Scholarships for masters in peace and conflict studies

Peace And Conflict Studies Scholarships

Get Your Piece of the Pie

The dichotomy of peace and conflict is the cake and ice cream of higher education – they are mutually exclusive and yet go so very well together. Students wishing to get their feet wet in this complicated, and yet ultimately very rewarding, field should be committed beyond a doubt. In fact, to test this level of dedication, most scholarships for peace and conflict studies require applicants to write an essay on their career goals, hoping that they will adhere to them as their studies turn into real world application.

For the serious, willing, and motivated student of this political pursuit, there are significant opportunities to study with scholarships at institutes and organizations where world leaders, scholars, and students may all come together to work for a more peaceful co-existence.

Private Funding

Rotary World Fellows

Rotary International is one of the leading providers of scholarships for students who are uniquely interested in humanitarian aid or peace programs. The Rotary Peace Fellowships program gives outstanding graduate students the opportunity to study with worldwide leaders in peace and conflict and choose from a handful of the finest international universities around the globe. The fellowship can be used to either pursue a Master’s degree or a professional development certificate in aid or peace studies. Rotary Peace Fellows study and work in the areas of greatest worldwide need for the both simple and complex resources such as food, medical supplies and hope. Students must apply through their local chapter of the Rotary club, which can be located on their website.

United States Institute of Peace

The United States Institute of Peace is an organization established by the United States government as a herald of our pursuit of a cohesive and just social world. USIP is put to the task of acting as a resource and collaborative environment in which international leaders and scholars may come together to join efforts to help resolve conflict between nations and peoples. Fellowships offered by USIP include:

  • The Jennings Randolph Fellowship Program funds the research efforts of graduate students, post-graduate scholars and political and social movers and shakers who wish to study at the institute. These fellowships generally last about ten months, but shorter options are also available.
  • The Peace Scholar Dissertation Program funds the research of outstanding doctoral candidates whose dissertation takes them into USIP territory. Ten of these awards are given out every year, particularly toward students who are writing on international peace, conflict, and security.

Alliance for Conflict Transformation

The Alliance for Conflict Transformation works hard at bridging the global differences in the world by bringing together leaders, scholars, students and organizations dedicated to a more peaceful world. ACT provides a changing list of scholarships that help students and others with travel expenses and tuition and program costs. See their website for more resources and contact information.

Peace and Collaborative Development Network

This resource is not only valuable in terms of networking in the peace and conflict arena, but provides access to dozens of scholarships and fellowships specifically targeted towards students of this study. The website’s forums on Fellowships and Research contain running lists of new opportunities. Additionally, the network maintains a overview of many other peace and conflict related organizations which you may contact to explore further aid awards. The Peace and Collaborative Development Network also provides advice to students on writing successful scholarship and fellowship applications in their specific field of interest, making it a great overall resource for students who are just getting started.

College Scholarships

Ralph J. Bunche Scholarship

Minority students at several undergraduate programs may qualify for the Ralph J. Bunche Scholarship in Peace and Conflict Studies. The program emphasizes the inclusion of underrepresented populations in the field that critically needs a multicultural viewpoint. The scholarship, started by a Nobel Peace Prize winner, is available to students at Wayne State UniversityUCLA, and Colby College, among others.

Juniata College Service and Peacemaking Scholarships

If you are a student who has already participated in humanitarian or peace programs and you want to continue in this route of service and study, you might take a look at Juniata College in Pennsylvania where there is an extremely generous scholarship in peace studies. The Juniata College Service and Peacemaking Scholarships award up to three deserving students up to the cost of a full ride at Juniata. One scholarship is given for full tuition as well as room and board, and two are given for full tuition only. The winner not only must prove their academic and personal devotion to world peace, but must also write a stellar essay on the direction of their career.

Matsunaga Institute for Peace

The Matsunaga Institute for Peace at the University of Hawaii offers several scholarship incentives to outstanding and eligible students pursuing peace studies or conflict resolution or a synthesis of the two. The Betty Jacob and Philip Jacob Peace awards range from $500 to $100 depending on need and availability of funds. Candidates must complete an essay that makes a legitimate and passionate argument for their choice of peace and conflict studies. Applicants must also have high academic scores and a well-defined project.

Matsunaga also offers the Nobumoto Tanahashi Peace Fellowship and Scholarship for Undergraduate and Graduate Students, which ranges from $2000 to $5000 in award amount. These awards were established after their namesake legacy, the head of the Order of Peace Congregation. See the website for details on applying.

Peace and Conflict Resolved

The parallels and problems of war and peace are an intellectually and practically invaluable study. Though the struggle for peace will perhaps not be resolved entirely within your lifetime, you can push the progress that history has made that much closer by dedicating a life’s work to its study and development. There will certainly be job security in a field that so desperately and necessarily requires studiers of integrity and conscience, and there is no shortage of aid to help you qualify for the education to do so. Many fellowships and scholarships like the ones above have been established in the memories of those who have stood for peace in the past, and can now offer full funding and academic challenge for students who desire to carry on that practice.

5 Tuition Free Masters in Peace and Conflict Studies

Interest in the field of peace and conflict studies is growing across the globe. Since the 1950s and 1960s when peace studies began to emerge as an academic discipline with its own research tools, a specialized set of concepts and forums for discussions such as journals and conferences, the number of institutions offering the course at all levels have significantly increased. Suffice to add that research institutes focusing on peace research have also increased significantly. Notable amongst such institutes is the Peace Research Institute (PRIO) based in Oslo, Norway, which is associated with renowned peace scholar, Johan Galtung. The growth in institutions and research centres offering specialized courses in peace studies has led to an increase in the number of students desirous of peace education, especially from institutions providing some form of funding or the other. This article examines the institutions offering tuition-free peace and conflict studies across the globe.

Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa.

Programme Information: The Durban University of Technology’s Peacebuilding Programme is arguably the biggest and most exhaustive of its kind on the continent of Africa. Although the institution’s main focus is on PhD studies, it nonetheless offers limited fully-funded masters studies in peacebuilding, with a focus on action research methodology, which directly builds peace among individuals and communities.  The degrees start with a compulsory on-campus component of one month during which time students attend classes and submit assignments on peace theory, receive training in practical peacebuilding and learn the details of writing a research thesis.

Programme Requirements:

  • A bachelor’s degree normally at an upper-class level (70%) or above.
  • Strong written and spoken English
  • Relevant life experience beyond studying at the university
  • A commitment to attend the university full-time at the start of the academic programme, and a week at the start of the second year.
  • A commitment to devote a minimum of 12-15 hours per week to thesis work, on average, following the on-campus period.

Funding Information: DUT offers tuition-free studies for master’s students. It also supports the cost of data collection and for the preparation of the final version of the thesis for submission.

The University of Uppsala’s Master’s in Peace and Conflict Studies

Programme Information: The Department of Peace and Conflict Research at the University of Uppsala in Sweden offers tuition-free master’s in peace and conflict studies to citizens of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) and nationals of Switzerland. If you are not a citizen of the aforementioned regions, you are required to pay application or tuition fees. The purpose of the course is to give students an understanding of central concepts and issues in peace and conflict research, as well as key findings concerning the onset, development, and resolution of armed conflicts.

Programme Requirements:

The university has two application periods for Master’s programmes and courses starting in the autumn. The first application period, which is open to all international applicants, normally opens from October and closes in January. Applicants (especially international applicants) are strongly encouraged to apply during the first application round. Applications are made through

The second application round is primarily for Swedish students and normally opens from March to April. Applications are made through Please note that only students who are citizens of a country within the European Union, European Economic Area and Switzerland can apply during this application round.

Funding Information

Some international students will be exempt from paying student fees. For example, you are not required to pay application and tuition fees if:

  • You are a Swedish citizen
  • You are a citizen of a country within the European Union, European Economic Area or Switzerland
  • You have a permanent Swedish residence permit
  • You have a temporary Swedish residence permit that was granted on the basis of something other than studies

University of Hamburg’s M.A. in Peace and Security Studies

Programme Information: The aim of the M.A. in Peace and Security Studies at the University of Hamburg to introduce highly-qualified graduates from German and foreign universities as well as academically trained professionals to debates and approaches in peace research and security policy. Universität Hamburg offers the program jointly with the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at Universität Hamburg (IFSH) in conjunction with leading academic and security policy institutions as part of the Cooperation Network for peace research and security policy.

Programme Requirements:

Requirements for the programme include:

  • Application form (online application, download as pdf)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Abitur certificate or school certificate of equal value
  • University certificate or certificate of the technical college of higher education and 240 ECTS
  • Evidence of English and German language skillsas necessary for course and examinations
  • German: DSH (results: DSH-2 or better), TestDaf (results in all four parts: TDN 4 or better) or any examination of equal value (B2/C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages)
  • English: TOEFL 230 (570 paper-based), 5.5 IELTS, Advanced C or any examination of equal value (B2/C1 of the CEFRL)
  • Evidence of practical experience in the field as far as at hand
  • If possible, further documents expressing special qualification for the course (e.g. letters of reference or proof of a grant)

Funding Information: The M.A. programme is tuition free. The IFSH does not offer funding itself, but suitable candidates are often provided with support in applying for scholarships.

Umeå University’s Master´s Thesis in Peace and Conflict Studies

Programme Information: Umeå University offers a unique master’s thesis in peace and conflict studies that includes authoring and ventilation of a thesis, fulfillment of commentator assignments, as well as active participation in seminars. The student is at liberty to choose his/her thesis topic in consultation with the supervisor.

Programme Requirements:

Applicants for the master’s programme are required to have knowledge of peace and conflict studies (90 credits), or 90 credits in Political Science and at least 30 credits in Peace and Conflict Studies, or equivalent, including a thesis or equivalent. In addition to this, 60 credits at master’s level are required, of which at least 30 credits in Peace and Conflict Studies or equivalent.

·         Proficiency in English equivalent to Swedish Upper Secondary course English A.

·         Where the language of instruction is Swedish, applicants must prove proficiency in Swedish to the level required for basic eligibility for higher studies.

Funding Information:

With a few exceptions, all citizens of countries outside of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland are required to pay tuition fees for education at Umeå University at the undergraduate and master’s level.

Applicants are NOT required to pay any fees if they are:

  • Exchange Students – students attending Umeå University as part of an exchange agreement
  • Students with citizenship in an EU/EEA country, or Switzerland.
  • A copy of the passport has to be provided during the application procedure to be designated tuition-exempt. Further instructions are available at University Admissions.
  • Pursuing Doctoral level (Ph.D.) studies.

University of Tampere’s Master’s Degree Programme in Peace, Mediation and Conflict Research 

Programme Information: The Master’s Degree Programme in Peace, Mediation and Conflict Research (PEACE) provides a multi- and interdisciplinary approach to peace and conflict research. Ranked as a top-10 degree in Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding by The Peacekeeper in 2017, the PEACE programme facilitates the understanding of the complex nature of wars and conflicts as well as their short and long-term consequences. The programme focuses not only on the study of conflict but primarily on its transformation and on the conditions for peaceful change. In the programme, it is examined, for example, how violent conflicts, ethnic and religious discrimination, and human rights violations produce forced displacement and how different actors can respond to these crisis situations.

The MDP in Peace, Mediation and Conflict research is a two-year full-time study programme. The first year focuses on the introduction to the multidisciplinary nature of peace and conflict research. During the second year, students gain a deeper understanding of their specific research interests as they participate in the thesis seminar and concentrate on writing their Master’s thesis under the guidance of their personal thesis supervisor. A great deal of flexibility is allowed when making the personal study plan and there is also the possibility to complete an optional internship.

Programme Requirements:

To be eligible to apply to the MDP in Peace, Mediation and Conflict Research, an applicant must have a successfully completed Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in Humanities, Social Sciences or in some other field/discipline appropriate for the content of the MDP. Applicants with a Master’s degree will be admitted to the programme only for well-founded reasons.

Applicants who do not meet the general eligibility and programme-specific admission criteria will not be selected. Even if you meet all the admission criteria, this does not guarantee your admission to the programme. The competition for a study place at the University of Tampere is high as the number of eligible applicants annually exceeds the number of students that can be accepted.

The institution accepts the following tests as proof of a good command of English:

  • TOEFL, Test of English as a Foreign Language; 90/Internet-based, 575/paper-based. NB: scores from TOEFL ITP/institutional testing programme are not accepted.
  • IELTS (Academic), International English Language Testing System; 6.5 with no individual score below 5.5
  • PTE (Academic), Pearson’s Test of Academic English; 62

Tuition/Funding Information

You are not required to pay the tuition fee if you are:

  • EU/EEA citizen or a family member (spouse/child) of an EU/EEA citizen.
  • Equivalent to EU/EEA citizens (i.e. citizen of Switzerland).
  • Already residing in Finland on a permanent basis (continuous A, or permanent P/P-EU residence permit type), or have an EU Blue Card issued in Finland.