Online Master of Dispute Resolution from Pepperdine Law

Start Classes in September

Grow as a Leader with Advanced Mediation and Negotiation Expertise

Conflict in the workplace can be unavoidable. But when left unchecked, interpersonal and systemic conflict can impede workflow and prevent businesses from reaching their goals. Well-rounded professionals with an understanding of the art of conflict resolution and mediation can keep organizations running smoothly and lead businesses to new opportunities for growth.

The online Master of Dispute Resolution (MDR) program is offered by Pepperdine Law’s Straus Institute, which is top-ranked for dispute resolution in the U.S. News & World Report 2020 law school rankings. The program empowers professionals across a variety of industries to judiciously resolve conflicts between parties and artfully negotiate complex transactions. By learning to overcome obstacles to achieve better organizational outcomes, students position themselves for career advancement and new leadership roles.

Why Earn a Master of Dispute Resolution?

Earning a master’s in dispute resolution helps students better understand the root causes of conflict and how to facilitate collaboration. By applying versatile skills in negotiation, mediation, and arbitration to serve their clients and organizations, students will build a reputation for themselves as problem-solvers and peacekeepers.

The most effective leaders know how to negotiate for the best results and manage conflicts before they interfere with organizational goals. A Master of Dispute Resolution can especially benefit managers who need to navigate complex workplace challenges and gain the competitive edge to reach the next level of leadership. Professionals who pursue a master’s in dispute resolution are looking to advance in fields and industries that include:

  • Education
  • Finance
  • Insurance
  • Manufacturing
  • Social work
  • Engineering
  • Government
  • Intellectual property
  • Nonprofit
  • Trade
  • Entertainment
  • Healthcare
  • Law enforcement
  • Real Estate
  • Transportation
  • Education
  • Finance
  • Insurance
  • Manufacturing
  • Social work
  • Engineering
  • Government
  • Intellectual property
  • Nonprofit
  • Trade
  • Entertainment
  • Healthcare
  • Law enforcement
  • Real Estate
  • Transportation

Move Your Career and Your Organization Forward

Gaining expertise in conflict resolution and negotiation can help you take the next step in your career. Request information today to learn more about Pepperdine’s online Master of Dispute Resolution.

Move Your Career and Your Organization Forward

Gaining expertise in conflict resolution and negotiation can help you take the next step in your career. Request information today to learn more about Pepperdine’s online Master of Dispute Resolution.

Dispute Resolution Curriculum

Pepperdine Law’s MDR curriculum provides students with a deeper insight into the legal, psychological, and cultural factors that affect workplace conflict and complex negotiations. Students can complete the 32-unit program in as few as 16 months if attending on a full-time basis. Part-time schedules are also available for professionals balancing multiple priorities. Part-time students can typically complete the program in 28 months.

 

Core Courses

The 16 units of foundation and core courses equip students with the fundamental knowledge in negotiation, mediation, and arbitration so they can better understand the dynamics of conflict. Course topics include an introduction to US law, legal research and writing, negotiation, mediation, arbitration, cross-cultural conflict, conflict communication, and employment disputes.

Elective Courses

Students customize their studies by taking up to 14 units of elective courses. In elective courses, students apply conflict resolution tactics to different industries—such as entertainment, corporate business, and public policy—and focus on advanced negotiation and mediation practices.

In-Person Residencies

Students will apply what they have learned in class during two weekend residencies held on Pepperdine’s Malibu campus. In these immersive learning experiences, worth one unit each, students will engage in hands-on learning and simulations while also networking with peers, faculty, and dispute resolution experts.


Learning Outcomes

Learning outcomes for Pepperdine Law’s online Master of Dispute Resolution fall within the categories of cognitive skills, professional skills, and moral and professional identity. Upon completion of the online MDR program, graduates will demonstrate:

  • Knowledge and understanding of conflict and dispute resolution theory and procedure, and when appropriate, applicable governing law
  • Proficiency in critical reasoning and strategic dispute resolution analysis
  • Proficiency in dispute resolution research as well as written and oral communication
  • Professional dispute resolution skills, including lawyering skills
  • Knowledge and understanding of the moral, ethical, and professional responsibilities of dispute resolution professionals (including lawyers)

Pepperdine Law Admissions

Pepperdine Law’s online Master of Dispute Resolution program offers multiple start dates throughout the year. Students who apply by the priority deadline for their intended cohort will be granted an application waiver and receive an earlier decision, allowing them to register for classes sooner. Priority deadline applicants should contact an admissions counselor to receive the waiver before submitting an application.

 

Program Start Dates and Application Deadlines
Classes Begin Priority Deadline Final Deadline
September 2019 Friday, June 7, 2019 Friday, July 12, 2019
January 2020 Friday, October 11, 2019 Friday, November 8, 2019
May 2020 Friday, February 14, 2020 Friday, March 13, 2020
September 2020 Friday, June 19, 2020 Friday, July 17. 2020

Learn About the On-Campus Program

If you are interested in one of our traditional on-campus programs, we also offer an on-campus Master of Dispute Resolution program.
Explore the On-Campus Program

Application Requirements

A bachelor’s degree is required for admission. Pepperdine Law does not require GMAT, GRE, or LSAT scores.

Candidates must submit the following materials to be considered for admission:

  • Online application with a fee of $50
  • Official transcripts
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose
  • Resume
  • Video interview

Tuition and Financial Aid

A master’s program requires an investment of time and finances, but many resources exist to help students offset the cost of tuition, such as employer financial assistance, scholarships, and loan programs. Tuition is charged per unit hour for a total of 32 units.

Get Started Today

Learn more about Pepperdine Law’s online Master of Dispute Resolution and how the program can help you gain a competitive edge in your field.

Get Started Today

Learn more about Pepperdine Law’s online Master of Dispute Resolution and how the program can help you gain a competitive edge in your field.

Career Paths in Conflict Resolution

Pepperdine Law’s online Master of Dispute Resolution program teaches practical negotiation, mediation, and arbitration skills needed in a wide range of industries. Students can increase their marketability and make a difference for their clients, employees, and community members by applying their skills in various aspects of dispute resolution.

 

Roles That May Require Conflict Resolution Skills

  • Business managers
  • Human resource directors
  • International diplomats
  • Military officials

Occupations That May Involve Conflict Mediation

  • Counselors
  • Ombudsmen
  • Ministers
  • Social workers

Positions That May Need Negotiation Skills

  • Labor union administrators
  • Healthcare providers
  • Criminal investigators
  • Lobbyists

Careers in Arbitration and Legal Mediation

  • Engineers and other subject matter experts who can serve as expert witnesses or help employers navigate arbitration
  • Lawyers who want to complement their JD with additional training in arbitration or better represent clients in mediation

Mediator as a Job Title vs. Mediation as a Skill Set

In the past, settlement efforts for litigated cases have been limited to a judge's decision. Now, more and more individuals are deciding to settle their legal disputes outside the courtroom through a type of alternative dispute resolution called mediation. This type of dispute resolution involves mediators who facilitate negotiations between disputing parties and reach a solution. The disputing parties, occasionally by recommendation of a judge, typically select a mediator who is a lawyer or retired judge, often members of the state bar, with expertise in the issue at hand. As a result, it is unlikely that students will complete the MDR program and pursue a career as a mediator for litigated cases. Instead, the MDR program will help students learn mediation as a problem solving skill set rather than as a job title.

Mediation is an invaluable skill that is common among top leaders and allows them to effectively manage conflicts and solve issues that arise in the workplace. The MDR program provides the mediation skills that are important for those who:

  • are motivated to improve change management processes and overall communication within their organization
  • want to become a more effective manager of employees
  • want to further develop problem solving abilities
  • want to advance their career

Learn more about careers and opportunities in arbitration in a blog post from Pepperdine Law’s Associate Dean of the Straus Institute of Dispute Resolution, Thomas Stipanowich.

A Collaborative Online Experience

Pepperdine Law’s Online Master of Dispute Resolution (MDR) program blends self-paced and face-to-face online learning using the Zoom video-conferencing platform to create an interactive experience that fits into students’ busy lives. Students in the online program have access to the same support services and resources as students on campus, creating an equally rich and academically engaging learning environment.

Pepperdine Law's online Master of Dispute Resolution program is accredited by WASC Senior College and University Commission.

Pepperdine Law’s Master of Dispute Resolution distance education degree program has been granted acquiescence by the American Bar Association.