Peace Studies

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Local:$ 69.8 k / Year(s) Foreign:$ 69.8 k / Year(s) Deadline: Dec 15, 2023
170 place StudyQA ranking:6084 Duration:

The Kroc Institute, a leading center for interdisciplinary peace research and teaching, offers six doctoral degrees. Students choose one of these distinct, yet related, programs.

  • Ph.D. in Anthropology & Peace Studies
  • Ph.D. in History & Peace Studies
  • Ph.D. in Political Science & Peace Studies
  • Ph.D. in Psychology & Peace Studies
  • Ph.D. in Sociology & Peace Studies
  • Ph.D. in Theology & Peace Studies

The program is designed to empower students to become outstanding scholars and teachers who will make important contributions to a growing body of peacebuilding knowledge and practice that will, in the long run, alleviate violence and human suffering. Apply to the Ph.D. Program »

The doctoral program:

  • provides solid methodological training within rich bodies of knowledge from time-honored disciplines.
  • creates opportunities for creative research design and interdisciplinary theorizing, problem-centered inquiry, and peacebuilding practice.

Doctoral students are prepared for a wide range of scholarly, teaching, and professional positions, including interdisciplinary academic positions; positions in which employers seek expertise in the peace and conflict subfields of anthropology, history, political science, psychology, sociology, or theology; and scholar-practitioner positions in intergovernmental, governmental, or nongovernmental organizations.

The Kroc Institute welcomes applications from students of high academic ability who seek a doctoral degree in anthropology and peace studies, historyand peace studies, political science and peace studies, psychology and peace studies, sociology and peace studies, or theology and peace studies.

We seek highly qualified men and women from all regions of the world and from diverse religious and secular traditions.

Each of the six partner departments (anthropology, history, political science, psychology, sociology, theology) has specific requirements for earning a dual Ph.D., while the requirements in peace studies are similar for all doctoral students. Doctoral students typically:

  • meet course requirements and pass a comprehensive exam in one partner department as well as in peace studies
  • take a minimum of 6 required peace studies courses taught by Kroc Institute faculty as well as departmental courses with significant content relevant to peace studies
  • study core peace studies literature and research design
  • submit a peace studies article to a scholarly journal to be considered for publication
  • submit at least one proposal to an external funding agency for doctoral research
  • complete a teaching assistantship in "Introduction to Peace Studies"
  • complete one or more research or teaching assistantships with Kroc Institute faculty engaged in scholarship related to the Institute's research themes, and
  • conduct dissertation research and writing under the guidance of Kroc faculty and fellows

Foundational peace studies courses for the Ph.D. include:

    • International Peace Research: Origins, Methodologies, Results
    • Strategic Peacebuilding: Organizing the Field
    • Methods in Peace Research
    • Practice and Theory in Peacebuilding
    • Two electives in peace studies

Sample electives include (subject to change)

    • Communal and Transnational Conflict Resolution
    • Ethics, Law, and International Conflict
    • Gender and Human Development
    • Gender, Conflict, and Peace Studies
    • Globalization and Multinational Corporate Responsibility
    • International Political Economy
    • Islam and Muslim-Christian Dialogue
    • Modern Genocide
    • Nonviolent Social Change
    • Peacebuilding and Public Policy
    • Politics of Reconciliation
    • Social Movements in Global Perspective
    • Trauma and Peacebuilding
    • Theories of Civil War and Civil Conflict
    • Universal Protection of Human Rights
    • Women's Human Rights

For information on departmental offerings, see the websites for the departments of anthropology, history, political science, psychology, sociology, or theology.

PRES (Peace Research and Education Seminar)

All Ph.D. students and Kroc faculty members attend this monthly seminar, during which a visiting scholar, faculty member or graduate student presents and receives feedback on research in progress. Ph.D. students often serve as formal discussants and are active participants in these multidisciplinary conversations.

Recent PRES seminar topics include: 

  • "Transnational Feminist Praxis in the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom in the Aftermath of the Second World War"
  • "This is Our Law! Child Rights and Power in Northern Sierra Leone"
  • "The Challenges of Quality Peace: Reflections on Peter Wallensteen's Recent Book"
  • "Following Sister Cecilia in Pabbo: Anthropological Theology as Apprenticeship to the Other"
  • "Armed with Good Intentions: Explaining Arms Embargo Compliance"
  • "Defining Good Governance and Its Relation to Prevention of Armed Conflict"
  • "Gender Roles Amidst Political, Social, Economic, and Religious Change: Bangladesh and Senegal as Cases"
  • “Daily Interactions, Indignity, and the Locus of Conflict in Refugee Camps: A View from Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya”
  • "Practicing Conversation: Feminist Research with Women Activists on the Israeli and Palestinian Religious Right."
  • “Systematic Peace: CPA Implementation and Long-Term Conflict Reduction”
  • “Drawing on Beauty: Aesthetics, Authority and International Law"
  • “Interpreting Islam: US Relations with Iraq and Indonesia, 1956-1968” 

Only one application is required to be admitted to one of the 6 joint Ph.D. programs in peace studies. However, you MAY apply simultaneously for admission to one of the peace studies Ph.D. programs and to a separate doctoral program of one of the six departments (anthropology, history, political science, psychology, sociology, or theology). If you choose to do this, you must submit TWO complete applications ­ — one for each program. In this case, all application materials must be submitted separately with each application; documents cannot be shared. You must submit transcripts, GRE scores, recommenders, curriculum vitae, new statement of intent and writing sample for each Ph.D. application you submit.

  • University of Notre Dame Graduate School application
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Statement of Intent
  • Writing sample
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Transcripts
  • Letter of Verification of English Proficiency (for non-native speakers of English only)
  • TOEFL or IELTS (for non-native speakers of English only). The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) institution code for Notre Dame is 1841. A department code is not necessary, but you can use 5101 if needed. Any score below 600 (paper-based), 250 (computer-based) or 80 (Internet-based) is questionableThe IELTS (International English Language Testing System) does not have or use institution codes. The minimum acceptable IELTS score is 7.0. 
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE)
  • Application fee


The University offers three types of financial support to graduate students: tuition scholarships, assistantships, and fellowships. 

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