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BS in Alternative Dispute Resolution: Degree Overview

Bachelor of Science in Alternative Dispute Resolution programs provide training in conflict and mediation in order to prepare students to work as arbitrators for many organizations.

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Essential Information

Undergraduate programs in alternative dispute resolution, more commonly referred to as conflict resolution, are offered in both Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) formats. These programs are typically available in combination with related subjects, such as international security and negotiation. Specialization options include mediation and global justice.

These programs are composed of traditional classes, research, fieldwork and an internship. Before getting to central coursework, students are often required to complete general education courses in subjects such as mathematics and English composition. To enroll, applicants must have a high school diploma or GED.


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Bachelor of Science in Alternative Dispute Resolution

Core coursework in these programs may include subjects like these:

  • Negotiation
  • Research methods
  • Global conflict
  • Community conflict
  • Mediation
  • Conflict resolution theory

Popular Career Options

A bachelor's degree in conflict resolution may not prepare an individual for a relevant career by itself. In general, graduates must earn an advanced degree or certificate in order to work in this field. After earning one of these education credentials, an individual may find work settling legal disputes. Some possible job titles include:

  • Mediator
  • Conciliator
  • Arbitrator

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), mediators, conciliators and arbitrators are expected to see a 9% increase in employment from 2014-2024. As of May 2015, these professionals earned a mean annual salary of $69,060.

Continuing Education

Programs that are specifically offered under the title of alternative dispute resolution are more commonly available at the master's degree level. These programs can include internships and coursework in subjects like international and organizational conflict, human communication and negotiation.

Whether you choose a B.S. or B.A. in Alternative Dispute Resolution, these programs can provide the basic training needed for aspiring mediators. However, an advanced degree or certification is usually required before you can start working in the field.

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