Master of Arts in Environment, Development, and Peace - Environmental Security and Governance

University for Peace

Program Description

Master of Arts in Environment, Development, and Peace - Environmental Security and Governance

University for Peace

The Department of Environment and Development focuses on efforts to reconcile poverty alleviation withenvironmental protection in a manner that contributes to peaceful conflict resolution. We emphasize sustained critical analysis in order to formulate solutions that do not just deal with surface issues but address the root causes of environmental problems and underdevelopment. Our approach is grounded in political ecology, an interdisciplinary perspective that highlights the importance of political economic structures and inequality in access to resources as key drivers in environmental conflict and global environmental change. Our teaching, based in principles of peace education, promotes student-centered learning and active participation through collaborative discussion. We take full advantage of our unique location in Costa Rica by including within all of our courses case studies and field visits to explore the many innovative sustainable development projects occurring throughout the country.

Our students have gone on to successful careers with a wide variety of organizations, including UN agencies, government offices around the world, NGOs both local and international, and progressive private sector firms. Many have also continued in higher education, pursuing doctoral degrees in the social sciences. By joining the Department, you therefore become part of a growing global network of scholars and practitioners working towards sustainable development and environmental peacebuilding.

Specialization in Environmental Security and Governance

Our specialization in Environmental Security and Governance (ESG) is designed for those wishing to critically engage with issues concerning Global Environmental Change and Security. Impacts of Global Environmental Change on different levels of security are analyzed, namely national, human and ecological security, as well as linkages between environmental governance and peace and conflict. Inside this framework this specialization looks at the potential role of natural resources in both contributing to conflicts and facilitating peace building processes. This specialization also analyzes different governance responses to global environmental change, engaging with ongoing debates concerning the underlying causes of environmental degradation. Courses in this specialization critically engage with the ways in which environmental issues are framed as security issues and the potential consequences of this approach for environmental governance. Students will gain insights into different institutional tools and practical techniques related to water, food, and other environmental conflict scenarios. Other topics include disaster risk reduction and environmental conflict management.

  • Students in this specialization must take at least 3 of the following courses
    • ESP 6060 Water, Security and Peace (3 Credits)
    • DED 6007 Environment, Conflicts, and Sustainability (3 Credits)
    • DED 6014 Disaster Risk Reduction (3 Credits)
    • DED 6015 Food Security (3 Credits)

MA Programme Admission

The University for Peace (UPEACE) Master of Arts* programmes offer study in a variety of areas related to Peace, Environment, International Law, Gender, and Education. Both UPEACE students and faculty come from all around the world with diverse backgrounds and interests which significantly enhances the academic environment.

A Master of Arts at the University for Peace consists of an intensive one year in Costa Rica consisting of academic courses and a final graduation project. The language of instruction at UPEACE is English and incoming students are required to hold a bachelor degree or equivalent.

The minimum number of credits required for all UPEACE MA programmes is 40 to be completed within an 11-month period. Exceptions are made for programmes operating within the framework of partnership agreements.

One UPEACE credit is equivalent to 15 hours of direct faculty instruction plus 30 hours of student work for a total of 45 hours of academic work.

The UPEACE final graduation project holds a value of 8 credits, which is equivalent to 120 hours of tutoring by a faculty advisor and 240 hours of independent research, curriculum development, or internship work for a total of 360 hours.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Cost & Fees

Tuition Costs

The UPEACE MA programmes are designed to be completed in one year.

Tuition $ 17,000
Administrative Fees $2,500
Total $ 19,500
*Administrative fees are not refundable
Payment Dates
First Payment(to confirm enrollment)-Due date determined based on admission date $ 11,000
Final Payment-No later than 15-October-2016 $8,500
Total $ 19,500

Last updated February 9, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Feb. 2017
1 year
Full time
19,500 USD
Start date Feb. 2017
Costa Rica Ciudad Colon
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Duration 1 year
Price 19,500 USD