Master's Degrees

In 1981, the Carter School became the first graduate-degree granting institution in peace and conflict studies in North America. Our master’s degree programs have always been at the core of our work, training the next generation of conflict resolvers at the cutting-edge of a field that has been shaped by our faculty and alumni from its very beginnings. Our interdisciplinary approach and dedication to experiential learning provides our students with the analysis and practice skills they need to pursue the resolution of conflicts at all levels of society.

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Mason was the first university in North America to offer an MS in Conflict Analysis and Resolution
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The Carter School is ranked No. 1 in the country for conflict resolution and mediation
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Concentrations allow students shape their own course of study to match their professional goals
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Master's Alumni working in the field

Experiential and project-based learning allows students to explore and reflect on the complexity of conflicts and the challenges of conflict resolution and peacebuilding.

Independent research opportunities allow students to explore the most pressing questions in peace and conflict studies.

Our interdisciplinary conflict resolution curriculum prepares students for work in a wide array of industries.

Students hone their research and practice skills through local and international field-based courses.

By engaging with real world problems, students learn how to identify and select appropriate practices as advocates, scholars, analysts, conflict resolution practitioners, and peacebuilders.

Students work closely with faculty who are engaged in innovative scholarship and practice in peace and conflict studies.

Our master’s students come to the Carter School from a wide array of academic backgrounds and career experiences, but they all share one thing: a commitment to finding the role they can play in the amelioration of destructive, sometimes violent, conflicts. 

Our school was founded on the recognition that conflict is a whole-of-society phenomenon, and transforming it toward peace and justice requires whole-of-society approaches. That’s why our four, top-of-the-field master’s programs offer an interdisciplinary curriculum that encourages students to identify the steps they can take to address conflicts at the interpersonal, community, institutional, national, and global levels. 

At the Carter School, our master’s students acquire a solid grounding in theory and practice and learn the newest ideas in the peace and conflict studies field. Our faculty are drawn from both peace and conflict studies and other disciplines, giving students a full appreciation for the various forms that conflict resolution can take. Guided by the faculty’s scholarship, practice, and mentorship, master’s students are able to concentrate in specific areas of the field while learning techniques and approaches from other areas to enhance their specializations.

At the Carter School, we don’t view learning as a one-way street. Our students and faculty learn from each other, especially at the master’s level, where students who have recently finished their undergraduate coursework and students who are either in the middle of their careers or starting a new one engage in research and practice together. Our students have experience as researchers, advocates, artists, athletes, community organizers, diplomats, analysts, entrepreneurs, media professionals, and more. They bring their expertise with them to the Carter School, and in doing so, they support the pursuit of peace and justice around the world by expanding and deepening what we know about how to resolve conflicts at every level.