Alternative Dispute Resolution Bachelor's Degree

Alternative dispute resolution programs explore the theories of argumentation and methods of mediation and negotiation. Coursework from degree programs, combined with an internship, can prepare you to apply what you learn in a work setting. Schools offering Criminal Justice degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Can I Earn an Alternative Dispute Resolution Bachelor's Degree?

Some schools offer bachelor's degree programs in dispute resolution, and many more schools offer certificate programs in the field. Some certificate programs require you to earn an associate's or bachelor's degree before you can gain admission, and certificate programs tend to be shorter and more focused than bachelor's programs. Alternative dispute resolution degrees can go by many names, including conflict resolution, mediation, peace studies or arbitration.

Degree Options Bachelor's degree, certificates
Common Courses Peace studies, mediation skills, negotiation, interpersonal relationships, identity conflicts
Median Annual Salary (2014) $57,180 (for arbitrators, mediators and conciliators)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Classes Might I Take?

In an alternative dispute resolution bachelor's degree program, you'll learn to make sure the parties involved in a dispute remove negative emotions from negotiations. You'll also learn how to help them find common ground and turn the situation into something that benefits all involved. Examples of classes you might take in a dispute resolution program include:

  • Peace studies
  • Mediation skills
  • Negotiation
  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Identity conflicts

In addition to taking courses, you may be required to complete an internship. This can allow you to put the theories and techniques that you've learned into practice while under the guidance of an experienced mentor.

How Can My Degree Help Me?

Earning a degree in alternative dispute resolution can prepare you for a variety of careers related to dispute resolution and mediation. For example, you might find work as a mediator for a private company, government agency or educational institution. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, arbitrators, mediators and conciliators made a median annual salary of $57,180 as of May 2014.

Another benefit of earning a bachelor's degree in dispute resolution is that it can prepare you to enter a graduate program in conflict resolution or a related field. Earning a higher-level degree could increase your chances of finding employment.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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