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    Dec 08, 2022  
American University Catalog 2022-2023 
    
American University Catalog 2022-2023

International Peace and Conflict Resolution (MA)


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 earned bachelor’s degree from an institution accredited by one of the six United States regional accreditation agencies or a degree equivalent to a four-year U.S. bachelor’s degree from an international institution with a similar level of accreditation or recognition by its home country. Assessment of a foreign degree will be based upon the characteristics of the national system of education, the type of institution attended, its accreditation, and the level of studies completed.

Competitive candidates may demonstrate their potential to excel in diverse ways, including a strong academic record, demonstrated success in relevant coursework and/or professional experience, the presentation of a compelling motivation and objective for graduate work, or a combination of some of these factors.

The priority 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.

A Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is optional. Applicants who have completed the exam are welcome to submit their scores as part of their application. 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 work
  • Minimum 3.00 cumulative GPA required to remain in good academic standing and to earn the degree
  • Capstone Experience: Demonstration of critical thinking, research and writing skills through completion of one of the following:
    • Practicum: 3 credit hours with grade of B or better
    • Substantial Research Paper: 3 credit hours with grade of B or better
    • Thesis: 6 credit hours of thesis credit and submission of the thesis
  • 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


Economics (3 credit hours)


Complete 3 credit hours from the following, or other approved economics course:

Social Science Research Methodology (6 credit hours)


Methods I


Complete 3 credit hours from the following:

Methods II


Complete 3 credit hours from the following, or other approved methodology course appropriate to the student’s research interests:

IPCR Concentration (12 credit hours)


Additional Coursework


Complete 6 credit hours in one of the following IPCR concentrations:

  • Culture, Identity, and Peace
  • International Negotiation
  • Peacebuilding
  • Reconciliation and Justice

Supplemental Concentration (6 credit hours)


  • 6 credit hours approved by the student’s advisor making up an academically-sound concentration defined by a central concept and focused on a student’s particular area of interest

Capstone (3 credit hours)


Complete 3 credit hours from the following:

Elective (3 credit hours)


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

International Peace and Conflict Resolution (MA) and Business Administration (MBA)


For approved dual degree program, see International Peace and Conflict Resolution (MA) and Business Administration (MBA) .

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


For approved dual degree program, see International Peace and Conflict Resolution (MA) and Master of Theological Studies .

Teaching (MAT) and International Peace and Conflict Resolution (MA)


For approved dual degree program, see Teaching (MAT) and International Peace and Conflict Resolution (MA) .