When this conflict occurs, cooler heads must prevail and a solution needs to be found. This is why experts train in negotiation and conflict management.
What is a Negotiation & Conflict Management Degree?
Conflict Management concerns the process of minimizing or mitigating the negative aspects of conflict, as well as attempting to create positive or reparative outcomes from that conflict. These outcomes are achieved through the process of negotiation, which involves the discussions surrounding the issue and its eventual outcome.
How Much Money Can I Earn Working in Negotiation & Conflict Management?
Experts in Negotiation and Conflict Management have great career options upon graduation. They are able to pursue careers as arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators, who have a median annual salary above $60,000/year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The job market for this profession is also expected to grow 10 percent over the next decade, which is considered “faster than average” and translates to almost 1,000 new job openings.
Why Choose An Online Degree in Negotiation & Conflict Management?
Traditional graduate programs can constrain students. Professionals already engaged in education or students looking to start a family need programs that will work with them when it comes to courses and schoolwork.
Online programs give students the ability to raise a family or continue pursuing a career while they are in school. Classes are available wherever and whenever students need them to be. And the experience that students gain with technology through online learning gives them even more skills to use in the classroom.
If you’re considering another degree but know you want to flexibility of an online program, check out College Choice’s ranking of the Best Online Colleges and Universities.
What Are the 10 Best Online Master’s in Negotiation & Conflict?
College Choice considers many factors including institutional excellence, student satisfaction and return on investment to develop rankings.
Institutional excellence looks at stats such as graduation rates, student-to-faculty ratios and endowment sizes to judge each school’s ability to follow through on providing an excellent education for each student. Student satisfaction measures how satisfied current and former students felt with the services and programs offered at each school. And finally return on investment looks at the financial benefits students are likely to receive from the school’s education, weighed against the costs of attendance.
In the end, we are confident that these are the 10 Best Online Master’s in Negotiation & Conflict Management.
See our rankings methodology page.
College Choice Score: 100
Average Net Price: $13,007
Creighton University is a private university located in Omaha, Nebraska. It is a Jesuit, Roman Catholic University, founded by the Society of Jesus in 1878. It has around 8,400 total students, split evenly between undergraduates and graduates. Creighton also has 960 academic staff members and an endowment of around $450 million.
Creighton has a Master of Science degree in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution. It is a 32-credit program that is available fully online, and which can be completed in 16-20 months. Students pursuing the degree online take courses including:
- Culture, Power, and Gender Differences in Conflict
- Facilitation and Group Processes
- Mediation Residency
- Conflict Engagement and Leadership
Students complete the program with a capstone practicum course, where students select a practical field experience to further develop and apply their skills in a professional or organizational setting of their choosing.
Creighton also offers a hybrid version of the program, which involves a mixture of online and on-campus experiences and courses. Students completing the degree fully online will be required to attend two on-campus residencies. These residencies offer intensive in-person training through role playing, case examples, and small groups sessions on-campus.
Abilene Christian University
College Choice Score: 98.10
Average Net Price: $32,940
Abilene Christian University, also known as ACU, is a non-profit university located in Abilene, Texas. The school has an affiliation with Churches of Christ. It was originally founded in 1906 as the Childers Classical Institute. In 2014, it had a total enrollment of 4,427 students, which included just shy of 800 graduate students.
Abilene Christian offers a Master of Arts in Conflict Management & Resolution, which includes 36 credit-hours of study and normally takes 24 months to complete. Courses within the program include:
- Conflict Theory and Communication
- Negotiation & Meditation
- Identity, Culture and Conflict
- Managing Conflict in the Workplace
This is a fully online degree program offered through Abilene’s School of Professional Studies. There are two tracks that students in the program may choose between: practitioner and organizational.
Graduates from the program have gone on to pursue careers as facilitators, ombudsmen, meditators, and in government and law enforcement. Students applying to the program must submit at least two letters of recommendation and possess a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Students who fall beneath this level may be admitted under probationary status.
Nova Southeastern University
College Choice Score: 96.78
Average Net Price: $18,219
Nova Southeastern University, better known as NSU or Nova, is a private nonprofit university located in Davie, Florida. Nova is currently made up of 18 colleges and schools that offer over 175 academic programs with more than 250 majors. The school also maintains a number of professional degree programs, which include pharmacy, law, medicine, and optometry, among others.
Nova Southeastern has a Master of Science degree program in Conflict Analysis & Resolution. It is a 12-course, 36-credit program that blends together theory, practice skills, field placement, research design, and program evaluation. Sample courses include:
- Mediation Theory and Practice
- Research Design and Program Evaluation
- Communication Dynamics in Dispute Resolution
- Culture and Conflict: Cross-cultural Perspectives
Students pursuing the online version of the program are required to attend two Residential Institutes per academic year. Each of these last five days and are currently held in February and October.
The degree program ends with a capstone experience course. Students examine real cases of conflict resolution, with guidance and commentary from the authors of the situations. Readings, lectures, and experiential learning exercises will be the main delivery methods used in the course.
University of Denver
College Choice Score: 96.65
Average Net Price: $26,916
The University of Denver is a private university located in Denver, Colorado. It is the oldest private university located in the Rocky Mountain Region, having been founded as the Colorado Seminary in 1864. The school was founded by Methodists, but now identifies as nonsectarian. It has around 11,600 students and 1,300 academic staff members.
The University of Denver offers a Master of Arts degree in Communication Management, with a concentration in Dispute Management. This requires completion of 48 credit-hours of coursework, made up of 12 courses, for example:
- Forty Hour Mediation
- Conflict Resolution Strategies and Process
- Effective Facilitation and Presentation
- Negotiation Strategies and Process
Students take four core courses, five concentration courses, and three elective courses. Each course term lasts ten weeks and the degree can be completed within two or three years, depending on the preference of the student.
Admission does not require students to submit GRE or GMAT scores. Classes begin on September 10, and students also have the option to take classes on-campus at night, instead of online. Graduates from the program have gone on to careers as arbitrators, consultants, mediators, and ombudsmen.
George Mason University
College Choice Score: 92.70
Average Net Price: $28,242
George Mason University is a public research university located in Fairfax, Virginia. George Mason is the largest research university in the state of Virginia, with around 35,000 students and 2,600 academic staff. George Mason was originally a college of the University of Virginia, before becoming a fully independent university in 1972.
George Mason offers a Master of Science degree in Conflict Analysis and Resolution. The program is 90 percent online, and involves the completion of 42 credits of coursework. Sample courses from the program include:
- Facilitation Skills
- Engaging Conflict
- Conflict Inquiry
- Conflict Analysis and Resolution
Students complete 15 credits of required courses and 18 credits of elective courses. Students may also have a one-week residency associated with their course, which must be completed on-campus.
The program has a number of concentrations that students may choose to pursue, with options to choose from including: Social Justice Advocacy and Activism, Dynamics of Violence, Inclusive Conflict Engagement, Conflict Sensitive Development and Resilience, and Media, Narrative and Public Discourse. Students may also create their own individualized concentration with the approval of the program director.
College Choice Score: 91.46
Average Net Price: $30,353
Norwich University is a private university located in Northfield, Vermont. Norwich is the oldest private military college in the United States, having been founded in 1819 as the American, Literary, Scientific and Military Academy. Is it recognized by the United States military as the birthplace of ROTC, and thus is the oldest of the six senior military colleges in the US.
Norwich has a Master of Arts in Diplomacy program with a concentration in International Conflict Management, which is offered fully online and delivered through 11 courses for a total of 36 credit-hours of study. Students progress one course at a time, beginning with the core curriculum and then moving on to concentration courses. Courses from the Conflict Management concentration include:
- Conflict Avoidance, Prevention and Containment in the International System
- Conflict Resolution and Post-Conflict Reconstruction in the International System
- Human Rights and Conflict in the International System
- Diplomacy and Communication
Students complete the degree program with either a comprehensive examination or a thesis track option.
The diplomacy program ends with a residency at Norwich University on-campus. Students are not required to submit GRE or GMAT scores for admission to the program. Applicants should also have a minimum GPA of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale.
College Choice Score: 90.88
Average Net Price: $22,012
Dominican University is a private university located in River Forest, Illinois. Dominican is a Roman Catholic university associated with the Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters. It offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and 20 graduate programs, as well as a doctoral program in library and information science. They have 142 full-time academic staff members and a student body of a little under 4,000.
Dominican has a Master of Arts program in Conflict Resolution. The program employs a low-residency format, allowing students to complete most of their coursework online. Courses include options such as:
- Mediation Skills Training
- Ethics of Conflict Resolution
- Psychology of Conflict
- Intercultural Conflict Resolution
Besides this online work, students will also complete two five-day intensive courses on campus, to provide face-to-face facilitation with peers and faculty.
For admission, students should have a bachelor’s degree in any subject from a regionally accredited college or university, or the international equivalent. Students should also have a minimum of three years full-time work experience or a waiver from the Assistant Provost. GRE scores are not required, but can be submitted to strengthen an application.
Arizona State University
College Choice Score: 90.77
Average Net Price: $24,669
Arizona State University is a public research university located in Tempe, Arizona. ASU is one of the largest universities in the United States, with a total enrolled population of around 72,000 students, including almost 60,000 undergraduates. In the past decade, ASU has cultivated a reputation as one of the top research universities in the world.
ASU offers a Master of Legal Studies in Conflict Resolution. It is a hybrid degree, with most coursework being offered online, in subjects including:
- Conflict Theory
- Psychology of Conflict
- Divorce and Family Mediation
In addition to their online coursework, students complete two “residency” periods where they attend courses at ASU’s downtown Phoenix campus, which is home to Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law.
Students receive scholarships to offset the travel costs of attending the two residency periods required by the program. Students learn legal principles and analysis to lay the foundation for practical problem-solving strategies and conflict resolution techniques. Students complete a US Law and Legal Analysis course, as well as a core MLS course in Torts, Contracts, Criminal Law, or Administrative Law.
California State University, Dominguez Hills
College Choice Score: 88.85
Average Net Price: $18,032
California State University, Dominguez Hills is a public university located in Carson, California. CSUDH was founded in 1960 as California State College, Dominguez Hills. The university offers 45 different Bachelor’s degree and 23 Master’s degrees. It has 678 academic staff members and a total student population of 14,700 students, most of whom are undergraduates.
CSUDH has a Masters Degree program in Negotiation, Conflict Resolution, and Peacebuilding. Courses in the program address the needs of beginning and mid-career professionals, through classes such as:
- Organizational Conflict
- Collaborative Law
- Restorative Justice and Peacebuilding
- Intercultural Conflict Resolution
Coursework is available fully online and the entire program can be completed without ever stepping on campus, from anywhere in the world that has Internet access. Applicants should have a minimum GPA of 3.2 on a 4.0 scale.
Graduates from the program have pursued career applications including alternative dispute resolution, mediation, negotiation, arbitration, public policy, social work, teaching, inter-cultural and community conflicts, and corporate contract and purchasing. Students must remain in continuous enrollment and they have up to five years to complete the program.
Dallas Baptist University
College Choice Score: 88.10
Average Net Price: $25,344
Dallas Baptist University is a liberal arts university located in Dallas, TX. It was founded in 1898 as the Decatur Baptist College and today identifies as a Southern Baptist University. It operates additional campuses in Plano and Hurst, TX. Dallas Baptist has 124 full-time academic staff and 5,100 students.
Dallas Baptist offers a Master of Business Administration degree with a concentration in Conflict Resolution Management. Students must complete 36 hours of core coursework for the MBA degree, and then pursue concentration courses like:
- Advanced Family Mediation
- Advanced Business Mediation
- Employee Negotiations and Collective Bargaining
- Conflict Resolution Management
The program is available fully online. The additional concentration coursework involves 12 credit-hours, for a total of 48 for the entire degree.
Upon completion of the program, graduates will be qualified to perform court appointed mediation in Texas. The core MBA classes required include Quantitative Analysis for Managers, Business Ethics, and Creative Problem Solving Marketing Decisions. The format of the classes involves lectures, group discussions, and many practice mediation sessions.