Why study War, Peace, and Security?

War, Peace and Security (WPS) is an interdisciplinary certificate anchored in the social sciences and the humanities. It integrates a variety of conceptual, theoretical, and methodological approaches to provide students with the substantive knowledge and analytic skills necessary to understand national and international security challenges and the sources and outcomes of war and peace.

Students who complete the certificate land successful careers in federal, state, and local governments, international organizations, private businesses, and in the non-profit sector. Understanding the topics of war, peace, and security is particularly important in our contemporary globalized world as it provides better understanding of the sources and causes of war, how to improve security and promote peace, how to regulate successfully and manage the flow of local and international commerce, and how to rebuild regions and societies torn by instability and war.

The War, Peace, and Security Certificate provides students with the substantive knowledge and analytic skills necessary to understand the changing nature of war and peace and the modern challenges for international security. The certificate offers two distinct tracks: (1) a social sciences track and; (2) a humanities track. Students are required to complete a minimum of two courses in each track. These courses can fulfill other general education requirements (such as humanities, historical perspectives, or social sciences). Both tracks offer a variety of multi- and inter-disciplinary perspectives on topics of terrorism, civil wars, and nationalism, various conflicts and international crises, human rights, the functioning of international law, the relevancy of international alliances and security institutions, problems of civil rights and liberties, national security, and democratic citizenship.

For those interested in the policy-oriented aspects of war, peace, and security, the certificate includes classes that offer contemporary and historical perspectives on U.S. foreign policy, national and international security, regional politics, Africa, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, South Asia, and East Asia.

The certificate is geared toward students majoring in political science, international affairs, history, criminal justice, and sociology, but is also highly recommended for those majoring in geography, communications, economics, business, and other fields. Knowledge of cultures and languages of world regions (e.g. Arabic, Pashto, Farsi, Dari, Hindi, Mandarin-Chinese, Spanish, etc.) is considered especially valuable for those who plan to work in the field. Similarly, technical and research skills such as data processing and programming are important for successful careers in homeland security and cybersecurity.

Admission Requirements

Students already pursuing a degree in any college at UC can add the certificate to their program by completing the online application.

Students are recommended to meet with a faculty advisor or the WPS Certificate Director for advising and guidance with course selection, academic planning and profession opportunities. We recommend scheduling an appointment early to avoid any delay in completing the requirements for the certificate.

Students not currently pursuing a degree may declare the certificate after establishing non-matriculated status.

The Certificate can be customized to students’ individual interests and career goals. Those who are interested in information technologies and cybersecurity can develop a variety of skills needed by public and private entities to analyze imminent threats and develop response strategies to homeland and cyber threats. Alternatively, those with visual and verbal learning styles can concentrate on learning critical foreign languages as there is a demand for such skills in government, the private sector, and international organizations. Those interested in research careers can focus on research and analysis on issues of war, peace, and security. Strong interpersonal skills, willingness to travel, and cross-cultural communication are essential for a successful career in these fields.

Students with a certificate in War, Peace, and Society may pursue careers in federal, state and local government, private businesses, the non-governmental sector, and academic and policy research centers. Those who want to pursue careers in national security may consider joining federal agencies (e.g. Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense, FBI, CIA), local governments, or private contractors operating in this area. Another career pathway includes the Foreign Service and jobs with governmental bureaucracies dealing with war, peace, and security. Others choose careers in the non-governmental sector (e.g. advocacy groups like Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, etc.) and private companies with global outreach. Finally, many graduates continue their education and join research teams, think-tanks, and academia.

Additional career options are listed on the Center for Exploratory Studies website.

Students who are approaching this certificate with an interest in Political Science should contact Professor Brendan Green (brgreen@gmail.com) for advising questions.  

Students who are approaching this certificiate with an interest in History should contact Professor Christopher Phillips (phillicr@ucmail.uc.edu) for advising questions.  

The  School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) and Department of History specialize in topics of war, peace, and security. They have a long tradition of scholarship on these topics and partner closely to offer this interdisciplinary certificate. The WPS Certificates partner with other departments and programs in the social sciences and humanities (e.g. sociology, criminal justice, Judaic studies, Africana Studies, Asian Studies, Latin American Studies, etc.) to expand the breadth and depth of security studies at UC. Some of our students have pursued senior projects on security issues, won prestigious university and national awards, and been awarded competitive grants to research homeland and international security. Similarly, our faculty have excelled in and won awards for their service and contributions to the field.

The Department of History and the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA), in partnership with the University of Cincinnati’s Experience-Based Learning and Career Education (ELCE) Division, offer experiential learning opportunities through internships for academic credit and a semester-long course of study in Washington, D.C. The Department of History the SPIA offer short-term faculty-led and semester-long study abroad opportunities in partnership with UC International. These programs help students improve their language skills and also learn about political, economic, social, and cultural challenges facing different countries. Those who are interested in continuing their education at UC can also apply for a joint BA/ JD 3+3 degree allowing them to continue their education at the UC College of Law upon graduation from the College of Arts and Sciences. Such programs are available to students in Political Science, International Affairs, and History.

Additionally, our vibrant campus offers numerous extracurricular and social activities that impact students’ understanding of contemporary security. Our students participate actively in the Model United Nations student club, the History Club, UC Mock Trial Team, Students for International Security, and Amnesty International. Model UN and Mock Trial delegates compete nationally and often win competitive awards.

The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Contact Information

Dr. Brendan Green
Room 5138 Clifton Court Hall
2800 Clifton Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0375
(513) 556-5078

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Program Code: 15CRT-WPS-C2