The College of Nursing offers an interdisciplinary professional graduate degree program leading to a Master of Sustainable Peacebuilding (MSP). The MSP is designed to prepare students for careers in peacebuilding—e.g. international development, conflict resolution, resource stewardship. The MSP curriculum is designed to develop student expertise in systems thinking, social-ecological interactions, and the application of such concepts to peacebuilding and development fields. In addition to fulfilling all Graduate School master’s degree requirements, MSP students are required to take 44 credits over the course of six semesters—two full calendar years. Only full-time students will be accepted to the program.

Students completing the MSP will:

  • Classify the various components of complex social-ecological systems and identify appropriate intervention strategies.
  • Recognize patterns of human-environment interaction, including drivers of change resulting in conflict, development, and peacebuilding.
  • Acquire critical knowledge across at least four distinct disciplines relevant to development and peacebuilding and relate and translate knowledge among the disciplines.
  • Facilitate effective group problem-solving processes, which includes communicating confidently and effectively to diverse audiences.
  • Assess systemic outcomes of peacebuilding programs and policies and recommend adaptive modifications for improvement.

Admission Requirements 

Application Deadlines

Application deadlines vary by program, please review the application deadline chart for specific programs. Other important dates and deadlines can be found by using the One Stop calendars.

Admission

The Master of Sustainable Peacebuilding admits students to begin in fall semester only. Applicants must satisfy Graduate School requirements for admission as well as provide the following materials:

  1. Two letters of recommendation from persons familiar with the applicant’s academic or professional work, preferably one academic and one professional recommendation.
  2. A writing sample that demonstrates the applicant’s critical thinking, research, and writing skills as well as the applicant’s ability to think across disciplines.
  3. A current resume that clearly articulates the applicant’s professional, international, and intercultural experiences as well as language exposure and proficiencies.

Please check the MSP Website for up-to-date information on eligibility, application requirements, and deadlines.

Credits and Courses

40 credits are required for the MSP degree, distributed as follows:

Core
MSP 760The Politics and Policy of Sustainability3
MSP 761Complex Human-Environmental Interactions3
MSP 770Preparing for Sustainable Peacebuilding and Social Change3
MSP 771Holistic Peacebuilding Practice3
MSP 785Fundamentals of Project Management for Sustainable Peacebuilding2
MSP 786Reflective Practice in Sustainable Peacebuilding3
Core Seminars and Workshops
MSP 780Transdisciplinary Research Methods and Information Literacy3
MSP 781Innovation, Evaluation, and Adaptive Management3
MSP 790Negotiation and Group Problem Solving Skills3
MSP 791Leadership and Program Management for Sustainable Peacebuilding3
Electives
Select 9 credits in consultation with advisor(s); each course should fit into one of the following content areas: 9
Public and Environmental Health
Ecosystem Services and Resource Stewardship
Political Economy
Human Security and Development
Language and Culture
Religion and Belief Systems
Governance and Policy
Independent Study
Students may register for the following with approval from the supervising faculty member and the student’s faculty advisor:
Independent Study
Fieldwork
Select one of the following for a fieldwork experiences: 12
Study Abroad
Internship in Sustainable Peacebuilding
Total Credits40

Additional Requirements

Advising

As specified in the regulations of the Graduate School, a major professor will be assigned to every person enrolled in the program to advise and supervise his or her work. Students may request a specific faculty advisor who aligns with their research and professional interests, if desired; however, fulfillment of such requests are not guaranteed.

Master’s Paper

All students must prepare and orally defend a final master’s paper following the second summer internship (due in July of graduation year). The master’s paper—an “Integrative Synthesis”—will reflect upon a student’s breadth of experiences during the MSP program, and clearly demonstrate a student’s ability to formulate an argument, analyze data, systematically present results, and show familiarity with relevant scholarship. The paper will be a critical discussion of core MSP concepts as they relate to peacebuilding, based upon a student’s coursework and, primarily, professional experiences. Each student, throughout the course of study, will keep a portfolio containing items such as coursework, internship evaluations, and additional elements to help guide the paper. To ensure students are progressing such that they will be successful in their final papers and presentations, the faculty advisor and MSP program coordinator will assess with each student his/her portfolio periodically during the course of study to address deficiencies and advise the student regarding appropriate adjustments.

Transfer Credits

Individuals with prior graduate coursework may receive permission to count up to 9 credits of that work toward the Master of Sustainable Peacebuilding if the Advisory Committee accepts the courses as relevant to the program of study and if the courses meet Graduate School requirements for transfer. Sustainable Peacebuilding core breadth courses, seminars, and the summer field internships must be taken at UWM.

Time Limit

All degree requirements must be completed within five years of initial enrollment.