Peace and Conflict Studies

Choose a degree that can change the world

A peace studies student in front of old stone buildings looking into camera

Taylor originally came to Waterloo to study Psychology, but after taking the Roots of Conflict, Violence, and Peace course in second year, she knew she had to switch her major to Peace and Conflict Studies. Taylor was able to explore potential careers through co-op work terms and volunteer opportunities at the on-campus Women's Centre, Fossil Free Waterloo, Lawyers Feed the Hungry, and Peace Camp.

Find out how peace is built in complicated situations around the world by connecting theory and practice.

Choose courses from a wide variety of subjects to tailor your program towards your own area of interest. Experience community through small classes and engaged professors. Explore the theory and practice of conflict resolution, human rights, and international development, and get some first-hand experience through co-op placements or a Peace and Conflict Studies internship.

Understand the factors that drive conflict and violence. Think critically about how peace can be built in complex situations to move towards a healthy society where communities and individuals flourish.  

Program highlights

Experience transformational learning. Pursue an internship and take classes with specialists in peacebuilding who will share both their academic and practical expertise.

Enrich your education. Connect with other students and professors who share your passion by joining the Peace and Conflict Studies Living Learning Community at Conrad Grebel University College, located on Waterloo’s main campus.


What will you learn? 

First-year courses

During your first year, you'll take two introductory Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS) courses. Plus, you'll have electives to explore an additional major of your choosing. In upper years, 40% of the classes you'll take will be PACS courses.

Learn about courses you'll take for your PACS degree.

Customize your degree

You can add additional areas of expertise to your degree by including one or more of the program's areas of focus.

  • Applied Conflict Resolution
  • Violence and Nonviolence
  • Religion and Culture
  • Development, Human Rights, and Social Justice

You can also include one of the minors available to all Waterloo students. Popular choices for Peace and Conflict Studies students include Human Resource Management, Legal Studies, and Political Science.


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Apply to Honours Arts or Honours Arts and Business and choose Peace and Conflict Studies as your major at the end of first year.

Ontario students: six Grade 12 U and/or M courses including

  • Any Grade 12 U English (minimum final grade of at least 70%)

Admission average: Low 80s (co-op and regular)

Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements for Honours Arts or Honours Arts and Business.

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Questions about courses, programs, requirements, careers?

Please contact our Faculty of Arts recruitment team who can answer any questions you have.


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