This program offers an interdisciplinary and methodologically diverse study of culture and religion in their political and social dimensions. The research and study of particular religious traditions, social and political context in which they evolved, and the political ideas they influenced, contribute to the promotion of peace, religious and cultural diversity, cross-cultural dialogue, understanding, and cooperation.

The M.A. in Peace Studies utilizes the unique location of The American University of Rome to provide students the opportunity to study the development of religious institutions, their teachings, and practices, in connection with the ever-changing social context.

Through this program, students will develop an understanding of various traditions that shaped many cultures of today’s globalizing world. They will learn about religious and political ideas that are critical for understanding and resolving tensions and conflicts across the globe.

One of the key aims of the program is to equip future scholars and professionals with conceptual as well as practical tools for articulating a constructive role of religion in contemporary societies, and working in the areas of conflict resolution, intercultural and interreligious dialogue (especially in those societies in which particular religious traditions still have a strong impact on shaping the social, cultural and political spheres).

It is clear that religion is gaining significance again in the contemporary globalizing world. Apart from positive aspects of globalization, it is clear that intolerance, fundamentalism and religiously motivated conflicts have not been overcome. It is important to understand relevant religious traditions, their structure, teachings, and practices, in order to address some of the most pressing issues that contemporary societies are facing, such as economic and environmental crises; social and political tensions; immigration policies; (in)tolerance; cultural, religious, and ethnic diversities; integration of minorities; food shortages; rising inequalities, and demographic problems.

Course Description

The M.A. program Peace Studies: Religions in Times of Conflict consists of five core courses, five elective courses, and the thesis. The total number of credit hours for the M.A. program is 36, of which 30 credits are for coursework (15 in each semester) and 6 for the thesis.

Costs for U.S. citizens and permanent residents and Canadian citizens: 20,000 US Dollar Costs for citizens and permanent residents of countries other than the United States or Canada: 15.000 Euro

Core courses

Core courses are obligatory for all students enrolled in the M.A. program. They include:

  • Religions and Empires (I)
  • Religions and Empires (II)
  • Conflict Resolution and Negotiation
  • Political Economy of Peace and War
  • Thesis Preparation

All courses are 3 credit courses

Elective Courses

Elective courses are designed to help students to shape their own professional and/or research profile, depending on their interests and future career aspirations. The focus of the elective courses is closely linked to particular topics of the Core Courses.

  • International Humanitarian Response.
  • 666 Faces of Satan: Imagining Demons and “Others” in Oriental and Western Traditions.
  • Politics, Philosophy and Religion.
  • Rome and the Renaissance Papacy.
  • Reformation and Reform in Sixteenth-Century Europe.
  • Vatican II and Present-day Roman Catholicism.
  • International Law.
  • Islam and Politics.
  • Democracy and Government in Today’s Society.
  • Orthodox Christianity: Between Tradition and Modernity.

All courses are 3 credit courses

The exact selection of elective courses offered in each semester is subject to change. The number of offered courses can be expanded or reduced, depending on the needs in each semester.

Students will also be offered a study trip to a location in Italy or the Mediterranean that has relevance to the program and topics of particular courses.

Employment/Career Opportunities

AUR’s M.A. in Peace Studies: Religions in Times of Conflict is designed to offer students a wide range of possible career paths. Potential careers include:

  • Prospective Ph.D. students and independent researchers in the field of religious and peace studies.
  • Professionals and scholars in the field of international affairs, conflict resolution and intercultural dialogue.
  • Work in international organizations.
  • Professionals engaged in the prevention of religious fundamentalism and religiously based social conflicts Analysts of religion and religious institutions.
  • Program coordinators of religious and other NGOs with focuses on religion and society.
  • Journalists/reporters on church and religion.
  • Public policymakers and other public offices that require knowledge of religious issues.
  • A diplomatic career in the countries where religion and religious institutions play an important role in politics and society.
  • Teachers at a secondary level.


  • a completed B.A. in the Humanities, or Social Sciences.
  • a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 at their previous institution.
  • students who completed their B.A. in a language other than English must demonstrate proficiency in English language by submitting the official test scores o TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Paper-based: 550 and Internet-based: 80 o IELTS (International English Language Testing System): 6.5.

Documents necessary for application :

  • Motivation Letter (700 words minimum) explaining specifically why you are interested in the Sustainable Cultural Heritage M.A. program.
  • A letter of recommendation from an undergraduate professor at your previous academic institution.
  • Official undergraduate transcript, which lists the courses you have taken and the grades/degree received.
  • If your degree was conducted in a language other than English, your TOEFL or IELTS scores (this can also be taken on campus at various points in the year).
  • An up-to-date Curriculum Vitae.
  • A scan of your passport photo page.
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Last updated June 3, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
15 months
15,000 EUR
Tuition can be paid in 3 installments; Costs for U.S. citizens and permanent residents and Canadian citizens: 20,000 US Dollar, Costs for citizens and permanent residents of countries other than United States or Canada: 15.000 Euro
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