Are you committed to peace and justice? Do you look for ways to settle disputes and resolve conflicts? There is a call for arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators today more than ever. If this is a career for you, you may want to consider one of these 10 Most Affordable Online Master's Degrees in Negotiation & Conflict Management. Conflict management is a fast-growing field as individuals, businesses, organizations, and even governments look for alternative ways to solve disputes. As stated by the Society for Human Resource Management, in an increasingly diverse workplace, conflicts are costly for businesses. Being able to help resolve those conflicts makes you a valuable resource in today's world. Programs in negotiation and conflict management examine different approaches to solving problems — personal, professional, social, and organizational. With the escalating costs of conflict, there is a need for experts who can research the facts, serve as ombudsmen to resolve conflicts, arbitrate differences, and help resolve conflict from a neutral point of view. As society begins to move more toward Alternative Dispute Resolution methods your skilled execution of that process becomes more important than ever. With a graduate degree that gives you the background and theory, combined with practical experience in developing those skills, you can make a difference in the world around you.
Why Become a Negotiator, Arbitrator, or Mediator?
People negotiate every day. In today's global world, where diverse populations must closely interact, the need for skilled negotiators is increasing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators will grow by 10 percent by 2026. The median salary for arbitrators is more than $60,000 per year. Those who want to become arbitrators should have a crucial set of skills: critical thinking, decision making, interpersonal skills, the ability to listen, and excellent communication skills. You can best get these skills through a combination of education, training, and experience. The 10 Most Affordable Online Master's in Negotiation & Conflict Management all combine classroom learning and theory with practical application and experience in the field. Although there are no specific licenses or certifications for negotiators, many must be approved by a court. Holding a master's degree in Negotiation and Conflict Management is often a qualification to become a court-appointed negotiator or arbitrator. The American Arbitration Association is a great source of information for you as you begin this career path. You can also check out the resources for the International Centre for Dispute Resolution. Individual states and courts can provide specific information on what is necessary to become a registered negotiator or arbitrator. Those interested in conflict resolution can find excellent resources through the Association for Conflict Resolution.
With a degree in Negotiation & Conflict Management, you can find careers in a variety of fields. Some of these include Mediator, Law Enforcement Officer, Corporate Negotiator, Public Service Agent, or Community Liaison among others. There are many industries and agencies that hire negotiators and conflict management specialists. Those include the Department of Defense, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Red Cross, Amnesty International, United Nations, Banks, and Insurance Companies. With one of the 10 Most Affordable Online Master's Degrees in Negotiation & Conflict Management, you can learn practical ways to help solve problems in today's complex world. Careers can take you in many different industries.
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#10. Abilene Christian University – Abilene, TX
Master of Arts in Conflict Management & Resolution
Tuition: $ 26,916
Abilene Christian University, founded in West Texas in 1906, provides a Christ-centered education. ACU, which has more than 5,100 students, is affiliated with the Churches of Christ. There are more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degrees available at ACU. The School of Professional Studies offers an online Master of Arts in Conflict Management & Resolution. The program provides you with skills in negotiation and conflict resolution. The MA requires 36 credit hours and takes 24 months to complete. You choose one of three tracks to complete your MA: General Conflict Management, Organizational, or Practitioner. During the residency, you focus on practical skill development. You will complete five major courses no matter which track you choose. Those five courses are Dynamics of Interpersonal Conflict, Theory, Negotiation, Mediation, as well as Conflict Management Systems Design. If you select the General Track, you will also take another 21 hours in such courses as Family Conflict Dynamics, Dispute Resolution and the Legal System, as well as Ethics and Conflict Resolution. You will take a three-credit practicum in conflict resolution geared toward your individual interests. If you choose the Organizational Track you study Managing Conflict in the Workplace, Ethics and Conflict Resolution, and Organizational Behavior. If you pursue the Practitioner Track your courses include Ethics and Conflict Resolution, Careers in Peacemaking, and Conflict Resolution in the Church. If you select either the Organizational or Practitioner Track you will need to complete a mandatory one-week residency session. That one-week session gives you the chance to focus on practical skill development.
#9. Nova Southeastern University – Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Master of Science in Conflict Analysis and Resolution
Tuition: $ 25,344
Nova Southeastern, founded in Fort Lauderdale in 1964, began as a graduate school for physical and social sciences. Today, the non-profit university offers more than 150 degree programs. There are regional campuses and a distance learning program so you can complete your degree online. The College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences offers an online Master of Science in Conflict Analysis and Resolution through the Department of Conflict Resolution Studies. The 12-course MS program explores techniques and strategies to help in conflict resolution. The flexible distance learning format lets you continue your career while earning your master's degree. You can enroll in classes full-time which allows students to complete the program in only 15 months. Part-time students complete the program in two years and summer attendance is mandatory. As an online student, you must complete two Residential Institutes. These are five-day programs held each February and October on the NSU campus. Your core courses include Mediation Theory and Practice, Negotiation Theory and Practice, and Professional Practice and Ethics. You will take two experiential courses Practicum I and II, which give you supervised field experience as well as provide a great way to make career connections. This is a chance to practice the theories you learn in the real world. You will also take an MS Capstone which gives you a chance to examine actual conflict resolution programs. There is a master's thesis option available but you must apply to complete a thesis. If accepted, your master's research thesis replaces two electives during your final two semesters.
#8. Dallas Baptist University – Dallas, TX
Master of Business Administration, Conflict Resolution Management Concentration
Tuition: $ 24,669
Dallas Baptist University, founded in 1898, began as Decatur Baptist College. It was the first two-year college in Texas. Today, it provides Christ-centered undergraduate and graduate degrees to more than 5,000 students. DBU, located in Dallas, offers more than 75 online degrees. The Graduate School offers an online Master of Business Administration with a Conflict Resolution Management concentration. Online students take part in lectures, group discussions, and practice mediation sessions. DBU's MBA program with the Conflict Resolution Management concentration qualifies you to be a court-appointed mediator in Texas. As an MBA student, you will complete 24 credits in the core curriculum and 12 credits in the concentration. Your core courses include Corporate Finance, Management Information Systems, Leadership in Management, and Business Ethics. Students also complete four courses in your concentration. Those courses are Conflict Resolution Management, Advanced Family Mediation, Advanced Business Mediation, and Employee Negotiations and Collective Bargaining. As a student at DBU, you will examine ways to make decisions from a Christian worldview.
#7. Bay Path University – Longmeadow, MA
Master of Science in Leadership & Negotiation
Tuition: $ 22,012
Bay Path University opened in 1897 in downtown Springfield, MA. It began as Bay Path Institute and for a few years operated as Bay Path Secretarial School for Women. It began awarding associate degrees in 1949, bachelor's degrees in the 1980s, and graduate degrees in the year 2000. Today there are about 3,300 students enrolled. The Graduate College offers more than 30 career-oriented degrees and certificates for working men and women. BPU is a leader in online learning so you will be able to use the most advanced technology to help you graduate. The Master of Science in Leadership & Negotiation is an online 36-credit program. Classes start in February and October. You can complete the degree in either one or two years. Courses are in eight-week modules, with six modules each year. The master's degree at Bay Path combines leadership skills with negotiation skills. It focuses on real-world applications of educational theories. Your 12 courses include classes such as Theory and Practice of Negotiation, Advanced Leadership and Negotiation Concepts, as well as Case Studies of Leadership and Negotiation. You will take four lab courses: Planning and Preparation Skills, Relational Skills, Challenging Situation Skills, and Intangible Skills. Your final course is an Application Project and Capstone. In the application part of the course, you work in a company for a semester. You will then take the information and skills learned in the experience to create an e-portfolio.
#6. Dominican University – River Forest, IL
Master of Arts in Conflict Resolution
Tuition: $ 18,219
Dominican University is a Roman Catholic school located in River Forest, a short drive from downtown Chicago. It began in 1901 as St. Clara College, located in Wisconsin. It relocated to Illinois in 1922 and became Dominican University in 1997. Today, there are more than 50 undergraduate programs, more than 25 master's degrees, and one Ph.D. program. There are almost 3,000 students enrolled on two campuses at locations in Chicago and online. You can complete a Master of Arts in Conflict Resolution through Dominican. There are year-round start dates for the MCR program. The interdisciplinary program is mostly online. You will need to attend two five-day intensives on the River Forest campus. Most students take two classes per semester, completing the 36 semester hours in two years. Your first course is a five-day intensive in Mediation Skills Training. You take the second intensive, Negotiation, during the second year along with seven more required courses. Those courses include Ethics of Conflict Resolution, Psychology of Conflict, Religion and Conflict Resolution, and Conflict Resolution in the Workplace. You also take three electives. Those elective courses might include Family Conflict Resolution, International Conflict Resolution, and Conflict Management. There is an optional practicum as well, which gives you real-world experience working with a mediator or in a non-profit administrative position.
#5. George Mason University – VA
Master of Science in Conflict Analysis and Resolution
Tuition: $ 18,032
George Mason University, established as part of the University of Virginia in 1949, became an independent school9 in 1972. Mason is a few miles outside of Washington, D.C. in Fairfax, VA. It is now Virginia's largest public research institute. More than 34,000 students study in ten schools and colleges. Mason Online gives you a chance to complete the same degrees offered on the campus, but with the flexibility you need. Online course requirements are the same as for on-campus classes. You can complete a Master of Science in Conflict Analysis and Resolution at Mason. Mason's School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution is the largest in the world. The MS is available 90 percent online. You will take courses online but must also complete a one-week residency. This usually takes place in May. The MS-CAR is a 33-credit program. You will complete 15 required courses. You begin with the Foundation of Conflict Analysis and Resolution course during your first semester. You will also take Conflict Inquiry or Conflict Assessment and Facilitation Skills. The one-week residency course at Mason is Engaging Conflict. Along with those required courses, you will take 18 electives. Nine of those electives are for your concentration. You can choose from six concentrations: Social Justice Advocacy; Dynamics of Violence; Inclusive Conflict Engagement; Conflict Sensitive Development and Resilience; Media, Narrative, and Public Discourse; and an Individualized Concentration. As a Mason S-CAR student, you engage in real-world conflict. S-CAR also owns the Point of View International Retreat and Research Center. This 120-acre facility in Lorton, VA is an ideal space for resolving conflict and having open communication. As a student and future graduate you will always have access to the public spaces at Point of View for small group collaboration.
#4. California University of Pennsylvania – California, PA
Master of Arts in Conflict Resolution
Tuition: $ 17,819
The California University of Pennsylvania is in California, PA. This small town is about 35 miles south of Pittsburgh. Cal U, founded in 1852, began as a teacher's college. Today, there are more than 7,300 students from all 50 states and 30 countries. Cal U has more than 100 undergraduate degrees and about 95 graduate and professional degrees. It now offers more than 75 programs online. You can complete the Master of Arts in Conflict Resolution online. The program examines theory and then applies that to the real world. During the program, which spans five terms, you use conflict analysis models, examine differing worldviews, learn ways to use collaboration to reach outcomes, and apply theories to resolve conflicts. Faculty in Cal U's Conflict Resolution program has conducted extensive research in conflict resolution. Some hold certifications in peace studies and mediation. The 30-credit program focuses on alternative dispute resolution, arbitration, and mediation useful for many occupations. You complete courses in Conflict Resolution, Nonviolence, Communication and Collaboration, as well as Applied Mediation and Negotiation. You must complete an applied research project and write a thesis or complete an internship to graduate.
#3. Arizona State University – Tempe, AZ
Master of Legal Studies, Emphasis in Conflict Resolution
Tuition: $ 13,007
Arizona State University, located in the Phoenix suburb of Tempe, welcomed its first students in 1886. From those 33 students, ASU has seen continuous growth. Today, ASU ranks as the country's most innovative university by U.S. News & World Report and is home to more than 98,000 students. ASU's Online programs ranked No. 4 in the country and No. 15 in graduate education by U.S. News & World Report. You can complete a Master of Legal Studies with an emphasis in Conflict Resolution from ASU's Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law. The MLS program offers a legal background as the foundation for problem-solving and conflict resolution. Most of the courses for your 30-credit MLS will take place online. You will need to complete two residencies at ASU's downtown Phoenix campus. The residencies, covered by a scholarship to offset travel costs, are at Beus Center for Law and Society which houses the College of Law. During your fall term, you will take a Foundation of Conflict Resolution on the campus. Other Fall Term courses for the MLS in Conflict Resolution include Conflict Theory, Negotiation, Mediation, and Arbitration. Courses offered in the Spring Term include the second on-site course Conflict Resolution Skills Seminar. Other courses you can take in Spring include Dispute Systems Design, Divorce and Family Mediation, Organizational and Workplace Dispute Resolution, and Psychology of Conflict. All students take part in a practicum. This gives you a chance to work in the field to develop your conflict resolution skills. To complete the MLS you must also take six law credits. Those two courses are U.S. Law and Legal Analysis and one core course in Torts, Contracts, Criminal Law, or Administrative Law. ASU is home to the Lodestar Dispute Resolution Center. The Lodestar Center gives students an expanded way to understand conflict resolution and gain practical experience.
#2. Touro University Worldwide – Los Alamitos, CA
Master of Arts in Dispute Resolution
Tuition: $ 10,572
Touro University Worldwide tracks its history back to George Washington. Following a speech by Washington at Rhode Island's Touro Synagogue in 1790, Isaac and Judah Touro began providing endowments for higher education. The Touro College and University System, parent of Tour University Worldwide, is a system of Jewish-sponsored nonprofit educational institutions. Touro University International, founded in 1998, began offering the first online doctoral programs. When TUI sold in 2007, there was a void for education founded on Judaic principles. Touro University Worldwide, founded in 2008, now offers online degrees for adults. TUW is also a military-friendly school that offers undergraduate and graduate degrees. The School of Business and Management offers an online Master of Arts in Dispute Resolution. Courses are based on real-world skills and focus on negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and facilitation. The MDR requires you to complete 12 courses such as Foundations of Conflict Resolution, Negotiation, Mediation, and Alternative Dispute Resolution. There are four practice courses: Arbitration, Negotiation & Mediation, Facilitation, and Restorative Practice. During these courses, you learn skills for dispute resolution and put those into practice through simulated exercises. Finally, your last course is a 3-credit Capstone. This gives you an opportunity to display the skills learned in the program by applying them to a real-world project.
#1. California State University-Dominguez Hills – Carson, CA
Master of Arts in Negotiation, Conflict Resolution & Peacebuilding
Tuition: $ 3,297
California State University-Dominguez Hills, located in Los Angeles, is a diverse campus founded in 1960. It is one of the 23 campuses in the California State University system. Today, there are close to 15,000 students enrolled in six colleges. You can complete the Master of Arts in Negotiation plus Conflict Resolution & Peacebuilding online through CSUDH. The NCRP program is an intense 36-credit program. Courses run 12 weeks so full-time students can complete the program in two years. You study theory and research of conflict resolution but you also learn practical skills and methods. The online classes are asynchronous so you can complete them on your own schedule. You can take up to five years to complete the NCRP master's degree. Students have the ability to watch video lectures on demand. The program also includes chat and discussion rooms, electronic submission of work, and a secure portal for your records. There are 24 units of required courses. Those include NCRP Skills, Concepts and Tools; Ethics of Negotiation, Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding; Negotiation Tactics; and Mediation. You will also complete three or four electives. Those include Online Dispute Resolution, Marital and Family Mediation, Labor Conflict, and Conflict and the Media. You may also take an internship in Conflict Resolution for one of your electives. You will also need to complete either a Capstone project or a thesis to receive the MA-NCRP. The Capstone includes one course and a portfolio to show the culmination of your studies. If you elect to present a thesis you will complete a course in directed research and then submit a thesis in Negotiation, Conflict Resolution, and Peacebuilding.