Peace Studies

Jamal Martin, Ph.D., Director, Africana Studies; Family and Community Medicine
Peace Studies Program Office: Mesa Vista Hall Room 4017
MSC03 3730
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131-0001
(505) 277-4912 

Farah Nousheen, Academic Advisor and Administrator
Peace Studies Program
(505) 277-4621 

Core Curricula Instructors
Thomas Allena, Peace Studies
Kiran Katira, Peace Studies
Renee Wolters, Peace Studies


The Peace Studies program is an interdepartmental and transdisciplinary program designed to introduce students to the causes, consequences and solutions of all types of conflict through the attainment of either an undergraduate minor or certificate tailored to meet a student's needs and areas of academic interest. The program allows students the opportunity to examine alternatives to violence and to reflect upon the nature of peace as a sustainable condition at the individual and collective levels. Interested students are strongly encouraged to meet with the program advisor early to develop their own set of program goals and coursework within the established framework of program requirements.

In the twenty-first century, the problem of violence exists on multiple levels, from domestic abuse and entrenched poverty to international armed conflict, terrorism and counterterrorism. Humans face the prospect of a nuclear conflagration on one side, with the daily reality of low-technology conflicts in dozens of countries on another. In the organized violence of warfare, far more civilians die than soldiers, small arms destroy more than sophisticated weaponry, and war-related poverty, displacement, and disease are the biggest killers of all. Moreover, in refugee camps and urban communities alike, the pervasive incidence of violence within families and communities feeds and is fed by violence in its other forms. Human rights abuses and immigration problems exist not only across the ocean, but also in New Mexico where people face issues of racism, classism, oppression, poverty, immigration rights, education problems and much more. Students are given the opportunity to look at global situations, and to then examine what is occurring in their own communities where they are tasked with finding viable, sustainable solutions to these complex situations.

Using the disciplinary frameworks found within departments and programs in the College of Arts and Sciences, such as Africana Studies, American Studies, Anthropology, Chicana and Chicano Studies, Communication and Journalism, Economics, English, Geography and Environmental Studies, History, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Religious Studies, Sociology, Sustainability Studies, and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, students become grounded in effective methodological research and action. By learning effective critical thinking skills in all the program course offerings, and borrowing from the transdisciplinary pedagogy of the College of Education, School of Law, Community Engagement Center, Research and Service-Learning program, Honors College and more, students become more engaged in their classroom subjects and their own community via experimental education opportunities in a way that leads to higher levels of learning and commitment to bettering the world around them.

Ultimately, the goals of the Peace Studies program reinforce the overall goals of liberal arts education and critical thinking skills development: to inform, to enrich and to strengthen humanistic values within society. The minor and certificate programs both offer a unique, interdisciplinary addition to existing programs at the University of New Mexico and is readily integrated into undergraduate programs in other schools and colleges within the university system. Careers in armed forces, education, foreign service, health and human services, law and law enforcement, management, public service and the fine arts are enhanced by the study of conflict and its peaceful resolution. Understanding issues of social and environmental justice are imperative in today’s world and learning how to use ‘peace making’ tools as actions against the structural violence that surrounds people everyday is a necessity for the planet’s (and humanity's) survival.

The UNM Peace Studies Program is a collaborative association of UNM faculty, staff, students and administrators with support from affiliated organizational and community members. The program is committed to a strong citizenship role within the University; participating in campus and community events relevant to critically understanding social and environmental justice issues and looking at ways to peaceably reduce the violence caused by them. The program is home to the Albuquerque Action Alliance, a network of graduate and undergraduate student groups and leaders dedicated to making the world a better place; Students Organizing Actions for Peace (SOAP); and the weekly People before Profit Film Series. Through both classroom and experiential learning opportunities, students are invited to think critically about the world, to act creatively, and to fashion their own and the collective future in a holistic and supportive educational environment.


PCST 1110 [102]. Introduction to Peace Studies. (3)

PCST 306. Peace and Conflict. (3)

PCST 307. Nonviolent Alternatives. (3)

PCST 340. Topics in Peace Studies. (3, may be repeated four times Δ)

PCST 400. Peace Studies Internship. (3)


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Office of the Registrar

MSC11 6325
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Phone: (505) 277-8900
Fax: (505) 277-6809