The Heller School for Social Policy and Management


The curriculum of the Master's Program in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence ensures that participants will secure a solid grounding in the theories of contemporary coexistence and conflict prevention work, as well as develop the professional skills to design and implement successful interventions to deal with the challenges of such conflicts.

The 56 credit curriculum includes an academic year in residence (32 credits) followed by six months of combined fieldwork (12 credits) and final paper, leading either to an internship report, a master's paper or master's thesis (12 credits).  It is designed to help students develop the ability to foster inter-communal and international cooperation in the face of tension and conflict. The approach is interdisciplinary, drawing from fields as diverse as social psychology, international politics, sociology, law, anthropology and cultural studies. 

The program offers the following to students:

  • Provides a solid grounding in contemporary and developing theories on the causes of intercommunal conflicts, from the local to the global.
  • Emphasizes the skills needed to design strategic interventions that prevent, mitigate or resolve intercommunal conflicts and violence.
  • Focuses on mainstreaming coexistence and conflict knowledge and skills within governments and international and inter-governmental organizations.
  • Includes a master's field project in an area of conflict or with an organization involved in coexistence and conflict interventions.
  • Teaches dialogue and mediation skills designed for work in intercommunal conflict situations.
  • Introduces students to evaluation skills to help them to assess the success of conflict interventions.
  • Helps students develop partnership skills in delivering coexistence work through democracy, security, legislative, mediative, human rights, political, equity and development work.
  • Offers a wide choice of electives, including language courses that are relevant to participants' career interests.

Students wearing green and red headbands work together.

Annual Simulated Society Exercise

Each year, COEX students have the opportunity to test out what they've learned during their first semester in a day-long simulated society, which delves into power dynamics and class tensions and tests the students' ability to work together in teams. Read about their 2017 experiences.