Center for Peace and Conflict Studies Graduate Certificate Program 

Graduate students interested in Peace & Conflict Studies now have the opportunity to obtain a Graduate Certificate in Peace and Security Studies (GCPSS). This certificate program, with its emphasis on peaceful borders, is the only one of its type in Michigan . 

This emerging field has been developed in professional level programs at universities such as Notre Dame, San Diego, George Mason, Georgetown, MIT, Yale, Maryland , and Tufts.

The upwelling of violent disputes, civil disruption, military campaigns, human rights controversies and security concerns worldwide has led to new emphasis on constructive intervention and positive solutions to violent human confrontations. Concern about ethnic tensions, terrorism, border conflict, immigration, weapons flows, alternate security perspectives and violence at home and abroad create a great need for understanding the circumstances and means by which peace is threatened, reinforced, and preserved. On the inter-personal level, issues of abuse, violence, and incivility also must be addressed.

Many of these topics now characterize job and career opportunities in a variety of fields. The Graduate Certificate in Peace and Security Studies (GCPSS), administered by the WSU Center for Peace and Conflict Studies, offers a unique added credential for students undertaking masters level study or who have completed an accredited graduate degree and are looking forward to work in such areas as social service, diplomacy, education, public service, theology, security management, and law enforcement.

Credibility in this field requires the study of violence, security, and peace related issues from a variety of perspectives and disciplines. Among these are ethical, legal, political, social, geographic, economic, and psychological. Through introductory and elective courses, students should gain familiarity with the sources and control of human violence, with issues ranging from identity and aggression to security and conciliatory policy, geographic and functional boundaries.

For more information about CPCS, please contact Frederic Pearson, Director, and download the Brochure for GCPSS.


Admission to the GPCSS program is open to students who:

  • Have been admitted to a disciplinary Masters Degree program at Wayne State University or at the University of Windsor
  • Who have completed an M.A. or equivalent degree in an appropriate discipline at an accredited institution

Applicants who have completed a Masters at a non-North American university will be required to submit two letters of academic recommendation, a writing sample, a personal statement indicating the reasons for pursuing the GCPSS, and evidence, as appropriate, or English proficiency (e.g., TOEFL score).



The GCPSS requires a minimum completion of 15 credit hours in Peace/Security Studies related courses; no more than three credit hours may count toward both GCPSS and the student’s disciplinary graduate degree. Required core courses include PCS 6100, PCS 7100, and PCS 7800
(Internship or Practicum). 

Students in the program will be required to maintain at least a 3.0 average in peace and security studies core and elective courses. Respective graduate school time limits on completion of degree or certificate and regulations on the transfer of credits from other programs will apply.

The GCPSS is awarded upon completion of the student’s MA/MS/MSW/MBA (or equivalent) requirements along with certificate requirements. 

Graduate Certificate Courses

Core requirements for Graduate Certificate in Peace and Security Studies:

  • PCS 6100 - Introduction to Graduate Peace and Security Studies (Cr. 3)
  • PCS 7100 - Peacemaking: Regional, Technological, Transnational, Perspectives (Cr. 3)
  • PCS 7800 -  Graduate Practicum in Peace and Security Studies (Cr. 3-4)*
  • 6 - 9 hours of electives.

Elective topics:

  • Culture, Diversity, and Identity
  • Violence and Enforcement
  • Equity and Justice


Fieldwork can take the form of an applied research project or an internship placement at a relevant international or community agency dealing with issues of political violence, group violence, or border management.

At completion of the certificate, each student will be required to submit a small portfolio of what they consider to be their best work in the program.


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