Peace & Conflict Studies

Affiliated Faculty

ATTENTION STUDENTS: The PACS major requirements have changed.
If you declared the Current PACS program or are an intended student, please refer to the Current PACS Requirements & Policies (below). If you are declared in the Old PACS program, please refer to the Old PACS Requirements & Policies (below).

The Peace & Conflict Studies (PACS) major introduces students to the study of peace, conflict, and world order from social, economic, political, historical, and ecological dimensions. Integral to the study is an analysis of the structures and processes of change. Students are encouraged to recognize the linkage between the academic study of peace and active participation in it.

Since the causes of conflict and the processes of peace are multifaceted and complex, students are expected to approach their study from the perspective of a number of disciplines. They must also define and develop a central theme or concentration to explore in depth.

Student Learning Goals

Undergraduates should have the following knowledge and skills when they graduate with a major in Peace and Conflict Studies from UC Berkeley:

Analytical Skills

  • Demonstrate the ability to read, interpret and evaluate arguments and evidence.
  • Identify and understand assumptions and values, the construction of narratives, and causal logics employed in the framing of problem-solution definitions.
  • Develop competence in interdisciplinary literacy and cross-national perspectives.
  • Achieve an integrative understanding of peace theory research and practice.
  • Assess the strengths and weaknesses of policies, programs and actors.


Communication Skills

  • Develop written fluency in ideas and applications.
  • Participate constructively in debate discussion and dialogue.
  • Formulate a thesis and argument supported by evidence.
  • Present and defend oral argument.


Citizenship Skills

  • Achieve an understanding of civic and ethical responsibility.
  • Cultivate the habits of mind for active multi-level citizenship.
  • Develop the skills for lifetime learning and public service.

Learning Goals Appendix:

Major Requirements

Lower Division:
3 courses

  • PACS 10, Intro to Peace and Conflict Studies (You must earn a C or better. This course can only be repeated once)
  • Two additional lower-division social science courses selected from Appendix A in the PACS Requirements & Policies booklet.

Foreign Language:
All students must demonstrate a proficiency equivalent to four college-level semesters in any modern language other than English. Equivalency can be achieved through coursework, AP credit, examination and/or study abroad. For more information on how to complete the language requirement, please consult the PACS Requirements & Policies booklet. Languages accepted by the College of Letters and Science are not automatically accepted by the PACS major. Please check with the department for eligible languages.
Upper Division:
9 courses

  • PACS 100: Peace Theory: Approaches and Analysis
  • PACS 190A and PACS 190B: Senior Seminar (taken during senior year)
  • Methodology: One course from those listed in Appendix B in the PACS Requirements & Policies booklet
  • Concentration: Five courses. In the Concentration, students pursue advanced study on a particular issue or topic in peace studies. Students may choose one of the three topics as their Concentration, or they may design their own Concentration topic in consultation with a PACS faculty advisor. See the PACS Requirements & Policies booklet BELOW under the drop-down menu for “More Information”.


How To Declare

Applications are accepted during the fall and spring semesters from the third week of instruction until the last day of instruction (not the last day of finals). Applications are accepted during the summer from the last week in May until the beginning of the fall semester (not the beginning of classes).

To be eligible to declare students must:

  • be currently enrolled in or have completed PACS 10 with a grade of C or better (PACS 10 can be repeated only once in order to obtain a grade of C or better.);
  • have a major and cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher; and
  • not be in your final semester of undergraduate work.


Additionally, students are encouraged – but not required – to complete two semesters of college-level foreign language or the equivalent before applying to the major.

To get declared, students must both:

  • attend a Major Declaration Workshop (check the IAS Teaching Program website for dates) and
  • meet with an advisor to submit the PACS Application materials.


Bring a completed PACS Application including all materials and transcripts listed below to the Workshop. Application materials may be submitted after attending the Major Declaration Workshop. However, students will not be officially declared until they have both attended a Workshop and submitted all declaration papers.

More Info

To be eligible for honors, students must have senior standing and a GPA of 3.6 in the major and 3.5 in all work completed at UC Berkeley. Doing honors includes a year-long course sequence (IAS H102 in the fall and PACS H195 in the spring in the place of PACS 190A in the fall and PACS 190B in the spring) in which students learn how to formulate a hypothesis, conduct supporting research, and complete a thesis paper of approximately 75 pages or longer.

After Graduation:
The PACS major is designed to provide a broad-based liberal arts background as well as the intellectual skills appropriate for careers in either the public or private sector. Additionally, the major offers an excellent background for students planning postgraduate careers in social science disciplines and professional schools.

The PACS minor is open to all undergraduates except PACS majors. Students must complete six upper-division courses. At least three must be upper division PACS courses. The remaining three all must be chosen from one of the 3 PACS survey areas. See the PACS minor application for current courses.

More information:
This description is for introductory purposes only. Students interested in completing a major or minor in PACS should consult the PACS Requirements & Policies booklet.


For intended Global Studies majors only:

The workshop consists of a video and a short quiz. Click here for the online Major Declaration Workshop.



Global Studies Major Map

How to Declare a Major

Meet with an Advisor