The Minor in Peace and Justice Studies includes course work, a capstone paper, and electives such as an internship, study abroad, service learning, and independent study. Students in this minor will focus on the exploration of such interdisciplinary topics as environmental justice, representative democracy and globalism, morality and ethics, conflict resolution, human rights and humanitarian law. Dr. Marcy Hessling O’Neil is the advisor for the Peace and Justice minor and will assist you in planning a program of study tailored to your interests, major, and career objectives. To inquire about the program and/or make an appointment with Dr. O’Neil, please contact her at hesslin2 (at) msu (dot) edu.
1) Core Course (3 credits). Choose one of the following:
ANP 436 – Globalization and Justice
ANP 439 – Human Rights
PHL 353 – Peace and Justice Studies
2) Complete the following (12 credits):
(a) At least nine credits at the 300-400 level.
(b) at least three of these credits must be in a subject outside the student’s major.
Capstone Paper. This paper may derive from one of the courses completed for requirements 1 or 2. It is intended to synthesize themes the student examined in the minor. A faculty member affiliated with the Minor in Peace and Justice Studies must approve the paper and inform the undergraduate advisor for Peace and Justice Studies of its satisfactory completion.
The Peace and Justice specialization helped me in a variety ways, both in conjunction with my James Madison major and in preparation for my future endeavors. Specifically, the Peace and Justice curriculum helped me to focus my interest and decide on a more specific career path within humanitarian work. Additionally, the anthropological components of the specialization balanced the more policy based components of my major. Finally, I will take the theory and examples utilized in the core course work with me to law school to inform my continued studies.
Valerie Leah, 2013 graduate:
My participation in the Peace and Justice Studies program at Michigan State University has not only allowed me to gain a better understanding of the field of human rights, but has also strengthened my skills and passion for future advocacy. By taking multi-disciplinary coursework focusing on various justice-related themes, I was able to better understand the depths and diversities that make the field of Peace and Justice so complex and important. The P&J program gives students the knowledge and tools to not only have successful futures, but to become the future faces of human rights.
Rebeccah Farnum, 2012 graduate:
From a powerful core course that has helped me to frame every issue I have encountered since, to funding for service-learning in the rural mountains of Nicaragua, MSU’s Peace and Justice Studies Program has been with me every step of the way and I cannot thank you enough for your guidance. (After graduation, Farnum won a Marshall Scholarship, as well as an EPA Marshall Scholarship to complete graduate study of water issues.)
Alisha Green, 2011 graduate:
The specialization helped me land a job as the House of Representatives reporter at MIRS News, a political newswire, in Lansing. I had been a writer at the Lansing State Journal for more than a year but wanted to earn experience reporting on politics, and in my interview the editors asked me about the specialization. [A]lthough journalism was my major, I took political science, sociology and anthropology courses. Those classes meant I brought a knowledge of government organization and cooperation as well as concepts the editors had studied in their James Madison classes as MSU graduates. It was a definite point of connection and discussion.
Heidi Kershner, 2007 graduate:
The classes that I took…have fundamentally changed how I view the world and how I instruct my classes. Not only did they teach me how to critically think but also to look deeper than the surface level of an issue or event to its historical causes. This outlook definitely informed my decision to join the Peace Corps and Teach For America — organizations whose shared purpose is to work to correct the effects of a power imbalance through service.