Master of Arts in Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation

"I chose SIT’s degree for two reasons: the diversity of the student body and the outstanding faculty. I also wanted an institution that incorporated my international experience with academic challenges and critical thinking."

—Brehan Doud, East Africa Program Specialist,
USDA Forest Service, Office of International Programs

Acquire practical skills and strategies for peacebuilding based on a holistic, multidisciplinary approach and real-world experience in the field.

SIT’s Master of Arts in Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation is designed to give students the analytical ability, theoretical knowledge, and practical skills necessary to work with groups of people in conflict. Student can choose to focus on conflict in relation to development, inter-group relations, youth programs, humanitarian aid, education, or human rights.

Students can expect to:

  • Study the theory and practice of peacebuilding and conflict transformation
  • Conduct in-depth, multi-angled analyses of conflict and explore potential solutions in diverse settings
  • Complete a practicum with an organization relevant to peacebuilding in either the US or abroad
  • Learn from faculty and alumni engaged in peacebuilding activities in critical conflict zones.

Students build core skills in the practice of:

  • Negotiation, facilitation, mediation, strategic nonviolence, social healing, and reconciliation 
  • Program design, management, and evaluation 
  • Training for capacity-building
  • Leading inter-communal dialogue
  • Cultivating positive and inclusive group relations through organizational change
  • Advocating for human rights and community organizing

The program takes both an interpersonal and systematic approach to the identity-based dynamics of conflict. Faculty and staff foster a learning environment and social space in which students can reflect on core values and aspirations for constructive social change.

The program prepares professionals to:

  • Design and lead conflict transformation programs
  • Develop peacebuilding and conflict sensitive interventions
  • Create and manage projects that address the causes and consequences of complex and multi-layered conflicts

Graduates are prepared for positions with NGOs, education institutions, the media, the private sector, the government, international organizations, and other professional venues.

SIT is a pioneer in the field of conflict transformation, which is an integral part of the institution’s broader academic focus on international peace studies and peacebuilding.

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
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  • Brehan Doud

    As a Peace Corps volunteer in Uganda I was exposed to many new things, but there was little to prepare me for the use of children as a tool for war in Northern Uganda. It was this knowledge and ignorance that sparked my curiosity to learn more about the field of war and conflict.

    "Peace does not happen when the last bullet is fired, it takes a very long time...years, even decades."

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  • Lauren Slane

    I am a 2011 graduate of SIT’s MA in Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation program, with a concentration in development. SIT was the right choice for me as it coupled my prior international experience as an English as a Second Language teacher with my desire to transition to development work.

    "My studies at SIT gave me a solid foundation and understanding of cross-cultural communication, which I apply daily in this role."

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