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Highlights Overview Curriculum Courses

Schedule Samples

Core Curriculum Courses

Purpose: To become familiar with academic literature including concepts and theories, research emphasis and empirical findings; and practical techniques applied to Conflict Resolution.

1. INTS 4920 Conflict and Conflict Resolution (5 credits)
Take first term of enrollment.
A course through the Korbel School of International Studies, focusing on literature drawn from diplomatic history, sociology, psychology, organizational behavior, and international politics; on theories of conflict and conflict resolution, including holistic approaches, socio-cultural conditioning and norms, and personality influences as alternative means to understanding negotiation and bargaining in varying contexts. Students apply practical fundamentals of negotiation and particular problem-solving techniques.

2. CRES 4221 Negotiation Theory & Practice (3 credits)
Take first term of enrollment.
The course presents the theoretical groundwork for understanding the nature, strategy and tactics of various negotiation approaches including the role of time, information and power in negotiation situations, and an understanding of the way ethics, perceptions, and communication forms affect negotiation process and outcomes. Teaching methods include lecture, discussion and role-play exercises.

3. CRES 4222 Mediation Theory and Issues (5 credits)
Take second term of enrollment.
A course through the Conflict Resolution Program (traditional DU program). An analysis and critique of the nature and role of third parties in conflict intervention, including conciliator, arbitrator, facilitator, monitor, and trainer. Theoretical perspectives and case studies are used to understand the situations where third parties operate, what values and resources they bring, and how power issues affect mediator functioning. Ethical guidelines are also considered. Prerequisite: INTS 4920

4. CRES 4225 Conciliation and Reconciliation (5 credits)
Take second or third term of enrollment.
A course through the Conflict Resolution Program (traditional DU Program). Builds on concepts and themes introduced in CRES 4222, including further analysis and critique of the roles of third parties in conflict intervention. Values, motives, resources, and third-party competencies are considered, along with ethical guidelines and the issues of power, neutrality, gender, and culture as they affect third-party functioning. Prerequisite: CRES 4222

5. COMN 4310 Communication and Collaboration* (5 credits)
A course given through the Department of Communication.
A review of contemporary theories and applications. Please note: As a Conflict Resolution student, you are not always guaranteed registration in advance and may be waitlisted until the term begins.

*COMN 4020 Relational Communications or COMN 4700 Identity and Relationships (5 credits each) may be substituted, although students are strongly encouraged to take COMN 4310.

6. MGMT 4620 Leadership and Organizational Dynamics (4 credits)
A course through the Daniels College of Business (traditional DU program).
Focuses on development of management skills in organizations. This course brings together concepts from organizational behavior, organization dynamics, change management, and dispute resolution. Please contact Lisa Bradley, Graduate Academic Services at Daniels for special permission to register for this class (


Practical and Professional Training

Purpose: To learn how to apply mediation processes in a practical setting and be exposed to the skills, values, and norms needed to perform professional roles in the Practitioner community.

COMM 4701 40-Hour Mediation Training (4 credits)
A workshop through University College taught as a 5-day intensive training, allowing the student practical applications and evaluation of their work. This course meets the State of Colorado certification requirements to practice as a mediator.

LAW 4803/4430 Mediation and Arbitration Seminar/Clinic (5 credits)
A course through the Law School taught over one semester, allowing the student practical training and evaluation of their work.

CRES 4961 Professional Development (0 credit)
A socialization experience to develop specialized knowledge and lessons learned through association with mentors, networking with practitioners, and observing conflict resolution processes, including precise tasks linked to the Con Res Connect event. A student enrolls for Professional Development the first term and received a grade in the final quarter of registration which is based on documented activities throughout graduate school. Note: the University does not grant graduate level credit for such training.

Methodology Training

Purpose: To learn how to conduct conflict assessments; how to structure an investigation of conflict resolution issues; and how to analyze data.

CRES 4111 Reflective Practice and Evaluation (5 credits)
A course designed to teach the tools for making conflict theories of practice explicit—including observation methods and interviewing techniques and preparing a grant proposal; to explore different methodologies for testing theories; and to examine ways that research modifies theory.


Special Topics

Purpose: To expose students to the diversity of conflict resolution topics and innovations in the field, whether in new theoretic approaches or practical applications.

CRES 4333 Resolving Contentious Public Issues (5 credits)
The course examines the range of processes used to address environmental and public policy conflict, noting the tradeoffs in matters of substance, and resolution procedures. Negotiation and mediation approaches are studies along with ethical issues

CRES 4400 Restorative Justice (3 credits)
The course explores four leading Restorative Justice practices—Victim-Offender Mediation, Conferencing, Talking Circles, and Truth Commissions—to understand how needs of victims are addressed, and embracing notions of forgiveness, reconciliation and social healing within a set of principles based on social justice.

CRES 4410 Intractable Conflict (3 credits)
The course is focused on factors that lead to intractability, along with strategies for violence prevention and conflict transformation. Conflict mapping and analysis, sources of intractability, and social, psychological, economic and political dimensions of intractable conflicts are examined.

CRES 4420 Negotiation Difficulties (3 credits)
A course emphasizing pitfalls and obstacles to successful negotiation strategies.

CRES 4840 Managing Organizational Conflict (3 credits)
A broad study of conflict in organizations that may involve gender, race, age, disability and other issues, using lecture, case studies, group dialogue, and team projects to develop systems of management and evaluation.

CRES 4850 Creating Agreement (3 credits)
Multilateral agreements are as complicated as they are difficult to create. What are the key elements in this process? The history of such negotiations is one of both successes and failures. This course examines the development of criteria necessary for creating satisfactory and acceptable agreements involving multiple parties through a series of case studies that link negotiation theory and praxis.

CRES 4860 Public Forum Facilitation (3 credits)
Diverse democracies require high quality communication and coordination to function well. In the current era, however, polarization, cynicism and apathy have become the norm. They obstruct possibilities for collaborative problem-solving. What are the best processes for making public decisions in a democracy? This course examines the tools of advocacy, debate, dialogue and deliberation through the lens of facilitation in public forums.

CRES 4870 Conflict Vulnerability Assessment (3 credits)
This course guides students seeking to specialize in early warning and conflict prevention approaches at the community, societal, or country level through the contemporary scholar literature and policy-related instruments and models that seek to define and measure "conflict vulnerability."

CRES 4880 Grant Writing: The Research Proposal and Conflict Analysis (3 credits)
A course in social research methods anchored in evidence-based policy, including quantitative and qualitative techniques for building facts and findings from context-free, context-rich, and colloquial environments designed to support informed decision-making. Students learn the mechanics of preparing a research or program proposal for government or foundation support.


Internship and Practicum

Purpose: to gain practical experience in the work of private or government organizations dealing with conflict resolution. The internship provides exposure to the practical world of Conflict Resolution and is supervised by a practitioner from outside the university; the practicum provides an integrative experience where students bring together the knowledge and skills acquired in the Conflict Resolution curriculum and is supervised by a faculty member at DU. An internship often means observing and assisting to learn about conflict resolution environments. The practicum, by contrast, means directly engaging as a full participant in conflict resolution work, as, for example, forming responsible agreements between disputing parties.

A maximum of 8 credits or about 13% of total degree credits (up to 5 for internship; 3 for practicum) is allowed for these hands-on, field-based learning experiences. Actual work hours do not compare directly to individual traditional course assignments or credits.

These practical experiences provide opportunities for a student to: acquire an understanding of the way conflict resolution theories are applied in practice; realize how practitioners of conflict resolution operate within different theoretical frameworks and under hidden assumptions about human behavior; become acquainted with varied, real world vocational settings for Conflict Resolution work: career paths, entry-level positions, organizations, services; become sensitized to the importance of Conflict Resolution work, the multiple modes of implementing it, and the varied settings where it applies; acquire valuable skills and basic knowledge of Conflict Resolution work; build on a network of contacts for professional work in Conflict Resolution; enhance marketability in the Conflict Resolution job market; evaluate personal strengths and weaknesses and career preferences within the field of Conflict Resolution.

Conflict Resolution students have had internships within the Denver region, throughout Colorado, across the United States, and abroad. An "Internship Booklet," a compilation of organizations and contacts, and samples of student internship reports, is distributed to incoming students during orientation.

In recent years, Conflict Resolution graduate students have participated in Colorado internships at: Mediators beyond Borders, Resolution Works, Victim Offender Reconciliation Programs, Singleton Strategies, the Conflict Center, Oval Options, Colorado State University and the DU Office of Student Conduct. Others had internships in New York (The Peace Institute), Oregon (Mercy Corps), Wisconsin (Department of Transportation), and Tennessee (Bridge Builders). Some students went abroad for an internship experience—to Rwanda, the Republic of Georgia, Trinidad and Tobago, Israel, and China.

An internship may be paid or voluntary work—the latter is more common. The work tasks vary. Conflict Resolution students have interned at organizations where they were required to perform management related activities; planning-research work; mediation; counseling, and teaching. All of these roles match perfectly to the job categories where graduate will be seeking employment. Some internships include a wide range of duties, which will depend on the needs of the organization and skills of the student intern. Some interns have worked in Conflict Resolution settings where the emphasis was on personal development, for example teaching teens the importance of ADR; others were employed with political group engaged in solving international issues; and others worked in Human Resource environments dealing with workplace conflict resolution.

Internship Requirement: All candidates for the M.A. degree in Conflict Resolution must complete an internship. The work, undertaken once a student is formally enrolled in the graduate program (i.e. prior work experience will not fulfill the requirement) must be approved in advance by the Graduate Director as relevant and worthwhile. The internship may be undertaken anytime during the student's graduate program enrollment, i.e. near the start of graduate school, at the mid-point, or near the end. Some students spread out the internship work over several months; others compress it into a shorter period of four weeks. In order to fulfill this requirement for the degree, several steps must be completed.

A student must work at least 100 hours in an internship position. Proof of Internship completion consists of 2 parts: a student prepares a report of the experience (3-5 pages) and submits it to the Graduate Director (The report is placed in the student's file). A student requests a letter from the work supervisor at the internship location to summarize the work completed by the student. The letter should be addressed and sent directly to the Graduate Director. (The evaluation is placed in the student's file.)

Please note: if you have a campus GRA or GTA at the University of Denver, this experience, while valuable, is not eligible for meeting your internship requirement. It is important that all students work outside of the Conflict Resolution community in order to develop networks, to find out what type of work is available and to give exposure to real-world perspectives. The notion of the internship is for a student to work in areas beyond the immediate research needs of teaching aid required of their graduate program professors, i.e. to be engaged in the community. However, it is still possible to get an internship at the University of Denver through such offices as Student Conduct.

CRES 4981 Internship. ( 0-5 credits)
A student wishing to enroll for credit may do so any quarter (whether it is the quarter of internship or not), and may repeatedly register for the same course designation over a different academic term for a maximum of 5 credits toward the degree. Registration for internship requires a special paper form that must be signed by the Graduate Director, and submitted by the student to the registrar. Once the internship has been completed, and documented by the student's report and supervisor's letter, a grade of "P" for "passing is submitted to the registrar.

Practicum Requirement. All candidates for the M.A. degree in Conflict Resolution must complete a practicum. The work, once a student has completed most of the core curriculum courses plus the mediation workshop (mandatory completion), consists of a 15-week period—Spring term plus 5 weeks in early Summer—where students meet weekly with the professor to discuss the design, execution, and evaluation of conflict resolution interventions based on the cases they are assigned.

The practicum is designed for students to bring together theory with practice—to experience how to apply academic ideas to social conflicts in order to resolve problems. It is divided into 2 sections—a basic practicum, which runs for roughly half of the 15 weeks at the start, where all students are together, and an advanced practicum where students are divided into groups depending on their specific substantive interests. In recent years, we have focused on Interpersonal, Environmental, Public Policy, and International substantive areas, usually selecting no more than three of them at any time. Each group has a very small number of students, between 2-5, and the associated activities and assignments vary considerably for each advanced substantive practicum. Extra costs are necessary in some cases—whether for travel or conference or workshop fees—and we will try to provide some financial assistance, awarded on a competitive basis for those who submit a formal request.

We try to organize a general information session about the Practicum around mid-January where students learn more about the nature of activities and time commitment required to participate in this Spring-Summer event.

Proof of Practicum completion consists of 2 parts: (1) a student prepares a report (that will not be graded) of the experience, a summary of what the student did in the Practicum and their strengths and weaknesses mediating and reflecting (3-5 pages) and submits it to the Graduate Director. The report is placed in the student's file; and (2) the faculty supervisor submits an evaluation of the student's practicum work. The letter should be addressed and sent directly to the Graduate Director. The evaluation is placed in the student's file.

CRES 4971 Practicum. (3 credits)
A student enrolls for practicum credit after completing most of the 6 core curriculum courses in Conflict Resolution plus the Mediation workshop, which must be completed prior to the Practicum experience. This prerequisite policy is firm. The practicum is offered each year in two terms: Spring and Summer. Students take a total of 3 credits for the 15 week period, registering for 3 credits in Spring; the practicum ends around mid-July. A practicum is a culminating experience that allows student to understand how a dispute can be resolved or transformed through non-violent, collaborative means. It includes supervised practice, classroom, preparation for practice and classroom, and supporting activities. A letter grade
(A-F) is assigned by the faculty supervisor(s) once all requirements have been met.


Flexible Dual M.A. Degree Program



Credit Hours     Max. Reduction     Normal Max.     Max. Combined

Required For            Allowed         Transfer Credit          Transfer 
Graduate Degree  Dual Degree         Allowed               Reduction

45                                   10                        10                           15
55                                   10                        10                           15
62                                   12                        21                           25
70                                   12                        21                           25
72                                   12                        22                           25
90                                   15                        45                           45
135                                15                         45                           45

EXAMPLE Dual Degree Program:
First Degree: M.A. in Conflict Resolution 62 credits – 12 credits = 50 credits
Second Degree: M.A. in International Studies 90 credits – 15 credits = 75 credits
Flex Dual Program 152 credits - 25 credits = 125 credits

Description: Students may propose any dual degree program that makes academic and career preparation sense to them. For example, a Conflict Resolution student may wish to combine the M.A. with an MBA from the Daniels College of Business. Usually, a program statement proposal for the flex-dual preserves the core courses in each program and allows reduction only in electives. No student may begin a dual degree program when requirements for one degree have already been completed.

Admission: Students who intend to pursue a flexible dual degree program must apply and be admitted separately to each of the two academic units (e.g. Conflict Resolution and the Daniels College of Business) and must pay the application fee for each program. After admission acceptance, a student may apply for the Flexible Dual Degree. Application forms are available in the Office of Graduate Studies, Mary Reed Building, Room 3A and online at:

Once a student has been accepted into both programs, a flexible degree proposal must be submitted no later the end of the 4th quarter (3rd semester) in their FIRST academic program (including summer). The Graduate Studies office is no longer considering any late proposals for Flexible Dual Degrees. Students must propose in accordance with the policy and guidelines or those proposals will be denied.

Curriculum: The Conflict Resolution Graduate Director and the chair of the other participating unit for a flexible dual degree program proposal must approve a curriculum for a specialized dual degree. The student declares an advisor in each program. A student would follow the complete required curriculum for the Conflict Resolution M.A. program up to 50 hours (the degree requires 62 credit hours and 12 credits are reduced in the program if pursuing a flex-dual), and follow a similar procedure for the second degree.

Following program approval in each of the two units, the students submits the proposal, along with a current transcript, a statement of educational and career objectives, and reasons for specific course selection, to the University Office of Graduate Studies. A Special Program Oversight Committee of the Graduate Council reviews each proposal. If a student has more than two incompletes (I), or poor grades, a flexible dual degree proposal may not be approved. Approved programs commit the student to pursuing the dual program for the most part simultaneously. In programs where each requires a thesis, a student need prepare only one such manuscript, not two. Similarly, if both programs require an internship, usually only one must be completed, unless special circumstances exist. The final oral thesis defense must include representation from both departments involved.

Usually, a student is awarded two diplomas (one for each degree) on the same graduation date, though it is possible that the degrees may be conferred in two successive terms. Two applications for graduation must be submitted.

Note: Before considering a flexible dual M.A. curriculum, a student should think seriously about how to integrate specific interests in a second field within the Conflict Resolution curriculum. By carefully selecting electives, searching for internships, and proposing a topic for thesis research (if selecting that option) that combines the second field with Conflict Resolution study, a single, rather than a flex-dual degree may be quite adequate.


Class Schedules 

To access the class schedule for any term, go to Click Course Schedules, select term. Select by department and subject: University College: Applied Communication; International Studies: Conflict Resolution and International Studies courses; Social Science: Communications; Business: Management; Professional Psychology; Social Work; and Law. All courses are offered by quarter terms except the Law School, which operates on semesters.

Course identification at the University of Denver consists of an alphanumeric code. The letters identify the academic unit offering the course, while the numbers identify the level of the course. Elementary undergraduate courses 0001–0999, Intermediate undergraduate courses 1000–1999, Advanced undergraduate courses 2000–2999, Advanced undergraduate and graduate courses 3000–3999 (not all 3000 level courses carry graduate credit), Graduate courses 4000–5999. Graduate credit cannot be earned in courses numbered below 3000.

Admission to any course implies the permission of the instructor and the department. All courses are subject to the prerequisites as stated in the course description, unless appropriate equivalent experience or study is approved by the instructor.

The University of Denver unit of credit is the quarter hour. In general, each quarter hour credit requires one class period of 50 minutes each week. Classes run for 10 weeks. Some classes are scheduled for longer or shorter blocks of time. In some classes the quarter hour credit may not equal the hours spent in class. Courses are offered for credit ranging between one and five quarter hours. Each course is assigned a credit hour value by the academic unit offering the course. Students may not enroll in a course for a reduced number of credits—for example, take a five-hour course for three hours credit. All courses must be taken for the quarter hours of credit listed online (, regardless of faculty approval.

Most CRES classes meet once a week for about 3 hours (roughly 9-noon; 2-5 p.m., or 6-9 p.m.) with a break at midpoint during each session. Other departments may operate on a 2-day 4 hour per week schedule, or in some cases, a 1 week, 4 hour session.


Transfer of Credit

Transfer credit is applicable only when recommended by the school or department and approved by appropriate authorities. Course work and credit hours already applied toward a graduate degree received from DU or another institution cannot be accepted as transfer credit towards another graduate degree at the same level. Graduate credits earned at DU or another accredited institution can be applied towards DU graduate degree as long as they were not part of a program in which a degree was granted. Credits used for one Master's level degree, cannot be reused for a second master's level degree.

Students may transfer up to 21 quarter hours (14 semester hours) of graduate credit to the University of Denver towards the M.A. degree in Conflict Resolution. Graduate credits depend upon the accreditation of the institution where the courses were taken (determined by the Registrar's Office), and the nature of the courses. Only graduate-level work relevant to a student's program with grades of B or better are accepted. University rules stipulate that transferred credits must have been earned at an accredited institution, that grades in each course were B or better, that courses must be at the graduate level, taken after the Bachelor's degree, and been earned within a five-year period preceding the request for transfer. The transfer credit must have been earned as graduate credit at an institution offering a graduate degree program. Only courses graded A-F can be transferred; those taken as pass/fail are not transferable. Exceptions to this regulation will be made only by the Program Director and only upon specific justification for such exceptions as submitted to the Registrar.

The University does not accept undergraduate credit hours, even at advanced levels, as transfer credit in graduate programs. Students may be given permission to waive such courses at the graduate level to avoid repetition of work, but must complete the full credit hour requirement of their program. Thus it is possible that advanced undergraduate/graduate courses taken as part of a graduate degree could be accepted in transfer, while the same courses taken as part of an undergraduate degree will not be accepted. Among the most important reasons for this is standard practice at universities and the expectations of accrediting bodies.

A "Transfer of Credit" form is available in the Conflict Resolution Institute office. It must be submitted to the Graduate Director for approval, accompanied by a program statement and transcript. It is due during the second quarter after a student matriculates. Note: 1 semester credit = 1.5 quarter credit hours; 10 semester credits = 15 quarter credit hours. Grades earned at other institutions are not included in the computation of grade point average achieved at the University of Denver. Transfer of Credit requests must be made during the 1st term of enrollment.



For the 62 credit M.A. in Conflict Resolution, up to 21 quarter hours (14 semester hours) of transfer may be applied toward the degree.

The transfer credit must have been earned at graduate level—post B.A—within a five-year period preceding the request for transfer and not used as part of another, previously awarded M.A. degree program.

Only courses with letter grades "B" or better can be transferred; courses taken on a pass/fail basis are not acceptable for transfer unless the instructor provides a class syllabus and the student provides proof from the institution that a "Pass" is equivalent to a "B" or better.

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