School/College: College of Letters and Science
- Master of Sustainable Peacebuilding (MSP)
The College of Letters and Science 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 48 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.
(Home departments appear in parentheses)
- Mike Allen, Ph.D., Michigan State University (Communication)
- Aaron Schutz, Ph.D., University of Michigan (Education Policy and Community Organizing)
- Associate Professors
- Ellen Amster, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania (History)
- John Berges, Ph.D., University of British Columbia (Biological Sciences)
- Anne Dressel, Ph.D., UW-Milwaukee (Nursing)
- Timothy Ehlinger, Ph.D., Michigan State University (Biological Sciences)
- Jenny Kehl, Ph.D., University of Colorado Boulder (Freshwater Sciences)
- Manu Sobti, Ph.D., Georgia Institute of Technology, (Architecture)
- Jeffrey Sommers, Ph.D., Northeastern University (Africology)
- Changshan Wu, Ph.D., The Ohio State University (Geography)
- Assistant Professors
- Karla Bartholomew, Ph.D. and J.D., Vanderbilt University (Public Health)
Master of Sustainable Peacebuilding
In addition to satisfying Graduate School requirements for admission, applicants must provide the following materials to be considered for admission:
- Two letters of recommendation from persons familiar with the applicant’s academic or professional work, preferably one academic and one professional recommendation.
- 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.
- A current resume that clearly articulates the applicant’s professional, international, and intercultural experiences. as well as language exposure and proficiencies.
Please send all application materials to: MSP Program Coordinator, 108 Garland Hall, Center for International Education, UW-Milwaukee, PO Box 413, Milwaukee, WI 53201. Letters of recommendation should be mailed directly from the applicant’s references to the MSP program coordinator. GRE scores are recommended, but not required.
Applicants may be admitted with course or background deficiencies. Students in the MSP program are expected to satisfy deficiency requirements within two enrolled semesters. The deficiencies are monitored by the Graduate School and the program. No course credits earned in making up deficiencies may be counted toward the degree.
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. Those admitted to the program will consult with the MSP coordinator for assistance in identifying an appropriate major advisor. The responsibility of this advisor will be to assist in selecting a cohesive sequence of courses and developing a rationale for that sequence. The major professor must approve the program of study and will be assisted in these functions by the MSP coordinator. 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.
Credits and Courses
48 credits are required for the MSP degree, distributed as follows:
- Core courses (12 credits—3 credits each)
- Global 760 The Politics and Policy of Sustainability
- Global 761 Complex Human-Environmental Interactions
- Global 770 Preparing for Sustainable Peacebuilding and Social Change
- Global 771 Holistic Peacebuilding Practice
- Core seminars and workshops (12 credits—3 credit each)
- Global 780 Seminar in Research Literacy for Sustainable Peacebuilding
- Global 781 Workshop in Negotiation and Conflict Management for Sustainable Peacebuilding
- Global 880 Seminar in Information Technology for Sustainable Peacebuilding
- Global 881 Workshop in Project Management for Sustainable Peacebuilding
- Elective Courses (12 credits)
- To be selected in consultation with the student’s advisor(s). Must fulfill each of the following topic areas:
- Public and Environmental Health
- Ecosystem Services and Human Development
- Political Economy and Development
- Governance and Policy
- Internships (12 credits)
- Students will complete two (six week) internships. The program is designed so that students will complete internships during the summer semester between Year 1 and Year 2, and again after Year 2. During internships, students will engage in work that focuses on a pertinent issue in the broader context of peacebuilding—e.g. food security, water conflict, public health, etc. Students will select internship sites from the three MSP program sites—in Latin America, Eastern Africa, and the Balkans—or another approved site of the student’s choosing. There is limited availability of spots at the MSP program sites, so students are encouraged to enroll early on in the program to secure their positions.
- Global 597 Study Abroad
- Global 697 Study Abroad
All students must prepare and orally defend a final master’s paper following the second summer internship. 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 course work and, primarily, internship experiences. Each student, throughout the course of study, will keep a portfolio containing items such as course work, internship evaluations, and additional elements to help guide the Integrative Synthesis. 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.
Individuals with prior graduate course work 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.
All degree requirements must be completed within five years of initial enrollment.
Courses numbered 300-699 are Undergraduate/Graduate. Courses numbered 700 and above are Graduate only.
Click on subject headings for full course descriptions
All courses are 3 credits unless noted.
- Global Studies
- 597 Study Abroad. 1-12 cr.
- 697 Study Abroad. 1-12 cr.
- 760 The Politics and Policy of Sustainability
- 761 Complex Human-Environmental Interactions
- 770 Preparing for Sustainable Peacebuilding and Social Change
- 771 Holistic Peacebuilding Practice
- 780 Seminar in Research Literacy for Sustainable Peacebuilding
- 781 Workshop in Negotiation and Conflict Management for Sustainable Peacebuilding
- 880 Seminar in Information Technology for Sustainable Peacebuilding
- 881 Workshop in Project Management for Sustainable Peacebuilding
- 329 Economic Growth and Sustainable Development in Africa
- Civil Engineering and Mechanics
- 492 Environmental Impact Assessment
- 675 Communication in International Mediation and Peacebuilding
- 864 Communication and Social Influence
- Conservation and Environmental Sciences
- 471 Principles of Natural Resources Management
- 775 Economic Development—Policy
- Educational Policy and Community Development
- 612 Community Participation and Power
- Freshwater Sciences
- 510 Economics, Policy, and Management of Water
- 564 Urban Environmental Change and Social Justice
- 742 Urban and Regional Dimensions of Global Economic Change
- Public Health
- 703 Environmental Health Sciences
- 727 Program Planning and Implementation in Public Health