Graduate Program Requirements

Explore the Core Coursework, Electives and Three Tracks of the Conflict Resolution MA/MS Program

This description refers to the PSU Bulletin through 2018-19.

The master’s degree program consists of a minimum of 63 credits of coursework, including 9 credits of thesis or project work, and 9 credits of practicum work. Core, Elective, Practicum and Culminating Experience courses are taken in sequence. Each student’s program must be based upon the following courses or their transfer equivalencies. Most graduate students complete the program between two to two-and-a-half years.


Core Courses

  • CR 511 Research Methods in Conflict Resolution (4)
    • (Prerequisites: CR 512) 
  • CR 512 Perspectives in Conflict Resolution (4)
  • CR 513 Philosophy of Conflict Resolution (4)
  • CR 515 Negotiation and Mediation (4) 
  • CR 518 Psychology of Conflict Resolution (4)
  • CR 522 Thesis/Project Preparation Seminar (1)
    • (Prerequisite: one year completed in the program)
  • CR 524 Advanced Mediation (4)
    • (Prerequisites: CR 515)
  • CR 526 Intercultural Conflict Resolution (4)

Subtotal: 29 credit hours



All graduate students are expected to develop theoretical and practical competencies by combining the 16 hours of required electives with the core coursework. These competencies will be developed in consultation with the graduate student’s program advisor.

Subtotal: 16 credit hours

In order to achieve program integration and focus in their studies, students are encouraged to select at least 12 credits of their electives from a recommended areas of emphasis.



Each student will complete a 9-credit, 300-hour CR 509 Practicum that covers at least one of the emphasis areas. The practicum will be set up in consultation with the student’s program adviser. Optimally, the practicum will give the student professional experience in an emphasis area, as well as give the student ideas about research topics.

Subtotal: 9 credit hours


Culminating experience

Students must complete either the Master's Thesis or Master's Professional Project. The decision to pursue one or the other of these options is to be made in conjunction with the student’s faculty adviser.

Master's Thesis

Each student will complete a thesis and pass a final oral examination on the thesis. Students must complete at least 9 credits of CR 503 Thesis; 9 credits maximum count toward the degree. The thesis chair and thesis committee will be selected in consultation with the program adviser. Prior to beginning work on the thesis, all students will be required to take the Thesis and Project Preparation Seminar where they demonstrate proficiency in relevant theories and research methodology. Students are expected to follow a recommended step-by-step process for starting and completing their thesis in a timely manner. Thesis candidates must also comply with Office of Graduate Studies defense and submission deadlines, and formatting and publishing requirements, as required by PSU policies. 

Master's Professional Project

The student will complete a major project relating to his or her major area of study and present the results, with a written report and literature review, to faculty and students. The student will comply with current program guidelines for selection of project topic, project format, project committee, and presentation of the project outcomes. The student will complete the project under the direct supervision of the academic adviser. Students pursuing this option are required to sign up for at least 9 credits of CR 506 Project. Students are expected to follow a recommended step-by-step process for starting and completing their project in a timely manner.

Subtotal: 9 credit hours


Total: 63 credit hours