Program Details

The MA provides a multidisciplinary forum to share experiences, promote urbanization impacts and explore synergies.
Colon, Costa Rica
Program Type:
Full Degree
Degree Level:
Urban Affairs & Planning

Program Overview

Program Description:
Major cities around the world face a number of risks posed by overcrowding, pollution, disease, poverty, food insecurity, rising sea level, increased storm intensity, heat waves, urban decay, sprawl, disconnect with nature, urbicide, gang warfare, and human trafficking, among others. In addition to internal rural-urban migration, many cities of the world are also experiencing the impact of mass transnational migration. While this may contribute to the flourishing cultural diversity of cities, it can also generate confrontations and pose serious challenges to urban authorities. All of this is compounded by the rapid rate at which urbanization continues to occur. Cities all over the world have responded to these challenges through enhancing their ingenuity and building alliances, coalitions, and networks in order to generate and implement creative new ideas. In response to increasing threats associated with climate change and environmentally as well as socially induced stress to communities, and cities, this new MA programme on Sustainable Urban Governance and Peace, seeks to encourage creative thinking and the need for going beyond current approaches to urban governance and management of risk and development of urban resilience to threats. The programme will provide in depth analysis of concepts, methods and review lessons learned from practice and explore policies to address these negative impacts on cities through innovative means, including practices of Social Risk Management in Public, Private, People Partnership (PPPP) frameworks. Hence, over the course of one year, students will learn about the various theoretical approaches to urban governance and peace as well as meet practitioners who have gained insightful and practicable solutions from their experiences dealing with urban issues on the ground. The MA programme on Sustainable Urban Governance and Peace will provide a multidisciplinary forum for municipal authorities, academicians, national and international NGOs, neighbourhood communities, and urban liveability-advocates to share experiences, promote positive impacts of urbanization, and explore synergies that could enhance sustainable urban governance and peace. The MA programme, in this way, is designed to prepare policy- and decision-makers at all levels (community, municipal, national, regional, global) for twenty-first century urban challenges, and to provide communities and urban liveability advocates with the tools and perspectives that may help them efficiently address their goals and aspirations. The duration of the MA programme on Sustainable Urban Governance and Peace is 12 months, including a Graduate Project (Independent Study or an Internship). However, students will have the option of extending their Internship for an additional 3 months, so as to fully benefit from the experience of field work. The internship duration is, therefore, 3 to 6 months. Students have to accomplish 42 credits in order to earn the MA degree in Sustainable Urban Governance and Peace. Of these credits, 28 are to be earned through accomplishing mandatory (foundation and core) courses, 8 credits are to be earned through accomplishing a graduation project, and 6 credits are to be earned from elective courses. The various courses offered as part of this

Additional Program Information

According to the UPEACE Charter, as approved by the General Assembly, "the University is established with a clear determination to provide humanity with an international institution of higher education for peace". To this end, the University was authorized by the General Assembly, inter alia, "to grant master's degrees and doctorates" . This unique world-wide authorization to award academic degrees, recognized by all countries which are members of the General Assembly, has been the basis of UPEACE's work ever since. Building on the strength of this unique and universal international mandate, the University established an International Academic Council, composed of distinguished academics from around the world, to review, validate and ensure the highest academic standards of its programmes and courses. Since 2008 UPEACE has also been a full member of the National Accreditation System of Costa Rica (SINAES) and the Central American Higher Education Accreditation Council (ACAP).
Financial Aid:
UPEACE invites applications from women and men who have the equivalent of a four-year undergraduate degree (BA, BS) or similar, from an accredited college or university. Students admitted to any UPEACE MA programme must exhibit an outstanding academic record. What UPEACE seeks are highly motivated and hardworking individuals who are committed to positive social change; a year or more of work experience in a related field is a plus. In addition, having some background in international studies and/or cross-cultural experiences is also desirable