Sep 24, 2018  
Course Catalog 2009-2010 
Course Catalog 2009-2010 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Peace and Conflict Studies Concentration

Stephan Mayer, Commitee Chair


The Peace and Conflict Studies Concentration is an interdisciplinary concentration that:

• studies the factors that lead to human conflict and aggression, including those that are psychological, sociological, anthropological, environmental, political, economic, religious, and historical in nature;
• examines levels of conflict ranging from micro- or interpersonal-level to macro- or international-level;
• explores the potential links between issues of social and environmental justice and violent conflict, including the relationship between different forms of violence, such as structural versus episodic violence, and perceptions of injustice; and
• can augment the intellectual study of peace and conflict with experiences outside of the classroom in the form of fieldwork and internships.

The concentration consists of five components.


1. Introductory Core Course

Please select either the PSYC or POLT option; these courses are cross-listed.

2. Intermediate Courses

Please select 4 courses from at least 3 different departments:

3. Advanced Courses

Please select one of the following courses:

  • HIST 357 - Non-Violent Opposition to British Imperialism: M. Gandhi Semester Offered: Second Semester
  • PSYC 430 - Seminar in Social Conflict Semester Offered: Second Semester
  • (Private Reading option. To insure flexibility and the ability for students to tailor this concentration to their individual needs, students will also be able to fulfill the advanced course requirement through a private reading. For this requirement to be fulfilled in this manner, in addition to obtaining  the approval of the professor conducting the private reading, the student will also need to obtain approval from chair of the PACS concentration.)  

4. An Experimental Component

In order to provide students with practical experience in this area, at least one winter term experience, a study away, or summer experience should focus on skills directly related to the concentration. We anticipate that this requirement will be fulfilled through an internship experience. Oberlin College is fortunate to have many alumni working in the area of peace and conflict studies. A generous financial gift from the Class of 1958 will also be used to help defer the expenses of students who partake of this experience. Lastly, we will require that students’ winter term experience be sponsored by a member of Peace and Conflict Studies Committee.

5. Intellectual coherence statement

Students will be required to submit a plan for their concentration at the time of declaration, outlining their intended course of study and their understanding of how this will be an intellectually coherent course of study. No later than the last semester of their senior year, students must also register for a non-credit course with a member of the Peace and Conflict Studies Committee that requires them to submit a five-ten page paper reflecting upon their actual work in the concentration.

Additional Information

Additional Information. Any student, regardless of major or minor, can pursue a Peace and Conflict Studies concentration. This concentration does not substitute for a major or minor. Its completion will be noted on the student’s final transcript along with majors, minors, and Honors. No courses with a grade below C-/P may be used for this concentration. Students may ask the PACS committee to consider adding a course to the concentration by writing to the chair of the faculty PACS committee, Stephan Mayer (Department of Psychology).

Students wishing to pursue the concentration should consult with the chair of the faculty PACS committee, Stephan Mayer (Department of Psychology).