Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention - advanced certificate

The graduate certificate in Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention (GMAP) will educate and train students in the current range of practices designed to identify populations or groups at risk of mass political violence, and to intervene to prevent or reduce the risk of such violence.

Open to graduate students in any discipline or department, the Graduate Certificate in Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention (GMAP) introduces students to the current range of practices designed to be prevention actors before, during and after mass atrocities, regardless of what academic discipline they are studying or what career path they choose. The Certificate consists of four courses (13-16 credits depending on course selection) in each of which students must earn a grade of B or better. The courses include one required course (4 credits) and three additional courses (3-4 credits each), one selected from each of three areas in consultation with one of the IGMAP Co-Directors. New courses are added to each of the categories every semester.

This course of study informs practice through the application of the latest scholarship in areas such as the quantitative analysis of at-risk communities; how factors such as gender, climate change, political transitions and population flows contribute to risks for genocide and mass atrocities; and the role of governments, civil society actors and international bodies in effective prevention.

 No graduate record exam (GRE) is required for this certificate program. 


1.    Foundations course: GMAP 500/PHIL 580K/PAFF 568 Essentials of Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention, 4 credits (generally offered every spring semester)

2.    Historical Examples of Genocide and Mass Atrocity (3-4 credits). One course from this category selected from an approved list which includes:

  • GMAP 502/PAFF 538C/HIST 501E, Comparative Genocide
  • COLI 531G Colonization, Violence and Genocide
  • HIST 572C, Middle East Forced Migrations
  • HIST 500, Genocide and Mass Atrocity in Soviet History
  • HIST 530A, Issues: US History Before 1877
  • HIST 501U, History & Memory
  • HIST 531, Civil Rights and Anti-Apartheid
  • HIST 552F, Violence in Pre-Modern Era
  • HIST 572G Armenians & Kurds-Ottoman Empire
  • HIST 552F, Race in Trans/National History
  • ANTH 572G, Human Migration & Disease

3.    Concepts, Actors and Institutions in Atrocity Prevention (3-4 credits). One course from this category from an approved list which includes:

  • GMAP 504/PHIL 580D Transitional Justice
  • PAFF 555/GMAP 503, International NGOs
  • PAFF 538A, Building Public Memory
  • PLSC 663W, Human Rights and World Politics
  • PLSC 663Q, Political Regimes & Transitions
  • AAAS 580I, Language Power & Meaning

4.    Methods of Understanding Atrocities & Atrocity Prevention (3-4 credits). One course from this category selected from an approved list which includes:

  • GMAP 501/PAFF 538B, Micro-Dynamics of Mass Atrocities
  • ANTH 572C, Anthropological Approaches to Human Rights
  • GEOL 552, Environmental Geophysics
  • PLSC 486A, Models of Violent Conflict
  • NURS581G Forensic Health of Victims
  • NURS 581F Forensic Health of Offenders
  • NURS 581J Forensic Pediatrics ANTH 518, Ethnographic Analysis
  • PAFF 548A/NURS 540, Elem Epidemiology & Biostatistics
  • PAFF 523, Introduction to Policy Analysis
  • GEOG 503A, Programming in GIS
  • GEOG 532, Introduction to Remote Sensing
  • ANTH 544, Methods in Forensic Anthropology
  • ANTH 572R, Epidemiology

The courses listed above are illustrative of courses which will fulfill the requirements. Additional classes may be counted with approval of one of the Co-Directors of the Institute for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention. All certificate students must declare the intent to complete the certificate at least one semester before graduating, must be advised by one of the IGMAP Co-Directors, and must pay the Graduate School fee when registering for degree completion. For more information, contact Professor Kerry Whigham ( or Professor Max Pensky (

Admission Requirements

If you wish to pursue a certificate in conjunction with your MPA, fill out the Add-on Certificate Application.

To be admitted into the certificate program, if a student is not already enrolled in the MPA program, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  1. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  2. An undergraduate grade point average of 3.0

The application process requires students to submit the following materials:

  1. The online Grad School application
  2. Transcripts from your undergraduate institution
  3. A current resume
  4. A letter of recommendation from a professor or professional colleague (such as a supervisor or executive director of a nonprofit organization) who can evaluate your suitability for the certificate program.
  5. A 1-2 page personal statement that addresses why you are interested in the program.

These materials will be reviewed in total to assess whether applicants bring the necessary skills and experiences to succeed in the program.

If students are interested in completing two specializations or certificates, a minimum of 51 total credits must be completed. If a student is interested in completing three specializations or certificates, a minimum of 60 total credits must be completed. Credits cannot be “double counted” for more than one specialization or certificate.

To discuss the certificate further, contact contact Professor Kerry Whigham (