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Students will gain an understanding of the various judicial and non-judicial bodies that are at the frontline of questions of interpretation, the development of international human rights standards, and enforcement. In addition, students receive training in hands on skills in the realm of reporting, monitoring and evaluation of human rights. Finally, as the globalization of business and investment is increasing in force and speed, with important human rights implications, this specialization explores the interaction between economics and rights, asking critical questions about this process and potential solutions.

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  • Overview

    Environment, Development and Peace

    The Master of Arts Degree in Environment, Development, and Peace (EDP) provides comprehensive training in issues of sustainable development, environmental governance, natural resource management, and environmental conflict management from both ecological and social perspectives. It encompasses a broad range of subjects and themes, including Food Systems, Water Management, Forestry, Coastal Resources, Climate Change, Urban Ecology and Social Movements. The programme focuses on the human dimensions of the environment-development nexus, highlighting the connections between local perspectives and broader processes at the national, regional and global levels and emphasizing the importance of political economic structures and inequality in access to resources as key drivers in environmental conflict and global environmental change. The programme prepares students for a wide range of careers in both environmental and development policy and programming in the public, private, and non-profit sectors.

    To view the programme brochure, click here.

    What will you learn?

    In our programme, you will learn contemporary frameworks and tools to analyze and address key sustainability issues. You will become skilled researchers and communicators on environmental and development challenges and solutions. Furthermore, you will build large international networks of collaborators to help your further your professional goals. 

    How many courses will you take?

    For this M.A., you must complete 41 credits. To achieve these credits you take a two semesters of courses as well as complete one of the following projects: 1) a thesis, 2) an internship, or 3) a capstone project.

    Our Specializations

    Environmental Security and Governance (ESG)

    This specialization is designed for those wishing to work on global environmental governance issues. Students critically engage with issues concerning global environmental change and security. They will gain insights into different theoretical frameworks, institutional tools and practical techniques related to water, food, and climate change, among others. Specifically, environmental security and governance specialization students will take the following courses as part of their degree programme: Climate Change Governance; Water Security or Food Security; Environment, Conflicts and Sustainability.

    Mandatory Courses: 

    • Climate Change Governance 
    • Water Security
    • Environment, Conflicts, and Sustainability 


    Climate Change

    Global climate change is one of the most pressing environmental issues of our time. Climate change specialists will be equipped with knowledge and skills related to climate change governance, adaptation and justice. Specifically, climate change specialization students will take the following courses as part of their degree programme: Climate Adaptation and Justice; Climate Change Governance; Environment, Conflicts and Sustainability.

    Mandatory Courses: 

    • Climate Adaptation and Justice 
    • Climate Change Governance 
    • Energy Transitions, Justice, and Activism 


    Sustainable Food Systems

    Sustainable food production and consumption is central to environmental sustainability, human health, and climate change adaptation. Sustainable food systems specialization students will acquire the skills and knowledge linked to sustainable agriculture and food security both in theory as well as through visits to local communities and work on the UPEACE organic farm. Specifically, students of this specialization will take the following courses as part of their degree programme: Sustainable Agriculture; Food Security; Climate Adaptation & Justice or Climate Governance.

    Mandatory Courses: 

    • Sustainable Agriculture 
    • Food Security 
    • Climate Adaptation & Justice 

    This programme has been accredited by the National System of Higher Education Accreditation (SINAES for its name in Spanish) since 2014.

    Although accreditation is optional in Costa Rica, the University has made great efforts to ensure the quality of its programmes, submitting them for accreditation since joining SINAES in 2014.





  • Study Plan

    Academic Course Calendar and Professors

    Code Courses Type Professor Credits Weeks Dates Hours Classroom
    UPM 6001 UPEACE Foundation Course View More Mandatory Resident and Visiting Professors() View More 3 3 weeks (Including one double session. Friday 15 September 2023 is a Holiday) 28-Aug-2023 14-Sep-2023 8:45 a.m.-11:45 a.m. Council Room
    UPM 6003 The United Nations System and... View More Mandatory Mihir Kanade(India) View More 2 2 weeks 16-Oct-2023 27-Oct-2023 8:45 a.m.-11:45 a.m. Council Room
    UPM-6003 The United Nations System and... View More Mandatory Juan José Vasquez Pacheco(Costa Rica) View More 1 3 days 03-Jun-2024 05-Jun-2024 8:45am.-3:45pm. Council Room
  • Faculty

    Resident Faculty



  • Requirements

    Admissions Requirements

    The following documentation is required to complete your application process for the UPEACE on-campus M.A. programmes. Please have them ready and on hand before beginning your online application process, as they will need to be uploaded into the system.

    Required supporting documents to be uploaded:

    • English Proficiency Test Scores Report: TOEFL (PBT, CBT or IBT), IELTS, Duolingo English Test, Pearson Test of English or Cambridge English Language Assessment
    • Statement of Purpose
    • Letters of Recommendation
    • Official Undergraduate (Bachelor's Degree) Transcripts and Degree Certificate
    • Curriculum Vitae or Resume
    • Copy of Passport (front page with photo only)
    • Three (3) passport-size photos for ID purposes


    Detailed information on each requirement can be found here.

    The online application requires electronic (PDF) scans of required documents. Should admission be granted, the following documents will be eventually be required in official hard copy:

    • English Proficiency Test Scores Report: TOEFL (PBT, CBT or IBT), IELTS, Duolingo English Test, Pearson Test of English or Cambridge English Language Assessment (if applicable)
    • UPEACE TOEFL Code: 7180
    • Official Undergraduate Transcripts and Degree Certificate (and English translations if applicable)
    • Three (3) passport-size photos.

    Upon submission of the online application form and supporting uploaded documents, the UPEACE Admissions system will send an automatic confirmation email. The date and time of submission will be noted in the system. Applications received after the established deadline will be considered for admission for the following academic year. Each application received by the established deadline will be reviewed for completeness. A second acknowledgment will be sent to the applicant by the Admissions Officer, informing him/her of the status of his/her application, whether it is complete and able to be passed on for academic review.

    We are not able to provide any information about the status of applicants over the phone or to third parties. Information will only be provided to the applicant using the email provided in the online application form. Please address any email inquiries to 

    Please write down your application ID number before submitting your application, as this number is difficult for the Admissions Team to recover. If you lose your ID number, please email

  • Cost & Financial Aid

    Costs & Financial Aid

    UPEACE is a not-for-profit institution and has limited funds for financial assistance. Therefore we strive for balance, diverse class composition, and merit in distributing financial assistance among admitted students.

    UPEACE Costs

    Conditions of UPEACE Scholarships & Financial Assistance

    The prospective applicant has to be admitted to UPEACE in order to receive any possibility of financial assistance from the University, the latter of which is subject to the following conditions:

    • The financial assistance awarded is non-negotiable.
    • The scholarships/waivers do not apply to the US$ 2,500 administrative fee. This fee is mandatory for all students and is non-refundable if the student wishes to withdraw from UPEACE before completing his/her degree. Admitted students must comply with this financial obligation to UPEACE according to the required deadline outlined in their official admissions documents.
    • Applicants are only eligible for one waiver category per application period. Waiver categories cannot be combined.
    • If you receive a scholarship from another institution, you are obligated to inform the UPEACE Admissions Office, so that it can revert the waivers granted by UPEACE. 
    • Applicants eligible for a 50% waiver must apply directly through the UPEACE Admissions Office.

    Automatic Scholarships/Waivers

    30% Tuition Waiver (Automatic)

    Available to M.A. and Doctorate students that meet one of the following criteria:

    50% Tuition Waiver (Automatic)

    Available to M.A. and Doctorate students that meet one of the following criteria:

    • Professors from a partner university
    • Costa Rican citizens and residents (host country)
    • Current, full-time UN employees and volunteers
    • Documented refugee or asylee

    30% or 50% Tuition Waiver (Merit Based) - Available to Master's applicants who do not belong to the above categories. These waivers are offered in limited number and will be awarded by merit, not financial condition. These waivers are not available to doctorate students.


    Tuition USD $17,000.00
    Administrative Fees* USD $2,500.00
    Total USD $19,500.00

    Administrative Fees are not refundable

    Payment Dates

    First Payment - Due date determined based on admission date USD $11,000.00
    Final Payment - No later than 15 August 2022 USD $8,500.00
    Total USD $19,500.00

    Administrative Fees are not refundable

  • Student Life

    Life at #UPEACE

    Humans of UPEACE was modeled after the famous Humans of New York photography project, designed to tell the stories of 10,000 New Yorkers on the street. At UPEACE, we believe our community – composed of current students, Alumni, Faculty, Visiting Professors, staff members, and partners – is our greatest asset and their stories worth sharing with the world. We invite you to dive into these stories and get to know the exceptional #UPEACERS that make the University for Peace a unique and diverse learning community, dedicated to training leaders for peace determined to reshape the world.

    Their stories are the best way to get a real feeling for the Student Life Experience at UPEACE!

    Click on the HoU logo below to get started!

    Our current batch of #UPEACERS

    The University for Peace is characterized by its diversity and multiculturalism. For 2022-2023, we have 157 students from 43 countries. As a result, our campus is always full of student activities, most of them organized by the students themselves. In past years, we have had yoga classes, conversation classes in different languages, the celebration of cultural nights (Asian night, Latin night, European night, etc.), as well as institutional activities open to students (Zumba classes, academic "brown bag" lunches, etc.) The current situation has forced students to become more creative with regards to socialising and ensuring a rich student life at UPEACE.


    Learn more about what to expect from your stay in Costa Rica, including approximate living expenses, here.

  • Career Info

    Career Prospects

    The Master of Arts Degree in Environment, Development and Peace prepares students for a wide range of careers in both environmental and development policy and programming in the public, private, and non-profit sectors.

  • Apply

    Ready to join us?

    The UPEACE application process is conducted 100% online through our application forms. Check out our TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION below and feel free to contact the Admissions Team at any time during the application process for assistance, including the retrieval of your Application ID.