The Heller School for Social Policy and Management

Dual MA in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence and MA in International Law and Human Rights from University for Peace, Costa Rica

This is a dual degree

Students in dual degree programs fulfill the complete requirements for each degree, earning degrees for both programs.

This is not a joint degree. Joint degree programs are created by special agreement between programs, allowing students to fulfill a modified set of requirements. Please note that students in joint degree programs earn only one degree.


The Heller School offers a two-year international dual degree program in which students earn an MA in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence from Brandeis University and an MA in International Law and Human Rights from the University for Peace in Costa Rica. Together, the two degrees provide the breadth of skills and perspectives needed to make a difference at community, regional, national and global levels.

Program Description

Participants spend their first year in residence at Brandeis University, leading to a Master of Arts in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence (COEX) degree. The COEX program is a 38- to 40-credit, 12-month program divided into three semesters, from August of one year to August of the next. The degree provides the foundations that will enable graduates to design and implement successful interventions that help opposing groups, nations and regions prevent, mitigate and resolve conflicts.

The second year of the dual-degree program takes place on the UPeace campus in Costa Rica; the Master’s in International Law and Human Rights (ILHR) program is a 40-credit, ten-month program divided into two semesters, between August of one year and June of the following year. All courses are taught in English.


The program follows this recommended sequence.

First Year (Heller School)

Second Year (University for Peace, Costa Rica)


  • Foundation Course in Human Rights Law
  • Foundation Course in Peace and Conflict Studies
  • Foundation Course in Public International Law
  • Foundation Course in the United Nations and Other International Organizations
  • Human Rights Advocacy
  • Human Rights Law and Gender
  • Law Related to Armed Conflict
  • Legal Research and Writing
  • In addition, participants can choose an elective course (3 credits) offered by the UPEACE Institute or other UPEACE programs.


  • Global and Regional Human Rights Systems
  • Globalization and Human Rights
  • Health and Human Rights
  • Human Rights Advocacy
  • Human Rights Law and Gender
  • Independent Studies Project
  • International Refugee Law
  • Research Seminar
  • Transitional Justice and Human Rights
  • In addition, participants can add elective courses offered by the UPEACE Institute or other UPEACE programs (8 credits), or an Independent Studies Project (8 credits).

“Whether your focus is human rights or conflict resolution, being able to analyze treaties and understand the pitfalls and mechanisms of the international law system will help you in your practice,” says Kyla Graves, MA COEX/ILHR’19, the first dual degree graduate of the Heller/UPEACE program. Learn more about Kyla's experiences. 

Kyla Graves