Peace and Conflict Studies

Turbulent times like ours call for people who understand systems of violence and conflict, and who are prepared to build peace with justice.  This involves identifying and transforming systems of violence, marginalization, and oppression, including racist, gendered and colonial violence at home as well as around the world. Whether working locally or globally, Peace and Conflict Studies is committed to imagining, educating, and ongoing learning that equips our graduates to pursue justice and peace.

PACS as a department is located on territory that is governed by the Dish with One Spoon Wampum and land promised to the Six Nations Confederacy in 1784 as part of the Haldimand Declaration. For more information, see Conrad Grebel University College's land acknowledgement and read about decolonization at the University of Waterloo's Office of Indigenous Relations.

Why Study Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS)?

Learn diverse ways to promote peace, equitable justice, and social change through a vibrant interdisciplinary program that combines the study of history, political science, sociology, and psychology to understand better the causes and impact of interpersonal, communal, and international conflicts and violence in different societies. You will explore theory, research, and practice in classes taught by leading peace and justice scholars and practitioners. As an arts student, you will bring a unique perspective and set of skills to peace and conflict studies. Your creativity, critical thinking, and empathy can help contribute to finding new and innovative solutions to the complex challenges of peacebuilding and conflict resolution. 

Take courses on conflict mediation, non-violent social change, gender and peacebuilding, religion and culture, environment, community transformation, human rights and social justice, refugees and forced migration, negotiation strategies, trauma, healing, and restorative justice. 

Prepare to become a peace practitioner, community leader, or entrepreneur in conflict management programs or work with community and international development organizations, education systems, law firms, social services, refugee resettlement program support agencies, and more after graduation. 

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Who are PACS graduates?

PACS graduates have gone into many careers and used their training in different ways.

To learn more about what students can do after they graduate from PACS, check out our alumni profiles


When Devon Spier, a Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS) Alumni, was asked to summarize their experience with the program, and to talk about what take-away they carried forward with them, they talked about the need to exist in difficult spaces and celebrate differences. Experiences from studying PACS to where they are now are all linked by the importance of finding strength through your differences.  


Wednesday, March 15, 2023

PACS Co-op Profile: Afiyah Basil

As a co-op student, a Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS) student, and someone involved in leadership roles at Waterloo, Afiyah has been able to make the most out of her degree. Afiyah is a double major student of PACS and Psychology, and as she completes her 4A term, she can reflect on the classroom and co-op experiences that have helped her grow.