For students wishing to study diplomacy at the graduate level, Master of Science and Master of Arts in Conflict Resolution programs are available online, along with related doctoral degree programs. The coursework is available online, though in-person residencies, field research, practicums, and proctored exams are also typically required. The curriculum draws from psychology, human resources, sociology, communications and law. Students learn to moderate and achieve non-litigious or non-violent resolutions to conflicts.
Students planning to apply to an online graduate degree program in diplomacy must have already earned a bachelor's degree. Schools typically do not require that the undergraduate degree be in any specific area of study because individuals wishing to study diplomacy or conflict management come from diverse backgrounds
Online degree programs in diplomacy vary greatly depending on the student's chosen specialty and career fields, which can include labor relations, education, counseling, human resources management, business negotiations and litigation, and coursework is interdisciplinary. Typical coursework that may be available in an online diplomacy degree program includes the following:
- Mediation theory and practice
- Managing conflict
- Processes of conflict resolution
- Cultural dimensions of conflict
- Conflict transformation
- Crisis management
- Negotiating intractable conflict
- Conflict resolution techniques and practice
- Interpersonal conflict
Most online programs in conflict resolution have practicum requirements. On-campus residencies and field research could also be a part of a diplomacy program's coursework. Distance-learning students may be required to complete proctored exams at an approved location as well.
Those taking online courses in this field use a virtual classroom to access assignments, lectures and other course materials on their own time. Discussion boards may be used to encourage class discussions, and some programs require live Web classes at scheduled times that utilize conferencing technology.
Graduates of online degree programs in diplomacy and conflict resolution are prepared to work in a range of career fields, including corrections, human resources, human rights advocacy, social work, therapy and community leadership. Most corporate industries can benefit from peaceful resolution of conflict to strengthen internal and external company dynamics. Career options for graduates of an online diplomacy degree program include:
- Correctional officer
- Mediator or conciliator
- Negotiator or arbitrator
- Social worker
- Conflict manager
- Business consultant
- Human resource manager
- Dispute resolution specialist
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of arbitrators and mediators is expected to increase 9% between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). Opportunities for these professionals should grow as more parties are attracted to less costly and more efficient alternative methods of resolving disputes in comparison to litigation. The BLS reports that employment of human resources specialists and managers is projected to rise 5% and 9%, respectively, in the same decade.
Online graduate degree programs in diplomacy typically require a bachelor's degree, and students must fulfill in-person requirements such as research, practicums and residencies. Graduates of these programs may find work such as arbitrators and mediators in a variety of fields, including human resources and social work.