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Conflict Resolution Institute


Graduate Degree Program Overview


For the most current and accurate information regarding degree requirements, graduation requirements, and course descriptions, please download our MA Student Handbook.

Core Curriculum Courses

Purpose: To become familiar with basic literature in the field including concepts and theories, research emphasis and empirical results, and practical techniques in 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 (Prerequisite: INTS 4920)

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. 

4. CRES 4225 Conciliation and Reconciliation (5 credits)
**Take second or third term of enrollment (Prerequisite: CRES 4222)

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.

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 wait-listed until the term begins. COMN 4010 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 an Advisor at the Daniels College of Business, Graduate Academic Services for special permission to register for this class (gradbus

Practical Techniques Workshop

Purpose: To learn how to apply and work through mediation processes in a practical setting. These courses concentrate on the mediation process and provide numerous opportunities for hands-on mediation and communication skills-building practice. Students explore ethical issues in mediation and the elements necessary to serve effectively as a mediator in both formal and informal settings. (**Choose 1 of the following)

COMM 4701 40-Hour Mediation Training (4 credits)

A course through University College taught as a 5-day intensive workshop allowing the student practical training and evaluation of their work.

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.

Methodology Training

Purpose: To learn how to conduct conflict assessments, structure an investigation of conflict resolution issues, and 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 (3-5 credits)

The course examines the range of processes used to address environmental and public policy conflict, noting the trade-offs in matters of substance, and resolution procedures. Negotiation and mediation approaches are studied along with ethical issues.

CRES 4810 Systemms and Complexity Approaches to Conflict Analysis (3 credits)


CRES 4820 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 4830 Post Conflict Reconstruction – Rebuilding Education (3 credits)

The course explores education in situations of crisis and post-conflict reconstruction including the historic role of education in promoting peace and violence, how education protects children and increases well-being in conflict situations, and the education issues in contexts of humanitarian intervention and how education impacts the transition from crisis to development.

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 scholarly 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.

CRES 4961 Professional Development in Conflict Resolution (3 credits)


CRES 4971 Basic Mediation Practicum (3 credits)


CRES 4971 Advanced Interpersonal Practicum (3 credits)