Master of Arts in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence

18-Month Practicum Track

Kristin Perry, MA COEX'20, completed her practicum in Iraqi Kurdistan with the Middle East Research Institute (MERI), Iraq’s leading think-tank focused on addressing policy issues in the Middle East. 
Police officers and youth with COEX student Kristal Corona
Kristal Corona, MA COEX'19 (far right), worked with the Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration that focuses on provided conflict resolution programs to local youth in Cambridge, including using art as a way to address conflict.

The practicum track is the standard, 18-month track that most COEX students follow. Students spend two semesters in residence at Heller, then complete a 3-month, full-time practicum with a conflict resolution organization during the summer. During their final fall semester, students work on their practicum report and present their capstone in December. Students then receive their degrees in February. 

Students in this track identify and obtain practicum placements in the U.S. or around the world. They receive academic credit for their three-month practicum assignment with organizations such as a UN agency, an international NGO or a research think tank. Practicum positions often include monitoring and evaluation, project management, research and fieldwork.

  • The practicum is designed to test students’ application of theory to practice, to expand their policy and practical experience, and to increase their security and comfort levels in dangerous places
  • Past practicum organizations have included Search For Common Ground, the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Carter Center, the Massachusetts Department of Corrections and the International Organization on Migration. 
  • The practicum track makes the MA in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence degree program more affordable because there are no course tuition fees during the off-campus summer practicum and fall writing semester. Instead, students pay the minimum enrollment fee, a small Heller program fee, and their health insurance fees.
  • Students may find paid research or practicum options, such as through the Boren Fellowship. However,  the majority of practicums are not paid. Students receive credit for their work. 
  • Students may have to apply for visas if they choose to do their practicum outside of the United States. 

In lieu of a practicum, students may choose to complete a field project or independent field research over the three-month summer semester. Students also present at Capstone, either in person or remotely from the field. Students interested in these research options should contact Sarah LaMorey ( for more information.

Please note that due to COVID-19, Brandeis has temporarily suspended all international travel.