The emergence and rapid growth of the internet has revolutionized the way we do things globally. Since the turn of the century, mankind has been able to break hitherto impossible barriers in healthcare, governance, recreation, and education through the internet. Communication is faster than ever imagined, and services can be sought and provided online without human contact or change in geographical location.
Perhaps, it may be argued, one of the biggest beneficiaries of the emergence of the internet is the educational sector. Today, students can be far-flung geographical locations, and still be active members of an academic community. This has greatly transformed the way we teach and learn, and has brought education to many who would have possibly been excluded for several reasons. In this article, we present our readers with five top institutions offering master’s degrees in conflict resolution online. It is important to restate that the list is not exhaustive, neither is it presented in any particular order of ranking. The aim is to provide as many individuals as possible options for peace studies online, with the hope that it’ll help to resolve the many challenges posed by geographical limitations.
Programme Information: The George Mason University is located in Fairfax, Virginia. With a student’s population of 35,000 and an academic staff strength of 2,6000, it is the largest research university in the state of Virginia, and one of the largest in the United States. Its Master of Science degree programme in Conflict Analysis and Resolution provides students with a lot of concentrations from which to choose from. Since the programme’s inception, students have concentrated on: social justice advocacy, dynamics of violence, inclusive conflict management, conflict-sensitive development and resilience, and media, narrative and public discourse. Students are also encouraged to chart their own research course, with the approval of the Programme Director.
90 percent of the programme is taken online. Students are expected to complete 42 credits of coursework such as: facilitation skills, engaging conflict, conflict inquiry, conflict analysis and resolution, etc. Students also have an opportunity for on-campus interactions through a one-week residency programme which is completed on-campus.
Online learning platforms require a reliable Internet connection and up-to-date operating system. On-demand video lectures allow students access at any time online or offline. Some other distance-learning tools used include student home pages with personal course records, chat rooms and assignment submission via the Internet. A webcam is required for some programmes.
Programme Information: The California University of Pennsylvania was founded in 1852 as a university committed to academic excellence and intellectual rigour in the context of personal and institutional integrity. The mission of California University of Pennsylvania is to provide a high-quality, student-centered education that prepares an increasingly diverse community of lifelong learners to contribute responsibly and creatively to the regional, national and global society, while serving as a resource to advance the region’s cultural, social and economic development.
The online master’s degree in conflict resolution at California University of Pennsylvania has a dual component of theory and applied training. Students are trained to develop practical methods for negotiating and resolving conflicts amongst parties. Students in the programme also learn the following:
- How to use conflict analysis models, tools and processes
- How to understand the various system dynamics and differing worldviews
- How to apply modern theory for personal understanding and approach to resolving conflicts, etc.
The programme is run 100% online.
The university uses the same application process for graduate applications for both on-campus and online programmes. Applicants for the Master of Arts degree are required to pay a non-refundable application fee of $35. All required academic transcripts and language test results are to be submitted with the application. Details can be found on the school’s application website.
Programme Information: Dallas Baptist University opened started full academic operations in 1898 as an educational arm of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, which purchased the land on which the university kicked off, from Northwest Texas Baptist College. The university is the first of its kind in Texas to operate as a two-year institution of higher education.
The university’s Conflict Resolution Management master’s programme provides students with the practical experience and theoretical foundation needed to become effective practitioners in conflict resolution and mediation. The format of classes includes lectures, group discussions, and many practice mediation sessions.
The programme is available online.
All applicants for graduate programmes at DBU must meet the following criteria:
- A Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.
- Evidence of sound moral character and compatibility with DBU’s mission.
In addition, the Master’s Degree Admission Committee will review the following criteria as it strives to take a holistic view of the applicant in order to determine the likelihood of success in the selected programme.
- A likelihood for academic success as demonstrated by a GPA of 3.0 or higher. (The Master’s Degree Admission Committee may take into consideration the student’s performance in the last 60 hours of undergraduate course work as it reviews undergraduate performance.)
- Successful completion of the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or Graduate Record Examinations (GRE).
- 12 hours of graduate work from an accredited institution with a grade point average of 3.0 or higher.
Programme Information: California State University Dominguez Hill offers an online Master’s degree in Negotiation, Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding aimed at equipping students with valuable conflict resolution and conflict management skills which may be applied to a multiplicity of scenarios and work conditions. Students are trained to apply their skills to police work, counseling, education, human resources management, labour relations, litigation, business negotiations, as well as public management.
Other career applications include alternative dispute resolution (ADR), mediation, negotiation, arbitration, public policy, social work, teaching, inter-cultural and community conflicts, corporate contract and purchasing.
The programme is available online. The degree can be completed without ever coming to the campus by anyone anywhere in the world with access to the Internet. Classes are asynchronous (tasks completed on- or off-line at the student’s convenience), with on demand video lectures for students to view.
Individuals with a bachelor’s degree in any major and a GPA of 3.0 or above (4-point scale) in the last 60 semester or 90 quarter units of upper division course work from any accredited college or university may apply for admission to the degree program with classified status. Individuals with a master’s degree in conflict resolution (or a closely related area) from any accredited college or university may apply for admission to the post-master’s certificate programme.
Programme Information: The Universität Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) offers a master’s degree in Conflictology in conjunction with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). Students are expected to take part in the curriculum of the course programme on the virtual campus of UNITAR and part on the UOC one. The aim of the programme is to train students in all facets of conflicts, vis-à-vis its many dynamics. Students are trained to understand conflicts within the context of family, trade, social, political, international, as well as armed conflicts. The department facilitates internships, preparation of research programmes and helps students in the development of their own professional projects giving them access to the largest network of people working to promote peace.
Students are expected to take part in the curriculum of the course programme on the virtual campus of UNITAR and part on the UOC.
To be admitted on a master’s degree or postgraduate diploma course, students are required to be able to accredit an official qualification. If students are unable to accredit the qualifications, they will be awarded a university extension diploma. However, to be admitted on a specialization course (specialization certificate), students do not need to be able to accredit an official qualification. Students are also required to be able to read and write in English.