Master of Arts in
Peace & Justice Leadership (Part-Time Hybrid)

Earn your master's degree online and in person. Equip yourself with the skills to design and lead interventions to transform conflict and build more just systems.

At a Glance

For programs beginning in 2021




Part-Time Hybrid

Priority deadline

January 31, rolling thereafter

I-20 Deadline for Student Visas

March 1


2 Years


South Africa, United States

Critical Global Issue of Study

Peace & Justice

Peace & Justice Icon

Please note that SIT will make every effort to maintain its programs as described. To respond to emergent situations, like COVID-19, however, SIT may have to change or cancel programs.


Peace and justice leadership is a multidisciplinary field at the intersection of political science, social psychology, public affairs, and sociology challenging future leaders to tackle urgent issues of identity and inequality that lie at the heart of almost every local, regional, and global conflict.

Created especially for mission-driven, full-time and part-time professionals to earn a master’s degree online, with brief residencies, without stepping off the career track. This program provides you with the skill set and global know-how of experts in peacebuilding, social activism, policy advocacy, and change leadership.

Begin with a two-week summer residency on our beautiful Vermont campus, where you’ll meet your cohort and network with peace and justice experts during SIT’s prestigious CONTACT Summer Peacebuilding Program.

For the rest of the summer and through the fall and spring semesters, you will begin deeply experiential learning with your cohort online, taking six credits per semester to study conflict analysis; strategic peacebuilding; policy advocacy; civil resistance; and theories of peace and justice leadership.

During your second two-week summer residency at the start of year two, you will reconvene with your cohort in South Africa and travel to Cape Town, Durban, and Johannesburg to examine post-conflict transitions, the ongoing struggle for racial justice, and how apartheid was overcome. Interact with global scholars and leaders in the field and engage in traveling seminars and trips into the bush. In the fall, you will explore three essential skills in peace and justice leadership: negotiation, mediation, and dialogue. You will complete a group capstone project in the final semester of the program.

Peace and justice leadership is a deep field with myriad career options and possibilities. With this powerful combination of in-person and online experiential learning, SIT’s master’s degree in Peace and Justice Leadership prepares you to address the causes and consequences of complex and multilayered crises and to help build sustained peace.

Career Paths

Students who have graduated with this degree have worked in careers such as:

  • Research analyst

  • Restorative justice leader

  • Diplomat or field officer

  • Senior policy specialist

  • Mediator, conflict resolution expert

  • Diversity and inclusion specialist

  • Policy officer or legal advocate

  • Community organizer

  • Humanitarian aid worker

Visit the SIT blog to read more about SIT Graduate Institute alumni careers.

Program Sites

Part-Time Hybrid Format

Courses take place almost entirely online. Summer residencies take place in Vermont and South African cities of Cape Town, Durban, and Johannesburg.

Brattleboro, Vermont

Vermont is at the forefront of sustainability, education, and regeneration. New England is a haven for start-ups, transition towns, community-owned forests, artisanal food and beverage companies, sustainable farming, eco-architecture, green energy, and many environmental and social-justice organizations. SIT’s beautiful southern Vermont campus offers woodland trails, hiking, running, and cycling, as well as a private library, study rooms with mountain views, and an entertainment space where students often gather at the end of the day to socialize. You will also be a few miles from downtown Brattleboro, which offers an array of shops, restaurants, and eateries. During your year one residency, housing and meals will be provided at SIT’s campus in Brattleboro, Vermont. 

South Africa

Spend two weeks witnessing post-conflict transition in action in the South African cities of Johannesburg, Durban, and Cape Town. During your year two South African residency, SIT staff will arrange housing in small hotels in Durban, Johannesburg, and Cape Town.

Excursion highlights include: 


  • The Apartheid Museum 
  • The Nelson Mandela Foundation 
  • Desmond Tutu’s and Nelson Mandela’s houses on Soweto’s Vilakazi Street 
  • Gandhi’s house to learn about his philosophy of nonviolence. This visit will include a conversation with his granddaughter. 


  • ACCORD, the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes 
  • Research institutes examining issues of peace and justice in post-apartheid South Africa 
  • The Luthuli Museum to learn about Inkosi Albert John Luthuli, a South African teacher, activist, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and former president of the ANC 

Cape Town: 

  • Robben Island, a UNESCO World Heritage site, where Nelson Mandela and other African National Congress leaders were imprisoned 


  • Weekend excursion into the bush 

Please note that in order to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, program excursions may occasionally vary.



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

In this program, you will: 

  • Learn from a leader and innovator in the peace and conflict studies field, training conflict managers and peacebuilders for more than 25 years.
  • Stay in your job while earning your master’s degree online with brief residencies.
  • Get on-the-ground training in peace studies and post-conflict transition during two weeks across different locations in South Africa.
  • Interact with peacebuilders from around the world at the CONTACT Summer Peacebuilding Program.
  • Expand your professional network with peacebuilding experts outside of SIT through an innovative partnership with two leading peace and justice organizations, the United States Institute of Peace and the Alliance for Peacebuilding 

Please expand the sections below to see detailed course information.

This is SIT

  • We value active togetherness, reciprocity, and respect as the essential ingredients for building a sustainable community.
  • With open minds, empathy, and courage, we facilitate intercultural understanding and respect for the commonalities and differences between people.
  • We champion social inclusion & justice in all that we are and all that we do, from ensuring our community and our programs amplify the voices, agency, and dignity of all people to deliberately instilling the principles and practices of inclusion in all ofour work.
  • We are committed to human and environmental well-being through sustainability and contributing to a better world for all living and future generations.


On this part-time program, you’ll earn 33 credits over two years.  

Semester One, Summer: Vermont and Online (6 Credits)

  • Foundations in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management
  • Introduction to Peacebuilding
  • Negotiation, Mediation, and Dialogue

Semester Two, Fall: Online (5.5 Credits)

  • Conflict Analysis
  • Strategic Peace Building
  • Practitioner Inquiry 1
  • Field Seminar: South Africa

Semester Three, Spring: Online (6.5 Credits)

  • Theory and Practice of Peace and Justice
  • Policy Advocacy
  • Practitioner Inquiry 2

Semester Four, Summer: South Africa and Online (4 Credits)

  • CONTACT: Conflict Transformation Across Cultures
  • Program Monitoring and Evaluation Concepts
  • Design, Monitoring, and Evaluation in Fragile Environments

Semester Five, Fall: Online (5 Credits)

  • From Grant Writing to Policy Briefs: Essential Skills in Peace and Justice Promotion
  • Special Topics in Peace and Justice Promotion
  • Policy Advocacy

Semester Six, Spring: Online (6 Credits)

  • Reflective Practice
  • Capstone Project

Faculty & Staff

Peace & Justice Leadership (Part-Time Hybrid)

Bruce W. Dayton, PhD
Executive Director, Conflict Transformation Across Cultures (CONTACT) • Chair, MA in Diplomacy and International Relations • Associate Professor and Chair, MA in Peace and Justice Leadership
Imraan Buccus, PhD
Assistant Professor, MA in Peace and Justice Leadership • Associate Chair, MA in Diplomacy and International Relations
Joseph Lanning, PhD
Program Chair, Global Master of Arts in Development Practice • Affiliated Faculty, Master of Arts in Sustainable Development
Alla Korzh, EdD
Program Chair, Doctorate in Global Education (EdD) • Associate Professor, Global Masters in International Education

Discover the Possibilities