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Peace Studies

College of Liberal Arts

Aerial shot of student on CSULB campus

Certificate Program in Peace Studies (code COLACT02)

The Certificate Program in Peace Studies is designed for students who are concerned about issues of peace and social justice in contemporary society. It is founded on the principle that peace requires not only the absence of violence but also the presence of justice. In alignment with this principle, the program operates around two main premises. First, war and other forms of violence are not inevitable, despite their widespread occurrence over time and space. Second, peace without social justice is not possible. Students will have the opportunity to explore past and present conflicts that inhibit the achievement of peace, and will have the opportunity to enlarge their understanding of global and human diversity problems and their solutions.

Throughout the program, they will develop an understanding of the underlying causes of violence and conflict that occur at multiple social, cultural, and economic levels while developing skills to become innovators working toward promoting peace and human dignity, advancing social justice, and nurturing a sustainable environment.

This certificate can be earned in conjunction with any baccalaureate or graduate degree, can be earned through the General Education Pathway in Conflict & Peace Studies while simultaneously meeting all general education requirements, and should be especially useful for students preparing for careers in humanities, education, health and social services, business, government, environmental studies, and law.


Twenty-four (24) units in a program approved by the Director of Peace Studies, to include the following:

  • 1. Core Theory Course (3 units): Take one of the following: I/ST 317I, POSC 371
  • 2. Core Skills Course (3 units): Take one of the following: COMM 411, SW 491
  • 3. Elective Courses (15 units): Take at least one course from each of the following groups, and then one additional course from any of the groups.
    • Group A: Perspectives on Peace, Conflict, Violence, and War (3 units minimum): ANTH 305I; COMM 490; CRJU 101; HIST 304, 377, 495; I/ST 318, 355; POSC 220, 371, 455; PHIL 351I; PSY 350I
    • Group B: Laws, Rights, Responsibilities in Peace and Conflict (3 units minimum): COMM 441I; PHIL 352, 376; POSC 412
    • Group C: Culture, Race, Gender Influences on Peace and Conflict (3 units minimum): ANTH 315, 311I; AFRS 325; COMM 330, 412; HIST 309I; LING 470; SOC 346; SPAN 493 or SPAN 593 or HIST 490F; WGSS 401, 430
    • Group D: Empowerment and Peace-Building (3 units minimum): COMM 410, 421; CAFF 309I or FIN 309I; EDP 434B; FEA 486I; HDEV 364; H SC 429; NRSG 481I; PSY 336; SOC 427; SW 423
  • 4. Peace Project (3 units, optional): Students in the Certificate program only should complete three units of an independent study project during their senior year with any Peace Studies faculty. Students who are simultaneously completing the General Education pathway in Conflict & Peace Studies need to take an additional 300- or 400-level GE course from groups A, B, C. or D above to complete the 24 required units in this Certificate.

Exceptions or substitutions may be made only with the approval of the Director of the Peace Studies Program.