Mediation Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

When there is a legal dispute between two or more parties, mediation is an alternative to the traditional litigation process. Mediation schools offer a range of options, from workshops to certificate programs to graduate degrees.

A mediator is a neutral party brought in to assist the disputants involved in a legal argument and help them reach a mutually acceptable resolution.

Schools with Mediation Programs

The schools in this table have mediation programs at various levels of study, some of which only offer continuing education credits:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition (2015-2016)
University of California-Berkeley Berkeley, CA 4-year, Public Continuing Education (may be applied to certificate) $995.00*
Wayne State University Detroit, MI 4-year, Public Master's $14,165 (graduate, in-state)**
George Mason University Fairfax, VA 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate, Graduate Certificate $10,952 (undergrad, in-state)
$10,328 (graduate, in-state)**
Portland State University Portland, OR 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's $8,034 (undergrad, in-state)
$12,816 (graduate, in-state)**
University of Akron Main Campus Akron, OH 4-year, Public None (Continuing Education) $10,509 (undergrad, in-state)*
$300 (non-student, general mediation course)*
Kent State University Kent Campus Kent, OH 4-year, Public Bachelor's $10,012 (undergrad, in-state)**
University of Oregon Eugene, OR 4-year, Public Master's $24,471 (graduate, in-state)*
Kennesaw State University Kennesaw, GA 4-year, Public None (Workshop) $350-$1,100*

Sources: *School Website, **National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

When looking for mediation schools, consider the following to help decide which one is right for you.

  • Choose a mediation school based on your desired level of education.
  • Prospective students should consider the preferred area of concentration when choosing a mediation school.
  • Core courses for mediation degrees should include subjects such as conflict resolution philosophy, the psychology of conflict, communication, culture and conflict, roots of social conflict, human diversity and global conflict analysis.

Bachelor's Degree Programs

Undergraduate degree programs that cover mediation usually lead to a Bachelor of Arts degree in conflict management, analysis and/or resolution. Within these programs, students may have the chance to choose a specific concentration, such as global engagement, collaborative leadership or interpersonal dynamics. In addition to taking theoretical courses in conflict and mediation, most programs also require students to get real-world training through an internship, and undergraduate research opportunities may also be available.

Master's Degree Programs

Master's degree programs in conflict management and resolution generally include advanced mediation courses. Both thesis and non-thesis options are available, depending on the school. Many programs also require students to complete internships, where they can get real-world experience mediating conflicts. Graduates of these programs are prepared to mediate negations in workplace, community, educational and/or legal settings.

Doctoral Degree Programs

Doctoral degree programs in conflict analysis and resolution are relatively rare, but students who are particularly interested in the theoretical aspects of the subject can find PhD programs. Students take advanced courses and conduct research in a particular interest area, leading to a final dissertation.

Non-degree Programs

Some schools offer workshops in conflict management, negations and mediation for working professionals who want to expand their knowledge in the topic. These programs may provide continuing education credits required by employers or certification organizations that require students to take classes to renew their credentials. At some schools, these credits may also be applied toward a certificate in a broader subject, such as human resource management, leadership and management or product management.

Certificate, bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and non-degree programs in mediation are available from many colleges and universities. Programs may be general or more specific to one area of mediation.

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