Peace Studies // Bachelor of Arts
The Peace Studies program offers an interdisciplinary approach to the study of peace and conflict that takes students into the community and brings the community into the classroom. Faculty and students work together to create dynamic learning communities that cultivate compassion and develop the knowledge and skills to engage complex, real-world issues. Faculty design and promote active learning environments, encouraging independent and collaborative projects that reflect students' personal passions and social commitments.
While some students choose to focus on local civic engagement projects and initiatives, others are drawn to work nationally and internationally. The program approaches the study of peace and conflict holistically—with attention to personal and social transformation, including the needs of individuals, communities, and the global commons.
The 36-credit Peace Studies major offers an interdisciplinary approach to the study of peace, conflict, and transformative action, engaging students in service, research, and creative projects.
Many of Naropa’s Peace Studies graduates pursue advanced degrees in a range of fields, including environmental leadership, journalism, the arts, gender and women’s studies, education, law, psychology and public health.
Peace Studies majors obtain hands-on experience through a semester-long internship, based on the student’s interests and educational goals in a way that meets community-defined needs. In addition, many Peace Studies courses include community-based learning opportunities, engaging students in conversation with local experts working locally and globally on peace, justice and environmental sustainability initiatives. Recent community partners include the Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence, BeadforLife, the PeaceJam Foundation, and Boulder Food Rescue.
Upon graduation graduates are prepared to serve as agents of change, working with others to create more just, peaceful, compassionate and sustainable communities; they choose a variety of fields through which to apply their degree—the arts, education, human rights, journalism, and community organizing, often choosing to work with mission-driven enterprises. Peace Studies graduates have pursued advanced degrees in fields as diverse as Psychology, Law, and International Affairs.
What Makes Our Program Different?
- Complete an internship and gain on-the-job experience in an organization such as the Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence, the Peace Jam Foundation, the Boulder County Jail, Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center, the Earth-based Institute, New Era Colorado, and the Emergency Family Assistance Association.
- Engage in original and collaborative research projects, working closely with your professors, classmates, and community members with expertise in your area(s) of investigation. The senior capstone course, for example, brings students together in a learning community designed to maximize student-faculty interaction, community engagement, and collaborative learning. This project-based course assists students in synthesizing diverse strand of their Naropa journey—from contemplative practices to discipline-specific content, “putting it all together” to make an impact beyond the classroom. The semester culminates with a celebratory showcase of student work to the community. View examples of previous Capstone Projects.
- Design your own personalized learning spaces through the Peace Studies ePortfolio Project. The purpose of the Peace Studies ePortfolio Project is to deepen and document student learning, providing students with a multimodal platform for making connections to prior learning, coursework across the curriculum, co-curricular activities, and imagined futures.
- Participate in the Bayard and John Cobb Peace Lecture Series, which brings visionaries in the field of Peace Studies to Naropa and the Boulder community annually. Cobb Peace lecturers also meet in small, intimate forums with Naropa students, giving Peace Studies students the opportunity to be in dialogue with luminaries such as Sister Helen Prejean (CSJ), the Sakyöng Mipham Rinpoche, Dr. John Paul Lederach, Susan Griffin, Claude AnShin Thomas, and Dr. Ha Vinh Tho.
- Expand your understanding of global and local social and environmental justice issues and explore innovative approaches to change. View examples of guest seminars/immersion activities in Peace Studies courses.