MS in Peace Engineering
A graduate degree from Drexel Engineering will prepare professionals from STEM fields with expanded skillsets that can be applied to mitigate conflict, maximize the likelihood of peace and advance the human condition.
What is Peace Engineering?
Peace engineering aims to advance technology and implementation of engineering design, systems and infrastructure in a way that provides a foundation for building and supporting peace while minimizing conflict. A peace engineering master’s degree will provide you with an understanding of the continuing global challenges and the human dimensions of conflict that can be impacted by the work of engineers. As a student, you will combine principles and methodologies from peacebuilding, engineering and the social sciences with an awareness and sensitivity for conflict to create humanitarian, technical and environmental solutions that benefit communities.
Study in the new discipline of peace engineering should provide insight into the forces contributing to regional areas of conflict, social justice, the contributing industries and resources, the environment, a global viewpoint and the entrepreneurial, teambuilding and managerial abilities needed by the peacebuilding community.
- Full-time or part-time
- The program will take approximately two years to complete on a full-time basis or can be completed on a part time basis in 3-4 years.
Areas of Specialization
Build a technical focus by participating in a two-course sequence in one of the following areas:
- Systems Analysis
- Software Development
- Machine Learning and AI
- Information Security
- Database Management
- Data Mining
- Web and Mobile Development
- Serious Gaming
- Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH)
- Power Systems and Distribution
Why choose Drexel for your MS in Peace Engineering?
As the nation’s first program dedicated to preventing and reducing impacts from violent conflict through education and research, the master’s degree program in peace engineering offers you the opportunity to be at the forefront of integrating innovative technologies, approaches and policies using the studies and practices of peacebuilders. The program was created in collaboration with PeaceTech Lab, an NGO headquartered in Washington D.C.
As a graduate of Drexel’s peace engineering master’s program, you will emerge prepared to analyze and take on the demands of highly complex situations. The unique program will help you identify contributing factors and determine how, when and whether technology and engineering approaches can improve a conflict scenario.
The Department of Engineering Leadership and Society seeks to educate a new generation of science, technology and engineering professionals prepared to address global, societal and industry challenges with analytical minds and community focused hearts. Combining related diverse fields helps to educate a well-rounded and compassionate engineer with the ability to foster change. The focus of our program is to equip you with the tools for finding sustainable and achievable outcomes to solve for civilization’s biggest challenges while making them relevant to your career goals.
Drexel University co-op provides the opportunity to apply theory learned in class to a work experience before graduating. The insights help to direct the vision you have for your career and provide context for the remainder of your learning in the program. All students in the peace engineering graduate program participate in a 3-month internship in a related industry, with a non-governmental organization or with a government agency like the Diplomatic Corps.
You will be able to take advantage of Drexel’s deep ties in the workforce as well as the University resources from the Steinbright Career Development Center, including programming that enhances your professionalism, resume writing, and provides resources for your job search. For more information, visit the Steinbright Career Development Center.
Maggie McCurdy, a student in the peace engineering program, talks about her experience in Engineers Without Borders.
Drexel places a high value on industry connections and experience at every level. Teaching faculty in your program are experts with industry experience or are at the forefront of research and teaching.
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Department Head, Engineering Leadership and Society
The city of Philadelphia is our campus – a diverse urban environment with a variety of social, cultural and learning opportunities that will enrich your educational experience. Philadelphia is also a draw for talented instructors and researchers, meaning you will engage with some of the best minds in engineering and other disciplines. Learn more.
Curriculum and Requirements
| Core courses
You will earn the Master of Science in Peace Engineering with 48 credits from the following areas:
- Core Peacebuilding Competencies (9 Credits) - Three courses that introduce peacebuilding, strategic conflict management, and essential peacebuilding skills.
- Peacebuilding Seminars (3 Credits) - Weekly seminars will provide an opportunity for students to learn about conflict scenarios from the perspectives of both peacebuilders and engineers.
- Core Engineering Competencies (9 Credits) - Systems level assessment and project management applied to peacebuilding.
- Research Competencies (9 Credits) - Research Competencies in both quantitative and qualitative data analysis train students how to design methodologies for data collection, data analysis, data visualization, and the design of engagements.
- Social Dimensions of Conflict (6 Credits) - To develop an understanding of issues pertinent to conflict, students will select two courses from approved offerings in Public Health, Politics, Policy, Government, Sociology, Anthropology and Ethnography, and Education.
- Technical Focus Areas (6 Credits) - To develop mastery in a technical field applicable to peacebuilding, students will select complete two courses in one of thirteen available sequences (outline above).
- Experiential Learning and Thesis (6 Credits) - Students will participate in up to two quarters of experiential learning with approved community service organizations, peacebuilding agencies, and NGOs, and will be encouraged to develop thesis questions that relate to these experiences.
A dedicated graduate advisor will consult with you on the choice and scheduling of core and elective courses.
Dual graduate degrees are possible. Popular programs to combine are the MS in Environmental Engineering, MS in Systems Engineering or MS in Engineering Management. You may also be interested in starting your studies in the Peace Engineering Certificate. Credits would be applicable towards the MS program upon completion.
Visit the Drexel Catalog for more information or learn more about our admissions requirements.
Students in the graduate peace engineering program engage in research as part of their degree and as extra-curricular participation. Research in this field is differentiated from traditional STEM research in that the research explores holistic factors that contribute to violent conflict, and the integration of expertise from both social and applied sciences.
You will have many opportunities to put your skills into practice with organizations such as the Urban Technical Extension and the partnership with PeaceTech Lab.
Research explores areas such as the following:
Sensing, Data, and Information
Explore pragmatic digital toolkits to gather and analyze accurate, situationally relevant data, and provide feedback and information in ways that further peacebuilding efforts.
- Scanning for and countering hate speech in social media and data communication networks
- Applying sensor networks to detect unauthorized deforestation in sensitive forests
- Searching and creating online advertising for delivering counter-narratives to extremists
Use systems engineering to structure analytic processes that models interacting social, technical, and environmental systems.
- Creation of models that predict how disparities in health, education and access to resources affect the dynamics of interacting economic and social systems
- Define the implications of sudden population change, such that occurs with refugees, on economic and social systems in communities that absorb the population
- Determine how systems analysis can map, model and evaluate both direct damage and cascading consequences of conflict events
Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH)
Examine how to ensure equitable provision WASH infrastructure that is accessible and sustainable with changing climate, demand and demographics.
- Providing reliable and accessible information management tools and accounting platforms for the establishment of jointly managed infrastructure
- Securing services to vulnerable populations, particularly disabled individuals who need modified designs to access infrastructure
- Predicting how changes in climate and demographics drives conflict by impacting water quality, quantity and accessibility
Visit research areas for more about other research activity at the College of Engineering.
Career Opportunities in Peace Engineering
Peace engineering is an emerging discipline that science and engineering professionals can put into practice in a variety of scenarios and industries. Graduates work in fields that are growing rapidly due to the increasing availability and speed of technology and data, an increased awareness of conflict and its causes, and a strong desire of the current generation to have a positive impact on humanity.
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