Prepare yourself for a career in government or at non-governmental organizations, international organizations, or multinational corporations.

While past generations witnessed world wars and other great power struggles, global conflict has evolved to include violent extremism, large-scale displacement, and failed nations. Future leaders must also adapt their concepts and empirical approaches in order to understand the new nature of conflict when proposing solutions for the future.

By focusing on comparative development, political economy, and applied methodology, The Pearson Institute Global Conflict Studies Certificate is designed to prepare students for careers in government, non-governmental organizations, international organizations, or multinational corporations.

Students who complete this certificate will be able to:

  • Develop the ability to discern what makes empirical evidence compelling related to conflict study
  • Assess key arguments advanced in the arena of conflict and consider, through an evidence-based lens, the relationship of conflict to factors such as economic opportunity, natural resources, foreign aid, military technology, ethnic divisions and identity, etc.
  • Understand the intersection between state-level societal incentives and global governance structures

The certificate’s curated list of electives is designed to allow students to explore multiple academic approaches to understanding conflict, including from anthropology, economics, political science, and psychology and to become familiar with policy fields related to conflict, including governance, energy and environment, human rights, economic development and more. In addition, we encourage students pursuing the certificate to participate in events sponsored by The Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts.

Application Process

The certificate is open to any University of Chicago graduate student. Harris students please indicate your intent to pursue this certificate using the Harris Certificate Application Form during the application period open in October and June of each academic year. If you are a non-Harris student and intend to complete the requirements for the Global Conflict Studies certificate please submit the Harris Certificate Application for Non-Harris Students to indicate you are pursuing this certificate.

Planning for the Certificate

For information on which quarter(s) each course will be offered see the Harris Courses page and filter by certificate. For courses offered by other divisions the typical quarter(s) offered has been indicated.

Certificate Requirements

The certificate requires completion of three certificate courses. No certificate course may be taken on a pass/fail basis. The courses do not need to be taken in a particular order. Students should contact their advisor to indicate their intention to pursue the certificate.

Required courses

Students must complete three of the following courses to fulfill the requirement:

  • PPHA 32740 Order and Violence
  • PPHA 32750 Hydropolitics: Water Policy and Conflict
  • PPHA 33510 Nuclear Policy
  • PPHA 35245 Violence in the Early Years
  • PPHA 38740 Conflict: Root Causes, Consequences, and Solutions for the Future
  • PPHA 38750 Refugees, Security and Forced Migration (not offered in 2019-2020)
  • PPHA 38790 Introduction to Peacebuilding
  • PPHA 39830 / PLSC 48401 Quantitative Security
  • PPHA 44550 Weak States and International Relations
  • PPHA 60000 Global Conflict Policy Lab
  • PLSC 48700 Crime, Conflict, and the State
  • SSAD 47812 Human Rights Policy and Practice
  • LAWS 43262 International Human Rights
  • SSAD 46922 Structuring Refuge: U.S. Refugee Policy and Resettlement Practice

The following courses are eligible for the Global Conflict Studies Certificate only if taken in the 2018-2019 academic year. 

  • PPHA 32735: African Development
  • PPHA 39750: Politics and Public Policy in Latin America