About Peace and Conflict Studies

Purpose | What it is | Mission | PACS students | Contact us


The purpose of the Peace and Conflict Studies program is to explore why conflict and violence occur, and to understand how conflict can be transformed by "collaborative decision-making" to accomplish constructive ends.

PACS students interacting

Peace is:

A healthy society where communities and individuals flourish. It involves just relationships among its members. It is a space where all people are welcome to pursue goals that enhance the well-being of themselves, their communities and their environment.

Conflict is:

An inescapable part of the human experience. While conflict is often viewed as being undesirable, it is not necessarily "bad" nor the result of unreasonable or evil intentions. Conflict need not lead to violence and can actually serve the positive function of enabling society to develop creative solutions to current social problems. If managed properly, conflict and the competition that arises from it, can serve as the "glue" that holds together a peaceable society.


 Within the parameters of the mission of Conrad Grebel University College, the PACS mission states: "In a manner consistent with Mennonite Anabaptist beliefs, the mission of PACS is to educate students to pursue peace and justice in the context of diverse investigations into the origins and nature of conflict and violence. The program strives to educate, invigorate and mobilize students to make use of conceptual and/or practical models to imagine and build a culture of peace between individuals, in our communities, among nations and around the world."

Who are PACS students?

All students at the University of Waterloo are able to take PACS courses.

PACS can be taken as an Honours, 4-year general, or 3-year general major, as well as a minor. It can also be combined with another discipline in many other faculties at University of Waterloo in a joint major.

PACS students have the option to pursue a more specialized stream of study. These streams are designed to encourage students to direct their learning within a specific area of study of PACS.

As well, there is a Master’s of Peace and Conflict Studies program that students are able to apply to after they have completed their four years at university.

For more information, contact Rachel Reist, PACS Undergraduate Officer and Internships Coordinator.

Purpose | What it is | Mission | PACS students | Contact us