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Online Master's Degree in Negotiation & Conflict Management

Providing training in resolution methods like mediation and arbitration, online master's degree programs in negotiation and conflict management are designed for both professionals in the field and those seeking to enter it. Read on to see distance learning program options and courses.

Overview of Programs

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.

Online Learning & Coursework

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 peacebuilding
  • 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 newfound knowledge in their existing careers. Most programs include 4-6 courses that are directly related to conflict management, such as ethics of conflict resolution, conflict theory and alternative dispute resolution. Graduate certificate programs do not require theses.

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