Peace Studies

​Peace studies draws on many different disciplines to understand the causes of conflict, as well as how to prevent war and human rights violations, and build peaceful societies. Justice is central to the discipline. To achieve justice, we must strive for a situation of just and harmonious communities. ​

​Why Choose Peace Studies?

You will consider problems of war, injustice, genocide and violence in order to find solutions. The peace studies program is flexible and allows you to design a program of study that will deepen your understanding of the issues that concern you. You will learn about strategies that people have used to fight for peace, justice and human rights.

The Classes

The peace studies major is interdisciplinary and includes courses in political science, sociology, history, anthropology, psychology and philosophy. As a peace studies major, you will examine:

  • Arms races and war
  • Economic, political and social justice
  • Conflict creation, management and resolution
  • Nonviolent philosophies and strategies of resistance
  • World community and world government

The Faculty

The peace studies faculty span 14 disciplines and several schools of the College, drawing from the social sciences, the humanities, business, and the natural and applied sciences. Many have strong relationships with international peace organizations, including the United Nations. Small class sizes and a robust calendar of campus events allow you to develop a close connection with your professors.

The Experience

You will have many opportunities to make your voice heard, on and off campus.

Manhattan College has one of the oldest peace studies programs in the United States. The first course was offered in 1966, and the major was established in 1971. With such a rich history, the College is host to many major social justice events, such as the Human Rights Film Festival, and esteemed speakers, such as:

  • Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic Worker movement
  • Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking
  • David Shipler, author of The Working Poor

New York City also is home to national and international organizations involved in contemporary questions of peace in a globalized world. Our students get real-life experience as interns with fair trade, non-governmental organizations and international nonprofits. Recent internships include:

  • Center for War, Peace and the News Media
  • MADRE–an organization in solidarity with Latin American women
  • RAINBO–a group working to end female genital mutilation in Africa
  • Council on Foreign Relations
  • September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows
  • Fellowship of Reconciliation

What Will You Learn?

You will develop skills that are well-suited for 21st century careers in a global world. In addition to excellent critical thinking and communication skills, you will:

  • Learn the history and present role of unions and the peace movement
  • Discover the position of fair trade goods in a global economy
  • Discuss contemporary forms of slavery and economic inequalities
  • Develop an understanding of ethical and religious perspectives of work
  • Develop an understanding of workplace health and safety

Peace studies can be paired with another academic discipline, and it is also offered as a minor.

See degree requirements

What Will You Do?

The peace studies program focuses on issues related to peace, conflict and war, human rights and social justice, preparing students for work in a wide variety of professions. 

Peace is not something that is won and achieved for all time. It is a state that has to be nourished constantly with works of peace ...It is imperative to educate in the ways of peace and to be educated in those same ways.

Pope Paul VI, in a letter to Manhattan College on the occasion of the inaugural peace studies convocation in 1967