Student Curriculum

What is Peace Studies?

To find out more about a career in peace studies, read the article Starting a Career Building Peace by David J. Smith, President, Forage Center for Peacebuilding and Humanitarian Education, Inc.

Curious how your field of study relates to peace studies? Check out "Strategic Peacebuilding Paths," a diagram created by University of Notre Dame's Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.

Strategic Peacebuilding Paths

Take Courses at Valencia


CJE 2062: Peace, Conflict and the Police

Prerequisite: Freshman Composition I

In this course, students will learn the meaning of peace and investigate the philosophical and religious theories that underlie peace studies. In addition, students will investigate causes of war and violence from the individual level to international level and evaluate the paradox of the police as instruments of both peace and conflict. Students will investigate the police role in nonviolent movements and learn about occupational and organizational factors that influence police behavior. Finally, students will learn about the history of non-violent movements and the means used to end conflict or injustice peaceably. Finally, students will be expected to devise an alternative framework for the police that emphasize peacekeeping strategies rather than coercive means.

Promoting the Culture of Peace in Classrooms

EDG 2935: Promoting the Culture of Peace in Classrooms


Promoting the Culture of Peace is a three credit course that can be taken by students in all professions to excel in their careers peacefully, or for Personal Development, or to help improve the society they live in.  This course will be customized to meet the career and educational needs of students and will focus on topics such as Peace Education, Conflict Transformation, Communication Skills, Bullying, Cyber-bullying, Non-Violence, Causes of Conflict, Cross-cultural and Inter-faith conflicts, and the current research on the Culture of Peace. The Culture of Peace will help students promote values of compassion, equality, human rights, diversity, and peace. It will empower them with the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values necessary to end violence, injustice, and promote the culture of peace.

Freshman Composition II: Perspectives on War, Philosophies of Peace

ENC 1102: Freshman Composition II: Perspectives on War, Philosophies of Peace

Prerequisite: Freshman Composition I

Through documentaries, photography, poetry, art, literature, philosophy, and non-fiction works, this online course explores multiple perspectives of warfare and introduces philosophies of peace to build pathways of healing. Application of skills learned in ENC 1101 is expected, while there is an emphasis on style; use of library; reading and evaluating available sources, along with planning, writing, and documenting a short research paper. This is a Gordon Rule course in which the student is required to demonstrate college-level writing skills through multiple assignments.

Voices From the Margins

ENC 1102: Freshman Composition II: Voices From the Margins: Reading, Discussing and Writing for Peace and Justice

Prerequisite: Freshman Composition I

This course will focus on literature written by and about people from marginalized cultures in America. Application of skills learned in ENC 1101. Emphasis on style; use of library; reading and evaluating available sources; planning, writing, and documenting short research paper. Gordon Rule course in which the student is required to demonstrate college-level writing skills through multiple assignments. Minimum grade of C required if ENC 1102 is used to satisfy Gordon Rule and general education requirements.

Environmental Science

EVR 1001: Environmental Science


This non-laboratory course provides understanding of our interdependence with and responsibility for environment, earth and all species. We will Investigate such aspects as pollution, urbanization, population trends and changes in lifestyles. We will address present and projected solutions to current and future problems and predicaments. You are encouraged to inquire beyond these basic areas of study outlined.

Social Entrepreneurship

GEB 1155: Social Entrepreneurship

Prerequisite: GEB 1011 or GEB 1136 or ECO 2013 or ECO 2023 or MUM 2720C or department approval.

This course explores Social entrepreneurship as a rapidly developing and changing business field in which business and nonprofit leaders design, grow, and lead mission-driven enterprises. As the traditional lines blur between nonprofit enterprises, government, and business, students explore opportunities and challenges in this new landscape through local project based learning.

Meditation for Stress Management

HLP 1093: Meditation for Stress Management


This experiential course is an introduction to the art and science of meditation for stress management. Topics include the benefits of meditation, meditation techniques, breath work, meditation and health, and meditation for everyday living. This course will help students find the type of medication that is best for them enabling them to establish a personal meditation practice. This course is suitable for all students, regardless of physical limitations.

Multimedia Literature and the Holocaust

LIT 2174: Multimedia Literature and the Holocaust

Prerequisite: ENC 1101

This course explores literacy characteristics inherent in various media including (but not limited to) Holocaust - related historical text, documentary film, comics (graphic narrative), survivor narratives, pre- and post - Nazi art and contemporary major motion pictures. The examination includes critical analyses of textual, visual, syntactical, mechanical and thematic conventional similarities found in traditional textual 'literature" and in the structure, syntax and language of visual media.

Introduction to Peace Studies

PAX 1000: Introduction to Peace Studies


This course studies peace in its philosophical, religious, literary, historical and other cultural contexts. It investigates the causes of violence on the global and personal levels. There is an emphasis on the interdisciplinary study of peace and the peace movement in historical and contemporary views. It also teaches the application of conflict resolution, nonviolence, and other practices necessary to become more powerful and peaceful members of our world.

Conflict Transformation: Paths to Peace

PAX 1500: Conflict Transformation: Paths to Peace


This course is designed to create the potential for intrapersonal and interpersonal transformation while exploring tools for conflict transformation. Students will explore different approaches to conflict and the many reasons why conflict between individuals, groups and states arises and even turns violent. We will discuss the various actions that people can take to mitigate and transform the destructive forces of both inter and intrapersonal conflict, including, for example: reflective practice, dialogue, mediation and negotiation. We will explore these different conflict interventions by studying the theory and practice of negotiation and mediation skills, analyzing specific conflicts in history and in current events, and becoming proficient in skillful dialogue aimed at bridging personal, social and cultural gaps which often lead to misunderstanding and conflict.

Positive Psychology

PSY 2930: Positive Psychology


This course is designed to introduce a strength-based psychology that scientifically studies positive human functioning, specifically, the strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive. Emphasis will be placed on studying and applying topics such as; happiness, gratitude, flow, optimism and hope, wisdom and courage, positive affect, resilience, coping, friendship, and positive development across the lifespan.

Psychology of Peace

PSY 2930: Psychology of Peace


Using data from developmental, personality, social, learning, and biological psychologies, this course will investigate the causes and consequences of violence and non-violence. Students will understand how conflict is caused and healed on interpersonal and intergroup levels. Analysis from many areas of psychology will focus on personality variables, developmental sequalae, social inequalities, peace-making, peace-building, and social justice.

Peace and Justice Ambassadors Service Learning

SLS 2940: Peace and Justice Ambassadors Service Learning (3 credit hours)


This is a planned service-learning experience that focuses on three hallmarks: service, leadership and scholarship. Students in this course will complete 60 hours of Service Learning. Students serve as Peace and Justice Ambassadors in Service to the Peace and Justice Institute at Valencia College.

A History of Genocide

WOH 2003: A History of Genocide


The primary focus of this course is to define and discuss genocide in all of its forms, expose the flaws in current pedagogy and reappraise in order to address the complexities of the topic. It will address bureaucratic mechanized genocides as well as the more spontaneous and the pre-industrial types. This course is a mix of theoretical considerations alongside the history of genocide ranging back to antiquity and various case studies.