With a master’s degree in mediation and conflict resolution, you’ll learn how to manage and resolve disputes between parties. That includes learning how to communicate with people from various backgrounds, understanding different perspectives, and finding common ground. Programs also teach the legal aspects of mediation and conflict resolution, as well as dispute resolution theory and practice. Completing this degree prepares you for a career in law, international relations, diplomacy, conflict resolution, mediation and arbitration, or any field where managing conflict is important. Here are our top 10 master’s degrees in mediation and conflict resolution:
#1. LLM Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution (University of Law, UK)
#2. Master of Arts in Dispute Resolution (Touro University Worldwide, online)
#3. M.A. in Conflict Resolution (Georgetown University)
#4. Master of Arts in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence (Brandeis University)
#5. MA Advanced Practice in Peacebuilding and Conflict Resolution (Bradford University)
#6. MA in Conflict Transformation and Social Justice (Queen’s University Belfast)
#7. Master’s in Peace, Mediation, and Conflict Research (Tampere University)
#8. Peacebuilding and Meditation MLitt/MPhil (University of St. Andrews)
#9. MsC in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution (Columbia University)
#10. Master of Dispute Resolution (USC Gould School of Law)
Note: Tuition fees increase every year, so for the most current information, always check the program website.
#1. LLM Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution (University of Law) | UK
This LLM is taught by renowned experts, lecturers, and practitioners. You’ll learn from their experiences in mediation, dispute resolution, and arbitration techniques and practices. In addition to courses like Civil and Criminal Litigation, Advocacy and Bar Skills, and Research Methods Training, you’ll engage in mediation and conflict resolution simulations and scenarios to develop hands-on skills. If you’re a non-law student, you’ll also need to finish a compulsory introduction to the law of England and Wales.
The LLM in Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution is available as a full- or part-time study, as well as on-campus or fully online. Domestic students studying in London owe £10,500 while domestic students studying outside of London owe £9,500. Non-domestic students owe £14,000 in London or £12,000 outside of London. Hong Kong students owe HKD 120,000. In 2016, the University of Law ranked 1st in student satisfaction in the United Kingdom.
#2. Master of Arts in Dispute Resolution (Touro University Worldwide) | Online
This online program teaches you the knowledge and skills needed to resolve conflict within organizations. You’ll gain skills in negotiation, arbitration, facilitation, dispute resolution, and alternative dispute resolution. Courses include Foundations of Conflict Resolution; Alternative Dispute Resolution; and Restorative Practice. You’ll need to complete 12 courses, 11 standard courses, and a capstone for 36 total credits. You can transfer up to 9 credits.
The program takes 1 year and is 100% online. You’ll pay $500 per semester credit. Touro University Worldwide is an affordable, non-profit institution for higher education with a solid reputation. It’s accredited through WSCUC.
#3. M.A. in Conflict Resolution (Georgetown University) | USA
The Master’s in Conflict Resolution at Georgetown University focuses on theoretical practices, mediation and facilitation, negotiation, and practice with an experiential learning emphasis. You’ll take 34 credit hours. Core courses include Conflict Resolution Theory; Facilitation; and Applied Research Methods for CR. Full-time students can finish the program in four semesters with fieldwork in the summer.
Tuition is calculated each semester based on credit hours. For 2022-2023, the cost per credit hour was $2,358. Georgetown University is a top school in the US. It’s ranked #22 out of 443 National Universities.
#4. Master of Arts in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence (Brandeis University) | USA
Taught through the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, this 16-month program gives you the tools and perspectives you need to be an effective peace-building practitioner. The program is built on three pillars: understanding conflict, developing conflict intervention skills, and supporting communities and individuals through conflict resolution. You can choose from track options, like the standard 18-month track that consists of two semesters at Heller and three months at a practicum. The COEX concentration semester is two years in total and includes concentration coursework in Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Management.
The full-time program is offered on campus. Tuition for the first year (in 2022-2023) is $55,434. The practicum fee is $1,752. Over 95% of students who successfully apply to the university receive a scholarship, with an average award exceeding 50% of tuition. The Heller School also awards several 100% tuition scholarships to incoming students who show commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion. Brandeis University is ranked #44 out of 443 National Universities.
#5. MA Advanced Practice in Peacebuilding and Conflict Resolution (Bradford University) | UK
The program covers the history of conflict resolution and strengthens your understanding of the causes and dynamics of social conflict. Through its focus on case-study analysis, the master helps you develop informed judgments about different types of interventions. The program also has a strong practical element, so you’ll be ready to apply what you’ve learned to local, national, and international conflict engagement and practice. Courses include Applied Conflict Research; Gender, Conflict, and Development; and a dissertation.
The program usually lasts a year, though if you choose an internship, the program is 15 months. For home students, the tuition is £7,554 per year while international students pay £18,566. Bradford University has a #701-750 ranking in QS World University Rankings 2023.
#6. MA in Conflict Transformation and Social Justice (Queen’s University Belfast) | Northern Ireland
In this interdisciplinary program, you’ll learn about conflict transformation and social justice through areas like law, English, history, philosophy, politics, and more. You’ll also have the flexibility to build your curriculum with the guidance of academics and experts with global experience. You’ll need to complete six taught modules (120 CATS) and a research dissertation (60 CATS). Courses include Approaches to Research Design; Global Concepts and Practice of Conflict Transformation and Social Justice; and Transitional Justice.
You can enroll full-time (1 year) or part-time (2 years). Tuition varies based on where you’re from. For 2023-2024, Northern Ireland (NI) costs £6,980; Republic of Ireland (ROI) is £6,980; England, Scotland or Wales (GB) is £8,360; EU Other is £19,100; and International is £19,100. Queen’s University Belfast is ranked #308 in Best Global Universities.
#7. Master’s in Peace, Mediation, and Conflict Research (Tampere University) | Finland
This Master of Social Sciences degree offers an interdisciplinary approach to conflict resolution, conflict transformation, and sustainable peace in local, national, and international contexts. You’ll need to complete 120 ECTS for the degree with a special priority on the tools and phases of conflict transformation, like peace-building, meditation, dialogue, and reconciliation. 90 ECTS come from Advanced Studies in Peace, Mediation and Conflict Research, while 17-22 credits come from Joint Studies and 8-13 credits come from Free Choice Course Units.
The program takes 2 years. Tuition for non/EU/EEA citizens is €10,000 per academic year. The university, which is a merger between the University of Tampere and Tampere University of Technology, is ranked #354 in Best Global Universities.
#8. Peacebuilding and Meditation MLitt/MPhil (University of St. Andrews) | Scotland
Run by the School of International Relations, this program explores the relationship between formal and official peace-building/mediation initiatives and informal, community-based efforts. You’ll learn how to analyze the approaches to conflict mediation, identify key actors, engage with bottom-up approaches, explore feminist and decolonial critiques, and more. To graduate, you’ll need to complete two required courses, two optional modules, and a dissertation.
The MLitt version of this program takes one year while the MPhil (which includes a semester abroad) is two years. At the time of writing, tuition fees were not yet set. The University of St. Andrews is ranked #342 in Best Global Universities. In 2021, the school beat Oxford and Cambridge for the #1 spot in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide.
#9. MSc in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution (Columbia University) | USA
This degree educates you on the roots and dynamics of conflict, conflict transformation, and the skills necessary to work in this field. Courses may include Understanding Conflict and Cooperation; Applying Conflict Analysis; and Advanced Conflict Resolution. You’ll need to complete 40 credits to get the degree. There’s also fieldwork, which gives you essential practical experience. The summer practicum has given students opportunities to work in places like South Africa, Brazil, Israel, Uganda, and others.
Designed with young and mid-career professionals in mind, there are full-time, part-time, and hybrid options, which lets you take some online courses. Tuition per credit is $2,428 for full-time, part-time, and hybrid. Columbia University is an excellent school and is ranked #18 out of 443 National Universities.
#10. Master of Dispute Resolution (USC Gould School of Law) | USA
This rigorous program gives you excellent knowledge through coursework and opportunities for skill-building in the real world. You’ll learn negotiation, mediation, and arbitration skills for a variety of scenarios. All students must take ADR Law and Policy: Arbitration and Mediation; ADR Ethics; and Cross-Cultural Dispute Resolution. The master’s is a great choice for dispute resolution practitioners, business leaders, international practitioners, and recent graduates. No law degree or LSAT score is required.
The program is 24 units and can be taken full-time or part-time. In 2022-2023, tuition for full-time students (8-15 units) cost $72,798 for the full academic year. Part-time students (1-7 units) are charged $2,815 per unit plus mandatory fees. USC Gould School of Law is ranked #20 in Best Law Schools.