As state and local courts look to speed up how they deal with lawsuits and disputes, they’re turning increasingly to things like mediation and arbitration that occurs outside the typical courtroom. That has created strong demand for qualified mediators who can listen to both sides of an argument and promote the achievement of an agreeable resolution for both sides of the issue.
Largely in response to the renewed emphasis on services like court-ordered mediation and arbitration, a number of major universities have revamped and improved their dispute resolution degrees. Nationwide, five of these programs are ahead of the others in terms of accessibility, marketability, and well-rounded education.
1. Southern Methodist University
Offering a Master’s in Dispute Resolution, the program at Southern Methodist University is among the best in the country. That, of course, comes as no surprise. Southern Methodist has often been rated higher education institutions in all of Texas. Its programs in psychology are ranked as some of the best in the nation, and the dispute resolution programs at the school draw heavily on the psychology department’s classes and research when educating students.
Tuition is expensive, but financial aid is plentiful at Southern Methodist. The university’s master’s program must be completed by attending traditional campuses at the College Park campus, which might make it a bit less accessible by those whose job demands full time hours, or more, from them on a regular basis.
2. University of Oregon
The University of Oregon has a really well ranked program in dispute resolution, and the university actually offers degrees in the field at both the undergraduate and graduate level. For those who pursue the graduate degree, courses are actually drawn from both the school’s psychology department and its highly ranked school of law. This well-rounded approach prepares students for a career in Oregon’s legal system, as well as in any other legal system nationwide.
Because of its affordable in-state tuition and its legal background, the University of Oregon should hold a top place among those considering either undergraduate or graduate-level coursework in this field.
3. Creighton University
Dispute resolution courses at Creighton University are offered at the graduate level, with the ultimate outcome being a Master’s of Arts in Dispute Resolution. The two-year program is proudly interdisciplinary, with courses coming from the management, political science, and psychology departments at the school. That’s a really great benefit, and it’s a bit broader than the two programs mentioned earlier in this article.
Best of all, Creighton lends its esteemed academic reputation to both online and offline classes, allowing students nationwide to get a well-rounded education from this prestigious Midwestern university. With bountiful financial aid and a thriving life on campus, Creighton is a great option for local Nebraskans and anyone pursuing a degree online.
4. Columbia University
It’s hard to argue with the credentials of an ivy league university when comparing dispute resolution degrees. Columbia University offers undergraduate coursework in negotiation and dispute resolution, but reserves its actual degree in dispute resolution for those who obtain a Master’s of Arts in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution.
The program will require attendance at the university’s New York campus, with no coursework available for online completion. Even so, the networking opportunities afforded by an ivy league university in an urban setting are unmatched by many other American colleges. The academic rigor and prestige of the degree, as well, are hard to match anywhere else.
5. Georgetown University
Georgetown University, which is proudly the alma mater of former President Bill Clinton, is a leading innovator for dispute resolution. The school’s Master’s of Arts in Conflict Resolution draws from graduate-level psychological research as well as the university’s own prestigious law school. Courses in culture, communication, technology, and sociology, are also a key part of the program.
Georgetown’s program for those interested in a career in dispute resolution is probably the best one available. The university has a large endowment and a great commitment to financial aid, and officials at Georgetown are committed to helping people of all backgrounds pursue their dreams at the school’s Washington, D.C., campus.
Great Programs for a Promising Career in Dispute Resolution
The programs offered by major universities in dispute resolution are beyond compare. Some of the most prestigious universities in the country have taken it upon themselves to crate innovative, well-rounded course loads that focus on psychology, law, culture, and negotiation, to ensure that mediators will be highly effective and highly successful in any career that they might pursue after graduation. It’s a refreshing commitment to this burgeoning field that should be enjoyed by all those who aspire to join it.