Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Justice and Peace Studies changing its requirements. How will these changes be helpful for students?

Over the years JPST alumni have told us they loved our program and the way it combines critical theory and practical engagement. But as they have pursued vocations as peacemakers and justice-doers, they have sometimes wished for more specialized skillsets. Meanwhile the field of peace and conflict studies has been maturing and professional opportunities have been opening up. Our new concentrations will help students prepare to specific career tracks in community organizing, social entrepreneurship, nonprofit management, conflict resolution, and public policy. And our revised "generalist" major will continue serve students who take a social justice commitment into still other careers, especially as double majors.

When does the new curriculum go into effect?

The revised curriculum went into the academic catalog in early 2012.  In general, students who sign up for a JPST major or minor after that time will be under the new curriculum.  Students in the class of 2012 or 2013 who decide they can still do a JPST major or minor may be able to graduate under the old curriculum.  Students in the class of 2014 will only use the old curriculum in exceptional circumstances.

The new concentrations really look interesting! Can I switch into the new program?

Definitely!  Obviously this will be harder for seniors and late juniors, but JPST faculty are committed to helping make this happen for as many students as possible.  See your academic advisor or the JPST program director. 

Can I still double major and finish in four years?

Certainly!  Double majoring in four years is easier with some majors than others (and admittedly impossible with a few majors).  But students who sign up for one of the new JPST concentrations will find that lots of natural pairings are possible, thanks to overlapping course requirements. As always, the earlier a student starts to plan and consult with academic advisors in both majors, the better. 

Can I still study abroad or do a semester of urban immersion through HECUA?

With careful planning, yes.  Junior year is usually best.  Fall of senior year may sometimes be possible.  JPST faculty are working with HECUA and the International Education Center to identify semester-long programs that will fulfill multiple JPST requirements. Check with the JPST Program Director for updated options. You or your advisor can find guides for optimal scheduling here.

I'm already a JPST minor. How much more would I have to do for a major?

There is no one answer to this question, since so much depends on how many JPST requirements a student is meeting through other majors and the core curriculum.  On average, the answer is probably about four courses.  But talk to the JPST Program Director to look over your transcript and course plans to find out for sure.

What's the difference between JPST 370 Conflict Mediation and JPST 375 Conflict Transformation?

You might hear JPST faculty referring to these courses as "micro" and "macro," respectively -- the way economists talk about "microeconomics" and "macroeconomics."  Conflict Mediation is the "micro" course because it focuses on inter-personal relationships and the skillsets needed to mediate conflicts in face-to-face situations.  Conflict Transformation looks at the dynamics of larger-scale social conflicts and strategies for working as peacebuilders amid complex communal, regional, or national situations.

I hear that JPST 472 Senior Seminar is being phased out. I need it to graduate! What do I do?

The preferred course to replace the Senior Seminar for students in the old curriculum will be JPST 365 Leadership for Social Justice.  JPST 355 Public Policy Analysis & Advocacy will also be accepted if a student's schedule precludes JPST 365. 

I sure wish 300-level JPST courses were offered every semester. Can anything be done about that?

Help spread the word about Justice and Peace Studies at UST!!  The new concentrations will interest lots of students who may never have thought of themselves as "peace and justice types."  As the program grows, we'll be able to offer more sections more often.