Graduate Program Admission

In order to be considered for admission into the graduate program, you’ll need to submit the following:

  • A completed application form. This is a two-part form that includes an admissions essay* (1000-1200 word requirement for the MA and 500 word requirement for a Graduate Certificate) and submission of a resume or curriculum vitae. Part 1 of the application must be submitted first. If completed, access part 2 of the application here.
  • Application fee of $50 (U.S.). Can be paid online through CASHNet (International payments can be made using Flywire.) Cash and check are also accepted.
  • Official transcripts from each college or university attended.
  • Three references (including one academic and one professional). Only two letters required when applying for a graduate certificate. Download the letter of recommendation form here.

International Applicants

  • Submit a scanned copy of your passport ID page with your application.
  • Applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores for either the TOEFL or IELTStest. CJP requires a 79-80 on the internet-based TOEFL or its equivalent, and a 6.5-7.0 on the IELTS. (Institutional code: 5181)
  • A financial certificate demonstrating the student’s ability to pay is required after admission in order for the program to issue a student visa application (I-20 form).
  • After you are admitted and have your visa, fill out the International Student arrival form if you would like assistance with transportation to campus from the airport. This service is available only in August at the start of the program.

Because the program works with many international students, the admissions committee assesses applicants’ preparedness and fit with the program through transcripts, letters of recommendation and the essay. Submission of GRE scores is neither required nor recommended.

*An arts-based option is accepted in lieu of the essay. Contact for more details.
*Reference forms must be submitted directly from the references and can be emailed to or mailed to the Center for Justice & Peacebuilding, 1200 Park Rd., Harrisonburg, VA 22802, USA.

Applicants must have an undergraduate degree, preferably in the social sciences. Preference is given to those with at least two years of experience in mediation, community development or relief work, advocacy, restorative justice, working with traumatized populations or related areas.

Applicants should have an undergraduate GPA of at least 2.75 (on a four-point scale). However, those who have a weaker academic background but extensive experience in the peacebuilding field are welcome to apply; if all other admissions requirements are met, the applicant may be conditionally admitted. If the student makes a 3.0 GPA in his or her first semester of studies, the student’s probation status is removed and he or she is considered fully admitted.

Deadlines for admission: Those wishing to start the program in the fall semester, as well as those wishing to be considered for some financial assistance should apply no later than February 15. After this date, applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis as long as there is space in the program. Submissions will not be reviewed until the application is complete.

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