Build a Better World

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You want to make a positive difference in the world, so you want to learn the skills you need to be an effective leader in peacebuilding and social justice efforts. Our Master of Arts in Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation is designed to give you those skills through a combination of theory and practice.

You’ll study on a global campus, learning from experienced peacebuilding practitioners from around the world. Through our program, you’ll gain a deep understanding of the causes and consequences of complex and multi-layered conflicts and you’ll get hands-on experience during a semester-long practicum in the United States or at an established field site in a post-conflict zone abroad.

With the skills and experience you’ll gain from this degree, you’ll be prepared to design and implement social change initiatives in government, nonprofit, or educational settings.

Review past Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation capstone papers.


With SIT’s experiential curriculum, you’ll learn how to put theory into practice. In addition to core courses, a broad range of elective choices let you focus on courses that will help you meet your career goals.

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In this program, you’ll learn:

  • The multiple and interrelated causes of conflicts, including those caused and/or exacerbated by globalization, environmental and resource crises, undemocratic leadership, ethnic tensions, or historic enmity
  • The particular needs of refugees and internally displaced people, victims, bystanders, and members of violator communities
  • Negotiation, mediation, and dialogue skills
  • Analyzing, assessing, and mapping conflict
  • Human rights and humanitarian interventions
  • Post-conflict transitions and post-war restorative practices
  • Conducting empirical research and using qualitative methods for data collection and analysis
  • Strategic nonviolence, social healing, and reconciliation
  • Program design and evaluation, capacity building, and cultivating positive and inclusive group relations through organizational change
  • Policy advocacy

Sample Courses:

  • Practitioner Inquiry: Quantitative & Qualitative Research Methods
  • Theory and Practice of Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding
  • Post-War Development and Peacebuilding
  • Conflict and Identity
  • Mediation
  • Skills and Practices in Intergroup Dialogue
  • Initiatives in Peacebuilding
  • Electives

Contact Summer Peacebuilding Program:

  • Peacebuilding I
  • Peacebuilding II

Research Practice/Practicum Phase:

  • Practicum stage in the United States or abroad.

All students must fulfill a Language and Culture Proficiency Requirement before they are eligible to graduate.

View the current academic calendar.

Field Courses


Each year, SIT Graduate Institute offers a number of graduate study abroad programs and field courses at sites in the United States and around the world. Learn in depth about an important issue on the ground.

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Study abroad as part of your master’s degree program.

International and US-Based Intensive Courses
Students have the option of completing a short-term intensive course at sites in the US or abroad. Typically ranging in duration from one to four weeks, recent intensives have been offered in Washington, DC; Bangladesh; Mexico; and Turkey.

Intensive field courses offer students pursuing an MA in peacebuilding and conflict transformation the chance to interact with practitioners in the field, learn on-site, and expand professional networking. Short-term intensives are typically offered in January. Learn more about the intensive field courses.

Professional Practicum

Apply the knowledge and skills you acquire in the classroom in a real-world setting.

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Apply the knowledge and skills you acquire in the classroom in a real-world setting.

IsraelThe semester-long practicum can take place in the United States or anywhere else in the world at an organization of your choosing. Your practicum work will be related to your coursework and career goals. Practicums may be paid professional positions or unpaid internships.

During this period, you’ll remain engaged with faculty and other students and receive course credit for documenting the integration of your knowledge and skills while working in a professional context.

Practicum placements provide in-depth, hands-on learning; enhance résumés; and expand professional contacts.

Previous practicum placements include:

United States

  • Program Facilitator, SIT Youth Peacebuilding and Leadership Programs (Brattleboro, VT)
  • Assistant, Cross-Cultural Relationships, Kiskiminetas Presbytery (Yatesboro, PA)
  • Program Director, Caribbean-Central American Action (Washington, DC)
  • Peace First Teacher, AmeriCorps (Washington, DC)
  • Peacemakers' Workshop Facilitator, Peace Learning Center of Milwaukee, Inc. (Milwaukee, WI)
  • Administrative Coordinator, Center for Cultural Interchange (Chicago, IL)
  • Regional Coordinator, Junior Youth Program, Magdalene Carney Baha'i Institute (West Palm Beach, FL)
  • Intern, Middle East Children’s Alliance (Berkeley, CA)
  • Reintegration Assistant, Mercy Corps International (Washington, DC)
  • Research Assistant, Hudson Institute (Washington, DC)


  • Peacebuilding Program Coordinator, The Pastoralist Peace and Development Initiative (Kenya)
  • Administrative Director, The Jerusalem Inter-Cultural Center
  • Youth Empowerment Facilitator, Institut pour l'Education Populaire (Mali)
  • Conflict Transformation Intern, Henry Martyn Institute (India)
  • Coordinator Assistant, Cooperazione Internazionale  (Italy)
  • Program Coordinator, Sahabat Pesantren Indonesia (Indonesia)
  • Research and Mediation Project Assistant, CSSP – Berlin Center for Integrative Mediation (Germany)

 * Students find positions on their own with support from SIT's Career and Practicum Services Center.

Alumni Careers

Students in this program go on to work in the field in a variety of areas including study abroad offices, NGOs, nonprofits, and government agencies. Find out some of the career paths that may be open to you.

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The demand for well-trained conflict transformation practitioners has never been greater. Career opportunities in the field are numerous, especially for conflict transformation practitioners who can become pioneers in expanding the scope of conflict transformation practices that society can recognize and value.

The program prepares students to:

  • Design and lead conflict transformation programs
  • Develop peacebuilding and conflict sensitive interventions
  • Create and manage projects that address the causes and consequences of complex and multilayered conflicts
  • Introduce and advocate for conflict consciousness and sensitivity within organizations and communities
  • Gain awareness of a student’s own power and existing limitations in transforming or mitigating conflict at home and abroad

Graduates go on to work for NGOs, education institutions, the media, the private sector, the government, international organizations, and in other professional venues.

Alumni develop their own distinct and diverse paths—paths that may be collectively described as integrated peacebuilding, a wide spectrum of sustained group-based processes, which seek to bring members of divided groups and communities together to meet their shared needs and purposes that can transcend the underlying reasons for their divisions.

This work may include:

  • Leading youth camps
  • Organizing community-based arts and sports events
  • Developing inclusive educational curricula
  • Teaching languages through means that promote intercultural harmony
  • Working as human rights and gender sensitivity advocates and defenders of marginalized people
  • Supporting political and social change campaigns
  • Working in government agencies and international organizations with conflict awareness
  • Working as socially responsible media professionals
  • Providing humanitarian assistance to refugees, immigrants, and internally displaced persons
  • Providing disaster relief
  • Creating socially and environmentally responsible business practices
  • Advocating community-based inclusive health services
  • Creating religious services that promote social harmony
  • Using monitoring and evaluation skills to facilitate social change initiatives

Past positions held by alumni of the peacebuilding and conflict transformation program include:

  • Executive Director, Interfaith Center for Peace and Justice, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
  • Trainer, Somali Refugee Association, Silver Spring, MD
  • Founder, Andi Leadership Institute for Young Women, Washington, DC
  • Community Organizer, Vermont Interfaith Action Group, Vermont
  • International Human Resources Systems Manager, Nonviolent Peace Force, San Francisco, CA
  • Libya representative, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Washington, DC and Libya
  • Consultant, Refugee Youth Program Director and Teambuilding, Burlington, VT
  • CEO/Director, Red Kite Project, Philadelphia, PA
  • Director of Programming, Encounter Program, Boston, MA, Israel, and Palestine
  • Youth Adjustment Counselor, RefugeeOne, Chicago, IL
  • Community Educator, Silicon Valley Faces, San Jose, CA
  • Education Consultant, UN International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), Uganda
  • Political Specialist, National Reconciliation & Humanitarian Mine Action, Rangoon, Burma
  • Program Director, Global Kids, Washington, DC
  • Community Organizer, NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, Washington, DC
  • Program Manager, British Council, Azerbaijan
  • Health Technical Specialist, Save the Children International, Liberia
  • Assistant Director, RAMP Youth Services, Putney, VT
  • Founder & President, Daya Center for Peace, Hyderabad, India
  • Director, Prison Theater Program, SingSing, New York
  • Outreach & Dialog Facilitation Associate, Unity Productions Foundation, California and Washington, DC
  • Associate Director for Diversity Services, Suffolk University, Boston, MA
  • Program Officer, Hunt Alternatives Fund, Sudan
  • Peace Journalist, TRANSCEND Media Services, Springfield, MA

While the career paths taken by alumni of this program are truly diverse, the common threads that connect them are as follows:

  • Dialogue facilitation and mediation. This involves interacting directly with conflict parties to promote relationship-building and problem-solving. Mediation in particular is a form of conflict transformation dialogue in which an intermediary actively supports conflict parties’ voluntary and self-motivated efforts to understand the roots of their conflict and explore mutually satisfactory solutions.
  • Reconciliation and psychosocial healing. This requires understanding the roots and dynamics of traumas and other psychosocial challenges that result from violence and crises. These forms of practice seek to develop a broad range of holistic, inclusive, and culturally appropriate means by which to enable affected individuals and groups to process their traumas and make sense of their histories and identities in a constructive manner.
  • Active nonviolence. This aims to create a sustained, inclusive, and integrated platform of social engagement and mobilization that proactively seeks to achieve a well-defined goal of social change. It utilizes a broad range of creative nonviolent means by which to transform deeply-entrenched historical undercurrents and a structural basis of power imbalance that perpetuates political repression, economic exploitation, and cultural alienation.
  • Training and coaching. This facilitate capacity-building that enables conflict parties, intermediaries, and other stakeholders to address their conflict-related challenges on their own. These activities include trainings of trainers and peace education. While coaching is part of training, coaching tends to focus more on supporting groups and individuals in such a way as to enable them to pursue their goals of conflict transformation in their own self-guided ways.
Admissions Criteria

Boyce building

We strive to create a diverse and experienced student body to enhance the learning experience both inside and outside the classroom. To be considered for admission to this program, you must meet the following criteria:

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To be considered for admission to the MA in Peace and Justice Leadership program, an applicant must meet the following criteria:

  • US bachelor's degree or an equivalent that demonstrates academic ability
  • Demonstrated English language ability (see details below)
  • Intercultural and professional experience
  • Demonstrated ability to use experience as a source of learning

English Language Ability

Applicants whose first language is not English and who did not graduate from an English-speaking institution in a country whose official language is English submit test scores for the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), the IELTS (International English Language Testing System), or the PTE (Pearson Test of English). (Applicants can access free TOEFL and IELTS  practice tests online.)

  • Applicants taking the TOEFL must receive a minimum score of
    • 600 on the paper-based test (PBT)
    • 250 on the computer-based test (CBT), or
    • 100 on the internet-based iBT.
  • Applicants taking the IELTS must receive a score of Band 7.0 or higher.
  • Applicants taking the PTE must receive a minimum score of 68.

These scores are considered the minimum proficiency needed to undertake graduate-level work. Scores must be dated within two years of the start date of your academic program at SIT.

SIT Graduate Institute’s Selection Process

Our admissions staff work one-on-one with every applicant to facilitate a highly informed and multidimensional admissions experience: applicants are encouraged to attend an open house, talk with SIT faculty and staff, and hear from current students and alumni. As applicants become familiar with the attributes of an SIT education — grounded in the experiential learning model and focused on social justice and leadership skills in intercultural environments — they determine for themselves in what ways SIT can help them meet their educational and career objectives.


See a breakdown of the costs for this program.

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Direct Costs

Tuition and Fees

Semester 1 Tuition: $16,925
Semester 1 Fees: $990

Semester 2 Tuition: $16,925
Semester 2 Fees: $990

Semester 3 Tuition (Reflective Practice Phase): $3,354

MA degree total tuition and fees (all terms combined): $39,184

On-Campus Room and Board: $8,670 (Estimated off campus housing is $11,750)

Indirect Costs

SIT estimates the costs to students for books, personal expenses, transportation, and off-campus housing/food. Individual expenses may vary. Off-campus living expenses and transportation costs are based on student survey data; individual costs vary depending on a variety of factors such as the type of housing and location of practicum.

Books: $1,000
Personal Expenses: $2,700
Transportation Costs: $1,200-$2,250
Miscellaneous: $1,370

Additional Costs

January Field Study Courses:

Costs range from $2,200 to $5,450. See details on the locations, schedule, and costs of individual field courses.

Estimated Student Loan Fees: $800

Estimated fees are based on the average amount borrowed by SIT Graduate Institute students. See details on student loan options.


Direct costs and on-campus room and board are billed by SIT Graduate Institute. Indirect, off-campus housing costs, transportation expenses, and additional costs are not billed by SIT, but represent educational expenses associated with being an enrolled student.