Courses & Degree Requirements

Courses are designed to help students understand the causes and characteristics of conflict. Graduates of the program are equipped with the skills to effectively intervene in a variety of conflict situations, both locally and globally.

Conflict Resolution Certificate Program Curriculum & Concentrations

Students must complete 12 credits total, attend 5 of the 8 department colloquia, and may participate in a field internship in the district court system.

The graduate certificate program can be completed in two semesters of part-time study. 

We offer a variety of specializations; learn more about our

Concentrations

For course descriptions click on the course titles.

Graduate Certificate in Conflict Resolution and Management
ConRes 621: Negotiation 3 credits
ConRes 623: Introductory Theory 3 credits
Two elective courses within the department 6 credits
Graduate Certificate in Mediation
ConRes 621: Negotiation 3 credits
ConRes 623: Introductory Theory 3 credits
ConRes 690: Mediation Internship 6 credits
Graduate Certificate in Organizational Conflict
ConRes 621: Negotiation 3 credits
ConRes 623: Introductory Theory 3 credits
Two courses in organizational conflict 6 credits
Graduate Certificate in International Conflict
ConRes 621: Negotiation 3 credits
ConRes 623: Introductory Theory 3 credits
Two courses in international conflict 6 credits

Dual Specialization Options

Students can choose between two 18-credit dual-specializations. Students must attend five of the eight department colloquia and may participate in a field internship in the district court system.

Dual-specialization options can be completed in one year of full-time study or three semesters of part-time study.

Graduate Certificate in Mediation and Organizational Conflict
ConRes 621: Negotiation 3 credits
ConRes 623: Introductory Theory 3 credits
ConRes 690: Mediation Internship 6 credits
Two courses in organizational conflict 6 credits
Graduate Certificate in Mediation and International Conflict
ConRes 621: Negotiation 3 credits
ConRes 623: Introductory Theory 3 credits
ConRes 690: Mediation Internship 6 credits
Two courses in international conflict 6 credits

Additional Information on Mediation Certificates

The mediation certificate options involve more than 40 hours of classroom training and more than 30 hours of district court mediation, mentoring, and evaluation, meeting all the requirements of the Guidelines for Implementation of Qualification Standards for Neutrals, adopted January 24, 2004, pursuant to Rule 8 of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Uniform Rules on Dispute Resolution. 

Students who successfully complete one of the mediation certificate options will receive a Certificate of Completion showing completion of the training and mentoring components of mediator qualifications according to those guidelines and M.G.L. Chapter 233 section 23 (Confidentiality Statute).

Conflict Resolution Master's Program Curriculum & Concentrations
  • Full time study is 3 courses per semester (9 credits)
  • Part time study available - 2 courses per semester (6 credits)
  • 36 credits required to complete program
  • Attendance at 10 Colloquia required to complete program (4 are offered each semester)

Required courses

All students are required to take Negotiation and Theory:

Negotiation (ConRes 621) 3 credits Negotiation is the bedrock skill in this field. The course addresses the development of negotiation techniques and fosters student knowledge of the substantial body of negotiation theory.

Introductory Theory (ConRes 621) 3 credits This course examines the theories and assumptions underpinning the practice of negotiation and mediation. It identifies the major schools of thought that influence models in practice and shape research agendas. It examines theories critically, with three aims-uncovering implicit assumptions of practice, testing those assumptions against empirical evidence or other theories, and gleaning insights to assist practitioners.

Capstone Requirement

All students must choose one of the following options:

1. Integrative Seminar requires 1 course totaling 3 credits and substantial papers on selected topics

  • Integrative Seminar (ConRes 694): 3 credits
  • Plus 9 elective choices (27 credits) required to complete degree.  5 of which must be from ConRes course offerings

2. Master’s Project requires 3 courses totaling 9 credits and extensive research paper which will be presented at year end event.

3. Master's Thesis requires 3 courses totaling 9 credits and involves a major research project that is defended before a committee and must comply with Standards for the Preparation of Theses and Dissertations promulgated by the Office of Graduate Studies.

ConRes Elective Course Options 

Elective courses offered in any given semester will vary. Following are some examples.  

Mediation Internship (ConRes 690) 6 credits Includes both a regular seminar and mediating under close faculty supervision in one of the small claims courts in Greater Boston. 

Cross-Cultural Conflict (ConRes 624) 3 credits This course emphasizes the special characteristics of conflict based in religious, ethnic, national, or racial identity-conflicts that the field calls "intractable." The primary focus of the course is on intervention techniques that have been used and that have been proposed for use in these settings.

Conflict Resolution Systems for Organizations (ConRes 625) 3 credits This course examines the analysis and design of different systems for managing conflict in a variety of settings including within a family, within an organization, or between nations, and criteria for measuring their effectiveness.

Advanced Intervention (ConRes 626) 3 Credits This course applies the principles of mediation and other forms of intervention to a particular context. The subject changes each semester; recent topics include:

  • Conflict Reconstruction and Reconciliation
  • Dialogue and Facilitation 
  • Multi Party Public Disputes 
  • Education and Conflict 
  • Intervention in Environmental Disputes
  • Family/Organizational/International Disputes

Conflict in Workgroups (ConRes 636) 3 credits This course provides a deeper understanding of the dynamics of work groups, with an emphasis on processes of conflict within them, and teaches skills to deal constructively with intra- and inter- group conflict. 

Advanced Negotiation and Mediation (ConRes 603) 3 credits This course builds on the introductory courses and examines the resolution of conflict in different contexts. The subject changes each semester; recent topics include:

  • Immigration and Conflict
  • Trauma, Violence and Conflict Resolution
  • Field Experience
  • Conflict Engagement in Healthcare
  • Conflict Resolution and Democracy Development in Africa
  • Israeli-Palestine Conflict
  • Dealing with the Past

Any course offered in the Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governance will automatically qualify for elective credit. Graduate courses taken in other UMass Boston graduate departments or at other universities may be accepted for transfer credit with prior approval of the Graduate Programs in Conflict Resolution.  

Consider taking a class as a non-degree student.

Accelerated Bachelor's to Master's Degree in Conflict Resolution

For highly-qualified UMass Boston undergraduates in the College of Liberal Arts and Honors College, this unique program allows you to finish your master’s degree in approximately half the time and at half the cost of a traditional two-year master’s program.

You will replace undergraduate electives with graduate coursework before matriculating as a graduate student to complete your master’s degree. 

Learn more about the accelerated degree program in conflict resolution.

Take a Class

Get to know our conflict resolution programs by taking a single course. This will let you assess if the content and structure of the program meets your goals and fits with your other commitments. These are 3-credit graduate-level courses and the credits can transfer to one of our programs  (restrictions apply). You must have a bachelor's degree to enroll. 

Learn more about taking a class in conflict resolution as a non-degree student.