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Master of Sustainable Peacebuilding MSP students working and studyingtogether

The Master of Sustainable Peacebuilding responds to a global and local need for professionals with advanced training in a rapidly growing field.

According to the International Commission on Education for Sustainable Development Practice (2008), there is a gap in graduate programs that train students to think and plan holistically across disciplines and fields. Our program is designed to address that gap harnessing cutting-edge ideas and tools in peacebuilding education.

With generous donations from the J.M. Kohler, Wm. Collins Kohler and Underwood foundations, the MSP was created in 2013. MSP alumni are leaders in the field, bringing a new way of thinking to their work as they navigate pressing global problems, such as climate change, homelessness, food security and health disparities. Graduates of the MSP are well-versed in systems thinking, tools for structural change and the importance of embracing complexity.

Program Type


Program Format

On Campus
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MSP Learning Philosophy

The MSP uses classroom- and community-based learning to teach critical leadership skills in systems thinking, conflict analysis, facilitation, strategic planning and evaluation. The program is rooted in practice – students learn through hands-on, collaborative class projects and a fieldwork practicum.

The MSP embraces a cohort-based, trans-disciplinary model, and students are drawn from diverse academic, socio-cultural and professional backgrounds. Dialogue and relationship-building among students is central to the MSP learning philosophy. 

MSP Students and Faculty posing at community garden clean-up
What is UWM’s Master of Sustainable Peacebuilding?

The Master of Sustainable Peacebuilding prepares its students for careers engaging in today’s complex global problems. The curriculum incorporates a holistic approach that integrates diverse academic fields and professional sectors. The MSP requires 40 credits, with both full-time (two years) and part-time (three years) options. The core coursework centers on: 

  • Community resilience
  • Systems thinking
  • Conflict transformation 

Courses are a blend of theory and practice. Throughout the program, students will have many opportunities to work directly with community organizations through class projects and summer fieldwork. 

Scholarships & Funding

We understand that financial support is important to every student. A variety of options are available to help students finance their education at UWM, including over $500,000 in nursing scholarships & funding awarded annually, as well as loans, grants, student employment, fellowships, military education benefits and more.

MSP graduates pursue careers in a variety of sectors, providing a holistic or complex lens to projects and programs. MSP alumni are currently working in the private, public and nonprofit sectors, with a small subset pursuing doctoral degrees. 

Where are they now? Check out a few of our alumni.

Sam Dorios, 2016

Systems and Complexity Associate, Hawaii Leadership Forum (Honolulu, Hawaii) 

Hawaii Leadership Forum (HLF) is a societal change organization dedicated to fostering enduring, positive change in Hawaii. The main track for accomplishing this is a cross-sectoral leadership program, the Omidyar Fellows, which cultivates a community of midcareer leaders to equip them with the skills and relationships they will need to collectively transform Hawaii. Sam’s job is to support the fellows in their efforts. This usually takes the form of systems mapping; a process that he facilitates. Currently, his role is expanding to incorporate emergent learning so that the organization can continually adapt and improve its ability to create impact. 

“The MSP program gave me the tools and skills needed to do systems mapping, but more importantly, it taught me the mindsets needed for this line of work. The nature of grappling with complexity requires an open mind, desire to constantly learn and improve, and a willingness to adapt. This inner work must be done before any meaningful outer work is possible. Moreover, the MSP connected me to HLF through an internship opportunity that led directly to my current position.”

Aruna Kallon, 2018

PhD Candidate in Educational Policy Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison (Madison, Wisconsin) 

Aruna is a PhD student in Educational Policy Studies, with a concentration in Comparative International Education (CIE) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Aruna’s research focuses on the effects of free primary and secondary schooling on educational quality and outcomes in Sierra Leone. Aruna intends for his research to provide an understanding of, and inform, local and foreign/external interventions for a sustainable implementation of the fee-free policy, and for narrowing the achievement gaps for approximately 1.5 million schoolgoing children in Sierra Leone. 

“MSP nurtured in me a unique ethos: to embrace complexity as an opportunity or entry point for action and change, rather than as a limitation.”

Linda Xiong, 2019

Systems Change Coordinator, Texas Homeless Network (Austin, Texas) 

Linda works with agencies across the Texas Balance of State Continuum of Care to establish and operate Coordinated Entry. Coordinated Entry is a community-led process and systems change approach that shifts a housing crisis response system from program-centric to person-centric.

“Through the MSP program, I discovered the breadth and depth of systems thinking as it relates to complex social problems and became confident as a facilitator of systems change. My cohort exemplified a community of peacebuilders where we shared and valued diverse perspectives and built strong friendships – a community I hope to develop wherever I go.”

Students in the Master of Sustainable Peacebuilding program pair coursework with fieldwork to participate in learning experiences that allow them to use their skills learned in class.


Fieldwork is the “heart” of the MSP. It is through fieldwork that students try out the methods and skills learned in class. Fieldwork also connects students directly to leaders in their fields of interest, allowing them to begin cultivating a professional network. Students partner with an organization of their choosing and collaboratively develop a fieldwork project. There is a large degree of flexibility regarding the geographic location, organization type and topical focus of a student’s fieldwork. Students interested in going abroad may need to be fluent in the local language. 

Sustainable Peacebuilding Fieldwork Examples & Partners
  • ACCMARI (community development org) Ixil Triangle, Guatemala
  • Agape Scholars International Malawi
  • Alliance for the Great Lakes Milwaukee
  • ADIFORT (community development org) La Fortuna, Costa Rica
  • Arts@Large Milwaukee
  • Best Baby Zones Milwaukee
  • City of Milwaukee Milwaukee
  • Community Health Internship Program multiple sites in Wisconsin
  • Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve Romania
  • Engineers w/o Borders Germany/Sri Lanka
  • Environmental Protection Agency Duluth, MN
  • Eurasia International University Yerevan, Armenia
  • Fourth “R”/Dr. Heidi Luft Dominican Republic
  • Grandmothers Beyond Borders Uganda
  • Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council Wisconsin
  • Groundwork Milwaukee Milwaukee
  • Haggerty Museum, Marquette University Milwaukee
  • Hawaii Leadership Forum Honolulu, HI
  • Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee Milwaukee
  • IKIAM University Tena, Ecuador
  • Impact Milwaukee
  • Institute of Public Health Macedonia
  • Institute for Urban Health Partnerships Milwaukee
  • Institute of Public Health Macedonia
  • Institute of World Affairs, UWM Milwaukee
  • Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee Milwaukee
  • International Peace Initiatives Meru, Kenya
  • Kars Urban and Culture Research Association Kars, Turkey
  • Kiva Wisconsin Milwaukee
  • Local Initiatives Support Corporation Milwaukee
  • Mali Watch International DC/Mali
  • McNair TRIO at UWM Milwaukee
  • Milwaukee 7 Milwaukee
  • Milwaukee Health Department Milwaukee
  • Milwaukee Water Commons Milwaukee
  • Municipality of Ruminahui Quito, Ecuador
  • Muslim Community Health Center Milwaukee
  • National Parks Service Friday Harbor, WA
  • Nepal Policy Center Lalitpur, Nepal
  • Ock Pop Tok Laos
  • PACA 40 Warsaw, Poland
  • Racism and Health Collaborative Research Team Milwaukee
  • RiverEdge Nature Center Saukville, WI
  • Riverwest Food Pantry Milwaukee
  • Silver Spring Nursing Center (IUHP) Milwaukee
  • Silver Spring Wellness Initiative Milwaukee
  • Stonehouse Water Technologies Kewanee, WI
  • Student Success Center, UWM Milwaukee
  • The Nature Conservancy Wisconsin Lake Beulah, WI
  • The Omidyar Group San Francisco, CA
  • The Women’s Bakery Kigali, Rwanda
  • Ulupono Hawaii
  • Wi’iam Palestinian Conflict Resolution Center Palestine
  • YWCA Green Bay, WI


Fall Year 1 (9 credits)

Course Name Course NumberCredits
The Politics and Policy of Sustainability
MSP 7603
Preparing for Sustainable Peacebuilding and Social Change
MSP 7703
Transdisciplinary Research Methods and Information LiteracyMSP 7803

Spring Year 1 (11 credits)

Course NameCourse NumberCredits
Complex Human-Environmental InteractionsMSP 7613
Holistic Peacebuilding PracticeMSP 7713
Innovation, Evaluation and Adaptive ManagementMSP 7813
Fundamentals of Project ManagementMSP 7852

Summer Year 1 (2 credits)

Course NameCourse NumberCredits
Fieldwork in Sustainable PeacebuildingMSP 797 / 7982

Fall Year 2 (9 credits)

Course NameCourse NumberCredits
Leadership and Program ManagementMSP 7913
*Electives may be taken in any unit on campus at the Graduate level

Spring Year 2 (9 credits)

Course NameCourse NumberCredits
Negotiation and Group Problem Solving SkillsMSP 7903
Reflective PracticeMSP 7863
*Electives may be taken in any unit on campus at the Graduate level

Students Prior to Fall 2021

MSP students who started prior to Fall 2021, please refer to the handbook or advisor for curriculum.

MSP Program Director

Lynne Woerhle
  • Associate Professor
  • MSP Director

Faculty and Staff

Catherine (Draeger) Pederson headshot
  • Teaching Faculty, Master of Sustainable Peacebuilding
Breonna Stone
  • Teaching Faculty, Master of Sustainable Peacebuilding
  • Academic Program Manager
Lynne Woerhle
  • Associate Professor
  • MSP Director

Advisory Board

2022-2023 MSP Advisory Committee

In addition to core program faculty and staff, MSP has a multidisciplinary and cross-campus collaborative advisory committee.

  • Alexa Anderson, Assistant Professor, Nursing
  • Anne Dressel, Assistant Professor, Nursing
  • Timothy Ehlinger, Emeritus Associate Professor, Sustainable Peacebuilding
  • Derek Handley, Assistant Professor, English
  • Kirk Harris, Assistant Professor, Urban Planning
  • Jeana Holt, Assistant Professor, Nursing
  • Marissa Jablonski, Director, Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin
  • Joanne Lipo Zovic, Faculty Associate, Sustainable Peacebuilding
  • Paula Lucey, Clinical Assistant Professor, Nursing
  • Mary Elise Papke, Assistant Dean/Lecturer, Public Health
  • Marie Sandy, Associate Professor, Administrative Leadership
  • Aaron Schutz, Professor & Department Chair, Educational Policy and Community Studies
  • Caroline Seymour-Jorne, Professor, French, Italian, and Comparative Literature
  • Paru Shah, Professor, Political Science
  • Dimitri Topitzes, Professor, Social Work
  • Linda Wesp, Assistant Professor, Nursing
  • Lynne Woehrle, Director & Associate Professor, Sustainable Peacebuilding
  • Christine Wolf, Assistant Director, Global & International Studies


Olamilekan Awoniyi

Lekan is from Nigeria, he graduated with a B.Tech in Urban and regional Planning from the Federal University of Technology, Akure. He gained his experience as a research assistant in the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research after which he followed his passion for poultry farming which enabled him to start charity as a hobby by donating farm produce to the less privileged. He joined the MSP program because of his passion social and economic equity.

Marisa Camacho

Marisa graduated from UWM in 2018 with a B.A. in ethnic studies. She focused on medical disparities and social justice movements. She is passionate about centering the community and believes in solidarity rather than charity. She has worked in various organizations that focus on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, sex workers and those who have been trafficked. Currently, Marisa works with housing shelters and providers that work with those who are homeless.  For fun, she loves to be outdoors, read, listen to podcasts, watch horror movies, cook, paint and be with her chosen family. She is excited to expand her knowledge of peacebuilding. 

Claire Duening

Claire graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a bachelor’s degree in social work. Claire started her college career at St Norbert College in De Pere where she had the privilege to participate in the GAP program. During her time in GAP she lived in the boundary waters for 28 days, did volunteer work and service learning in Chicago and Albuquerque and finished the semester working with coffee farmers in Guatemala. GAP was where Claire discovered her passion for peacebuilding and working to create sustainable communities around the world.

Jerica Fehr

Jerica comes to MSP as a passionate advocate for health, wellness, and sustainable food systems. She joins MSP to better understand these connections and explore methods for developing wellness mindsets in communities experiencing conflict. As a survivor of adverse childhood experiences, she wishes to help others from similar backgrounds nourish their potential and find inner peace. In her free time, she enjoys painting, cooking, foraging, and researching natural medicines. She holds a BS in Community Engagement and Education from UW-Milwaukee and is an Advanced Opportunity Program Fellow.

Denise Manjarrez-Renteria

My name is Denise Manjarrez-Renteria (she/her/ella are my pronouns). I grew up in the southside of Milwaukee, more specifically the Muskego Way neighborhood. I went to Alverno College for undergrad and graduated with a BA in Global Studies and International Affairs with a minor in Political Science. Since then, I’ve worked in community and civic engagement.

I am passionate over many social justice issues, but currently, I want to expand my knowledge and experience within geopolitical issues. You can currently find me at Urban Ecology Center as their Neighborhood Engagement Specialist where I am actively working in the community, focusing on restorative justice, and trying to make a change within.

Jeydelyn Martiez

A proud first-generation student, Jeydelyn (she/her) earned her B.A. in Social Welfare and Justice and Spanish from Marquette University. Significantly impacted by her Gilman Scholar semester abroad in Madrid, following graduation, Jeydelyn returned to Spain for three years to work as an ESL instructor and later in Shenzhen, China. She is also a UWM Advanced Opportunity Program Fellow. Additionally, Jeydelyn is an emerging evaluator and American Evaluation Association GEDI 19 Scholar. Through the GEDI program, Jeydelyn works for the Systems and Evaluation team at FoodCorps. Jeydelyn joined the MSP program to explore sustainable and equitable international and community development. She is a passionate community advocate, traveler, lover of languages, and mentor. 

Daniel Monge

Daniel Monge

I earned BS degrees from UWM in Physics and Mathematics, and my MS in Physics from Indiana University, and would like to become a Medical Physicist. In addition to trying to understand the universe, I have the desire to give back to the world, to be a leader, and to help further the sustainability of life. I would like to start a physics summer academy for Native American/Indigenous/”Latino” children and create a Youtube science page for people of color. I want to inspire young people from my community to develop their inquisitiveness, to not be ashamed of being smart, to be proud of who they are, and to know that they can be anything they want to be. I would also like to become involved in medical physics to help save lives and, possibly, develop new technology. Further, I would like to, eventually, influence large-scale policy, whether via a governmental agency, in a hospital setting, or some Montessori organization.

Mala Nan Leth

Mala Nan Leth is a first generation University student, and an underrepresented racial/ethnic minority. She was born in Bangkok, Thailand, growing up on the Thai/Myanmar border in a refugee camp, Ban Dom Yan (BDY). Her family resettled in Milwaukee in 2014 as refugee newcomers. She lives with a single mother who works part time to support her and her other three younger siblings.

Due to a shortage of staff in the refugee school, Mala was a teacher of first grade children in BDY Camp when she was just 14 years old. She interned at the International Institute of Wisconsin for two semesters: Spring 2021 and Summer 2021; she worked in the Refugee Resettlement Program for newcomers, and also worked part time at IIW helping with case notes management and Bureau of Population, Refugee and Migration (PRM) Case reviews in the Spring and Summer of 2022. Mala also has tutored at South East Asian Literacy (SEAL) from 2018 to the present. This is a place where refugee children get help with homework and learn about American culture.

Mala decided to further her education upon learning about the Master of Sustainable Peacebuilding (MSP) Program through Catholic Charities. She has first hand knowledge of the violence in Myanmar/Burma, as it is her families’ land. She would like to be able to work with the United Nations helping refugees and immigrants outside of the United States. Her goal is to learn how to prevent violence, bring peace, while hoping to give a new life and home to those who belong nowhere. 

Mala achieved her bachelor’s degree in Social Work with honors from UWM, served on the US Committee for Refugees & Immigrants, and is a member of the Rohingya American Society. She joins the MSP as an Advanced Opportunity Program Fellow.

Everlyne Okech

Everlyne has worked with grassroots, national, and international not-for-profit-organizations in Kenya. During this time, she coordinated projects on child protection, education, and livelihoods. She has worked in the informal settlements of Nairobi and rural settlements in Kenya. She has trained families and youth in various areas of community development. She also worked with youth and children to develop life skills. Everlyne is interested in the relationships among water, environment, and equity and how those systems can together create opportunities for sustainable peacebuilding in communities in Kenya.

Yolanda Odufuwa

Yolanda Odufuwa (They/She) graduated from Beloit College with a BA in Political Science and Critical Identity Studies. Their time as a Mcnair Scholar, volunteer for Black abolitionist organizations and heavy involvement in organizations like BSU and Students for an Inclusive Campus cemented their research interest in race and U.S. politics, political behavior, social justice movements, and resistance to state violence. Yolanda joins the MSP as a fellow with the MKE Black Grassroots Network for Health Equity to continue their passions of applying Black queer feminist values to public policy initiatives and learning strategies to combat racial injustice.

Tinuola Oladebo

Tinuola is a passionate education and gender activist from Nigeria. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Social Studies Education from Obafemi Awolowo University. Through her volunteering role with OneAfricanChild (OAC), an organization focused on promoting education in low-income communities in Africa, and also through her role as a Youth Advisory Member of the United Nations Girls Education Initiative (UNGEI), Tinuola has delivered leadership development programs, designed curriculum, and provided teachers training. Participating in the Gender Responsive Education Sector Planning workshop spurred her interest in working on gender in and through education. Tinuola has joined MSP to build upon her expertise and experience and develop new skills that will help her to craft a distinct approach towards making a social impact and building sustainable practices. 

Anna-Marie Opgenorth

Anna-Marie graduated with a B.A. in Art History and International Studies from UW-Milwaukee. After Graduation she served as the Executive Director of Historic Milwaukee, Inc. During her tenure she oversaw the development of several long-standing and celebrated programs including Remarkable Milwaukee and Doors Open Milwaukee. From Historic Milwaukee she moved into liaison and consultant roles in real estate, community development, arts, fund development and transportation. Anna-Marie is eager to apply Systems Thinking and Peacebuilding skills to additional studies in Urban Planning. With an eye toward unlearning divisive and alienating behaviors often rewarded in and perpetuated by Institutional and Corporate culture and policies, Anna-Marie hopes to build or join a community of trans-disciplinary practitioners with values-based, long-term strategies aimed at connecting people to places and places to community.

Samuel Orlowski

Julien A Phifer

1st Gen College graduate of UW-Milwaukee B.A in Psychology. Julien has explored more than a few majors during his time as an Undergrad. He credits those years as a path to understand exactly who he is and how he wants to give back to the world. Julien’s mission is to Link Up Greatness wherever his path leads him. He believes the world makes simple things complex and it’s for us to take a step back, with a deeper and collective look to make these complex issues clear. Julien advocates for holistic and mindful living, and contains a fiery passion to help the youth, their families and the overall community of Milwaukee while he’s here.

Bryan Rogers

Bryan Rogers, former Witness for Peace Honduras Program Coordinator, has facilitated dozens of delegations across Latin American and the Caribbean, including two to Cuba. His work as an educator, organizer, writer and musician has taken him into the heart of a grassroots student movement in Chile; black liberation struggles in Salvador, Brazil; land reclamation and reparations projects led by black indigenous Garifuna in Honduras; anti-drug war and anti-militarization caravans through Central America; and managing a sheriff’s campaign for a queer black feminist running on an anti-racist platform. He holds bachelors in Spanish/Portuguese and Latin American Studies from UW-Milwaukee and studied jazz piano at Columbia College. He currently lives in the River West neighborhood with one lovely spouse, two lively children, and three mostly obedient house animals.

Shannon Ross

Shannon served 17 years in prison from the age of 19 to 36. Throughout his incarceration, he dove into personal development, writing, reading and all-around health while obtaining a BA in business administration, learning Spanish, writing a blog for five years (, having numerous articles published locally and nationally, and creating a nonprofit that has the greatest connection with those incarcerated in the WI prison system and showcases the successes, humanity, and agency of people with criminal records (

Clarisse Sanon

Clarisse earned her BA in sociology from the University of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso before coming to the U.S. and studying economics and nursing at Madison College. She is fluent in both French and English. Her current profession is as a nurse assistant. She is interested in furthering her knowledge and understanding of the impacts of climate change on human health. 

Kate Schmidt

Kate has been a practicing RN for several years and joins the MSP with a passion for learning systems tools that can be applied to health and wellness. She earned her BSN from UW-Oshkosh in 1995 and a holistic nurse baccalaureate certification from the American Holistic Nursing Association. She is currently an RN and the shared governance president for a local health care network.  

Edward Syth

Jessie Thompson

Jessie Graduated from Arizona State University in 2021 with a BA in Sustainability and a minor in Urban Planning. In her time as a sustainability student, Jessie studied the intersection of environmentalism and social justice. Jessie has an extensive background in local, sustainable agriculture, and has worked with both Groundwork Milwaukee and the Eco-Justice Center on farms growing produce and caring for farm animals. She has also learned the basics of large-scale hydroponic farming through volunteering at Hundred Acre in Milwaukee. Outside of MSP, Jessie works as a farm worker for Full Circle Healing. She enjoys farming and seeks to understand how urban agriculture can be utilized to foster community building connections. 

Ifeoluwapo Tolorunju

Ifeoluwapo Tolorunju earned a bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies and Philosophy from Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State.

His interest in the Masters of Sustainable Peacebuilding (MSP) was stirred by his personal experience of political violence and his experience living and working in the fragile region in Nigeria. He has devoted several years working in development and peacebuilding through several local non-profit organizations in Nigeria.

His research interest revolves around youth involvement in violent conflict, peace processes and human security. As a master’s student, he plans to build upon his experience and explore how youth involvement in peace processes can strengthen community development and social justice.

Before joining the MSP program, he worked as the Operations Assistant for Some Good Foundation, where he supported several educational-focused projects in Lagos State, Nigeria.

Ifeoluwapo is an Institute for Systems Change and Peacebuilding Fellow.

Hassimi Traore

Hassimi was born in Dedougou, a small town in Burkina Faso in West Africa. After high school, he enrolled at the University of Ouagadougou (Capital City) where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Physical Science and a master’s degree in Chemistry. He then moved to the U.S. to earn his PhD in Physical Chemistry at the University of Iowa. Hassimi decided to pursue the MSP, because of his belief that he can give a small contribution in bringing peace in some part of the world. He hopes to apply his MSP skills to work in Burkina Faso and other countries in Africa.

Alyssa Wastradowski

Alyssa studied Sociology, Community Organizing and Sustainability, and Social Equity and Diversity at UW-Oshkosh. During their time at UWO, Alyssa helped to found the Wisconsin Institute on Social Equity, whose focus was to address issues of equity on campus and in the community. Alyssa also interned with Neighborhood Partners, researching the relationship between social ties and a sense of belonging to one’s community. Alyssa grew up in Southern California, surrounded by her Filipina heritage. Since moving to Wisconsin, she has noticed a severe lack in representation of the Filipino community, something she hopes to change in the future. As the second oldest of six children, Alyssa has always been a helper, and their desire to help others, regardless of their need, is what brought Alyssa to the MSP program. 

Jolynn Woehrer

Jolynn comes to the MSP with a MA in Women’s Studies from the University of Cincinnati and two decades of professional experience in advocacy, program development, curriculum design, healing-focused care, and group facilitation throughout the field of domestic violence. Her breadth of experience in intervention programs has shaped her understanding of systemic oppressions and her belief that every human is worthy and capable of healing, transformation, self-determination, accountability, and loving connection. In MSP, Jolynn plans to focus on how to address the complex needs of those impacted by violence. She hopes to gain skills to help stakeholders reimagine whole, healthy, and just policies and practices reflective of their communities, responsive to human needs, and empowering individuals, families, and communities to heal from trauma and flourish in peace.

If you are motivated to understand the complex dynamics underlying the issues facing today’s world and dream about being an effective changemaker, we encourage you to learn more about the MSP!

The MSP is a cohort-based program that begins each year in September only. Applications are accepted until all spots for the cohort have been filled, or by June 1 at the latest.

Dates and Deadlines

  • December 15: Applications completed by this date will be considered in the initial review and receive priority consideration for funding opportunities available through MSP. 
  • February 1: Applications completed by this date will be considered in the second round of reviews. International applications must be completed by this date to be considered for admission the following fall. 
  • February 2 – June 1: Rolling admissions for any remaining program spots. Applications completed after June 1 will be automatically rolled into the application pool for the following year. 
  • April 1: Acceptance deadline for funded positions and international students. 


Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited program with a minimum GPA of 2.75 (4.0 scale) to be considered for admission.

Application Process

To be considered for admission, all applicants must complete an online application, including: 

  1. Pay the nonrefundable application fee; 
  2. Upload unofficial transcripts from all schools attended, regardless of how long ago it may have been. Applicants will be required to submit official transcripts after an admission offer is accepted; 
  3. Upload a current professional resume or CV; 
  4. Upload a 2-3 page Personal Statement (Reason for Graduate Study). This essay should address any or all of the following:
    • What brought you to MSP? 
    • Why is MSP a good fit for you? 
    • How will MSP help you advance your professional goals? 
    • Share a personal story that relates to why you want to join MSP. 
    • Which faculty member(s), community organizations, and/or global issues are you interested in working on while in MSP? 
  5. Submit the names and email addresses of at least two references who will write a letter of recommendation for you. If possible, include one academic (e.g. advisor) and one professional (e.g. supervisor) reference. At least two letters must be received by UWM for your application to be considered complete.
  6. Upload a writing sample (max 10 pages) from within the past five years. The type of sample you submit is up to you. Examples include:
    • Paper from a college course;
    • Excerpt from an undergraduate thesis; 
    • Grant proposal 
    • Peer-reviewed article; 
    • a Web-based piece, such as a blog entry or news article; 
    • Project report or evaluation; 
    • Guided Research Essay (this is suggested if you do not have a writing sample you would like to submit).
  7. Upload evidence of English proficiency (international students only). The language of instruction at UWM is English. All international applicants must provide evidence of proficiency. View details at the UWM Center for International Education’s website. Email questions to
Important Dates

Priority Application Deadline

December 15
(Fall Start)

Upcoming Information Sessions
Register for Information Sessions

  • Academic Program Manager