Courses Related to the Study of Peace

At the University of Maryland a wide variety of courses are available to undergraduate and graduate students who wish to study the many facets of peace.

undergraduate graduate

In addition, students at the University of Maryland have the opportunity to create their own Peace majors. The
Individuals Studies Program is ready to work with interested students who have an interest in developing peace-related Individual Studies majors.

Many courses could be listed under two or more categories, but they are only listed once under the theme deemed most appropriate. Furthermore, the courses are divided by undergraduate and graduate offerings.

You are encouraged to nominate additional courses to be included in these course listings. To nominate a course, go to the
Contact Us page.


Core Course - Minor in International Development and Conflict Management
Instructor: Daniella Fridl
Description: This course is designed to provide students with a solid foundation in the theory and practice of international development and conflict management. GVPT 354 is offered in the fall.

GVPT 355 and 356
Capstone I and II: International Development and Conflict Management
Instructor: Daniella Fridl
Description: Capstone Sessions (6 credits): GVPT355 (Capstone I) and GVPT356 (Capstone II): These two courses (3 credits each) are designed to teach theories of international development and conflict management and build key professional skills necessary for success in both fields. They include site visits, guest lectures and career development opportunities. Both capstone courses are required, with GVPT355 focusing on advanced level analysis of theories of international development and conflict management and GVPT356 taught by a practitioner and focusing on real world experience and best practices. Students also engage in ICONS simulations based on real world development and conflict scenarios/case studies and practice some of the key concepts/theories they learned in the two courses.

GVPT355 is offered each Spring semester; GVPT356 is offered each Fall and Spring semester.

PLSC 171
Introduction to Urban Ecosystems
Instructor: Marla McIntosh
Description: Students learn about the role of green infrastructure in relation to quality of life and environment. Also taught are basic principles central to urban ecosystems, which contain vegetation, natural resources, the built environment and are dominated by people.


UNDERGRADUATE COURSES > International Relations Courses
International Political Relations
Prerequisite: GVPT100.
Instructor: Bartlomiej K. Kaminski
Description: A study of the major factors underlying international relations, the methods of conducting foreign relations, the foreign policies of the major powers, and the means of avoiding or alleviating international conflicts.

Topics in International Relations: US Foreign Policy Toward Latin America and the Caribbean Prerequisite: GVPT100
Recommended: GVPT200
Instructor: D. Grant-Wisdom
Description: This course takes a conceptual and historical approach to exploring U.S. policies towards Latin America and the Caribbean taking into the consideration the socio-economic, political, cultural, ideological and global context in which these policies have evolved. Students are encouraged to integrate theory and practice, explore alternative interpretations, and make recommendations for U.S. foreign policy and the achievement of more peaceful relations with the region.

International Relations of the Third World
Prerequisite: GVPT200
Instructor: D. Grant-Wisdom
Description: This course poses the question: Is there a "Third World?" It examines why so many issues in world politics seem to involve conflict or disagreement between North and South and looks at how problems, priorities, ethics, and responsibility in international relations may appear differently when viewed from the South.

International Negotiations
Recommended: GVPT200. Credit will be granted for only one of the following: GVPT250 or GVPT360. Formerly GVPT250.
Instructor: Guy Ziv
Description: A study of the complexities of international negotiation and cross-cultural decision-making. Students will apply advanced computer technology in an interactive simulation involving actual negotiations.


Principles of Government and Politics
Instructor: D. Grant-Wisdom
Description: The course is challenging, and offers the opportunity to learn about governmental institutions, political behavior, and related issues of politics as they are studied in political science at different levels of analysis. Discussion questions are provided as a means to exploring alternative interpretations and to developing a framework for critical thinking and analyzing political institutions, behavior and events.

The Government and Politics of the Third World
Prerequisite: GVPT100.
Instructor: D. Grant-Wisdom
Description: A study of the governmental institutions, processes and problems, and the socio-economic environment that are common to the great majority of the Third World states of Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America; and in which internal politics develop.

Creating Alternative Futures
Instructor: John A. Grayzel
Description: Students will study examples from a wide range of genres, including novels, historic reports, philosophical treatises, cinema, critical political documents, etc. Among the forms of alternative societies we will study will be imagined, proposed, and actually constructed utopian, commercial and political communities, social transformations stemming from reformations, revolutions, revitalization movements, religious revelations, millennialism, and present-day computer simulations of new societies through virtual realities.

Leadership: Philosophy, Policy, and Praxis
Instructor: STAFF
Description: Open only to students in the Rawlings Undergraduate Leadership Fellows Program. This course explores leadership as a search for meaning, identity and purpose. It introduces major philosophical traditions, from the ancient world to the modern one, and encourages students to ground their leadership interests and aspirations in a disciplined process of self-reflection, critical thinking and inquiry.

Contemporary Issues in Political Leadership and Participation: Community-Based Leadership and Social Change
Description: In the beginning of the course, students will be introduced some foundational theory and teach basic skills in the areas of community organizing, decision-making, negotiation, self-governance, and conflict resolution. The heart of the course will be action learning where the students work directly with middle school and high school students Prince George’s County.

Contemporary Issues in Political Leadership and Participation: Leading to Get Results
Description: This course provides an opportunity for students to use a collaborative leadership, results-oriented framework to take actions that will make a measurable difference on an issue impacting the university community. An important objective of the course will be to give students hands-on leadership experience to help them understand how to lead and work collaboratively in multi-sector, diverse communities.

Contemporary Issues in Political Leadership and Participation: Art, Policy, and Leadership
Description: The art of leadership requires imagination; empathy; an understanding of culture, motives, and possibilities; and an awareness of the complex and dynamic relations between leaders and followers. Coursework combines readings in leadership studies and philosophy, as well as stories, poetry, and drama; attendance at plays, operas, and gallery exhibits; conversations with artists and others; reflective writing; and creative activities.

Contemporary Issues in Political Leadership and Participation: Political and Civic Leadership
Description: Despite its importance, political leadership remains a relatively neglected area of leadership studies with more attention given to the for-profit sectors of civil society. In addition to an introduction to the major studies of political and civic leadership, this seminar will provide participants the opportunity to develop one or more key topics related to these forms of leadership. Participants’ work will be formative of the forthcoming publication of the Political and Civic Leadership Research Handbook that SAGE will publish in 2010.

Contemporary Issues in Political Leadership and Participation: Women and Politics
Instructor: F. Glendening
Description: This course examines the role of women in the political process including the participation of women as activists, voters, advocates, public leaders as agents of change through various avenues including, among others, public service (elected and appointed), the media, community service, political organizations, and the nonprofit sector. Students will explore the unique perspectives and approaches women bring to politics and public policy as well as the changes they have made in setting public policy priorities.

Beyond the Classroom Seminar I: Civic Engagement and Social Change in a Global Context
Instructor: J. Riker
Description: Exposes students to knowledge building, problem-solving and critical thinking about vital civic and policy issues from the local to the national and global levels. Develops and applies the concept of civic engagement and strategies for enhancing civic engagement and advancing social justice in different contexts (global to local; multi-cultural).

Beyond the Classroom Seminar III: Civic Leadership for Community Engagement
Prerequisites: UNIV 325 and UNIV 326; for advanced students in the Beyond the Classroom (BTC) Living and Learning Program.
Instructor: J. Riker
Description: This seminar enables students to develop their leadership skills by working collaboratively with their peers on joint projects to enhance and to deepen civic engagement on key civic issues on campus and in the broader community on local, national and global issues.

Experiential Learning: People Power -- Activism for Social Change
Instructor: J. Riker
Description: What is “people power” and how can citizen activism advance positive social change on key civic issues? This faculty and film series will draw directly on the perspectives of leading nonprofit and civil society activists through documentary films and formal presentations of successful “people power” initiatives for social change at the local, national, and global levels.


UNDERGRADUATE COURSES > Conflict Resolution Courses
Alternatives to Violence
Instructor: Colman McCarthy
Description: The course offers a study of the methods, history, and practitioners of nonviolence. An objective of the course is to study nonviolence as a force for change, both among nations and among individuals faced with violence in their daily lives.


UNDERGRADUATE COURSES > Culture of Peace Courses
Diversity in American Culture
Instructor: T. King
Description: Exploration of the role of diversity in the shaping of American culture. Special emphasis will be placed on the multicultural origins of American popular and material culture, such as foodways and entertainment, and on the experience of "Americanization."

Seminar in Mediated Communication: Arab Media
Instructor: S. Khamis
Prerequisites: COMM/JOUR350 or COMM402 or COMM450. Junior standing. Repeatable to 6 credits if content differs.
Description: The examination of special topics related to the study of mediated communication. Students in this course participate in the larger Soliya project, that connects college students in the US to peers in various Middle East countries via email and other media.

BSOS 301
Leadership in a Multicultural Society
Instructors: Sue Briggs and Rhondie Voorhees
Description: This course is a study and application of skills, historical context, theories, and concepts for constructive leadership in a pluralistic, multicultural, and diverse society. Social science methodologies and theories will provide the structure for the study of contemporary social problems, civil society issues, and leadership practices.

Introduction to Human Diversity in Social Institutions
Instructor: V. Hong
Description: This highly-interactive format focuses on individual and social identities in the U.S., group differences and intergroup relations, systems of privilege and oppression, and advocacy for social justice. Topics will include diversity related to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, social class, (dis)ability, and religion.

Adaptive Strategies for Multicultural Leadership and Dialogue
Instructor: Rhondie Voorhees
Description: As U.S. society becomes increasingly complex along multiple and continually evolving dimensions of individual and group identity, successful leaders will benefit from learning adaptive strategies and practices that will help them to navigate this complexity and adapt effectively in a climate of constant change. This class will focus on specific strategies, concepts, and insights for successful leadership and dialogue in twenty-first century U.S. multicultural society. Areas of emphasis will include major dimensions of multicultural identity in the U.S., key multicultural dynamics and the complex ways in which they play out, opportunities and benefits associated with multicultural diversity, study and consideration of multicultural dilemmas, and the role and practice of constructive dialogue in creating positive interactions, opportunities for problem-solving, and possibilities for achieving common ground.
This class will be a foundational experience for students who would like to pursue further training as a Peer Dialogue Leader in the Common Ground Dialogue Program through the Department of Resident Life.

Ecological Ethics and Education
Instructor: Jing Lin
Description: This course explores paradigms, approaches, ways of knowing and ways of being for human and the Earth planet sustainability. The focus is on eco-transformative education that will equip our future generations with values, attitudes, knowledge, skills and abilities to live harmoniously with nature.

Special Topics in Japanese Studies: The Atomic Bomb in Literature and Memory: Japan and the U.S.
Instructor: Michele Mason
Description: Fulfills the upper-division literature requirement for majors. Using literature, poetry, art, film and historical documents, this course examines the decision to use "the bomb," the ways Japanese writers and artists have attempted to convey the unprecedented experiences of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the post-war historical narratives of the atomic bombs in Japan and the U.S. It will also explore apocalyptic visions in American and Japanese science fiction, the meaning of Godzilla, gender and sexuality in atomic metaphors, peace movements and other topics to understand how the threat of nuclear arms continues to play a role in the politics and the popular imagination of these two countries. Also offered as


GRADUATE COURSES > Development Courses
Disease, Disaster, and Development
Instructor: R. H. Sprinkle
Description: Development—cultural, agricultural, industrial, social, economic, political—will be reviewed as a bringer of disease prevention and treatment and as a bringer of disease itself, from acute infections and poisonings to chronic conditions attributable to the "westernization" of diets. Then, development's uncertain resilience in disaster and the developed world's uneven response to disasters of various sorts—political, military, economic, environmental, geophysical, meteorological, nutritional, epidemic, epizootic, epiphytotic—will be considered, with particular attention paid to the performance of national agencies, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, institutions, charities, professions, and activists.


GRADUATE COURSES > International Relations Courses
Managing Differences: Resolving Conflict and Negotiating Agreements
Instructor: C. Field
Description: Enhances the student's negotiation and leadership skills for managing differences between individuals and groups. Students study the nature of conflict, learn how to handle two and multiparty conflicts, exerting leadership where there are no hierarchy leaders, and explore the impact of facilitators and mediators on the negotiating process.


GRADUATE COURSES > Governance Courses
Special Topics in Education Policy and Administration: Non Formal Education
Instructor: Nelly Stromquist
Description: Not available.

PUAF 650
Moral Dimensions of Public Policy
Instructor: R. H. Sprinkle
Description: All policies have motives, features, and effects whose dimensions are measurable against one, several, or many moral standards, each of which is respected above others, or at least among others, by a sizable fraction of thoughtful and well meaning people, who sometimes fatefully disagree among themselves. Presumptions throughout will be that moral controversies should be settled in forthright ways, that policies should not be advanced through the creation or perpetuation of controversies, that the chronicity of controversies should not be taken as reason to ignore opportunities to resolve them, that compromise is usually but not always better than confrontation, and that residual volatility is a sign of policy failure.

Leadership Principles and Practices
Instructor: J. Brown
Description: Provides a multi-sector (public, private and not-for-profit), multi-disciplinary, and comparative overview of leadership. At every turn, theory is tied to practice -- to the exploration and development of those skills, tactics, and strategies most commonly associated with effective leadership and management. Employs lectures, case analyses, readings, films and structured exercises.

Selected Topics Public Policy: Leading and Motivating People
Description: The objectives of the class are to gain a greater clarity about leadership identity, purpose, and values, while enhancing clarity of thinking, cognitive complexity and decision-making skills. The class will provide students with a greater understanding of team and organizational culture and dynamics, and will increase the student’s capacity to inspire and motivate positive change in groups and organizations, enabling them to lead in a variety of contexts.

Public Management and Leadership
Instructor: R. H. Sprinkle
Description: Management and leadership are complementary obligations borne by public officials and citizen activists more-or-less knowledgeably, imaginatively, effectively, and honorably. We consider the history of management and the methods individuals and managerial teams have used, have failed to use, or have used foolishly or unethically—or even maliciously—to lead others to success or failure, security or insecurity, or to prevail in good causes and bad.

Arms Control and Nonproliferation Policy
Instructor: N. Gallagher
Description: This course will give students an in-depth, hands-on study of both substantive and process-oriented factors shaping the negotiation, ratification, and implementation of cooperative responses to current and future security challenges. Arms control and nonproliferation policy integrates political, socio-cultural, strategic, economic, technical, and legal considerations, so this course is open to advanced students from any disciplinary department. It does, however, assume that students have already taken PUAF 720 (International Security Policy)or have a comparable background from other classes and work experience.


GRADUATE COURSES > Conflict Resolution Courses
Not available.


GRADUATE COURSES > Culture of Peace Courses
Selected Topics in Teacher Education: Embracing Diversity in Classroom Communities
Instructor: Connie North
Description: This course will ask you to engage in the ongoing (indeed, lifelong) process of investigating how your circumstances, experiences, ways of being, and ways of knowing resemble and differ from those of others, particularly your future colleagues and students. Moreover, it will ask you to critically examine how those similarities and differences relate to issues of economic and social power, privilege, and marginalization.

Comparative Education Credit will be granted for only one of the following: EDHI605, EDPL605, or EDPS605. Formerly EDPL605.
Instructor: Nelly Stromquist
Description: Presents an overview of the main theoretical, practical, and policy issues affecting educational systems today. It will examine as well how issues of equality/equity are competing today with those of efficiency, quality, and parental choice. Since financing is a determinant factor in the existence and maintenance of educational programs, the role of two critical actors, the state and international development agencies, will be examined.

Political Economy of Education in a Global Context
Not open to students who have completed EDPL788Q in 2001 through 2004. Credit will be granted for only one of the following: EDHI606, EDPL606, or EDPS606. Formerly EDPL606.
Instruction: S. Klees
Description: The overall intent of the course is to help develop a broad understanding of the global context within which education takes place and how that context affects and is affected by educational policy and practice. Since there is such controversy about the nature of that global context, about the degree of success and failure of on-going education and development efforts, and about the directions we need to take in the future, the main purpose of the course is to help develop a critical understanding of: the major theoretical frameworks; their explicit and implicit assumptions; the research methods and empirical findings that support these frameworks; and the implications for educational policy and practice.

Education for Global Peace Credit will be granted for only one of the following: EDHI681, EDPL681, or EDPS681. Formerly EDPL681.
Instructor: Jing Lin
Description: This course is designed to provide a forum for students to explore issues of global peace and educational measures in promoting peace. Nonviolence theories and movements, as well as feminist perspectives and other perspectives on peace will be studied.

Culture in Education Policy and Practice Credit will be granted for only one of the following: EDHI624, EDPL624, or EDPS624. Formerly EDPL624.
Instructor: Barbara Finkelstein
Description: Focuses on the exploration of culture as it shapes and is reflected in education purposes, policies and practices. Participants will have opportunities to engage in cultural analysis, to analyze unfamiliar cultural habits and associations, to develop a focus for intensive comparative cultural study in education, and to integrate a field work component into their studies.

Transcultural Education Policy and Practice
Instructor: Barbara Finkelstein
Description: Not available.