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    Saybrook University
  Apr 25, 2024
2023-2024 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook with Spring Addendum 
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2023-2024 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook with Spring Addendum

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

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Overview of Program

The Specialization in Peace and Justice Studies prepares students with a deep understanding of the complex causes of societal conflicts and social injustice, in order to create more just and sustainable social systems. Its special contribution relates 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 in hopes of contributing to a more peaceful, just and sustainable world. 

Bringing a multidisciplinary and holistic perspective, the Specialization supports an understanding of the causes of violence and the potential of restorative justice, transformative justice and nonviolent efforts to leverage 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 challenges to peace with justice on community through global levels 
  • Learning cross-cultural conflict resolution and restorative justice practices 
  • Developing ways to address the multicultural dimensions of societal conflict and injustice. 

Program Learning Outcomes

  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, just, and sustainable systems. 


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

Career Opportunities

A Peace and Justice Studies Specialization prepares students as scholar-practitioners to apply their knowledge to a successful career in numerous areas, including nonprofit organizations and educational environments-focusing on human rights, multicultural justice, community building, conflict transformation, the environment, and social justice. 

Program Requirements

Admissions Requirements

Applicants for the M.A. Transformative Social Change, Peace and Justice Studies Specialization must submit the following documents:   

  • Application for Admissions   
  • An official transcript from an accredited university demonstrating successful completion of a master's degree, with a 3.0 GPA or better;   
  • Professional resume or CV;   
  • Personal statement; and   
  • One Letter of recommendation   

University Learning Experience

Virtual Learning Experience (VLE) - Required, Community Learning Experience (CLE) - Required

All new students begin their studies with a Welcome Week. Welcome Week activities, including a degree program orientation, are held online during the week ahead of the start of the fall and spring semesters. Participation is strongly encouraged.

All students are also required to attend a 5-day Virtual Learning Experience (VLE) held online at the beginning of each semester. The VLE offers didactic/topical, research, and practice-oriented seminars, sessions introducing each core course in the program, and group meetings of the program as a whole. The virtual conferences also involve informal exchanges with other students and program faculty for mentoring and socialization to the field. Additionally, students are required to attend an in-person Community Learning Experience once every two years (fall of odd years).

M.A. students attend until they have begun their M.A. Project or Thesis.   


Students may choose to participate in an optional semester-long Practicum in Professional Practice (TSC 8151), where they participate in twenty hours each week in a nonprofit, educational, community or governmental setting, and write up a review of that experience at the end of the semester. Participation in fieldwork is subject to the student’s state of residence. Contact the Admissions Department for more information. 

Program Specific Requirements

Residential Conference Substitution Process  

If students would like to substitute attendance at a professional conference for attendance at one of the VCs, they need to identify a faculty member who will sponsor them in this request. The conference must be at least five days, in accordance with Saybrook’s Virtual Conference. Students must complete the “Authorization Request to Substitute for Virtual Conference” form and submit it for approval no less than 30 days before the VC to be substituted.  

Following the conference, students must complete the “Confirmation of Attendance at Substitute Conference” form and send to their faculty sponsor. After review and approval, the faculty sponsor will then forward it to the degree Department Chair, who will complete the recording process. Tangible documentation of attendance for the entire event is required, along with a copy of the completed Authorization Request signed by the supervising faculty member and any other required academic work or learning product required by the supervising faculty member.  


Total credits: 33-36

A credit hour for an online course represents 15 hours of instructional activity (e.g., engagement with web-based instructional materials) toward achieving specified student learning outcomes.  For online courses, the 15 hours of instructional activity may include but are not limited to synchronous or asynchronous lectures or webinars, interactive tutorials, and online discussions. A credit hour also assumes an additional 30 hours of homework, studying, and/or research. Partial credits are not granted.  

Mode of Delivery

Hybrid Online Learning Model   

The M.A. Transformative Social Change, Peace and Justice Studies Specialization degree program combines online learning with periodic in-person residential conferences.  For distance online or hybrid courses, the total hours of work typically required for any class of work reflects: 1) synchronous and asynchronous components that facilitate faculty-student and student-student interaction (virtual classrooms, discussion boards, and chats) and 2) independent learning components (readings, recorded lectures, written assignments, and quizzes).    

Length of Program

The degree completion time for a full-time student enrolled in the M.A. Transformative Social Change, Peace and Justice Studies Specialization following the default course sequence will range from 2 -3 years. Any breaks in enrollment and/or reduced enrollment may impact completion time.  

Program Requirements

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