Peace Studies

The Peace Studies program is an interdisciplinary program designed to introduce students to the causes, consequences and solutions of all types of conflict. Students have the opportunity to examine alternatives to violence and to reflect upon the nature of peace as a sustainable condition at the individual and collective levels. Direct violence emerges from structural, cultural, and personal patterns that support it. Thus, sustainable peace requires more than the ending of direct violence, but also the building of cooperative structures, creative cultures, and conflict resolution capacities in human relationships. 

In the twenty-first century, the problem of violence exists on multiple levels, from domestic abuse and entrenched poverty to international armed conflict, terrorism and counterterrorism. Humans face the prospect of a nuclear conflagration on one side, with the daily reality of low-technology conflicts in dozens of countries on another. In the organized violence of warfare, far more civilians die than soldiers, small arms destroy more than sophisticated weaponry, and war-related poverty, displacement, and disease are the biggest killers of all. Moreover, in refugee camps and urban communities alike, the pervasive incidence of violence within families and communities feeds and is fed by violence in its other forms. Human rights abuses and immigration problems exist not only across the ocean, but also in New Mexico where people face issues of racism, classism, oppression, poverty, immigration rights, education problems and much more.

In our program, students look at global situations and examine what is occurring in their own communities where they are tasked with finding viable, sustainable solutions to these complex situations. This is a flexible program where you work closely with the program advisor to develop a course of study tailored to meet your interests and goals.

Peace Studies students analyze historical, philosophical, socio-cultural, political-economic and psychological influences that often lead to violent conflict, and the nonviolent alternative pathways toward sustainable peace. In both classroom and experiential learning like internships, students are invited to think critically about our world, to act creatively, and to fashion their own and our collective future in a holistic and supportive educational environment. 

There are three thematic tracks available that can be explored through courses on the theory and ethics of war and peace and methods and practice of conflict resolution in regional, national, and international levels:

  • Justice and Healing
  • Violence Prevention and Conflict Resolution and Transformation
  • Structural and Institutional Change and Development

Ultimately, the goals of the Peace Studies program reinforce the overall goals of liberal arts education and critical thinking skills development: to inform, to enrich and to strengthen humanistic values within society.

Peace Studies is readily integrated into undergraduate programs in other schools and colleges within the university system. Careers in armed forces, education, foreign service, health and human services, law and law enforcement, management, public service and the fine arts are enhanced by the study of conflict and its peaceful resolution. Understanding issues of social and environmental justice are imperative in today’s world and learning how to use ‘peace making’ tools as actions against the structural violence that surrounds people everyday is a necessity for the planet’s (and humanity's) survival. 

Peace Studies utilizes disciplinary frameworks found within many A&S departments, and has applications in across depatments such as:

Undergraduate Program

UNM Catalog

Programs of Study


  • Peace Studies

Contact Information

Undergraduate Academic Advisor(s): 
Advisor office locations vary. Please click on your advisor's name below to learn more.
Advising Email:
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Department Location:
UAEC (University Advisement and Enrichment Center, Bldg 85), Suite 135

Department/Program Website