PACS Academic Plans

All PACS academic plans comprise half PACS courses and half PACS Approved courses from other departments. This will give you a rich interdisciplinary experience undergirded by a strong foundation in core theory and practice from the Peace and Conflict Studies program.

The Undergraduate Studies Academic Calendar is the official and primary source for up-to-date degree requirements for all students. You will find specific requirements for PACS academic plans here and overall Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements.

To help you understand your academic plan, the PACS department has created checklists to help students organize and track their requirements.

PACS Approved Courses

The official list of PACS-approved courses is updated annually in the University of Waterloo Undergraduate Studies Academic Calendar according to each academic plan. The list of PACS-approved courses can change slightly from year to year, so you should verify that you are using the list for the calendar year you are registered. All of the past Undergraduate Calendar years are available to view online. If you are not sure which academic calendar you are registered under, contact Ndagire Brendah, the PACS Academic Advisor.

Where you find the list of Peace and Conflict Studies approved courses inadequate for your needs, you may request the Peace and Conflict Studies administration to have a specific course(s) accepted as a PACS-approved course(s). We recommend submitting your request before registering for the course because there is no guarantee that the request will be approved. Any questions about this process should be submitted to Ndagire Brendah, the PACS Academic Advisor.

PACS Streams

The field of Peace and Conflict Studies is very broad and covers many theoretical and practical themes related to interpersonal, inter-group, local, and international conflicts, and/or systemic harms. There are four streams in PACS that are designed to give students a suggested direction of study within the broader field of PACS and assist in course selection based on your area of interest.

These are not formal specializations, but rather suggested courses based on student interest. Taking courses in a specific stream will help you focus your studies on a particular theme, but there will be no notation on your final diploma of this concentration.

The four streams of study are: 

1) Development, Human Rights, and Social Justice

Suggested PACS courses:

  • PACS 311 - Doing Development: Issues of Justice and Peace

  • PACS 318 - Peacebuilding in Divided Societies

  • PACS 321/GSJ 311 - Gender in War and Peace

  • PACS 324 - Human Rights, Peace, and Business

  • PACS 332 - Ethics of Peace Building

Suggested PACS Approved courses:

  • BLKST 201: Taking B(l)ack History
  • BLKST 203: Introduction to Anti-Racist Communication
  • PSCI 350: Political Economy of Development
  • GEOG 462/ERS 462/PSCI 488: Global Food and Agricultural Politics
  • LS 352/PHIL 328: Human Rights
  • HIST 321: Human Rights in Historical Perspective
  • HRTS 201: Foundations and Critiques of Human Rights
  • HRTS 301: Human Rights and the United Nations
  • SOC 256: Ethnic and Racial Relations
  • SDS 311R: Indigenous Peoples and Canadian Public Policy
  • SDS 411R: Decolonization and Social Action
  • SPAN 400: Memory, Human Rights, and Reconciliation

2) Applied Conflict Resolution

Suggested PACS courses:

  • PACS 313 - Community Conflict Resolution

  • PACS 314 - Restorative Justice and Transformative Education

  • PACS 315 - Engineering and Peace

  • PACS 323/LS 319 - Negotiation in Theory and Practice

  • PACS 329/LS 344 - Restorative Justice

  • PACS 331 - Trauma and Healing and Social Transformation

  • PACS 333 - Advanced Mediation Practice

  • PACS 391 - Conflict Resolution Skills Training Workshops

  • PACS 390 - Internship

Suggested PACS Approved courses:

  • COMMST 432: Conflict Management
  • SYDE 533: Conflict Resolution
  • SMF 307: Conflict in Close Relationships
  • PSCI 369: The Politics of Decolonization
  • PSYCH 439: Negotiation in the Workplace: Theories and Practice

3) Violence and Non-Violence

Suggested PACS courses:

  • PACS 316/PHIL 329 - Violence, Nonviolence, and War

  • PACS 320/RS 256 - Christian Approaches to Peacemaking

  • PACS 321/GSJ 331 - Gender in War and Peace

  • PACS 330/RS 353 - War and Peace in Christian Theology

Suggested PACS Approved courses:

  • BLKST 103: Combating Racisms
  • INDG 201: The Indigenous Experience in Canada
  • INDG 272: Issues in Contemporary Indigenous Communities in Canada
  • INDG 301: Critical Theories of Indigeneity in a Global Perspective
  • PSCI 481: Interstate War
  • RS 335: Christianity, Violence, and the Bible
  • ENGL 309G/COMMST 434: The Discourse of Dissent
  • LS 327/SOC 327: Policing in a Democratic Society
  • LS 386: Law and Violence
  • SOCWK 357R: Family Violence
  • SDSR 449R: Prejudice and Discrimination

4) Religion and Culture

Suggested PACS courses:

  • PACS 312 - Quest for Peace in Literature and Film

  • PACS 320/RS 256 - Christian Approaches to Peacemaking

  • PACS 326/RS 380 - Religion and Peacemaking

  • PACS 327 - Cultural Approaches to Conflict Resolution

  • PACS 330/RS 353 - War and Peace in Christian Theology

Suggested PACS Approved courses:

  • ANTH 202: Social and Cultural Anthropology
  • ANTH 311: Anthropology of Religion
  • INDG 318: Indigenous Worldviews and Spirituality
  • JS 237/RS 237: Insiders and Outsiders in the Bible
  • LS 224/SOC 201: Victims and Society
  • MUSIC 334/WS 334: Women, Music, and Gender
  • PSYCH 352: Culture and Psychology
  • PSCI 362: Politics of Indigenous Peoples
  • RS 121: Evil
  • SDS 421R: (Re)framing Indigenous-Settler Relations
  • SMF 205: The Dark Side of Sexuality
  • SPAN 150: Welcome to Latin America
  • SPAN 217: First Nations, Native Americans, Pueblos Originarios

Academic Resources

Milton Good Library

The PACS program is located at Conrad Grebel University College, which also houses the Milton Good Library. This library specializes in Peace and Conflict Studies collections and is an excellent resource to PACS students! Laureen Harder-Gissing, the PACS Liaison Librarian, is also located at Grebel and is available to provide specialized research assistance to PACS students.

Student Success Office

The Student Success Office offers study skills workshops, online resources to help you organize and manage your university life (academically and otherwise), peer mentorship programs, and so much more.

Writing and Communication Centre

The Writing and Communication Centre offers workshops, drop-in appointments, and online resources to help you improve your writing and communication skills. From getting help on a specific piece of writing to developing those presentation skills, the Writing Centre is a great resource. 

Centre for Career Development

The Centre for Career Development offers workshops, one-on-one career advising, and an abundance of career-related resources. Appointments can be booked with a career advisor to discuss career exploration and strategy, job search tactics, mock interviews, and resumes. Generally, you can book up to 3 sessions for each appointment during your time at Waterloo. 

Graduate programs in Canada related to PACS

International graduate programs related to PACS

Institution Degree
Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies
University of Notre Dame
Indiana, U.S.A.
MA in Peace Studies

The University of Bradford Rotary Peace Centre
University of Bradford
Bradford, England 

MA in Advanced Practice in Peacebuilding and Conflict Resolution

MA in Peace, Resilience and Social Justice

MA in Peace, Conflict and Development Studies

Uppsala Rotary Peace Center
Uppsala University 
Uppsala, Sweden

Master's Programme in Peace and Conflict Studies

Academic Advisor

Ndagire Brendah is the PACS Undergraduate Academic and Administrative Officer and is the primary academic advisor for all students pursuing a PACS academic plan.

You can reach Ndagire at to set up an appointment or ask any questions about PACS requirements.