Peace & Conflict Studies, Minor


Department of Philosophy

Sergio La Porta, Chair
Music Building, Room 102
FAX: 559.278.6484

Degrees and Programs Offered

BA in Philosophy, B.A.
BA in Philosophy - Religious Studies Option, B.A.
BA in Philosophy - Prelaw Option, B.A.
MN in Philosophy, Minor
MN in Peace & Conflict Studies, Minor
MN in Middle East Studies, Minor

Courses Offered

The Department

Philosophy is one of the fundamental domains of human thought. It grows out of basic life questions, including questions of ethics, religion, politics, and science. The study of philosophy has had an historic role in the core of sound education, because it helps sharpen skills of careful, independent thinking and aids people of all ages in defining their most important values and beliefs. The examination of great philosophical ideas, and the emphasis on clear reasoning and personal development that are involved in philosophy serve as a strong foundation for life, regardless of one's career objectives.

The Department of Philosophy offers students the following opportunities for a rich and rewarding undergraduate experience: the traditional B.A. philosophy major, the prelaw option, the religious studies option, and the philosophy minor. The department provides ample opportunity for individual attention and student participation in its activities, e.g., student Philosophy Club, symposia, colloquia, etc.

The Prelaw Option emphasizes analytical skills, ethics, and values courses. Law schools seek a broad general education background and do not recommend any specific major. Students who enjoy philosophy and are interested in law should find this option an excellent way to combine their interests.

The Religious Studies Option offers objective methods for exploring the vast and complex human experience known as religion. This study is done with an appreciation for the variety and diversity of religious beliefs and expressions. This option provides students with an academic approach to religion in personal, social, historical, and global contexts.


Peace and Conflict Studies Minor Requirements

Peace and Conflict Studies (21-unit minor) prepares students, including potential leaders, with peacemaking and conflict management skills they can apply to daily life situations. This interdisciplinary minor is open to students in any academic discipline or chosen profession. The program has been developed to provide an interdisciplinary perspective to the study of conflict, violence, war, and peace. Such an approach is essential in view of the highly complex, interconnected, interdependent world in which we live. This requires an understanding that allows people to respond creatively, rather than thoughtlessly, to conflict and violence at various levels.

Core Faculty

Veena Howard, Philosophy, Coordinator
Andrew Fiala, Philosophy

Requirements for the Minor

A total of 21 units, which will include:

1. 15 units from the Areas of Study. It is strongly recommended that 3 units be taken from each of the five Areas of Study. However, four out of the five areas must be covered.

2. PAX 185I - Internship (3 units) or PAX 190 - Independent Study (3 units).

3. PAX 100. Peace and Conflict (3 units)
Provides an overview of causes and types of conflict, critical examination of issues related to war, peace, and justice.

4. The minor also requires a minimum 2.0 GPA and six upper-division units in residence.

5. Courses also can fulfill General Education requirements as appropriate.

Areas of Study

AREA I - Personal and Interpersonal Issues

SOC 162, 165, 168; COMM 108, 162; PHIL 10, 157; PSYCH 61

AREA II - Community and Social Issues

ANTH 120; AFRS 144; CRIM 140; CLAS 128; ECON 140; ISC 93; SOC 111; PHIL 120, 125W; PLSI 116; WS 108, 116

AREA III - International and Global Issues

AGBS 140; AFRS 150; BA 174; ECON 114, 179; GEOG 163; HIST 105; PLSI 120, 121, 122, 125; SOC 157

AREA IV - Conflict Management

AGBS 117; BA 156; HIST 166, 185; HRM 152; PLSI 126; COMM 164, 169

AREA V - Education for Peace and Nonviolence

AFRS 145; KINES 111; PHIL 131; SOC 122


The department has a diverse and well-trained faculty with special interests ranging from logic and scientific method to existentialism and philosophy of religion. All members of the department share the conviction that the best way to teach philosophy is through an intense but sympathetic interchange between the teacher and the student.

For faculty phone numbers and e-mail, see the campus directory.

For more on the faculty, see the faculty pages.
The faculty pages are updated by the department or program.