USC Summer Programs USC Summer Programs


Credit:     3.0 units of USC credit
Pre-Requisites:  None

Students at classroomOverview:

Are you interested in what causes war and how we can make the world more peaceful?  Are you considering a career in diplomacy, law, conflict resolution, humanitarian aid, environmental protection, human rights, or politics? 

In this course, you will examine the causes of war and what constitutes successful conflict resolution.  Examine the different stages of conflict and then apply them to the areas of the globe that have experienced war and violence.  Study the economic causes of conflict, and explore the role of individuals, popular culture, peace initiatives, governments and international organizations.  You will develop a case study of a real conflict in the world, examining its causes and proposing a peace agreement and suggestions to resolve the conflict.

“I see myself using this knowledge in
my future career. I really enjoyed the
class and am so happy I decided
to do this program.”


  • Engage in active learning with simulations, role playing, and negotiation exercises, including a Model UN simulation
  • Examine case studies that will help you make sense of news headlines and the history of conflicts internationally
  • Visit the Museum of Tolerance as part of your exploration of genocide
  • Develop an individual case study with an eye toward practical steps in conflict resolution, a writing assignment that will prepare you for more advanced college work
  • Analyze popular culture and its role in either promoting conflict or peace (including movies, television, music, literature, and art)

International relations

Topics of Study:

  • Peace and conflict resolution
  • Religion in politics
  • Global terrorism and the war on terror
  • Human rights, women’s rights, and the rights of civilians in conflict zones
  • Genocide
  • Popular culture and politics
“The simulations helped us learn the
material in a really fun way. It was also great that we were encouraged to truly
understand the concepts, rather than just to memorize curriculum.”