Conflict and Dispute Resolution (MA/MS)

The graduate program in conflict and dispute resolution (CRES), housed in the School of Law, offers an interdisciplinary master’s degree (MA or MS) granted by the Division of Graduate Studies. It is an interdisciplinary program that prepares professionals from all disciplines to be collaborative problem-solvers in every aspect of society. The curriculum includes a balance of theory and skills-based learning designed to sharpen analytical and practical skills, encourage intellectual rigor and foster the lively exchange of ideas in and out of the classroom. The program operates on the quarter (term) calendar. The calendar is available for review online.

Students are admitted to the program once a year for fall term. Applicants do not need to apply to the JD program, nor are they required to have a specific educational background to be eligible. Applicants are required to apply online through the Division of Graduate Studies.

Tuition information can be found here. The total cost of attendance (including estimates for housing, books, personal expenses, and transportation) and information about scholarships may be found online.  For fee information, please refer to

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Integrate and apply a broad range of theoretical concepts, processes, skills, and strategies to analyze, prevent, manage, and resolve conflicts.
  • Understand the contexts in which conflicts occur and apply to them the appropriate conflict and dispute resolution theory and skills.
  • Facilitate, lead, and engage in constructive communication and collaborative problem-solving in a variety of interpersonal, cross-cultural, and intra-and inter-institutional settings.
  • Recognize, understand, acknowledge, and address the role of power, difference, and inequity in conflict.
  • Demonstrate deepened and self-reflective skills in critical thinking, research, writing, ethics, and the craft of conflict management.

Conflict and Dispute Resolution Requirements

Core courses32
Elective courses20
Internship (320 hours)8
Thesis, terminal project, or course concentration9
Total Credits68.5

*Students who wish to obtain a master of arts degree instead of the master of science must demonstrate proficiency in a second language. The Division of Graduate Studies requirements for this requirement may be found online.

Additional Requirements

First-year students take core courses together as a cohort. In the second year of study, degree candidates focus on completing their elective course work, internship, and final project. Students have the option to pursue and complete the program on a full-time basis in two-years or pursue the program on a part-time basis which extends the program.

Elective course work may come from a wide array of disciplines including business, global studies, public policy and management, philosophy, political science, psychology, and sociology, among others. The CRES Program also offers specific electives in areas such as the Israel-Palestine conflict, environmental conflict resolution, organizational conflict resolution, family mediation, and conflict and gender.

The internship is a key element of the educational program, providing practical experience in an area that has relevance to the student’s educational and career goals. The internship requirement is flexible to allow students to complete their credits over one or more terms with one or more organizations. Opportunities may include local, regional, national, and international locales.

The thesis, terminal project, or course concentration component (the final project for the degree requirement) is flexible in format and content to allow students to choose among a theory-based academic paper that studies an aspect of the field, a practical applied project, or a set of courses selected to build specific expertise in a given area. Successful completion of the final project requires an oral defense before the student’s final project committee.

The Conflict and Dispute Resolution Program offers several concurrent degree programs: environmental studies, global studies, law, business administration, multimedia journalism, strategic communication, community and regional planning, nonprofit management, and public administration. Other concurrent master's or doctoral degree opportunities may be approved on a case-by-case basis. Students are also eligible to pursue a variety of graduate certificates and specializations. For more information on these opportunities, click here.