Deadline: 15 March 2020

Applications open for the Joint Master’s Degree Programme “Water Cooperation and Diplomacy” in Costa-Rica, Netherlands and USA.

This programme provides participants with a theoretical and historical understanding of conflict and peace dynamics and frames issues of water security and cooperation in the broader context of environmental issues.

The programme allows students to gain ample experience in transboundary water management topics, water diplomacy and water cooperation, peace and conflict studies – from both a high-level and interdisciplinary academic perspective (with courses focusing both on hydrological and water management topics and on negotiations, law and policy) and with lots of practical inputs.

Water management is conflict management. Regardless of the scale, ensuring that the needs of the people and ecosystems relying on this critical resource are met effectively, requires comprehensive understanding of both water science and water diplomacy, including dispute mitigation, management, and resolution. To address these needs, the IHE Delft Institute for Water Education in The Netherlands, the University for Peace in Costa Rica (UPEACE), and Oregon State University in the USA, have embarked on a joint education programme in Water Cooperation and Diplomacy. The goal of this new initiative is to broaden the discussion about conflict and peace and the factors that contribute to both, engage multi-level scales of conflict dimensions and strengthen skills by providing hands-on and interactive learning opportunities.

Students in this Programme will cultivate cutting-edge skills in water cooperation and diplomacy by establishing a strong theoretical and applied understanding of peace and conflict studies and water management and governance, gaining hands-on skills training in both the Global South and Global North contexts for actual water dispute resolution processes, and networking with a wide variety of experts and professionals in the field of water and governance.

Successful students will be awarded the following degrees:

  • Master of Arts from UPEACE, Costa-Rica;
  • Master of Sciences from IHE Delft, Netherlands;
  • Master of Science from OSU, USA.

Students receive academic training at all three institutions as a cohort. As students move through the programme, they individually select a project or thesis option with the guidance of their academic advisors and culminate the programme at the institution of their choice.

Throughout the studies, students receive academic and logistical support from all three institutions.


As a minimum academic requirement, students will be expected to have an undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline such as political science, economics, law, hydrology, engineering, geography or water resources. Prior professional experience is preferred though not a requirement. Excellent knowledge of and fluency in English is required (particularly because of the interactive elements of the course). Applicants will be carefully screened during the selection process to ensure they meet the requirements of the programme.

Minimum requirements are:

Bachelor degree or equivalent:

Applicants must have completed a baccalaureate degree (BA, BS) or equivalent from an accredited college or university to qualify. This Programme is an intensive course of study, demonstrated academic excellence is a requirement. Prospective applicants should have achieved a minimum GPA of 3.0 out of 4.0 or the equivalent in their baccalaureate studies.

Proficiency in English:

Since coursework and classes are conducted in the English language, applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate proficiency in English by achieving either a score of 90 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or a score of 7.0 on the International English Language Test (IELTS).


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

UPEACE will assist the students with the visa process to enter and reside in Costa Rica only. For The Netherlands’ visa the students will be assisted by IHE Delft and for the United States the students will be assisted by OSU.

Work experience:

Owing to the nature of the Programme, previous cross-cultural involvement and work experience in fields related to water resources and/or water cooperation are desirable.

Students are responsible to ensure they can enter and reside in Costa Rica, The Netherlands, and the United States, for the duration of the programme.

How to apply:

Click here to apply

Click here to visit their website

Click here for detailed information on Funding


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