Online graduate programs in conflict management and negotiation are somewhat rare and oftentimes go by names such as mediation, conflict analysis, or conflict resolution. Institutions that offer these programs are usually traditional four-year schools with distance education departments. Students are required to have a bachelor's degree for admission. While some schools seek only students who majored in a field related to negotiation and conflict management, most will accept applicants with any bachelor's degree.
Graduate certificate programs are also available online and a bit more common. Although master's degree and certificate programs in this field may offer totally online coursework, some have on-site requirements to give distance learners the chance to gain in-person instruction and experience. Schools use course management systems to present lectures, assignments and other materials to online students. Programs may require live virtual class meetings using Web conferencing to support interaction between classmates and professors.
Master's Degree Programs
Degree programs, which can be completed in as little as two years for full-time students, may require on-campus residencies, a practicum and completion of a thesis. Some schools allow students to choose a specialization within the conflict management field, such as family, organizational or public policy mediation. Online master's programs can prepare students for work as mediators, arbitrators and consultants.
Common courses include the following:
- Theories of conflict
- Negotiation tactics
- Online dispute resolution
- International negotiation and peace-building
- Labor conflict
- Media's role in conflict resolution
Graduate Certificate Programs
Taking a year or less to complete, online graduate certificate programs in negotiation and conflict management provide a brisk education in mediation, allowing students to use their new-found knowledge in their existing careers. Most programs include 4-6 courses that are directly related to conflict management. Graduate certificate programs do not require theses.
Common courses in these programs include the following:
- Ethics of conflict resolution
- Conflict theory
- Alternative dispute resolution
Master's degree and certificate programs in negotiation and conflict management can be found with online availability. Typical programs feature courses in negotiation tactics and conflict theory to provide students with the skills they need to pursue a career in this field.