Holocaust and Genocide/Atrocity Prevention

Graduate Certificate Program

Aerial view of the Karl Miller Center

Holocaust and Genocide/Atrocity Prevention Graduate Certificate Overview

PSU's Graduate Certificate in Holocaust and Genocide/Atrocity Prevention (H-GAP Graduate Certificate), the only graduate-level program of its kind in the Pacific Northwest, prepares educators, activists, policy makers and change agents in the work of genocide and atrocity prevention.

Students will not only learn about historic and current genocides and atrocities, but will also learn to recognize the patterns and precursors that lead to the systematic destruction of a people. The H-GAP Graduate Certificate will support you to build foundational knowledge of best practices for recognizing threats of atrocities and mass violence, and for implementing strategies that can support the prevention of future atrocities.

Degree Details

  • GC
    Graduate Certificate
    On campus
    Total Credits
    Start Term

Holocaust and Genocide/Atrocity Prevention Graduate Certificate: Why PSU?

Portland State's Holocaust and Genocide Studies Project has been engaging students, faculty and local communities in difficult conversations about the Holocaust, genocide, and crimes against humanity for over a decade. The H-GAP Graduate Certificate builds on that work, drawing from the strengths of our Conflict Resolution Department, and situating its exploration of resistance and transformation within the larger purview of the School of Gender, Race and Nations as we support students and the larger community to engage in social change processes that yield improved justice outcomes.

Building upon historic examples of the Holocaust and other atrocities that have shaped the language and scope of the field, the H-GAP Graduate Certificate invites students to explore emerging scholarship about how identity issues, climate change, political trends and migration patterns impact the risks of genocide and mass atrocities; and about how to maximize the role of civil society actors, local governments, and international bodies in effective prevention efforts. The certificate program combines historical background with theories and practices of conflict resolution that support constructive engagement, strategic communication and empowered collaboration — all essential tools for effective prevention.

The Holocaust and Genocide Studies Project operates under the premise that education in action is at the heart of stopping systematized hate, and ending the dehumanization that leads to genocide. In partnership with community partners, including the United Stated Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education, the Never Again Coalition, the Oregon Historical Society, World Oregon, Immigrant Story Project, and the Holocaust Education Foundation, among other local and national collaborators, you'll have opportunities to engage in conversations about the Holocaust and other genocides and a broad range of prevention efforts through world-renowned speakers, films and workshops.

What can I do with a graduate certificate in Holocaust and Genocide/Atrocity Prevention?

The H-GAP Graduate Certificate can be completed on its own, or can be woven into other graduate degrees at PSU to best fit your interests. Demand for Holocaust and genocide education is high as Oregon is among 16 states that has mandated that the subject be taught in schools, and this certificate equips educators with multiple interdisciplinary perspectives in genocide and atrocity prevention. Our graduates also make a difference as conflict resolution practitioners, peacemakers, human rights advocates, social justice warriors, civic leaders, policymakers, politicians, and international development professionals.

Featured Courses

  • CR 549 Introduction to Holocaust and Genocide Studies
  • GRN 515 Constructions of Power and Knowledge: Gender, Race and Nation
  • CR 550 Holocaust and Genocide/Atrocity Prevention: Synthesis


  • GRN 520 Critical Methodologies
  • HST 510/JST 510: The Holocaust
  • CR 527: Nationalism & Ethnic Conflict
  • BST 514: Racism
  • BST 550: Race and Sustainability
  • GRN 530: Social Justice Pedagogy
  • GRN 550: Seminar in Gender, Race, and Nations
  • WS 571: Global Feminisms
  • PS 510: Selected Topics: Genocide: Trauma, Law, and Politics


Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

Transformative Messaging

Undergraduate Certificate Program

A group of students having a discussion outside

Transformative Messaging Certificate Overview

PSU's Certificate in Transformative Messaging meets the civic and cultural demands of today's society, where messaging is key to advancing community organizing, policy advocacy, cross-cultural dialogue, coalition building, and social change efforts. 

Our program equips you with the theoretical grounding and practical training needed to navigate this critical area of social and political life. You'll be challenged to connect knowledge of human group dynamics, communication theory, social movement history, media, and psychology in a way that prepares you to engage in an active and informed manner with the world around you.

This certificate can help prepare you for work as a conflict manager, activist, communication specialist, or any number of jobs as you learn how to apply conflict resolution to real-life situations, from writing and speaking to facilitating groups and supporting social action.

Degree Details

  • C
    Certificate Program
    On campus
    Total Credits
    Start Term

Transformative Messaging Certificate: Why PSU?

At the heart of transformative messaging is human connection, the inevitability of conflict, and the necessity of transforming and resolving conflict. PSU's Conflict Resolution program prepares students to transform conflict for the achievement of peace and social justice in both small groups and at the community level.

Through your courses, you'll gain communication and conflict resolution skills that are increasingly needed in today's world: de-escalation, calling-in, empathic listening, and grounded theory.

You'll be taught by faculty who are experts in areas that touch social justice, the politics of language, and the challenges and opportunities of social media and technology.

With the Certificate in Transformative Messaging, you'll build a foundation in nonviolent human interaction that'll help you develop your voice in the world and prepare you for work in community engagement.

What can I do with a certificate in Transformative Messaging?

You can pair this certificate with a variety of majors, including conflict resolution, psychology, communication, English, marketing, and graphic design. The skills and knowledge you gain will enhance your work in a number of fields, whether you go on to become a communication specialist, human resource manager, social worker, educator, activist, journalist, ombud, or a family and victim advocate.

Featured Courses

  • CR 101 Nonviolent Interaction
  • CR 102 Social Movement Messaging

Featured Electives

  • COMM 220 Public Speaking
  • COMM 319 Social Media
  • COMM 314U Persuasion
  • CR 306U Nonviolence in History and Campaigns
  • CR 303U Consensus Building
  • WR 228 Media Writing
  • ENG 490 Advanced Topics in Rhetoric
  • PSY 343 Social Psychology
  • PSY 426 Stigma and Social Inequality

Meet Professor Tom Hastings

Tom Hastings brings decades of experience in peace journalism and nonviolent activism and security to his classes. He is a nonviolent peace, justice and environmental activist, and has led nonviolence training for more than 35 years across the U.S. He is co-founder of the Portland Peace Team and founding director of PeaceVoice, a program of the Oregon Peace Institute.


Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

Applied Conflict Resolution

Graduate Certificate Program

PSU Conflict Resolution students in class

Applied Conflict Resolution Graduate Certificate Overview

In today's increasingly divided world, understanding the root causes of conflict and how to peacefully resolve it are sought-after skills in many fields. Portland State's graduate certificate in applied conflict resolution can help you develop the skill-set you need to effectively approach, manage, and resolve conflict between individuals, families, and groups, organizations, even nations.

You can use the certificate as a stepping stone in your profession, or as a distinctive credential that can help you advance in your career, whether you work in education, business, government, counseling, social work, or human resources.

We combine theory and research with practical, hands-on experience, ensuring you leave the program ready to tackle conflict resolution in the real world.

Degree Details

  • GC
    Graduate Certificate
    On campus
    Total Credits
    Start Term

Applied Conflict Resolution Graduate Certificate: Why PSU?

You'll join a supportive cohort and be surrounded by diverse people who are constantly challenging the way you see the world.

Our faculty are active researchers and community practitioners, bringing their expertise and experience back to the classroom.

In the practicum course, you'll benefit from our faculty's areas of expertise, learn different assessment methods, and put the knowledge and skills you've learned in your coursework into action. You can work with individual community organizations or groups, or in more of a team format — even using your current employment or community connections to fulfill the requirement.

What can I do with a graduate certificate in Applied Conflict Resolution?

In as little as two to three terms, you can learn effective techniques for engaging and transforming disputes in organizational and community life.

PSU's certificate in applied conflict resolution can prepare you to enter or advance in fields as diverse as human resources, policing and corrections, education leadership and student services, ombuds, patient advocacy, humanitarianism, and non-governmental organizations. You'll also be prepared for jobs involving research, program development, and program evaluation.

Our alumni have gone on to positions involving negotiation, peace action and research, student services, and dispute resolution in the community and beyond.

Featured Courses

  • CR 511 Research Methods in Conflict Resolution
  • CR 509 Practicum


  • 12 elective credits at the 500-level (up to eight credits outside the program with advisor approval)


Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

Conflict Resolution

Undergraduate Program

PSU Conflict Resolution students in class

Conflict Resolution Bachelor's Degree and Minor Overview

We believe that even the world’s most destructive conflicts can be resolved to create a more peaceful future. With a bachelor’s degree in conflict resolution from Portland State University, you will be able to participate and contribute to this important work locally and globally.

As a conflict resolution major, you will learn to analyze conflict, uncovering the underpinnings of conflict dynamics in a wide variety of settings and scales. You will develop perspectives and gain skills to defuse and deescalate destructive conflicts that arise among individuals, groups and countries.

The courses in the program encompass the practical and theoretical bases of mediation, negotiation and an array of peace-enhancing perspectives and strategies. The program includes research, theory, and competency-based education focusing on building the necessary personal, social and institutional conditions necessary for positive peace, conflict transformation (from destructive to constructive), and universal respect for context-sensitive human rights. Students are encouraged to pursue their own particular interests in the study of conflict resolution.

Degree Details

Conflict Resolution Bachelor's Degree or Minor: Why PSU?

PSU’s conflict resolution program introduces you to peacebuilding and dispute methods drawn from psychology, communications theory, philosophy, and even "improv." With seasoned faculty, you will explore culturally sensitive and diverse approaches to engaging and transforming conflict.

Our faculty work closely with community partners and international organizations as consultants, board members, and trainers in conflict resolution strategies. They bring their real-world experience into your classes.

In your courses, you will gain the fundamentals of conflict resolution practice and research, including fieldwork. You will also gain skills in areas like nonviolence, bystander intervention, and social organizing. Campus organizations, like Students United for Nonviolence, provide you with opportunities to engage with the university and the Portland metro area.

What can I do with a Bachelor's degree or Minor in Conflict Resolution?

Our students graduate ready to solve real-world conflict. You will have the sensitivity and an innovative, practical toolbox to bring conflict resolution skills into a multitude of careers, from non-profits to government. You will be suited for careers in the field of conflict resolution and prepared to add value in any community setting, occupational field, or workplace by bringing conflict transformation strategies to bear. Undergraduates acquire these skills as they focus on the transformation of conflict for the achievement of peace and social justice at the small group and community level. Our graduates go on to careers in academia, advocacy, nonprofits, federal, state, and local government agencies, social work and community services, international development and policy, primary, secondary, and higher education, and education administration.

A career preparation course open to students majoring and minoring in Conflict Resolution prepares you to step into the marketplace grounded and confident.

Featured Courses

  • CR 301U Introduction to Conflict Resolution
  • CR 307 Conflict Management Skills
  • CR 310U Conflict Resolution Values & Ethics
  • CR 311U Conflict Resolution Psychology
  • CR 312 Intercultural Conflict Resolution




  • CR302U Peace Studies
  • CR 304U Participating in Democracy
  • CR 416 Evil and Hate
  • CR 423 Dialogue Across Differences
  • CR 441 Storytelling and Conflict Resolution


Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

Conflict Resolution

Graduate Program

PSU Conflict Resolution students relaxing in a park

Conflict Resolution Master's Degree and Graduate Certificate Overview

Conflict is an everyday reality in our organizations, communities, and around the world. Learn how to transform conflict into positive change with Portland State's graduate certificate in conflict resolution.

In this program, you'll gain an understanding of various kinds of conflict, including interpersonal, social, and global conflict, and develop depth in areas such as peace education, human rights, non-violence, and global affairs. You'll become well-grounded in both theory and practice by exploring deep philosophical issues as well as the practical application of conflict resolution in diverse contexts.

We recognize that many of our students balance school, work, and family. Our students are service-oriented, globally-minded, and people-centered. But they come to us at different points in their lives and from different places. Some have just finished their undergraduate education. Others are working in dispute resolution, education, activism and advocacy, communications, or human services, and want to further their ability to effect change. Whatever your path, you'll be prepared to work effectively and collaboratively in the field of conflict prevention, resolution, and transformation.


Students entering this program are expected to develop an understanding and appreciation of the theoretical, conceptual, and methodological breadth of the field and to develop expertise in the pursuit of their own particular interests in the study of conflict resolution.

Holders of the master's degree are prepared for leadership positions in conflict management and intervention in governmental, non-governmental, and corporate settings at the local, regional, national, and international levels. Graduate students emphasize implications of diverse perspectives, strategies and processes at the organizational and institutional level of conflict transformation and peacebuilding.


Conflict Resolution offers two graduate certificates and a master's. Each credential has a separate application and is financial aid eligible. The certificates can be "stacked," if students seek further training toward the master's. The course of study is designed for a cohort of students to begin in the fall term each year.

We offer a Graduate Certificate in Conflict Resolution, a Graduate Certificate in Applied Conflict Resolution, and the full MA/MS. The Graduate Certificate is a fixed 20-credit course of study, typically completed in three terms (one academic year). The Graduate Certificate in Applied Conflict Resolution is a 22-credit course of study of at least five terms. The master's degree consists of a minimum of 54 total credits, and is designed to be completed in two to two and a half years.

Students can pursue a separate Graduate Certificate in Holocaust Genocide and Atrocity Prevention. This is a 20-credit credential with a separate application process.



Degree Masters Graduate Certificate Certificate in Applied Conflict Resolution Graduate Certificate in Holocaust, Genocide, and Atrocity Prevention

Due to COVID-19, all courses are presently taught online

Due to COVID-19, all courses are presently taught online

Due to COVID-19, all courses are presently taught online

Due to COVID-19, all courses are presently taught online

Total Credits 54 20 22 20
Start Term Fall Fall Fall Fall


Degree Details

  • M
    On campus
    Total Credits
    Start Term
  • GC
    Graduate Certificate
    On campus
    Total Credits
    Start Term

Conflict Resolution Master's Degree or Graduate Certificate: Why PSU?

In Conflict Resolution, you'll join a group of committed students and faculty who want to make a positive difference in the world.

Our diverse faculty have training in conflict resolution, philosophy, political psychology, communication, education, peace studies, and international relations as well as expertise in a number of applied fields, including intercultural management, improvisation techniques, nonviolence, and restorative justice.

A set of required classes will help you develop an understanding and appreciation of the breadth and depth of the study of conflict resolution, while electives will help you take a deep dive into one of three areas of emphasis: violence prevention and conflict resolution, justice and healing, or structural peacebuilding and development.

You'll then put what you learn into action, completing practicum credits that'll give you invaluable professional experience as well as ideas about possible research topics.

Our students have worked with the Oregon Peace Institute, Rotarian Action Group for Peace, and the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization, just to name a few. Our new Research and Professional Development Colloquium provides you with an opportunity to learn from your peers, faculty members, community partners, and other experts and practitioners in the field of conflict resolution. Topics range from innovations in research, trends in the field, community activities, professionalization, and the many applied dimensions of conflict resolution, both locally and globally.

You'll graduate equipped with the techniques needed to engage in and transform disputes in organizational and community life.

What can I do with a master's degree or graduate certificate in Conflict Resolution?

Our graduates are prepared to take on leadership positions in conflict management and intervention in governmental, non-governmental, and corporate settings at the local, regional, national, and international levels.

Conflict resolution gives you knowledge and skills that can be applied across a variety of fields and professions, including:

  • Group facilitator in professional and community settings
  • Organizer for peace and justice advocacy
  • Researcher, program developer, or leader in NGOs or other agencies
  • Restorative justice work in settings such as family, schools, juvenile or adult incarceration, and community justice
  • Trauma-informed and trauma-healing work

Featured Courses

  • CR 511 Research Methods in Conflict Resolution
  • CR 512 Foundations of Conflict Resolution
  • CR 512 Perspectives in Conflict Resolution
  • CR 513 Philosophy of Conflict Resolution
  • CR 513 Advanced Values & Ethics in Conflict Resolution
  • CR 515 Negotiation and Mediation
  • CR 518 Psychology of Conflict Resolution
  • CR 518 Psychology of Peace and Conflict
  • CR 526 Advanced Intercultural Conflict Resolution
  • CR 530 Professionalism and Research Colloquium
  • CR 524 Advanced Mediation
  • CR 526 Intercultural Conflict Resolution


  • CR 510 Dialogue Across Differences
  • CR 510 Gender and Conflict Resolution
  • CR 510 NGOs and Civil Society
  • CR 510 Topics in Restorative Justice
  • CR 510 Human Rights and Conflict Resolution
  • CR 516 Evil and Hate
  • CR 527 Nationalism & Ethnic Conflict
  • CR 540 Peer Mediation
  • CR 541 Storytelling and Conflict Resolution
  • CR 542 Peace Education
  • CR 543 Nationalism and Democracy in Post 9/11 World


Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).