The application process for all programs takes place once a year in February and decisions are made in March for the following academic year. Application forms are available online. Selection criteria include grades, faculty recommendations, essay and interview. Space in the program is limited.
Headquartered in Costa Rica, the United Nations-mandated University for Peace was established in December 1980 as a Treaty Organization by the UN General Assembly. As determined in the Charter of the University, the mission of the University for Peace is: “to provide humanity with an international institution of higher education for peace with the aim of promoting among all human beings the spirit of understanding, tolerance and peaceful coexistence, to stimulate cooperation among peoples and to help lessen obstacles and threats to world peace and progress, in keeping with the noble aspirations proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations.”
To ensure academic freedom, the University was established under its own Charter, approved by the General Assembly. UPEACE is not subject to UN regulations and is directed by its own Council of renowned personalities with expertise in peace and security matters. This has allowed the University to move rapidly and to innovate, focusing its new, rigorous academic program on the fundamental causes of conflict through a multidisciplinary, multicultural-oriented approach.
The wider mission of the University should be seen in the context of the worldwide peace and security objectives of the United Nations. The central importance of education, training and research in all their aspects to build the foundations of peace and progress and to reduce the prejudice and hatred on which violence, conflict and terrorism are based is increasingly recognized. The Charter of the University calls for UPEACE “to contribute to the great universal task of educating for peace by engaging in teaching, research, post-graduate training and dissemination of knowledge fundamental to the full development of the human person and societies through the interdisciplinary study of all matters related to peace”.
The University for Peace has its headquarters in Costa Rica, a country distinguished by a long tradition of democracy, the abolition of the army since 1948, a Nobel Peace Laureate (H. E. Oscar Arias Sánchez, 1987), strong efforts on natural conservation, and friendly people.
The campus is located 30 kms southwest of San Jose, within a natural reserve composed of a secondary forest and the last remnant of primary forest (1.200 ha) in the Central Valley of Costa Rica. Hence, this protected area is very rich in fauna. It shelters mammals such as monkeys and deer; reptiles; and over 300 species of birds as well as approximately 100 varieties of trees. The University’s installations and protected area make up 303 ha.
Language of Instruction
All courses are taught in English.
- Students at the FIU College of Law, having completed a first year of law studies, are eligible to enroll for courses in the spring semester at UPEACE. Except as otherwise provided herein, FIU students will be required to enroll in either the “International Law and Human Rights” or the “International Law and Dispute Resolution” curriculum during their semester at UPEACE. Under exceptional circumstances, and with the prior written approval of the Associate Dean at FIU Law, FIU students at UPEACE may register for courses offered in a different department at UPEACE.
- Only students in good standing, having completed 30 course credits at FIU, including the “Introduction to International and Comparative Law” course, may apply for a semester at UPEACE. Only students with a GPA of 2.4 or above will be approved.
- FIU students may take a maximum of 15 credit hours at UPEACE. Such credits will count toward the award of the J.D. degree at FIU.
- With the prior written approval of the Associate Dean at FIU and the Director of the relevant program at UPEACE students may take fewer than 13 credits.
- FIU students enrolled at UPEACE will pay tuition and all other fees directly to UPEACE.
- FIU students will be charged the same amount per credit hour as the regular in-state tuition per credit at the FIU College of Law. The per credit rate in 2009-10 is expected to be U.S. $401.00
Eligibility for M.A. Degree at UPEACE
- FIU students participating in the semester abroad at UPEACE will be eligible for the M.A. degree issued by UPEACE under the following conditions:(i) Students will have completed a minimum of 24 credit hours at UPEACE. Nine of those credit hours may be satisfied by completing the thesis/practicum requirement either at the UPEACE campus or at an appropriate alternative site approved in writing by the authorized representative of Office of the UPEACE Rector.(ii) Students will have completed 15 credit hours at FIU in courses equivalent to the first semester UPEACE requirements for the relevant degree program.(iii) UPEACE recognizes that the FIU first year requirement in “Introduction to International and Comparative Law” satisfies the Introduction to Public International Law course and that FIU’s three semester legal writing program satisfies the UPEACE first semester “Legal Research and Writing” required course.(iv) Except as provided in (iii) above, UPEACE shall determine, in its sole discretion, whether or not M.A. degree seeking FIU students have completed equivalent courses at FIU to satisfy the UPEACE first semester foundational requirements.
- The additional 9 credits, over and above the 15 credit maximum for the semester abroad, will be charged by UPEACE at the same in-state FIU Law tuition rate for the relevant year.
- The award of an M.A. degree by UPEACE to FIU students rests with the sole discretion and is under the sole authority of UPEACE.
UPEACE estimates that the cost for living expenses in Costa Rica for a single student, living relatively close to UPEACE Campus (in Ciudad Colón-4-6 miles away), is US$ 500 monthly. This includes housing, meals, transportation, and other expenses.
This amount may vary depending on the living standards of each student and the type of housing they choose.
Students must contemplate the following additional costs:
- Books, Readers and other learning materials, photocopies, etc.
- International travel, including visas and any other related costs
Medical insurance coverage for the full academic year (mandatory).
Visa Requirements: http://www.costarica-embassy.org/index.php?q=node/72#4