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MA in International Peace and Conflict Resolution

Offered by the School of International Service, with a strong emphasis on the blending of theory and practice, peace studies with conflict resolution, and always with a search for alternatives to violence, the International Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) program stands apart as a unique academic and professional training program. Peace, in this context, includes economic, social, and political justice; ecological balance; and nonviolent conflict resolution. IPCR was founded on the belief that the challenges that face the world today can be approached from a collaborative and humanistic perspective.

Admission to the Program

Applicants must hold an accredited bachelor's degree with a cumulative grade point average of at least a B+ (3.30 or higher on a 4.00 scale) and should have had at least 24 credit hours of social science coursework relevant to international studies. Students who do not meet these minimum requirements, if otherwise admissible, may be assigned additional coursework in excess of degree requirements specified at the time of admission.

The application deadline for fall admission is January 15; for spring admission October 1 (September 15 for international students). Admitted students may defer matriculation for no longer than two semesters provided that a written request for deferment is submitted to and approved by the SIS Graduate Admissions Office.

All applicants whose native language is English or those whose degrees are from an accredited institution where the language of instruction is English are required to submit results of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Non-native English speakers are required to submit results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) unless they hold a degree from a U.S.-accredited institution before enrollment at SIS. The minimum TOEFL score for full admissions consideration is 100 on the Internet-based test (iBT) or 600 on the paper-based test (PBT). The minimum IELTS score is 7.0. Fall applicants should plan to take the appropriate test no later than December to ensure full consideration of the application by the January deadline.

All applicants must submit two letters of reference evaluating undergraduate academic performance and suitability for graduate study in international affairs, at least one of which should be from an academic source. A resume should be included in the application. Fall applicants must submit transcripts from all institutions attended. Cultural factors are considered in evaluating transcripts and examination results.

Requests for the transfer of a maximum of 6 graduate credit hours from other accredited institutions to be applied to a master's degree must be completed in the student's first semester in the graduate program at American University. A minimum grade of B in each course is required for transfer. Transfer courses must have been completed within five years of admission and must fulfill stated requirements of the degree program.

Degree Requirements

  • 39 credit hours of approved graduate coursework with a cumulative grade point average of 3.00, including a minimum of 12 credit hours in the major field including one theory course and one 3 credit graduate-level economics or international economic policy course appropriate to the field, 12 credit hours in a concentration selected from offerings in SIS or other teaching units of the university, 6 credit hours in research methods, 3 elective credit hours, and a 3 credit hour capstone experience.
  • Capstone experience: demonstration of critical thinking, research and writing skills through completion of a master's thesis, substantial research paper requirement, or practicum. All courses taken to fulfill this requirement must be passed with a grade of B or better.
    • Thesis: 6 credit hours of thesis credit and submission of the thesis.
    • Substantial research paper requirement: 3 credit hours.
    • Practicum: 3 credit hours.
  • Evidence of professional experience in the field: Relevant internship or work experience must be certified.
  • Proficiency in a modern foreign language: Research competence in English and another language relevant to the student's career objectives must be certified.

Course Requirements

Core (9 credit hours)

Economics (3 credit hours)

One of the following:

Concentration (15 credit hours)

  • 15 credit hours in courses identified by the IPCR faculty as part of one of the six IPCR concentrations:

Applied Conflict Resolution Human Rights Identity and Culture International Negotiation Peacebuilding Research and Policy

or

15 credit hours in courses approved by the student's faculty advisor making up an academically-sound concentration defined by a central concept which allows the student to focus on a particular area of interest.

Elective (3 credit hours)

  • 3 credit hours selected from skills workshops, internship for credit, master's thesis requirement, or other elective courses

Social Science Research Methodology (6 credit hours)

Capstone Experience (3 credit hours)

Graduates receive a Master of Arts (MA) in International Peace and Conflict Resolution through the School of International Service and the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) (Secondary Education track) through the School of Education, College of Arts and Sciences.

Admission to the Program

Applicants must hold an accredited bachelor's degree with a cumulative grade point average of at least a B+ (3.30 or higher on a 4.00 scale) and should have had at least 24 credit hours of social science coursework relevant to international studies. Students who do not meet these minimum requirements, if otherwise admissible, may be assigned additional coursework specified at the time of admission.

Students must apply to both the School of International Service (SIS) and the School of Education in the College of Arts and Sciences. Admission to either of the participating teaching units in no way implies admission to the other unit. For more information on admissions requirements, contact the SIS Graduate Admissions Office at 202-885-1646 or the School of Education Teacher Education Office at 202-885-3720.

All applicants whose native language is English or those whose degrees are from an accredited institution where the language of instruction is English are required to submit results of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Non-native English speakers are required to submit results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) unless they hold a degree from a US-accredited institution before enrollment. The minimum TOEFL score for full admissions consideration is 100 on the Internet-based test (iBT) or 600 on the paper-based test (PBT). The minimum IELTS score is 7.0. Fall applicants should plan to take the appropriate test no later than December to ensure full consideration of the application by the January deadline.

For secondary education certification, students must have a bachelor's degree or 33 credit hours in the subject area they are seeking licensure. It is anticipated that students who complete the MA in International Peace and Conflict Resolution will have sufficient background to meet certification requirements in social studies. However, students who meet requirements for other subject areas will also be considered. Students will be notified at the time of admission concerning additional coursework required for state certification.

Dual Degree Requirements

  • 57 credit hours of approved graduate coursework with a cumulative grade point average of 3.00.
    • Students must complete 6 credit hours in the education core courses, 6 credit hours of student teaching, 15 credit hours in secondary education, 3 credit hours of electives, 9 credit hours in peace and conflict resolution core courses to receive the MAT.
    • Students must complete 9 credit hours in peace and conflict resolution core courses, 3 credit hours in economics, 6 credit hours in methodology, 6 credit hours of electives, 3 credit hours in a capstone experience, and 12 credit hours in the education core/secondary education track to receive the MA in International Peace and Conflict Resolution.
    • In addition to intensive coursework and student teaching placements, students are also required to participate in an educational internship program. These field placements are carefully supervised and coordinated to meet state certification requirements.
  • SIS Capstone experience: demonstration of critical thinking, research and writing skills through completion of a master's thesis, substantial research paper requirement, or practicum. All courses taken to fulfill this requirement must be passed with a grade of B or better.
    • Thesis: 6 credit hours of thesis credit and submission of the thesis.
    • Substantial research paper requirement: 3 credit hours.
    • Practicum: 3 credit hours.
  • Evidence of professional experience in the field. Relevant internship or work experience must be certified.
  • Proficiency in a modern foreign language. Research competence in English and another language relevant to the student's career objectives must be certified.
  • Praxis CORE and Praxis II Exams, as determined by state certification requirements.
  • Electronic professional teaching portfolio.

Course Requirements

Student Teaching (6 credit hours)

Education Elective (3 credit hours)

  • 3 credit hours of approved elective coursework in education

Economics (3 credit hours)

Complete one of the following:

Social Science Research Methodology (6 credit hours)

SIS Electives (6 credit hours)

  • 6 credit hours selected from skills workshops, internship for credit, master's thesis requirement, or other elective courses from School of International Service

Capstone Experience (3 credit hours)

International Peace and Conflict Resolution (MA) and Master of Theological Studies

A dual master's degree program is offered by the School of International Service and Wesley Theological Seminary. Graduates receive both the MA in International Peace and Conflict Resolution and the Master of Theological Studies.

Admission and Requirements

  • Applications are submitted to both SIS and Wesley. Students must be admitted separately to each program. For more information on requirements, contact the SIS Graduate Admissions Office at 202-885-1646 and the Wesley Theological Seminary Admissions Office at 202-885-8659.
  • Students may count up to 12 credit hours from Wesley toward the MA in International Peace and Conflict Resolution. With SIS faculty approval, 9 credit hours count toward the concentration/elective requirements, and 3 credit hours count toward the capstone experience requirement.

SIS MA/MS and MBA

A dual master's degree program is offered by the School of International Service and Kogod School of Business.

Admission to the Program

Applications are submitted to both SIS and Kogod. Students must be admitted separately to each program. While students are encouraged to apply for admission to both programs simultaneously, students can apply to the second program after admission and matriculation in the first program. Students must be admitted to the second program and begin their studies prior to conferral of the degree from the first program.

The full-time MBA is a cohorted two-year program. During the first year of the MBA students complete 26 or 29 credit hours in Kogod, and during the second year of the MBA students, including the MBA capstone in the spring semester. Sequencing and timing of SIS coursework depends on the chosen program. Generally, dual degree students begin their academic programs at Kogod, but this is not required. The dual degree between SIS and Kogod may not be completed in conjunction with any other dual degrees at AU.

SIS Degree Requirements

  • Dual degree students may count up to 9 credit hours from their Kogod degree requirements toward their SIS degree requirements with approval of the SIS program director. This typically includes the 6 credit hour methodology requirement and the 3 credit hour elective. Students must otherwise complete all requirements as listed for the SIS graduate degree. The SIS MA degrees are built around a multidisciplinary curriculum focused on preparing students for a wide variety of careers in global service, including public, private, and non-profit semesters. MA/MBA students can specialize in areas at SIS that include international development, security,  global governance, conflict resolution, global environmental policy, regional studies, U.S. foreign policy, and public diplomacy. Students select a specialized concentration that allows them to tailor their studies to their individual interests. See relevant SIS degree requirements for more information.

MBA Degree Requirements

  • 32 credit hours of approved graduate coursework that includes required business core courses, capstone course, and an electives course.
  • Capstone experience: KSB-613 Strategic Decision Making.
  • All students are required to participate in the full-time MBA orientation prior to the start of the program.
  • The MBA degree will be conferred no earlier than the semester in which the SIS graduate degree is completed.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite

  • Prerequisite knowledge in economics

Pre-Program Preparation (Noncredit)

Professional Skills (Noncredit)

Capstone (3 credit hours)

Elective (3 credit hours)

  • 3 credit hours in a business course