Graduate Program Conflict Resolution

PSU Conflict Resolution students relaxing in a park

Conflict Resolution Master's Degree and Graduate Certificate Overview

Conflict is an everyday reality in our organizations, communities, and around the world. Learn how to transform conflict into positive change with Portland State's graduate certificate in conflict resolution.

In this program, you'll gain an understanding of various kinds of conflict, including interpersonal, social, and global conflict, and develop depth in areas such as peace education, human rights, non-violence, and global affairs. You'll become well-grounded in both theory and practice by exploring deep philosophical issues as well as the practical application of conflict resolution in diverse contexts.

We recognize that many of our students balance school, work, and family. Our students are service-oriented, globally-minded, and people-centered. But they come to us at different points in their lives and from different places. Some have just finished their undergraduate education. Others are working in dispute resolution, education, activism and advocacy, communications, or human services, and want to further their ability to effect change. Whatever your path, you'll be prepared to work effectively and collaboratively in the field of conflict prevention, resolution, and transformation.


Students entering this program are expected to develop an understanding and appreciation of the theoretical, conceptual, and methodological breadth of the field and to develop expertise in the pursuit of their own particular interests in the study of conflict resolution.

Holders of the master's degree are prepared for leadership positions in conflict management and intervention in governmental, non-governmental, and corporate settings at the local, regional, national, and international levels. Graduate students emphasize implications of diverse perspectives, strategies and processes at the organizational and institutional level of conflict transformation and peacebuilding.


Conflict Resolution offers two graduate certificates and a master's. Each credential has a separate application and is financial aid eligible. The certificates can be "stacked," if students seek further training toward the master's. The course of study is designed for a cohort of students to begin in the fall term each year.

We offer a Graduate Certificate in Conflict Resolution, a Graduate Certificate in Applied Conflict Resolution, and the full MA/MS. The Graduate Certificate is a fixed 20-credit course of study, typically completed in three terms (one academic year). The Graduate Certificate in Applied Conflict Resolution is a 22-credit course of study of at least five terms. The master's degree consists of a minimum of 54 total credits, and is designed to be completed in two to two and a half years.

Students can pursue a separate Graduate Certificate in Holocaust Genocide and Atrocity Prevention. This is a 20-credit credential with a separate application process.



Degree Masters Graduate Certificate Certificate in Applied Conflict Resolution Graduate Certificate in Holocaust, Genocide, and Atrocity Prevention

Due to COVID-19, all courses are presently taught online

Due to COVID-19, all courses are presently taught online

Due to COVID-19, all courses are presently taught online

Due to COVID-19, all courses are presently taught online

Total Credits 54 20 22 20
Start Term Fall Fall Fall Fall


Degree Details

  • M
    On campus
    Total Credits
    Start Term
  • GC
    Graduate Certificate
    On campus
    Total Credits
    Start Term

Conflict Resolution Master's Degree or Graduate Certificate: Why PSU?

In Conflict Resolution, you'll join a group of committed students and faculty who want to make a positive difference in the world.

Our diverse faculty have training in conflict resolution, philosophy, political psychology, communication, education, peace studies, and international relations as well as expertise in a number of applied fields, including intercultural management, improvisation techniques, nonviolence, and restorative justice.

A set of required classes will help you develop an understanding and appreciation of the breadth and depth of the study of conflict resolution, while electives will help you take a deep dive into one of three areas of emphasis: violence prevention and conflict resolution, justice and healing, or structural peacebuilding and development.

You'll then put what you learn into action, completing practicum credits that'll give you invaluable professional experience as well as ideas about possible research topics.

Our students have worked with the Oregon Peace Institute, Rotarian Action Group for Peace, and the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization, just to name a few. Our new Research and Professional Development Colloquium provides you with an opportunity to learn from your peers, faculty members, community partners, and other experts and practitioners in the field of conflict resolution. Topics range from innovations in research, trends in the field, community activities, professionalization, and the many applied dimensions of conflict resolution, both locally and globally.

You'll graduate equipped with the techniques needed to engage in and transform disputes in organizational and community life.

What can I do with a master's degree or graduate certificate in Conflict Resolution?

Our graduates are prepared to take on leadership positions in conflict management and intervention in governmental, non-governmental, and corporate settings at the local, regional, national, and international levels.

Conflict resolution gives you knowledge and skills that can be applied across a variety of fields and professions, including:

  • Group facilitator in professional and community settings
  • Organizer for peace and justice advocacy
  • Researcher, program developer, or leader in NGOs or other agencies
  • Restorative justice work in settings such as family, schools, juvenile or adult incarceration, and community justice
  • Trauma-informed and trauma-healing work

Featured Courses

  • CR 511 Research Methods in Conflict Resolution
  • CR 512 Foundations of Conflict Resolution
  • CR 512 Perspectives in Conflict Resolution
  • CR 513 Philosophy of Conflict Resolution
  • CR 513 Advanced Values & Ethics in Conflict Resolution
  • CR 515 Negotiation and Mediation
  • CR 518 Psychology of Conflict Resolution
  • CR 518 Psychology of Peace and Conflict
  • CR 526 Advanced Intercultural Conflict Resolution
  • CR 530 Professionalism and Research Colloquium
  • CR 524 Advanced Mediation
  • CR 526 Intercultural Conflict Resolution


  • CR 510 Dialogue Across Differences
  • CR 510 Gender and Conflict Resolution
  • CR 510 NGOs and Civil Society
  • CR 510 Topics in Restorative Justice
  • CR 510 Human Rights and Conflict Resolution
  • CR 516 Evil and Hate
  • CR 527 Nationalism & Ethnic Conflict
  • CR 540 Peer Mediation
  • CR 541 Storytelling and Conflict Resolution
  • CR 542 Peace Education
  • CR 543 Nationalism and Democracy in Post 9/11 World


Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).