a program to enhance youth civic engagement at AFSC
Development of a program plan for how to support Occupy Wall St. efforts
Research support for the West Virginia Economic Justice project
Research support that explores the dynamics of sanctions on states and the implications of sanctions on NGO management, relationships and activities
Assessment of AFSC prison initiatives such as Friend of a Friend project
Examination of evaluation practices in AFSC field offices and recommendations for streamlining procedures
Grant writing to support existing and future programs and departments at AFSC
Fundraising and Financial Management for Sports4Hope
Annual Cohort Trip
Every year since 2002, our students have had the exciting opportunity to participate in a highly subsidized trip to a post-conflict state, which has historically been Northern Ireland. This is a week long trip where students meet with scholars, practitioners and local peacebuilders to learn about the conflict and its aftermath. We engage in critical inquiry: “gathering and evaluating information, ideas, and assumptions from multiple perspectives to produce well-reasoned analysis and understanding, and leading to new ideas, applications and questions”. This cohort trip also enables team-building and networking to help students identify potential career aspirations and avenues of professional development.
Global Field Studies
You may also take a Global Field Study (GFS) course, which is an adventurous and exciting way to experience the world as a master’s degree student. Courses take place on the Arcadia Glenside campus and include a short field experience usually at the end of the course. The choices vary from year to year, depend on student interest and faculty availability and usually have additional travel fees associated with them. Past Global Field Study courses have traveled to Ukraine, Rwanda, Costa Rica, Kosovo and Cyprus.
Arcadia University considers applications for this program from college graduates of all majors, especially those who have demonstrated scholastic excellence and a commitment to international peace and conflict resolution. Related experience and achievements, either domestic or international, also are desirable. The program requests the following from applicants:
A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a recommended GPA of 3.0 or better and preferably a major in Peace Studies, Political Science, History, Economics, Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology, Philosophy, Religion or another liberal arts discipline. Students with undergraduate majors in Biology and Environmental Education also are encouraged to apply. All IPCR incoming students must have taken an undergraduate level ‘Introduction to International Relations’ course prior to their start in the fall term.
One official transcript from each college, university or professional school attended. Transfer credits included on a transcript must include grades earned; if not, an official transcript from the original school must be submitted. Transcripts must be sent from the issuing school in a sealed envelope and contain the appropriate signatures and seals to be considered official.
Three letters of recommendation from persons who are able to judge the applicant’s qualifications to undertake graduate study. At least two recommendation letters must be from a professor.
International applicants should visit www.arcadia.edu/international for detailed information on admission requirements and application procedures. Official results from the TOEFL or IELTS are required for all students for whom English is a second language except for non-native speakers of English who hold degrees or diplomas from post-secondary institutions in English-speaking countries (e.g. the United States, Canada, England, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand). A course-by-course evaluation of all transcripts by an independent evaluation service based in the United States also is required.
Dual degree candidates must be accepted into each of the programs in order to pursue dual degrees.
GREs are not required for admission. In exceptional cases, after reviewing an applicant’s academic record and non-academic experience, the Director may waive one or more prerequisites.
The Priority Application Deadline is February 1. Priority applicants will be given preferential consideration in scholarships and graduate assistantships. The General Admissions Application Deadline is April 1. All documents required must be received by the deadline to be considered.
If an offer of admission is accepted, a $500 deposit must accompany the acceptance reply. This deposit is applied to the first semester’s tuition and is non-refundable. A second non-refundable deposit of $1,000 will be required 1 month after first deposit. Specific deposit deadline dates will be noted on acceptance letter.
A student admitted to the program who wants to defer admission for one year must submit a request to do so in writing to the IPCR Program Director. Deferrals will be granted by the program on an individual basis. Once the deferral is granted, a student must submit the required deposit to reserve his or her seat in the class. This deposit will be credited toward tuition. A student who is granted a deferral must understand that he or she will be subject to the prevailing tuition at the time of matriculation to the program.
Two-year Full-Time Program: 2015-2016 Tuition - $30,000/year (fall & spring); tuition increases 4% on average annually
Upon enrollment into their programs, all students must provide proof of medical insurance and also provide information about their health and medical history. If needed, medical insurance can be purchased through the University. Information and applications are available in the Office of Student Health Services.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
Scholarships: Upon review for admission, students automatically will be reviewed by the academic department for a limited number of partial merit scholarships. A limited amount of Graduate Assistantships are also awarded on a merit basis for up to 10 hours per week.
Travel Purse: A $7,000 travel purse is set-aside for every full-time IPCR student to use towards study abroad experiences as approved by the IPCR Director.
Financial aid is available to assist qualified students in covering tuition and related expenses, as well as living costs. Additionally, students can apply to receive up to $20,500 annually through the Federal Direct Stafford Loan at a fixed interest. In addition to the Stafford Loan, students can choose to borrow either a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan or a private alternative student loan to cover remaining expenses. Graduate assistantships also may be available to those who qualify. More information.
Academic Policies and Procedures
A student accepted into the International Peace and Conflict Resolution program is expected to abide by the regulations set forth by Arcadia University.
The University reserves the right to dismiss a student at any time for unsatisfactory academic performance or for conduct detrimental to the University or to the welfare of other students.
In order for students to remain in good academic standing, they must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 throughout the first year of the program. A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 is required to be eligible to participate in the second year of the program.. A grade below “C” may not be applied toward a degree. If a grade below “C” is received, the student must petition to retake the course.
Bringing It All Together
The Capstone Seminar is an organized, faculty-guided approach to synthesizing your first-year theory and second-year practice into a cohesive, scholarly work and consequent presentation. In your final semester, you will develop your capstone project and prepare to present it.
There are several options for completion of capstone written requirements: a stakeholder analysis, policy analysis, program evaluation, NGO proposal or a two-semester master’s thesis. You should work with your faculty adviser and the program director to decide which method of completion and presentation best suits your overall education and professional objectives.
Capstone has two components: the course and the project. All students participate in the final spring term capstone course. The capstone course provides the opportunity for students to reconnect with each other, reflect on their experiences in the field, develop professional resumes and engage in career placement activities. In the context of the course, students also work on their capstone project, which is a single term paper or creative project that bridges theory and field experience. During the University’s thesis week M.A. students present their capstone projects to the public.
In addition to Capstone, if you are interested in pursuing a Ph.D., you have the option of developing a two-term master’s thesis. This is a classic, critical written exposition in which you will need to demonstrate a clear graduate-level familiarity with published materials in the field of the thesis, knowledge of the accepted way of presenting and documenting the text, as well as the components of a well-crafted argument. Your argument should exhibit consistent evidence of both a “fresh” and balanced approach to an existing issue or problem. If you wish to pursue this option, develop a thesis proposal and seek out a thesis adviser within the Historical and Political Studies Department at the end of your first year. With the approval and guidance of an adviser, you will spend two terms developing an idea, collecting data and writing an 80-100 page M.A. thesis.
IPCR Degree Options
In addition to the M.A. degree, Arcadia offers three dual degree options combining the Master of Arts in I.P.C.R with Counseling, International Relations and Diplomacy, and Public Health.