Master of Arts in Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation

Academics

Degree Sequence
  • On-campus coursework (two terms)
  • Reflective Practice Phase, which comprises a field-based practicum (six months) with related academic work. The practicum can be completed abroad, in such sites as Rwanda and Nepal, or in the US
  • Capstone paper, presentation, and seminar in Vermont (one week)
View this year's Academic Calendar

Through SIT’s MA in Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation program, students build awareness of their own attitudes and behaviors, the impact these attitudes have on others, and their own role in society. Students learn to see themselves as members of particular groups and the consequences such group memberships have relative to others in conflict.

Students also gain awareness of both their power and their limitations in transforming or mitigating conflict at home and abroad, whether as a third party in internal and external conflicts, as an intermediary, intervener, program consultant, or self-reflective advocate. Students develop the ability to introduce and advocate for conflict consciousness and sensitivity within organizations and communities.

DEGREE COMPONENTS

The MA in Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation comprises on-campus coursework; a six-month (minimum) professional practicum; and a final capstone paper and presentation. Students must fulfill a number of degree requirements, but they are also given opportunities for individual exploration. An outline of all degree components, including required coursework, is provided below.

Professor Tatsushi Arai teaches class

  • Core Coursework (28–34 credits)
    During students’ nine months on campus, they complete a minimum of 28 credits. This must include the following two courses: 
    • Foundations of Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management - 4 credits
    • Practitioner Inquiry - 3 credits
    Students take an additional 12 credits choosing from the following degree courses:
    • Theory and Practice of Conflict Transformation - 3 credits
    • Conflict and Identity - 3 credits
    • Initiatives in Peacebuilding - 3 credits
    • Post-War Development and Peacebuilding - 3 credits
    • Mediation - 2 credits
    • Skills and Practices in Inter-Group Dialogue - 1 credit
  • Course Electives (9 credits minimum)
    While students can take any course offered at SIT Graduate Institute as an elective, recommended elective courses include: Training Design for Experiential Learning; Youth Program Leadership; and Special Topics in Conflict Transformation. (Classes can vary from year to year.)

    Students can satisfy the program’s elective requirement in a number of ways, including by attending SIT courses offered in Vermont; participating in field courses offered around the world (most recently in Bangladesh, Mexico, and Turkey); or pursuing independent study. Students can also choose to take a course at a local institution and transfer the credit to SIT. Please note that in this situation, the course must be at the graduate level and the institution must be accredited.

    Review sample elective course descriptions (PDF)

  • Reflective Practice (12 credits)
    Referred to as the Reflective Practice Phase, this portion of the program is a structured approach for students to apply coursework learning to a related professional activity. During this phase (minimum six months), students receive course credit for documenting the integration of their knowledge and skills  working in a professional context in the field on conflict transformation while remaining engaged with faculty and other students on the program. Students can complete the practicum in the US or abroad. Learn more about practicum placements.
  • Capstone Paper and Seminar
    Students demonstrate, assess, and synthesize their learning through preparation of a capstone project and participation in a one-week capstone seminar held multiple times each year on SIT’s campus in Vermont. Researching and writing the capstone paper takes students deeply into the experiential learning cycle, where they explore the meaning of the practicum experience, integrate theory and practice in written and oral presentations, and make a contribution to the field of conflict transformation.

All students must fulfill a Language and Culture Proficiency Requirement (PDF) before they are eligible to graduate.

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