Experiential learning is at the heart of our curriculum and enriched with simulations, networking and fieldwork.

At Heller, students participate in two conflict assessment days that allow them to test the skills they need in challenging, real-world situations. Then, they embark on a three- to six-month field practicum where they apply and refine skills on the ground with international agencies, government and non-governmental organizations that are dedicated to coexistence, nonviolence, conflict prevention and conflict resolution work. Past practicum placements include UNICEF, the International Committee of the Red Cross, Search for Common Ground, the Institute for Inclusive Security and the Max Warburg Courage Curriculum.

Significant scholarship and financial aid opportunities are available, including full funding through the Sidney Topol Fellowship in Nonviolence Practice and the Social Policy and Coexistence Fellowship

COEX students are part of a community of peacebuilding professionals, both at Heller and off-campus. We collaborate with other Heller School programs through our dual and joint degree options for students who want to combine their coexistence work with other policy areas, such as development or nonprofit management. We also have strong partnerships with external organizations and agencies, like the Harvard Program on Negotiation in nearby Cambridge, Mass., the United Nations-mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica and the Department of Peace and Conflict Research in Uppsala, Sweden. These multiple opportunities build our students’ networks as well as their expertise.
Learn about our dual and joint degree programs

Alumni Outcomes

Tarig Mohamed, MA COEX'16, Regional Program Manager for Africa and the Middle East, KARAMA

"Maximize your time at Heller. Listen to different views on the same topic from diverse colleagues and professors, and try to relate and apply these views on your own context. Start creating change in a smaller community to be able to change the bigger one."

Lisette Anzoategui, MA SID/COEX'15, Program Manager, Social Impact

As a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras, “I saw constantly the interaction between violence prevention and conflict and peacebuilding and development. That was a huge part of why I chose Heller, where I could do the dual degree in sustainable international development and coexistence and conflict to make those linkages.”

Naveed Noormal, MA COEX'16, First Secretary, Embassy of Afghanistan, London

“Around the world, there are many schools that teach you the theory part of knowledge, but at Heller, theoretical knowledge is taught by well-known professors and practitioners with extensive experience on the ground."