As a student in International Peace and Conflict Resolution you pursue a two year master’s degree including an internship and an optional study abroad. Arcadia’s IPCR program is one of the few graduate programs in the field of conflict resolution with a built-in overseas component—one that is founded on Arcadia’s long tradition of University-based international programs. Optional study abroad courses may complement the academic training that you receive in Glenside by giving you the ability to specialize in unique areas of interest including international law, sustainable development, food security, peace journalism, human rights, business and peace education.
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
With the guidance of our expert scholars and practitioners, you will shape a course of study that will prepare you to enter today’s workforce.
In your first year of study, you will complete the core curriculum, which includes two (2) required courses: theories of peace and conflict resolution and a foundations course in research methods; and take elective courses from a range of topics such as Non-Governmental Organizations, International Law, World Religions, Social Life of War, Mediation, and Economics and the Environment. Students also have the option of participating in a largely subsidized week-long intensive field study in Northern Ireland during late October.
In the second term of the first year, you will begin researching and applying for internship opportunities that will further your academic and career interests. Advisors, the IPCR Program Coordinator and IPCR Director help guide students in this process to maximize options. By the end of the first year, all credit bearing internship and any optional study away experiences must be submitted for approval to the Director.
In the summer of 2013 I served as the senior intern at the U.S. Army War College at the Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute (PKSOI) and the Pentagon with the Office of the Secretary of Defense – Policy for the Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI). Both of these opportunities allowed me to work on real issues with real products, extend my leadership experience, and network with government policymakers, researchers, and service members.“ —William Kuhn
Arcadia’s Global Field Study courses are an additional way to experience the world as a master’s degree student. 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.
The second year of courses enable students to concentrate and specialize in specific areas in the field of international peace and conflict resolution. Courses may be taken outisde the IPCR program in programs like public health, counseling and education or through partner institutions overseas such as the American Graduate School in Paris. The final spring term is focused around the capstone project and course, as well as professional development activities intended to aid students in career placement.
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 and research methods, which span the spectrum of qualitative and quantitative methods.
Cultural sensitivity and inter-cultural understandings through international and field experiences.
Oral presentation and communication skills.
Classmates and Classes
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. Small class size and personal attention from faculty will allow you to master your leadership and analytical skills as well as to pursue your own academic and professional interests through research and internship projects.
Coming from a war-torn country, I figured that if I learned about conflict resolution, I would be able to help my country of South Sudan. As I researched graduate schools, I knew I wanted to focus on human rights law, sustainable development, and humanitarian work. I found Arcadia’s International Peace and Conflict Resolution program (IPCR) and thought it seemed well designed to address contemporary problems affecting people in the world, especially in conflict zones. ” —Ayuen Garang Ajok
IP 574 NGOs in International Politics: Concepts & challenges
IP 578 NGO Management, Program Design, Implementation and Evaluation
Second Year - Required Courses
Each M.A. candidate has the option of an individually designed program in year two.
IP 581 Study Abroad (9 credits) 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.
IP 583 Internship (9 credits) 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.
IP 598 Capstone Seminar (3 credits) 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
The purpose of this course is to provide a thorough and in-depth analysis of international security issues, themes, theories and cases. We will examine security from three levels of analysis: the international system, state and domestic level politics and individual decision-makers. Within each level of analysis we will study various theories used to explain the sources of instability and stability in order to understand what drives state and actor behavior in terms of: foreign policy, war, cooperation, and expansion. We will also look at central themes in international security and a few cases where theories can be applied to help us understand crises, conflicts and instability. We will address questions like: what are the main threats to international security? How are these threats addressed or not by states and international actors? Why do states have, or not, nuclear weapons, and what role do international organizations and none-state actors play in security?
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.
This course explores war and violent conflict from a socio-cultural perspective. Not only do war and violent conflict result in humanitarian crises at the social level and atrocities and tragedy at the personal level, but they also fundamentally alter people's social worlds, life trajectories, imagined communities and understanding of their position in time and space. As economic and political structures become destabilized or changed, war and violent conflict radically rupture social realities in ways that outlive the original conflict. The course explores the ways in which war and violent conflict reshape social structures, create new cultural processes in reaction to altered reality, and reconstitute identities. Students read and discuss ethnographic accounts that show how war and violent conflict are experienced at the personal, cultural and social level. This course enhances and complicates understandings of what conflict is and what it means for people and social groups who are forced to endure it.
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.
The American system of higher education places great value on the practical learning made possible through the internship philosophy. Students from all over the world envy the 'foot-in-the-door' experience that students who study through the American system are able to take advantage of prior to formal degree completion. Arcadia's M.A. in IPCR follows firmly in this tradition. The internship experience is designed as a crucial second-year component within the overall full-time IPCR Program.
You are expected to actively apply theoretical and analytical foundations learned in first-year studies to 'real world, real time' professional situations of your choosing, in an effort to challenge yourself, as well as to gain experience which will prove valuable as graduates seeking employment. The fieldwork opportunity is a decisive advantage for Arcadia's M.A. candidates over students graduating from other more exclusively academic-based programs.
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. 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
During your study away from the Glenside campus (conducted in the U.S. or abroad), you will work alongside experts while pursuing a specialized concentration particularly suited to your professional goals. You will complete three to four specialized courses that complement your academic training. Specializations include sustainable development, NGO program management, public health, trauma healing, governance and democracy and mediation.
Students have conducted their study away courses at such prestigious institutions as:
American Graduate School of International Relations and Diplomacy (Arcadia’s affiliated campus); Paris, France
The Center for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney; Australia
The Department of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford; Great Britain
The European Peace University at Schlaining; Austria
Queen's University; Belfast, Northern Ireland
The Richardson Institute for Peace Studies at Lancaster University; Great Britain
The United Nations University for Peace; San José, Costa Rica
University of Jaume I; Castellon, Spain
University of Kent; Great Britain
The University of Salvador; Buenos Aires, Argentina
The University of Trento; Italy
This is a two-year full-time degree program. Part-time options may be available depending upon enrollment. Please contact the IPCR program for more information.
Program-Specific Admissions Requirements
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 $7000 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.