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Mediation Degree Program Summaries

A two-year master's degree in mediation is ideal for students interested in conflict resolution. These programs teach methods for identifying common patterns of conflict and mediating resolution.

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Essential Information

Program participants learn to recognize characteristic patterns in various forms of conflict, including interpersonal, economic, cultural or organizational conflicts. Students also learn tactics for negotiating solutions to these conflicts.

Some schools offer their programs online. Campus-based programs are likely to be a mix of classes, seminars, thesis project and field work. A master's degree is typically earned in two years. The program could provide students with the educational background and knowledge necessary to later pursue a professional certification.

A bachelor's degree is a prerequisite for a master's degree in mediation and GPA may factor in admission.


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Master's Degree in Mediation

Some schools may limit acceptance to applicants who maintained a grade point average in their undergraduate work of 3.2 or higher. Although mediator programs generally don't specify an area of undergraduate study, people with training in law or other disciplines dependent on communication skills may have an advantage.

Separate core and elective courses form the structure of many of these master's degree programs. Mediation programs may also require an internship and a thesis or final project. The following courses are among those that might be part of a mediation program:

  • Conflict theory and philosophy
  • Negotiating tactics
  • Facilitation
  • Family mediation
  • Ethics in mediation
  • Cultural dynamics and conflict

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Earning a master's degree in mediation qualifies graduates to become arbitrators and mediators, primarily as consultants. Mediation has applications in labor relations, human resources management, business negotiations and litigation. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), employment of arbitrators, mediators and conciliators was predicted to increase by 9% from 2014-2024. These professionals earned a median income of $58,020 per year as of May 2015.

Continuing Education Information

Because mediation is currently an unlicensed profession in the U.S., certification or credentialing of mediators is haphazard. Certification is available from organizations in particular states, such as the New Hampshire Marital Mediator Certification Board, the South Carolina Board of Arbitrator and Mediator Certification, the Judicial Council of Virginia and the Florida Supreme Court. Private organizations such as the National Conflict Resolution Center also offer credentialing programs.

A master's program in mediation involves a blend of coursework and field work as one learns to negotiate conflict resolution. This degree prepares students to mediate in diverse situations, from family and interpersonal to business negotiations.

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