On-Campus Courses

The Academy’s practitioner-oriented courses, held at the USIP headquarters in Washington and elsewhere, prepare professionals for work in and on conflict zones.

Our Sping 2016 schedule is available now! To learn more, download the schedule or scroll down to the featured courses below.

The knowledge and skills imparted in the Academy's courses are based on lessons learned and best practices from around the world. Instructors include people who have firsthand experience in conflict zones. Class sizes are small and participants interact with highly skilled senior practitioners. The courses, which attract participants from a range of backgrounds, impart specific skills through case studies, simulations, and small group exercises.

Mediating Violent Conflict

Mon, 01/23/2017 - 09:00
Fri, 01/27/2017 - 17:00

Take on the roles of mediators and conflict parties in simulations and role-plays, as you learn what it takes to structure a successful mediation effort, as well as what a third party needs to do when deciding to get involved in a peacebuilding effort. This course is currently at capacity.


Guest speakers: Dr. Chester A. Crocker (former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, Georgetown University), Ambassador William B. Taylor (former Ambassador to Ukraine, current Executive Vice President of USIP), Dr. Anthony Wanis-St. John (American University), and Dr. Alison Milofsky (USIP)

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U.N. Peacekeeping Today: Why it Matters

Learn about the new generation of U.N. peacekeeping operations in such places as Mali and the Central African Republic and how to apply the lessons learned from this more aggressive approach to your work in the field.

Today United Nations peacekeeping is more relevant to U.S. foreign policy and national security interests than ever before. With more robust mandates than in the past, U.N. peacekeepers are engaging in the struggle against transnational terrorism, weapons proliferation and illicit trafficking of drugs and migrants by international organized crime. Further complicating matters, these operations are conducted in areas with harsh terrain, vast expanses, poor communications and porous borders.

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Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience – Partnership with Eastern Mennonite University

Mon, 10/26/2015 - 09:00
Fri, 10/30/2015 - 17:00

This training is for those whose work brings them in contact with populations dealing with historic or current trauma. Learning happens through presentations, physical activity, creative expression, and interaction with other participants. Bodywork, meditations from different spiritual traditions, and reflection are woven into the experience.

This, Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience level I training is a five-day educational and experiential training, that brings together restorative justice, human security, spirituality and conflict transformation.

STAR Level I training is a course for those whose work brings them in contact with populations dealing with historic or current trauma. Pastors, social workers and counselors are some of the people who have benefited from STAR training.

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The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Civil Society Efforts at Internal Dialogue

After 20 years of a stalled peace process in Israel and the Palestinian Territories, many people might say, "Nothing ever changes. Why bother anymore?" However, USIP's experts have identified a number of new initiatives by actors on the ground that give us hope for the future. Come learn about a range of Israeli and Palestinian civil society–based peacebuilders and conflict resolution efforts.

These initiatives include efforts that are both intra-group (for example, religious and secular Jews in Israel; Palestinians from different political camps) and inter-group (for example, Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel; Israelis and Palestinians from the West Bank).

The course will focus on the development and impact assessment of conflict resolution programs in the current Israeli-Palestinian context.

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Understanding Islamic Law

Acquire a firm grounding in the principles, concepts, and terminology of Islamic law as well as an introduction to its history and its role in the contemporary era, including Islamic constitutionalism, criminal law, and human rights law.

Though often maligned and misunderstood, Islamic law is one of the longest enduring and most widely subscribed systems of law in the world. This course will give participants a firm grounding in the principles, concepts, and terminology of Islamic law as well as an introduction to its history and its role in the contemporary era.

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Managing Intergroup Conflict through Facilitation

Mon, 10/05/2015 - 09:00
Fri, 10/09/2015 - 17:00

How do you get parties to a conflict to listen to one another? How do you build trust and consensus in a group setting? Managing conflicts often relies on having solid facilitation skills—skills that help parties to a conflict resolve their dispute. This course will provide you with the knowledge and skills to effectively deal with conflicts and build sustainable relationships.


Conflict management practitioners working in conflict zones often engage with groups who are at odds with one another. Many of the strategies these practitioners employ depend heavily on having solid facilitation skills. Conflict management skills training, problem-solving workshops, mediation, intergroup dialogue, and other processes all center around an effective facilitator who is able to guide a group in transforming conflict.

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Winning Together: Multiparty Negotiations

“Winning Together: Multiparty Negotiations” is an intensive training course that builds your persuasive abilities so that you can obtain collaborative outcomes within and across your agency, organization, branch of government or military, as well as internationally.

When are your negotiation skills critical? When you are trying to:

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Land, Property, and Conflict

Disputes and grievances over land and property are implicated in practically all conflicts. This course provides policymakers and practitioners with analytical tools for assessing and addressing an array of complex land and property disputes, from competing ownership claims and restitution to customary land rights and illegal urban settlements.

Drawing on case studies of peace operations and peacebuilding efforts, participants explore the range of entry points (humanitarian, human rights, state building, development, etc.) and options for dispute resolution and structural reform. Participants will learn to understand the overarching principles of engagement, assess the desirability of intervention options, and apply lessons learned from several case studies, including Bosnia, Rwanda, Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan, and Colombia.

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Men and Women in War and Peace

Tue, 11/17/2015 - 13:00
Fri, 11/20/2015 - 17:00

“Men and Women in War and Peace" is an inclusive training approach toward understanding the dynamic impact of gender roles in violent conflict, violent extremism, and throughout the peacebuilding processes. This three and a half-day course will provide practitioners, civil society activists, academics and policy makers with an overview of the key issues, frameworks, principles and practices in gender and peacebuilding.

Lead Instructor: Kathleen Kuehnast
Guest experts (confirmed): Gary Barker (Promundo), Natalia Karbowska (Ukrainian Women’s Fund) and USIP’s Alison Milofsky, Steven Steiner, Danielle Robertson, Tesse Poppe and Nicoletta Barbera

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Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law

Gain essential problem-based learning skills and examine the dilemmas faced in humanitarian and human rights law promotion through the use of case studies and interactive exercises.

What is the difference between international human rights law and international humanitarian law?

This introductory course will answer this question and other basic questions relating to the field: Why do we have these bodies of law? How do they apply? What is the practical impact of human rights and humanitarian law in conflict-affected states? How do these two bodies of law interact? How are human rights and international humanitarian law relevant to practitioner’s work in the field?

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