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Dove Mural in Ireland

Master's in Peace, Conflict and Security Studies

The M.A. in Peace, Conflict and Security Studies is designed to prepare students for careers in fields such as security and intelligence, human rights, humanitarian work, peacebuilding, international development, post-conflict reconstruction and community advocacy/organizing. Its focus is the study of conditions that promote both negative peace (absence of violence) and positive peace (setting a foundation for a just and sustainable society). Our program provides opportunities to enroll in small classes, enhance your data analysis and research skills, receive personalized mentoring, and gain independent teaching experience. Students may also apply to earn a full-tuition waiver, stipend and health insurance by working as a graduate teaching assistant (GTA).


33 credit hours of coursework, including a thesis


Required courses for all M.A. students:

  • ProSeminar in International Relations (POLS 5203)

  • ProSeminar in Comparative Politics (POLS 5403)

  • Conflict Management and Peacebuilding (POLS 5253)

  • Quantitative Methods (POLS 5013)

  • Research Design (POLS 5103)

Additional course requirements: 

  • Six hours of thesis (POLS 5000) OR three hours in Directed Study (POLS 5100) AND Formal Report (POLS 5020)

  • Twelve hours of electives in two thematic areas: Conflict & Peace Studies and Justice & Sustainability. Students must take at least one class in each (some restrictions apply)

ASSISTfaculty with teaching

As a graduate teaching assistant (GTA), you will receive a monthly stipend, health insurance and tuition waiver.

Research and Faculty

Murray Hall

Our faculty are well recognized for their expertise and featured in high visibility media outlets. OSU's Political Science program prides itself in the high quality research produced by their faculty, including NSF-funded research, but we are especially proud of mentoring the next generation of scholars and policy practitioners.

Admissions Requirements

  • Official undergraduate transcripts

  • Personal statement outlining your interest in the program and what you hope to achieve with help of an M.A. (1-2 pages)

  • Email addresses of three individuals willing to write a letter of recommendation, academic references are preferred.

  • 3.0 undergraduate GPA

*Note: Application fee waiver offered for current and former McNair Scholars  


Test Scores:

  • TOEFL scores required for international applicants who aren't native English speakers

Application Deadlines:

  • March 1 (fall admission with funding consideration)

Students having a discussion at a table

Cost & Assistance

The size of our program allows us to offer graduate assistantships to qualified students. These assistantships provide students with a tuition waiver, health insurance and a stipend during the academic year. Graduate teaching assistants (GTA) are typically responsible for attending lectures, holding office hours, leading discussion sections and assisting with the administration of assigned undergraduate course(s).

In addition, there are opportunities to obtain financial support to present your research at conferences.



Assistantships and Scholarships

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