Earned Credits: 32 - 35
Rooted in analysis, Saybrook’s M.A. Transformative Social Change: Peace and Justice Studies Specialization examines the theory and history of social change. Students learn how discrimination, access to food, and a myriad of other factors pose challenges for underrepresented populations and how bringing that conflict to light can move us toward a more just global society. Understanding environmental, political, and social factors, students in this unique master’s program will:
- Explore global challenges to world peace
- Learn cross-cultural conflict resolution and restorative justice practices
- Develop ways to address societal conflict and injustice
- Expand the range of tools available to peace practitioners and scholars
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of nonprofit careers in the United States is growing. Graduates of the M.A. in Transformative Social Change: Peace and Justice Studies Specialization may find work in local or global nonprofit organizations, political campaigns, or as educators.
Through a multidisciplinary perspective, graduates will understand how justice and nonviolence can be used to transform conflicts into constructive change. By bridging the gap between cultures and larger society, they encourage people to delve more deeply into the causes of social problems at all levels. Graduates of this master’s program will become scholars, practitioners, and activists dedicated to affecting positive change on a global scale.
By demonstrating skills that foster participation and inclusion, graduates can help lead nonprofits, charitable organizations, or activist groups in finding ways to deliver a message that resonates and reflects the values of peace and justice.
More program information can be found in our academic catalog.
All new students in the M.A. and Ph.D. Transformative Social Change degree programs begin their studies with our one-time, two-day Residential Orientation (RO). ROs are held two days ahead of the Residential Conference at the start of the fall and spring semesters in California. Attendance at the entire RO is an academic requirement.
All students are also required to attend a five-day residential conference held off-campus at the beginning of each semester. These residential conferences offer didactic/topical, research, and practice-oriented seminars, in-person sessions introducing each core course in the program, and group meetings of the program as a whole. The RCs also involve informal exchanges with other students and program faculty for mentoring and socialization to the field.
Residential Conference Requirement
M.A. students are required to attend until formally enrolled in a master’s thesis or project. Doctoral students are required to attend until they have advanced to doctoral candidacy (upon satisfaction of essay orals).
No academic credit is given for attendance at the RC. Students who attend a seminar at an RC and wish to study the topic further may register, with the permission of the seminar instructor and the department chair, for a 1 credit independent study course (ALL 8100) following the RC. Each course is individually designed and negotiated with the seminar instructor. Not all RC workshops, courses, and seminars are eligible for the follow-up independent study credit. Students will need to review their program plan to confirm the 1 credit independent study will satisfy degree requirements.
Peace and Justice Studies
This course reviews theory and data from psychology and other human sciences in the study of peace, conflict, and violence. It covers both positive (harmonious and constructive ways of living) and negative (absence of war or violent conflict) conceptualizations of peace at the interpersonal, group, national, and international levels. 3 credits
Race, Class, and Gender
None of us lives our lives through linear or exclusive experiences of race, class, or gender. Instead, we exist through multiplicities of identity that are informed through race, class, and gender as well as other social determinants. Human diversity, increasingly framed in terms of intersectionality—focused on the mutual interrelatedness of central social categorizations such as gender, ethnicity, race, social class, and sexuality—is becoming more prominent in research, scholarship, and practice. The goal for this course is modest: to expand our awareness of how race, class, and gender shape our lives, historically and in the present day. If this heightened awareness leads to changes in the way we talk with and about each other, represent the other, provide services, and live our lives on a day-to-day basis, then the course will have more than satisfied its intent. 3 credits
Theory and Practice of Nonviolence
This course examines the history and basic principles of a variety of nonviolent approaches, including those of seminal figures such as Buddha, Jesus, Gandhi, and King, as well as the views of contemporary social activists and theorists, both secular and spiritual. The applications of philosophies of nonviolence to various social and political domains are critically considered. A range of methods and strategies for nonviolent social change are explored, utilizing study of historical and recent cases. 3 credits