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    Saybrook University
  Feb 06, 2023
2021-2022 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook 
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2021-2022 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook [Archived Catalog]

Transformative Social Change, Peace and Justice Studies Specialization, M.A.

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Specialization Coordinator: Joy Meeker, Ph.D.

Students in Transformative Social Change Program MA program may opt to declare a Specialization in Peace and Justice Studies.


Violent conflict and injustice are ubiquitous. They are also costly in lives and in resources. The Specialization in Peace and Justice Studies prepares students with a deep understanding of the complex causes of societal conflicts and contributors to social injustice, in order to break the cycle of violence and create more just and sustainable social systems. Its special contribution is to relate specific issues and actions regarding peace and justice to a larger transformative social change framework, which engages people to delve more deeply into the causes of social problems at all levels and the processes that can contribute to a more peaceful and just society.

In a historically troubled world, peace and justice don’t happen by accident — they take the effort of diverse people working together to resolve deep-rooted conflicts. The past century left a legacy of violent international conflicts, genocidal wars, massive casualties among civilians and soldiers, the creation of refugee populations, the usurpation of resources needed for local sustainable living, and the allocation of human and material resources in unjust ways. During the first decades of the 21st century, these destructive forces have continued. Bringing a multidisciplinary, multidimensional perspective to bear on these issues, the Specialization supports an understanding of the causes of violence and the potential of restorative justice and nonviolent efforts to transform conflicts into constructive change.

The Specialization in Peace and Justice Studies provides students with critical skills that will prepare them to contribute to efforts aimed at overcoming societal injustice and conflict—from the interpersonal to the global—and the capacities that support increased peace and justice, including:

  • Exploring contemporary global challenges to world peace
  • Learning cross-cultural conflict resolution and restorative justice practices
  • Developing ways to address the multicultural dimensions of societal conflict and injustice
  • Expanding the range of tools available to peace practitioners and scholars

Peace and Justice Studies Specialization Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

1. Demonstrate leadership capacities that foster participatory and inclusive environments.

2. Construct social change interventions that reflect the values of peace and justice.

3. Classify and apply transdisciplinary models of peace and justice.

4. Analyze the multicultural dimensions of society in the creation of peaceful and just social relationships and systems.

5. Connect the role of compassion to the creation of peaceful and just social systems.

Program Requirements

Peace and Justice Studies Specialization Electives

Choose One:

Total Credits: 33-36

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