ChooseWhy Choose This Program?

Why Study Peace Studies at Goucher?

Based on an understanding that differences enrich our lives and that conflicts provide opportunities for growth, peace studies is an interdisciplinary program that proposes ways of being in the world that incorporate the skills of listening and dialogue, mediation and negotiation, ideas of rights balanced with responsibilities, questions of justice, and philosophies of nonviolence.

LearnWhat Will You Learn?

What Will You Learn?

Peace thought is the study of alternatives to violent conflict. In this interdisciplinary program, students explore those alternatives through the study of conflict, violence, and nonviolence in the lives of individuals, communities, and the shared world. Students consider peace and conflict theories as they apply to historical and contemporary conflicts around the world. Additionally, they practice reflection and critical thinking and render service to communities as engaged citizens in the practice of peace.  Learn More

DoWhat Will You Do?

What Will You Do?

The degree in peace studies prepares students for a variety of professions. Since the field of peace studies is interdisciplinary, graduates can find careers in areas such as community activism, educators, advocacy, community and non-government organizations, business and private sector, mediators, dispute resolution, researchers, government and federal jobs, international organizations, diplomacy, human rights, labor unions, foreign policy, health, public policy, non-violence, journalism and media, economic development, law, and the environmental sector.


Major & Minor Program Contacts
Ailish Hopper, Department Chair

Full-Time Faculty
Jennifer Bess, Ph.D., Associate Professor: Native American Studies, especially foodways and self-determination

Seble Dawit, L.L.M., Associate Professor, Chair, Peace Studies Program: human rights and humanitarian law; gender and rights; non-profit organizations; futuring

Ailish Hopper, M.F.A., Associate Professor: Poetry writing and poetics; new narrative practices; critical race theory; cultural rewriting; liberation and critical pedagogy; futures and nonviolences

Richard Pringle, Professor Emeritus: relational psychology; qualitative research methods; community arts; literature; writing; listening to and telling stories in community; agitating for care and social justice; growth fostering pedagogies and communities; feminist and anti-racist psychology and education; the psychology of narrative and meaning

Affiliate Faculty
Emily Billo, James Dator, Ann Duncan, Irline François, Martin Shuster

Study Abroad

Peace studies requires a semester abroad or in the United States in a community significantly from the student's own. This requirement may be completed over the summer (no less than 12 weeks), by courses or internship. Goucher offers two programs focused on Peace Studies for students seeking a complete semester abroad experience:

Other options for international study are almost endless. Visit the Office of Global Education or talk to your advisor to explore how other programs might complement your degree. Students who visited Thailand, Uganda and Rwanda, the Dominican Republic, and France discuss here how their study abroad experiences furthered their degrees in peace studies and opened their eyes to new perspectives.

Opportunities & Internships

Awards and Fellowships

Peace studies students have successfully secured academic excellence and leadership prizes, research grants to conduct field work, national and international internships, and community service. These awards include the prestigious Julia Rogers Library Research Award and the Social Justice Research Award, and scholarly articles published in Verge journal.

The Joe Morton Award for Outstanding Achievement in Peace Studies

This award is given to students who actualize their values as demonstrated by academic excellence, by commitment to and partnership within the college and the Baltimore community, and by integrity in their personal conduct.

Fund for Independent Research/Fund for Social Justice Research

Established with contributions from the Office of the President, the Office of the Provost, the Student Government Association, and the Peace Studies Program, these special funds allow the college to award grants each semester for independent student research, including senior projects, with additional funds available for social justice research. Grants will generally be awarded up to $1,000 (up to $1,500 for research projects that require international travel), and funds must be used for expenses related directly to the project.

The Julia Rogers Research Prizes

The Goucher College Library and the Friends of the Goucher College Library sponsor an annual research prize competition for outstanding research by Goucher students using library resources. The $250 prizes were first offered in 2004, in honor of Julia Rogers’ 150th birthday. If you have produced work of which you are especially proud, please consider entering. There are various categories for First-year/Sophomore, Junior/Senior, and Graduate.

Verge Journal

Faculty nominated and faculty-student advised, the Verge journal collects the best of both academic, research-based writing and more creative nonfiction work. The journal’s interdisciplinary approach is intended to emphasize the links between different disciplines, as well as the links between the curiosities, inquiries, and achievements of individuals who might not otherwise know about each other’s work. Sample of peace studies student publications in Verge:

Structural Violence in The Baltimore Sun’s Coverage of 1910 McCulloh Street

Sex and The State: The Impact of State Policy on Sexual Expression in China

Torn to pieces: the Baltimore Sun and the case of George Scott

Review of the Obama Administration’s 2010-2015 National HIV/AIDS Strategy

Broken Fragments of Immortality: Why People Will Always Love Peter Pan

Utopia within Dystopia: Stand on Zanzibar as Speculative Postcolonial Literature

Orphans in South Africa and the Stigma of HIV/AIDS

HIV/AIDS and Income Generation: The Use of Microfinance Initiatives as a Prevention Strategy in Sub-Saharan African Refugee Camps

The Future of Extraterritorial Jurisdiction in the International Law of Occupation: The Co-Application of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law

Re-Orienting Neo-liberal Development and Mainstreaming HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa

Holding Private Military Contractors Accountable for Human Rights Violations: The Alien Torts Claims Act and the Quest for Regulation

Chant Down Babylon: the Rastafarian Movement and Its Theodicy for the Suffering

Industrial Agribusiness: Economic Solution or Environmental Disaster?

Report on the Status of Women: Human Trafficking

Prison Health Care

“Upsilamba!”: the Joy and Sanctuary of Fiction in Reading Lolita in Tehran

Peace and Conflict in The Democratic Republic of the Congo

From the Ivory Tower to the Days of Sulha: Parallel Concepts of Reconciliation in Judaism and Islam and Anecdotal Manifestations

Why We Feel Powerless? How Income, Education and Race Influence Political Alienation within the United States

Were Their Eyes Watching the Ladies?: The Treatment of African American Women in Harlem Renaissance Literature

Un Examen de L’Identité « Africaine »

Redefining Justice: Rwanda's development of Inkiko Gacaca -- a village-based community justice


Community-Based Learning

Community-based learning, or service learning, is a way for students to actively connect their academic work with direct experience in the community. By combining hands-on work in the community with the academic framework provided by course work across the curriculum, students gain a rich experience of social issues. Students learn about the workings of community, encounter differences related to race, class and privilege, gain a deeper understanding about social justice, and are able to do work that is beneficial to others. They also gain a greater understanding of themselves. The Community-Based Learning Office emphasizes academic rigor, reflection, and developing ongoing community partnerships. Community-based learning can be part of any discipline and any academic division: humanities, social sciences, sciences and the arts.

At Goucher, community-based learning is part of a growing number of academic courses, many of which are listed here. Many but not all of our programs are connected to central Baltimore, the historic home of Goucher College, and new partnerships are being created locally in Baltimore County.

Community-Based Learning Courses

This course will introduce students to the philosophy, theory, and best practices of academically based community service work. Working with faculty and concepts from a wide range of academic disciplines, students will gain knowledge about community action and community service, while developing firsthand practical skills and applications for effective work in Baltimore City. Topics and skills to be learned include community building, effective mentoring, developing community partnerships, perspectives on learning development, and others. One hour lecture and two hours community service required per week. Instructor: Michael Curry


Peace House

The Peace House allows student activists and peace thinkers an opportunity to live in and to cultivate an environment of self-awareness and mutual support for the promotion of social justice. Each semester, members of the Peace House dedicate the term to an issue or project to promote and engage in social justice and activism.

Peace House members function as an affinity group, making most decisions through consensus. They agree to meet at least once a week, for a minimum of 90 minutes, in addition to informal weekly participation. Peace House members commit to living in an intentional community that demands a dedication to group work and conflict resolution.

Peace House is currently not offered by the Office of Residential Life, though interested students may revive this community. For more information, please contact the Office of Residential Life.


Internships help students explore possibilities, apply classroom learning, and gain experience. Explore internships and credit options.

Student Employment

Student employment connects students to both on and off-campus opportunities. The Career Education Office provides resources and support to students with or without Federal Work Study to find jobs, submit applications, and learn more about the job search process. Students have access to Handshake — a website for job postings, events, resumes/cover letters, and career management.

Major & Career Exploration

Exploring career options, choosing a major, and making career decisions is a multi-step process in which all students are encouraged to engage early and often. Goucher students have a variety of resources available through the Majors and Career page to assist them in this process.

Job Search

A Goucher education prepares students for today’s job market and beyond. Students can explore job opportunities and access job search resources through the CEO Job Search page.

Graduate & Professional School

Students access resources for searching and applying to graduate and professional school through the CEO Graduate and Professional School page, through faculty and staff members, or utilizing their own resources, network and tools.

Johns Hopkins Carey Business School 4+1 BA/MS Program

Goucher College and Johns Hopkins Carey Business School are offering Goucher students a combined bachelor’s and master’s degree program. This 4+1 program combines a bachelor’s degree from Goucher with a master of science degree from Johns Hopkins in business analytics and risk management, information systems, health care management, finance, or marketing. Students can apply during their junior year. GRE or GMAT tests have been waived but applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25 or better and have passed some quantitative reasoning courses with a grade of B or better.