Graduate program

Master of Arts

Program Description

The program of Negotiation, Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding involves a comprehensive study of applied methods, theory, and research and a choice of various electives covering a wide range of applicable subjects. For example these areas deal with the concerns of counselors, law enforcement, teachers, social workers, therapists, and court personnel, benefit labor, human resources, and management professionals, are appropriate for individuals interested in careers in government, public interest groups, organizations (profit and non-profit), or as lobbyists, and are of interest to those seeking careers in the foreign service, the military, as well as international business and peace organizations. The Master of Arts and Post Master Certificate also are offered online through distance learning delivery.

Admission Requirements

Individuals with a bachelor's degree in any major and a GPA of 3.00 or above (4-point scale) in the last 60 semester or 90 quarter units of upper division course work from any accredited college or university may apply for admission to the degree program with classified status. Individuals with a master's degree in conflict resolution (or a closely related area or a J.D.) from any accredited college or university may apply for admission to the post-master's certificate program. All applicants must submit the standard admission application by July 15 for admission in the subsequent August or November 15 for admission in the subsequent January.

A 500-word biographical essay and three letters of recommendation are required. The biographical statement and letters of recommendation must address: (1) what in the applicant's background indicates this subject matter and academic rigor is appropriate for this applicant, (2) why applicant desires this degree or certificate and (3) what does applicant plan to do with this degree or certificate once obtained. The official GRE results, biographical essay and letters of recommendation should be forwarded to the program director. Applicants will be selected to fill the vacancies in the program on the basis of grade point average (if applicable), biographical statement, letters of recommendation and may be required to participate in an oral interview. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is NOT required.


Once admitted, students must complete their program (degree or certificate) with a grade point average of at least 3.2. All courses used to fulfill the requirements for the master's degree or the certificate must be passed with a grade of "B" or better. Subject to approval of the program director, no more than 10 units total can be included from other departments or universities, or be completed prior to formal admission to the master's degree program and 5 units for the post-master's certificate. Students must be in continuous attendance as defined elsewhere in this University Catalog. No course completed as part of another degree, and no course completed more than 5 years before the date of graduation date, can be included toward the master's degree or certificate.

Each year the entering class for the degree or certificate program will be placed in a cohort for on campus education and a cohort for distance learning delivery. The program for each cohort will be designed for the orderly progression through the designated courses for the degree or certificate. The program for applicants admitted concerning the post-master's Certificate in Conflict Analysis and Resolution will be designed as dictated by the number of students entering this cohort annually.

Students for the master's degree must meet the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) by scoring 8 or above on University Graduation Writing Examination (GWE) or by earning at least a "B" in an approved course as described in the University Catalog. This requirement must be satisfied during the first semester in the program in order to continue in the program.

All other university requirements specified in this University Catalog must be met (see the Graduate Degrees and Post-baccalaureate Studies section).

Credit by Examination

Courses in the Negotiation, Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding Program depend to a large degree on simulations, team learning, discussion, and papers growing out of these experiences. Therefore, credit by examination is not available. This is a rigorous program and should not be undertaken without a commitment to superior oral and written work product.


Students must complete a Graduation Application (available from the Registrar) and a Program Approval Form (available from the program office) according to the deadlines given in the graduate section of this University Catalog under "Application for Graduation". The Program Approval Form specifies the courses to be counted toward graduation, and insures that all students are Classified and Advance to Candidacy. This applies to both the master's degree and the post-master's certificate programs.