A typical day as a negotiator or mediator involves diffusing employee/employer issues, helping governments find common ground with foreign entities, working with two parties to settle a legal dispute, or helping neighbors figure out who needs to pay for a fallen tree. Employers are seeking graduates in this field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that, between 2014 and 2024, the field will see an employment growth rate of 9%. A master's in conflict resolution online prepares students to pursue many lines of work.
Choosing a Program
DO I NEED PREVIOUS WORK EXPERIENCE TO GET IN?
Master's degree in conflict resolution online programs are interdisciplinary in their approach to education, so the vast majority do not have requirements for previous experience.
HOW DO I FIND THE RIGHT ONLINE PROGRAM FOR ME?
Research numerous master's in conflict resolution online degrees and figure out what you need to succeed in the program. Some programs offer specializations, while others are more generalist in their approach. It's important to know whether you prefer synchronous or asynchronous studies. A synchronous program will require you to login at specific times to complete work; asynchronous programs allow you to complete assignments based around your own schedule. Get to know the nuts and bolts of these programs, compare their requirements with your needs, and try to find one that balances both.
CAN I WORK WHILE I COMPLETE MY ONLINE MASTER'S in NEGOTIATION & CONFLICT MANAGEMENT?
Many grad students work while completing their degree, but it takes focus and dedication to balance both. Degree seekers spend an average of 10 hours per week, per class, to complete assignments. So if they take three classes, they'll need to devote 30 hours per week to their studies.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES TO EARNING MY MASTER'S ONLINE?
Completing a master's in conflict resolution online offers students the opportunity to earn a degree from any school in the country. Online programs are also more flexible and make it easier for students to maintain employment. Learners earn the same degrees and certificates that on-campus students receive.
WHAT ARE THE BEST ONLINE MASTER'S IN NEGOTIATION & CONFLICT MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS?
University of Denver
|Denver, CO||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 75%||
A private, nonprofit institution located in mountainous Denver, Colorado, DU matriculates nearly 12,000 learners each year. Founded in 1864 where the Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountains, DU stands as the oldest independent private university in the region. DU cultivates a spirit of exploration and discovery in over 200 different undergraduate and graduate programs. For degree-seekers interested in pursuing professional careers in the conflict resolution field, DU offers a master of arts in communication management with a concentration in dispute resolution.
DU's program requires 48 total credits. Most learners complete the degree in 18 months or less depending on potential transfer credits and individual scheduling. The program trains and prepares advanced students for fulfilling vocations as resolution specialists, mediators, conciliators, communication consultants, and ombudsmen.
Learners pursuing this master's degree in negotiation and conflict resolution online explore various important topics necessary for continued professional success. These subjects include communication across cultures, conflict resolution strategies and process, dispute management, and negotiation techniques. DU's program features both online and hybrid formats, administering coursework through flexible synchronous and asynchronous delivery methods.
Applicants must possess an accredited undergraduate degree with a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA. The must also provide official transcripts, a current resume, at least two letters of reference, and a brief personal statement.
|Omaha, NE||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 81%||
Located just outside Omaha, Nebraska's downtown business district, Creighton University provides quality higher education to learners desiring to make meaningful, lasting contributions to the world. Founded in 1878 by Jesuit religious leaders, Creighton remains affiliated with the Catholic order and boasts an impressive 99% graduate success rate. The school stresses the formation of well-rounded, active, and creative individuals in its academic programming. Spanning nine different schools and colleges, these programs equip learners for professional fulfillment. A master of science in negotiation and conflict resolution ranks among these programs as a possible option for interested degree-seekers.
A 33-credit degree achievable in 16 months or less, Creighton's program prepares learners for fulfilling careers as effective resolution specialists for corporations, nonprofit organizations, and governmental agencies. The program provides all material completely online via flexible, asynchronous learning formats. In addition to the degree, enrolled learners receive an advantageous certificate in negotiation and conflict resolution. Both the certificate and the program focus on the fundamentals of the field by examining the dynamics of conflict resolution, culture, gender, and power differences in disputes, and mediation strategies.
Students interested in pursuing this master's in negotiation and conflict resolution online must hold an accredited undergraduate degree within a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA. They must also provide official academic transcripts, two letters of reference, and a brief personal statement that speaks to their personal and professional goals.
Touro University Worldwide
|Los Alamitos, CA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 60%||
Touro University Worldwide is the online branch of the Touro College and University System headquartered in New York City, New York. Founded in 2008 and affiliated with the Jewish-American community, TUW provides higher education to learners, working professionals, and the underserved across a variety of undergraduate degrees and professional programs. The school's online master of arts in dispute resolution advances this vision by preparing students for successful careers working in judicial, governmental, and social service systems, along with nonprofit and educational organizations.
TUW's program consists of 36 credits, including core coursework and capstone components. This online master's degree in negotiation and conflict resolution provides learners with the skills and knowledge necessary to obtain employment as fact-finders, union representatives, arbitrators, and advocates. Learners explore the fundamentals of the industry by studying international business dispute resolution, dispute resolution ethics, the practice of negotiation and mediation, and arbitration strategies. TUW's affordable program delivers coursework completely online through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning modules. This approach allows learners and working professionals to tailor the program to their individual needs and circumstances, often expediting graduation and entry into the workforce.
Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution with a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA. They must also submit official academic transcripts evidencing these requirements and complete an online application. TUW possesses regional accreditation granted by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission.
George Mason University
|Fairfax, VA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 71%||
A public research institution based in Fairfax, Virginia, George Mason University serves more than 34,000 degree-seekers each year from nearly 130 different countries. Initially established as a University of Virginia affiliate in 1949, Mason gained status as an independent institution in 1972 and now stands as the largest university in the commonwealth. Committed to creating a more just, free, and prosperous world, the school offers academic programs at every degree level, including a master of science in conflict analysis and resolution.
This 42-credit program purveys six different concentrations that give learners the opportunity to specialize in an area that facilitates their professional goals. The hybrid program provides approximately 90% of its content online through asynchronous delivery methods. Remaining content comes in the form of a one-week residency on Mason's main campus. Learners enrolled in this master's in mediation and conflict resolution online acquire a set of core skills and knowledge necessary for employment in public and private sectors related to the field. Topics covered in the program include facilitation skills, conflict assessment and engagement, and foundations of dispute resolution.
Degree-seekers interested in pursuing this master's in negotiation and conflict resolution online must earn a relevant undergraduate degree prior to admission. They must also submit official academic transcripts demonstrating a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA. Work experience in the field is preferred, but not required. Mason does not require GRE scores, but they can strengthen the application.
George Mason University holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Nova Southeastern University
|Fort Lauderdale, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 52%||
Located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and established in 1964, NSU offers over 150 distinct programs across 18 different schools and colleges. A private, nonprofit research institution, NSU strives for excellence and innovation in higher education by focusing on intellectual inquiry, leadership, and community engagement. For learners interested in furthering their education and training in the field, NSU's Department of Conflict Resolution Studies issues a master of science in conflict analysis and resolution.
Designed to train students in the practice, implementation, and evaluation of conflict resolution strategies, this 36-credit program can be completed in 15 months. Learners explore a variety of subject areas relevant to the industry, including negotiation theory and practice, research design and program evaluation, culture and conflict, and professional ethics. Courses in these subject areas prepare degree-seekers for professional work as strategy consultants, communication specialists, community advocates, and administrative mediators. NSU's degree provides most program content online through flexible, interactive learning formats with the exception of two residential institutes per academic year consisting of five days each.
Successful applicants must hold a relevant undergraduate degree from an accredited institution prior to admission. They must also submit official academic transcripts indicating a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA and complete the online application. An admissions essay, an academic writing sample, two letters of recommendation, and a current resume must accompany the application.
Dallas Baptist University
|Dallas, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 58%||
A private, Christian liberal arts school established in 1898, DBU provides quality educational experiences through over 100 combined graduate and undergraduate programs. Affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas and situated near the center of the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, DBU integrates learning and spirituality from a Christian perspective. Each of the school's programs aims to develop creative leaders in service to the world. Among these programs stands DBU's master of business administration with a concentration in conflict resolution management.
This 36-credit program provides specialized instruction in advanced business administration with a special emphasis on conflict resolution and dispute management. Learners pursuing this master's degree in negotiation and conflict resolution onlinestudy various topics that unite the two fields. Leadership management and business ethics pair with advanced mediation strategies and conflict resolution management, providing students with an innovative and integrative approach to the industry. DBU furnishes all instruction in this program completely online through a blend of synchronous and asynchronous delivery methods to accommodate busy lives and schedules.
Learners eligible for this program must possess at least five years of professional work experience as managers or leaders and at least 12 credits of graduate study from an accredited institution. They must also hold a relevant undergraduate degree within a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA and submit recent GMAT scores. DBU maintains regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
|Nashville, TN||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 59%||
Founded in 1891 and affiliated with the Churches of Christ, Lipscomb University confers degrees in over 200 different areas of graduate and undergraduate study. A private, nonprofit school located in lively Nashville, Tennessee, Lipscomb integrates practical applications with rigorous academic inquiry, equipping learners for service and professional work throughout the world. For interested degree-seekers, Lipscomb's Institute for Conflict Management confers a hybrid master of arts in conflict management.
The 30-credit program provides quality instruction in the field and boasts two areas of concentration for learners planning to work in healthcare or organizational settings. The program provides all learners with the tools and skills necessary to recognize, diagnose, and alleviate conflict disputes in interpersonal, organizational, and governmental contexts. Lipscomb's program uses a hybrid class model that allows learners to enjoy convenient online learning experiences alongside traditional classroom instruction in the region. Learners enrolled in this master's in mediation and conflict resolution online explore the foundations of the field through topics such as negotiation and settlement processes, the psychology of conflict, the impact of culture and gender in conflict management, and public policy. The program culminates with a directed capstone project where learners apply acquired skills and knowledge in a specialized area of interest.
In addition to standard application requirements, applicants can opt to submit an academic writing sample or recent standardized test scores, like the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, MAT, or MCAT. Applicant must also provide two references, a brief personal statement, and an on-campus interview. Lipscomb possesses regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
|River Forest, IL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 62%||
Dominican University is a private, nonprofit institution affiliated with the Catholic Church. Founded in 1901 and located in River Forest, Illinois, a west Chicago suburb, Dominican prepares its diverse student body to participate in the creation of a more just and humane world. The school advances this mission across more than 40 undergraduate and professional programs. For degree-seekers interested in obtaining employment as arbitrators, mediators, and resolution consultants, Dominican grants a master of arts in conflict resolution.
Consisting of 36 credits and achievable in just 24 months, Dominican's hybrid program provides an interdisciplinary education focused on justice and peace. Students pursuing this master's degree in negotiation and conflict resolution online learn how to identify, examine, and resolve disputes in various contexts and from a variety of different perspectives. Led by industry experts and seasoned professionals, the program offers course content mostly online, supplementing distance learning with two five-day intensive courses held on Dominican's main campus. Topics covered during the program include mediation skills training, traditional and alternative dispute methods, the ethics of conflict resolution, and collective bargaining.
Applicants must hold at least three years of full-time professional work experience in conflict resolution or a related field. They must also possess an accredited undergraduate degree and provide a brief statement of purpose along with two letters of recommendation. Dominican does not require GRE results, but scores can strengthen an application. Dominican holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
|Northfield, VT||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 59%||
A private, nonprofit institution located in Northfield, Vermont, Norwich University stands as the oldest military college in the U.S. and the initial birthplace of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps. Founded in 1819, Norwich instills the values of critical thinking, mutual respect, and global awareness to a combined student population of nearly 4,000 learners. Norwich awards a master of arts in diplomacy fitting for learners interested in pursuing formal education in conflict resolution
Norwich's program consists of 36 credits that most learners complete in 18-24 months. Students can choose from several concentrations that focus on the digital, international, and terrorism related aspects of the field. Graduates of this online master's in mediation and conflict resolution meet all the requirements necessary for professional employment as ambassadors, attorney consultants, intelligence advisers, and communication analysts. The program uses flexible and interactive online learning formats, culminating with a comprehensive exam and a one-week residency experience on Norwich's historic Vermont campus. The school boasts small class sizes and provides expert-level instruction in areas like the history of diplomacy, theory and international systems, communication and diplomacy, and conflict avoidance.
Learners eligible for Norwich's program must hold a relevant bachelor's degree from an accredited institution with a minimum 2.75 cumulative GPA. Applicants must also provide a current resume and complete a short application. Norwich University maintains regional accreditation from the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Abilene Christian University
|Abilene, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 61%||
Located along the west Texas plains in the agricultural town for which it is named, Abilene Christian University prepares graduate and undergraduate learners for service and leadership. Founded in 1906 and affiliated with the Churches of Christ, this private, nonprofit institution provides quality academic programming to more than 4,500 degree-seekers from 41 different countries worldwide. For advanced learners interested in honing their skills and knowledge in the field, ACU offers a master of arts in conflict management and resolution.
A 36-credit program attainable in 24 months or less, ACU's course of study boasts several concentration options that allow learners to explore and cultivate individual areas of interest. Learners enrolled in this master's in negotiation and conflict resolution online receive specialized training and preparation for careers as facilitators, mediators, ombudsmen, and law enforcement consultants. The program concludes with a five-day residency requirement held at ACU's satellite campus in Dallas and covers diverse topics. These include the dynamics of interpersonal conflict, ethics and dispute resolution, careers in peacemaking, and negotiation principles and practice. With the exception of the residency, ACU delivers all course material completely online through accommodating synchronous and asynchronous learning methods.
Eligible applicants must supply official academic transcripts verifying an accredited undergraduate degree with a 3.0 cumulative GPA. They must also submit three letters of recommendation, a current resume, and a written statement of purpose. Abilene Christian University maintains regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
What Else can I Expect from an Online Master's in Negotiation & Conflict Management Program?
Completing an online master's in negotiation and conflict prepares students for exciting job opportunities. The flexibility of this style of learning also makes it possible for working professionals, or those with personal responsibilities, to further their education. Students should expect to complete a capstone project that requires them to apply their skills to the real world.
CURRICULUM FOR AN ONLINE MASTER'S DEGREE IN NEGOTIATION & CONFLICT MANAGEMENT
The courses below provide an example of the topics commonly covered in a master's degree in conflict resolution online. Classes offered by individual institutions may vary.
- Conflict and Cooperation: Usually taken as an introductory course, conflict and cooperation examines the discipline as an academic field. Students learn about the contributions made by areas of social work, social psychology, law, political science, and business.
- Intrapersonal Dynamics in Conflict: Students delve into the cognitive, emotional, temperamental, motivational, and communication styles that drive intrapersonal dynamics. A range of self-assessment tools are also introduced that apply to the real world.
- Advanced Mediation: Helping two or more parties find common ground is a familiar duty of conflict managers and negotiators, and this class provides the skills needed to offer services to diverse groups. Distance learners review case studies, complete exercises, and take part in discussions about biases.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET AN ONLINE MASTER'S IN NEGOTIATION & CONFLICT MANAGEMENT?
Completing a master's in conflict resolution online typically takes between 16 and 24 months, but numerous factors can affect this timeline. Many colleges and universities offer the program in a cohort style, meaning degree seekers will be assigned to a group of peers and move through coursework together rather than being able to choose their own pace. Some programs may only be offered on a part-time basis, while others allow for full-time studies.
Because a master's degree in conflict resolution online is an interdisciplinary program, students aren't commonly required to hold a bachelor's degree in the same subject. Students from liberal arts, humanities, and business backgrounds have likely already completed all the prerequisites required for this degree path.
CERTIFICATIONS AND LICENSES A MASTER'S IN NEGOTIATION & CONFLICT MANAGEMENT PREPARES FOR
Licensure typically isn't required to work in this field, but some states require mediators to receive advanced mediation training to become part of the roster of mediators used within courtrooms. Those interested in this type of role should check with their state's Department of Justice to learn more.
A range of certificates are available to help recent graduates build skills and add qualifications to their resume. They include:
- Mediator Certification: The National Association of Certified Mediators offers this training to individuals who have already completed at least 40 hours of advanced mediation training. Students pay a $249 testing fee to sit for the certification exam.
- Harvard Negotiation Institute: Harvard University offers five-day courses focused on aspects of mediation and negotiation, with emphasis on training lawyers, government employees, executives, and professionals from many different fields of business and industry.
Accreditation for Online Master's in Negotiation & Conflict Management Degrees
Accreditation ensures that colleges and universities are qualified to provide educational services. Institutional accreditation typically takes one of two forms: national or regional. National accreditation is commonly earned by vocational and career-oriented schools. Regionally accredited schools go through a multi-step (and often multi-year) process of demonstrating qualifications and proficiency before being awarded accreditation. And schools must demonstrate continued proficiency in order to maintain their accreditation.
Field-specific accreditation exists for some academic disciplines and degree paths, but there currently isn't an accrediting body for master's in conflict resolution online programs.
If interested in learning more about the accrediting process, distance learners can visit the websites of the U.S. Department of Education (ED) or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Both of these agencies are tasked with ensuring that the standards of accreditation are maintained and that accrediting bodies continue to hold schools to the highest standards. Both the ED and CHEA websites maintain up-to-date lists of schools that currently hold accreditation.
Employment Outlook for Master's in Negotiation & Conflict Management Graduates
Data shows that conflict is a significant issue in the workplace that has grown in recent years. According to the CPP, 85% of employees experience conflict at some level, while 29% face almost constant conflict within the workplace. This surge in situations requiring mediators opens the door to increased opportunities for in-house and freelance positions.
MASTER'S IN NEGOTIATION & CONFLICT MANAGEMENT SALARY
The table below features data from PayScale. It demonstrates expected salaries for common roles within the field of negotiation and conflict management. Individual salaries can be affected by workplace dynamics, level of education, and years of experience.
|Job Title||Overall Median Salary||Median Salary for Entry-Level Employees (0-5 years)||Median Salary for Mid-Career Employees (5-10 years)||Median Salary for Late-Career Employees (20+ years)|
|Contract Negotiation Manager||$94,481||$71,000||$98,000||$113,000|
|Senior Management Consultant||$101,887||$93,000||$102,000||$140,000|
MASTER'S IN NEGOTIATION & CONFLICT MANAGEMENT CAREERS
Negotiation and conflict management graduates have many career options due to the interdisciplinary nature of their field. They are prepared to provide in-house counsel and serve clients in a consultant role. Successful negotiation and conflict management professionals can find common ground among disputants, aren't bothered by confrontations, and are able to work with many different types of personalities.
- Arbitrator, Mediator, or Conciliator
Professionals in this career facilitate discussion and negotiation between parties disputing a contract, agreement, or other matter. They conduct arbitration, interview claimants and other parties involved, and prepare settlement agreements.
Median Annual Salary: $59,770
Projected Growth Rate: 9%
- Hearing Officer
Working in or around the court system, hearing officers research legal issues, evaluate hearing documents, hear arguments, and make decisions by applying law or precedents in order to reach a judgement. They also write opinions and decisions.
Median Annual Salary: $109,940
Projected Growth Rate: 1%
Paralegals support lawyers by preparing cases for trial. Tasks include file organization, legal research, document drafting, and organizing files into electronic databases. They also handle minor legal filings such as exhibits, briefs, and appeals.
Median Annual Salary: $49,500
Projected Growth Rate: 8%
- Occupational Health and Safety Specialist
These specialists identify workplace hazards, test potentially toxic materials, investigate accidents or claims, and provide reports on their findings.
Median Annual Salary: $70,920
Projected Growth Rate: 4%
Representing individuals, government agencies, for-profit entities, and nonprofit entities alike, lawyers provide advice to their clients on legal matters. They conduct research, interpret existing laws, seek precedents for cases, and go before the court to defend their clients.
Median Annual Salary: $118,160
Projected Growth Rate: 6%
Member associations within the field of negotiation and conflict management help professionals in this industry access research, continue their educations in negotiation and mediation tactics, and offer an important outlet for them to connect with peers. Some associations even provide job boards and referral programs to help members find their next client.
Financing Your Online Master's in Negotiation & Conflict Management Program
With the cost of graduate school averaging between $20,000 and $30,000 for public and private educations, respectively, many students are anxious to find significant funding options before committing to a program. The first step for any prospective distance learner is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA provides info on scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study opportunities available through the federal government. The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program is for individuals who plan to work for a nonprofit or within the government after graduation; the FAFSA will help you find out whether or not you are eligible. Other funding sources include private foundations, negotiation and/or mediation associations, and departmental/institutional scholarships.
Approximately two-thirds of today's college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.
Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.
Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you'll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn't always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.
Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family's financial future. We've compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.
Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.
- Best Online Master's in Negotiation and Conflict Management of 2018
Ranking School Location 1 George Mason University Fairfax, VA 2 University of Denver Denver, CO 3 Creighton University Omaha, NE 4 Abilene Christian University Abilene, TX 5 Norwich University Northfield, VT
- Best Online Master's in Negotiation and Conflict Management of 2017
Rank School Location 1 George Mason University Fairfax, VA 2 University of Denver Denver, CO 3 Creighton University Omaha, NE 4 Abilene Christian University Abilene, TX 5 Norwich University Northfield, VT