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Conflict Studies

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  • Program requirements

The requirements of the PhD program in Conflict Studies include successful completion of 15 credits of coursework, a comprehensive examination and a thesis. 


Compulsory Courses (9 credits)

ECS8901 Doctoral Seminar I (3cr.)
ECS8902 Doctoral Seminar II (3cr.)
ECS8903 Research Methodology (3cr.)

Thesis proposal (ECS9997) (no credits)

The Thesis proposal must be submitted to the Thesis Advisory Committee for evaluation and approval before the end of the fifth session. In the event of failure, the proposal can be resubmitted and defended the following session at the latest. A second failure leads to withdrawal from the program. The proposal must be approved by the Research Ethics Board before undertaking data collection.

Elective Courses (6 credits)

Two (2) elective courses (6 credits) from the list of graduate courses from the Conflict Studies program at Saint Paul University, from other programs at Saint Paul University or at another university. Students may also choose ECS8911 Selected Readings and Research (3cr.) as one of their two elective courses. Course selection is subject to the approval of the program director.

Comprehensive Examination (ECS9998)

The comprehensive exam allows  students to demonstrate their mastery of the content of the courses as well as their ability to integrate and apply their knowledge to conflict situations. In the event of failure, the proposal can be resubmitted and defended the following session at the latest. A second failure leads to withdrawal from the program. The comprehensive examination, which includes a written and an oral component, must be completed within 24 months of initial registration in the program. The procedures for the comprehensive exam are found in the Doctoral Student Guide in Conflict Studies, available under the heading “Handbooks for Students” on the FHS web page.

Thesis (ECS9999)

Duration of the program

The requirements of the program are usually fulfilled within four years. The maximum time permitted is six years from the date of initial registration in the program, or seven years in the case of the students fast-tracked from the master’s to the doctorate.


All students must complete a minimum of six sessions of full-time registration at the beginning of the program.

Minimum Standards

The passing grade in all courses is 70 (B). Students who fail two courses (equivalent to 6 credits), the comprehensive exam, the thesis proposal, the thesis or whose progress is deemed unsatisfactory must withdraw from the program.

Thesis Advisory Committee

A thesis advisory committee will be formed during the first session in the program, in consultation with the student based on potential thesis topics proposed in the initial application to the program. The thesis advisory committee will be composed of the supervisor and two additional professors who have agreed to offer the student support and direction throughout their doctoral studies.  At least two members of the committee must be from the School of Conflict Studies. The composition of the committee is finalized at the end of the first year of the program. By the end of the third session, the student in consultation with the thesis supervisor must register the thesis topic with the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.