The Pearson Institute Global Conflict Studies Specialization


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 Specialization is designed to prepare students for careers in government, non-governmental organizations, international organizations, or multinational corporations.

Students who complete this specialization 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

Harris specializations function as areas of specialization within the degree. Specializations assume knowledge of the 6-course Harris Core and build upon that foundation with coursework in specific policy areas or technical skills.

In addition, we encourage students pursuing the specialization to participate in events sponsored by The Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts.

Application Process

The specialization is open to any University of Chicago graduate student. Harris students please indicate your intent to pursue this specialization using the Harris Specialization Declaration Form. If you are a non-Harris student and intend to complete the requirements for the Global Conflict specialization please submit the Harris Specialization Application for Non-Harris Students to indicate you are pursuing this specialization.

For specialization registration questions, please reach out to

Planning for the Specialization

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

Specialization Requirements

The specialization will be awarded to students who complete any three of the qualifying courses. Students must achieve at least a B- grade in each course. No specialization course may be taken on a pass/fail grading basis. Students should complete the formal signup process to indicate their intention to pursue the specialization.

The following two courses are recommended as a fundamental sequence of the specialization:

Other qualifying specialization courses

Specialization Contacts

Anna Medearis, Administrative Director

Oeindrila Dube, Specialization Director

Oeindrila Dube

Philip K. Pearson Professor of Global Conflict Studies

Oeindrila Dube

Oeindrila Dube is an economist and political scientist who studies conflict and crime. Her current research interests span from religious extremism in developing countries to effective policing in the United States.