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Kennesaw State University: School of Conflict Management, Peacebuilding and Development


Conflict—whether at home or abroad—produces a need for strategies and tools to systematically analyze, understand, and explain the mechanisms that contribute to its resolution. The School of Conflict Management, Peacebuilding and Development at Kennesaw State University, in Georgia, addresses this need through its Center for Conflict Management and the school’s two graduate programs: the Master of Science in Conflict Management (MSCM) and the PhD in International Conflict Management (INCM).

The Center for Conflict Management, founded in 1996, works locally and globally to promote peace and conflict resolution. It offers mediation training programs for working professionals, research on peace and conflict issues, conferences, symposia, workshops, and other initiatives. Graduate students in the MSCM and INCM programs may participate in the Center’s mediation training programs and take advantage of mediation coaching opportunities.

The MSCM is a full-time, 16-month, cohort-based program that combines theory, research, and practice. It caters to the needs of working professionals: Classes are held every other weekend—on Friday from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and on Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Students enroll in 9 credit hours per semester, but they take one class at a time. For example, students complete the “Conflict Theory” course in two-and-a-half weekends and then progress to the next course, “Negotiation Theory.” In the final semester, MSCM students gain firsthand experience through field study in a conflict environment in the U.S. or abroad.

The MSCM degree prepares students for professional roles in conflict management, ranging from work in the court systems in Georgia to diplomatic service abroad and a variety of other roles. Students come from a wide range of different academic backgrounds and ethnicities, and about 20 percent are international students.

The INCM program is one of the few PhD programs in conflict management in North America. It prepares graduates to compete for tenure-track university faculty appointments as well as a wide range of operational positions in government, NGOs, and the global business community.

INCM students receive broad interdisciplinary preparation in intercultural dynamics of global conflict, economic conflict analysis, international relations, and conflict management theory. The program’s rigorous methodological preparation includes required and optional courses in quantitative and qualitative methods, research design, and international program and policy analysis and evaluation. Students must also obtain significant international experience and attain competency in a second language.

Master’s Degrees offered: See Program Directory