Earning an accelerated online Master’s in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution can help students achieve their professional goals without disrupting their current professional or familial obligations. This particular degree emphasizes the practical and conceptual knowledge required to become an effective negotiator in cross-cultural conflict resolution. Though there is no standard degree to enter a career in conflict resolution, most individuals have a background in law or business. Master’s degrees focused on peace-building, negotiation, and conflict resolution are available for professionals who want to move into a conflict resolution-oriented career such as arbitration or mediation or for those who want to apply these skills to their current jobs. Classes may cover specific resolution areas like sports and the media, school violence, intercultural conflicts, and marriage mediation.
Conflict management and negotiation play a critical role in improving and understanding the complex relationships between countries, businesses, communities, and individuals. Since nearly every workplace involves interpersonal interactions, professionals who are skilled in resolving and managing disputes can find careers in most industries. Whether a student is interested in pursuing a conflict management and negotiation master’s degree on-campus or online, this degree provides access to an exciting variety of career options.
When considering an online Master’s in Negotiation and Conflict Management, it is important to consider the cost of the degree program as well as the school as a whole. When starting the search for an affordable, high-quality program, the options in front of you can seem daunting. For this reason, we have taken the liberty of compiling a list of the top 10 most affordable programs in this industry. After conducting a search for the term “Master’s in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution degree online” using the College Navigator database at the National Center of Education Statistics, we were able to narrow down the initial pool of 15 institutions into the 10 most affordable based on in-state graduate tuition. Below you will find this list, ranked in order from most expensive to least expensive, as well as information about each institution, the programs they offer, and the tuition costs for each degree.
Ranking Low-Cost Accelerated Master’s in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
10. Arizona State University
Online Master of Legal Studies With an Emphasis on Conflict Resolution
Arizona State University is a public research university in Tempe, Arizona, With a total enrolled student body of around 72,000, including nearly 60,000 undergraduates, ASU is one of the largest universities in the country. Over the last 10 years, ASU has cultivated a reputation as one of the best research universities worldwide. ASU offers a hybrid Master of Legal Studies in Conflict Resolution. This 30-credit degree has four required courses: negotiation, foundations of dispute resolution, mediation, and conflict theory. Students may also choose to focus their studies on sports law and business, human resources and employment law, criminal law, sustainability law, and intellectual property law. Although most courses are offered online, students are required to complete two residency periods by attending courses on ASU’s downtown Phoenix campus at the Beus Center for Law and Society. Students may complete the program within 12 months.
9. Dallas Baptist University
Online Master of Business Administration With a Conflict Resolution Management Concentration
Located in Dallas, Texas, Dallas Baptist University is a liberal arts university that was founded in 1898 as the Decatur Baptist College. Today, the school identifies as a Southern Baptist university. Dallas Baptist operates additional campuses in Hurst and Plano, Texas, and 124 full-time academic staff educate more than 5,100 students per year. Dallas Baptist offers a Master of Business Administration degree with a conflict resolution management concentration. Students must complete 36 credit hours of coursework for the MBA program before beginning the 12 credit hours of coursework required for the concentration. Conflict resolution classes include advanced business mediation, employee negotiations and collective bargaining, and advanced family mediation. The program culminates in a capstone course, and students may earn the degree with 12 to 15 months through DBU’s one-year track.
8. Northeastern University
Online Master of Science in Global Studies and International Relations
Established in 1898, Northeastern University is a private research university located in Boston, Massachusetts. NU operates a number of campuses throughout Boston as well as satellite campuses in California, Washington, and North Carolina. The school enrolls approximately 7,000 graduate and 18,000 undergraduates each year. The Master of Science in Global Studies and International Relations with a concentration in conflict resolution prepares students for careers in international relations, education, and business. The major courses are taught by international diplomats and consultants, and the program focuses heavily on experiential learning. Students can expect coursework in nuclear nonproliferation, the practice of diplomacy, post-conflict development, international conflict and cooperation, and peace and conflict. Online students have the opportunity to participate in an international field study experience, a 12-week online course followed by a one-week overseas session.
7. Norwich University
Online Master of Arts in Diplomacy With a Concentration in International Conflict Management
Norwich, a private university in Northfield, Vermont, is the oldest private military college in the U.S. It was founded as the American, Literary, Scientific, and Military Academy in 1819 and is recognized by the U.S. military as the birthplace of the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). Norwich offers an online Master of Arts in Diplomacy with a concentration in international conflict. This 36-credit program consists of six 11-week courses. While all M.A. in Diplomacy students can expect the same core curriculum, the conflict management concentration covers areas such as diplomacy and communication, human rights and conflict in the international system, conflict resolution and post-conflict resolution in the international system, and conflict avoidance, prevention, and containment in the international system. At the end of the program, students are required to attend a one-week residency and graduation ceremony at the Northfield campus and pass a comprehensive essay exam. Students may add an optional master’s thesis if they want to pursue a doctoral degree or if they anticipate a research-heavy career.
6. Bay Path University
Online MS in Leadership & Negotiation
Established in 1897, Bath Path University is a private university located in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. Although it is now a coeducational institution, it began as the first all-women online college. Bay Path’s online Master of Science in Leadership and Negotiation is a 12-course, 36-credit-hour program that specializes in the practical application of academic research, concepts, and mediation theories. Core courses include leading and negotiation, models and concepts in leadership, theories and practices of negotiation, psychological dimensions of negotiation and leadership, and leading and negotiating in a multicultural and virtual world. Students are required to complete a three-credit application project and capstone in order to graduate. Courses may be taken full-time or part-time, and they are offered in an accelerated eight-week format. Most online students complete the program within 12 to 24 months.
5. Nova Southeastern University
Online Master of Science in Conflict Analysis & Resolution
Located in Davie, Florida, Nova Southeastern University is a private nonprofit university. Better known as Nova or simply NSU, the school is comprised of 18 schools and colleges that offer more than 175 academic programs in more than 250 majors. Nova also maintains a number of professional degree programs, including those in optometry, medicine, law, and pharmacy, among others. Nova offers an online Master of Science in Conflict Analysis & Resolution degree. This 36-credit, 12-course program blends together program evaluation, research design, field placement, practice skills, and theory. Students can expect coursework in areas such as communication dynamics in dispute resolution, research design and program evaluation, mediation theory and practice, and culture and conflict as they relate to cross-cultural perspectives. Although the degree is available entirely online, students are required to attend two five-day Residential Institutes per year, usually in October and February. In order to graduate, students must complete a capstone experience course in which they examine real cases of conflict resolution, including commentary and guidance from the authors of the situations. Part-time students can finish in 24 months, while full-time students can earn their degree within 15 months.
4. Dominican University
River Forest, Illinois
Online Master of Arts in Conflict Resolution
Located 10 miles from Chicago in River Forest, Illinois, Dominican University is a Catholic university that has provided education for more than 120 years. It offers more than 20 graduate and 50 undergraduate programs as well as a doctoral degree in library and information science. Dominican University reports a student body of just under 4,000 students and employs 142 full-time academic staff members. Dominican offers a 36-credit-hour online Master of Arts in Conflict Resolution that employs a low-residency format. This allows students to complete the majority of their coursework online in areas such as intercultural conflict resolution, psychology of conflict, ethics of conflict resolution, and mediation skills training. In addition to online coursework, students are required to complete two five-day, on-campus intensive courses that provide face-to-face interactions and experiences with faculty members and peers. Students are also required to participate in a practicum, completed over the course of 40 hours, in order to gain real-world experience.
3. George Mason University
Online MS in Conflict Analysis and Resolution
George Mason University is a public research university located in Fairfax, Virginia. It is the largest research university in the state, educating around 35,000 students each year and employing approximately 2,600 academic staff. Before becoming a fully independent university in 1972, George Mason was originally a college of the University of Virginia. GMU offers a Master of Science in Conflict Analysis and Resolution degree, 90 percent of which is available online. Students must complete 42 credits of coursework in areas such as conflict analysis and resolution, conflict inquiry, engaging conflict, and facilitation skills. The degree consists of 18 credits of elective courses and 15 credits of required courses, and students are also required to attend a one-week, on-campus residency. Students also have the opportunity to choose a concentration in specialized fields such as conflict-sensitive development and resilience, inclusive conflict engagement, dynamics of violence, social justice advocacy and activism, and media, narrative, and public discourse.
2. California University of Pennsylvania
Online Master of Arts in Conflict Resolution
Founded in 1852, the California University of Pennsylvania is located just 35 miles from Pittsburgh in California, Pennsylvania. It is one of 14 institutions that make up the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Cal U offers approximately 75 online programs and more than 95 graduate degree programs to more than 2,200 graduate students across the country. The online Master of Arts in Conflict Resolution consists of 30 credits that students can complete in five terms. Materials are delivered asynchronously, meaning students can study on their own time. Students are grouped together in a cohort, which builds professional networks and relationships while enhancing peer learning. Throughout the program, students learn strategies for alternative dispute resolution, arbitration, and mediation. Courses delve into topics such as communication and collaboration, ethics in the global perspective, and nonviolence theory and practice. In order to graduate, students must either identify and secure an internship or submit a thesis for review and presentation.
1. Touro University Worldwide
Los Alamitos, California
Online Master of Arts in Dispute Resolution
Touro University, located in New York City, was founded on the Jewish values of community service and social justice. Touro University Worldwide, an online college headquartered in Los Alamitos, California, was the first to provide a fully online, accredited doctoral degree. The school’s online Master of Arts in Dispute Resolution consists of 36 credit hours, including 11 core, required courses, and one capstone course. Students will take courses in restorative practice, the ombuds profession, and the foundations of conflict resolution. Degree candidates will also study essential skills like facilitation, arbitration, mediation, negotiation, and other foundational tools for developing effective leadership skills in the workplace. During the capstone project, students will have the opportunity to analyze real-world situations, applying what they have learned throughout the program. Graduates work as mediators, arbitrators, consultants, union representatives, or company managers.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Career Options for an Online Master’s in Negotiation and Conflict Management Degree?
Conflict management involves the process of mitigating or minimizing the negative aspects of conflict as well as attempting to create reparative or positive outcomes from that conflict. These outcomes are achieved via negotiation, which involves discussing the issues at hand and finding a suitable compromise in order to reach a desirable resolution.
With an online master’s degree in resolution and conflict management, students may find themselves working in a number of industries, from education and administration to government and healthcare. Earning a master’s in this field unlocks a number of vocational doors as graduates have the knowledge and skills required to go into analysis, social work, political science, medicine, law, and more. A few careers for graduates with an online master’s in negotiation and conflict management include:
- Union representative
- Legal consultant
- Third-party neutral
- Government mediator
How Much Can You Earn in This Field?
Professionals in the field of negotiation and conflict management enjoy a number of career options after graduation. They are prepared to pursue careers as conciliators, mediators, and arbitrators, who reported a median annual salary of $60,670 in 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In addition, with an added certification and/or specialization, professionals with a Master’s in Negotiation and Conflict Management can earn more than $78,000, according to PayScale.
With a projected growth rate of 10 percent from 2016 to 2026, nearly 1,000 new conciliation and mediation positions will be available throughout the U.S.
Why Choose an Online Degree in Negotiation and Conflict Management?
Although traditional on-campus programs are ideal for many students, others prefer the convenience and flexibility that distance learning has to offer. Those who are currently working or caring for their family may find that online programs are more likely to fit into their already-hectic schedules.
Most online courses are available in an asynchronous format, meaning that students can study, take exams, and complete projects on their own time. In addition, the experience that students gain with the technology used in online learning programs allows them to develop additional skills that can further be put to use long after graduation.
What Can You Expect From a Master’s in Negotiation and Conflict Management Program?
A master’s degree in conflict resolution and mediation online equips students with the knowledge, skills, and expertise they need to reach agreements between parties. Through foundational training in resolution, facilitation, and conflict engagement, graduates are prepared for rewarding careers focused on peacemaking. In addition to core coursework, these graduate degrees typically include topics such as the effects of interpersonal dynamics on cooperation, multicultural concepts of conflict, and research in methodology. Students also develop skills in specialized areas like social media communication, urban conflict resolution, and healthcare negotiations. Other programs students can pursue in conjunction with an online master’s in negotiation and conflict management include public administration, environmental studies, law, and social work.
Most master’s degree programs in mediation and conflict management online include an internship, thesis, or capstone seminar. Although most schools indicate that the thesis is optional, it is recommended for students looking to pursue a doctorate after graduation. Internship and capstone requirements combine the professional world with academic training by providing integrative experiences that draw upon practical skills and theories taught throughout the program.
Is Accreditation Important For an Online Master’s in Negotiation and Conflict Management?
Attending an accredited school is critical; many universities and employers do not accept credits or degrees from unaccredited institutions. The accreditation process is performed by a team of verified external agencies and ensures that schools meet certain regional or national standards, enabling them to provide high-quality education to students.
The two types of accreditation are national and regional. Nationally accredited institutions are typically for-profit schools that have less-rigorous admissions requirements. Regional accreditation is more authoritative and widely accepted, and most schools have earned regional accreditation through one of the nation’s six regional agencies.
When researching online programs, look for those that are regionally accredited. Additionally, while many areas of study are recognized by specific, specialized accrediting agencies, there are no current accrediting bodies that oversee the accreditation of programs in conflict management and negotiation.
How Do You Determine the Best Master’s in Negotiation and Conflict Management Degrees?
When considering a particular online master’s degree in negotiation and conflict resolution, it is important to consider many factors, including return on investment, student satisfaction, and institutional excellence. Return on investment looks at the financial benefits students may receive from that particular school’s program, weighed against the school’s tuition rates. Student satisfaction measures how happy former and current students are with the programs and services offered at each school. Finally, institutional excellence looks at statistics such as endowment sizes, student-to-faculty ratios, and graduation rates to judge each institution’s ability to follow through on their mission of providing high-quality education to each student. These factors will help you to narrow down your options as you begin your search for the most affordable accelerated Master’s in Negotiation and Conflict Management online.