2017-2018 Graduate Bulletin

Conflict Resolution

Office: Sie Complex Room 4008
Mail Code: 2201 S. Gaylord St., Denver, CO 80208
Phone: 303.871.6477
Email: cri@du.edu
Web Site: http://www.du.edu/conflictresolution

Master of Arts in Conflict Resolution

Conflict Resolution is an interdisciplinary program which capitalizes on the talent of 19 faculty members drawn from eight academic units on campus including: International Studies, Communication Studies, Social Work, Law, Business, Professional Psychology, Theology, and Communication Management in University College.

Josef Korbel School of International Studies focuses on aspects of ethnicity and cultural differences, globally organized efforts in cooperation, and justice, human rights, and diplomacy. The Department of Communication Studies and the Graduate School of Social Work explore group dynamics. The Sturm College of Law and University College have developed training programs in mediation. The Daniels College of Business offers a management specialty. More than 20 different classes in the Conflict Resolution curriculum are offered on campus at least once each year. Courses emphasize theories of conflict resolution, mastery of techniques for alternative dispute resolution, and courses on intractable conflict, creating agreement, and organizational and management issues.

Master of Arts in Conflict Resolution

Application Deadlines

  • Fall 2017 Priority Deadline: January 23, 2017
  • Fall 2017 Final Submission Deadline: August 21, 2017
  • Fall 2017 Deadline for Applicants Educated Outside the U.S.: August 4, 2017
  • Winter 2018 Priority Deadline: November 1, 2017
  • Winter 2018 Final Submission Deadline: December 22, 2017
  • Winter 2018 Deadline for Applicants Educated Outside the U.S.: December 4, 2017

Admission Requirements

  • Online admission application
  • $65.00 Application Fee
  • University Minimum Degree and GPA Requirements
    • Please Note: The average GPA of an admitted MA student for the fall 2016 quarter was a 3.40 and the median GPA was a 3.43.
  • Transcripts: One official transcript from each post-secondary institution.
  • GRE: Applicants must take either the GRE General Test or the GMAT and submit the scores to the University of Denver. Scores must be received directly from the appropriate testing agency by the deadline. The institution code for the University of Denver is 4842.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Two (2) letters of recommendation are required. Letters should be submitted by recommenders through the online application.
  • Personal Statement: In 500-700 words, answer all of the following questions: What is your career goal upon completing your graduate degree and what are your longer-term career goals? Explain why you have chosen to pursue a graduate degree and how the degree program you have chosen will prepare you to reach your specific career goals. What skills and previous experiences have helped position you to reach your career goals and how will the Josef Korbel School help you achieve these goals.
  • Résumé: The résumé (or C.V.) should include work experience, research, and/or volunteer work.

Additional Standards for Non-Native English Speakers

Official scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) are required of all graduate applicants, regardless of citizenship status, whose native language is not English or who have been educated in countries where English is not the native language. The minimum TOEFL/IELTS/CAE test score requirements for the degree program are:

  • Minimum TOEFL Score (paper-based test): 587
  • Minimum TOEFL Score (internet-based test): 95
  • Minimum IELTS Score: 7.0
  • Minimum CAE Score: 185
  • English Conditional Admission Offered: No, this program does not offer English Conditional Admission.

Read the English Language Proficiency policy for more details.

Read the English Conditional Admission (ECA) policy for more details.

Read the Required Tests for GTA Eligibility policy for more details.

Additional Standards for International Applicants

Per Student & Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) regulation, international applicants must meet all standards for admission before an I-20 or DS-2019 is issued, [per U.S. Federal Register: 8 CFR § 214.3(k)] or is academically eligible for admission and is admitted [per 22 C.F.R. §62]. Read the Additional Standards For International Applicants policy for more details.

Financial Aid

There are many different options available to finance your education. Most University of Denver graduate students are granted some type of financial support. Our Office of Financial Aid is committed to helping you explore your options.

Master of Arts in Conflict Resolution 

Degree Requirements

Coursework Requirements

Core coursework requirements
INTS 4920Conflict Resolution4
CRES 4221Negotiation Theory and Practice4
CRES 4222Mediation Theory and Issues4
CRES 4225Conciliation and Reconciliation4
COMN 4310Communication and Collaboration (or other graduate COMN course* approved by Degree Director)4
Select two classes from the following (minimum of 4 credits total):
Persuasive Communications in Leadership
Personal Development and Intentional Change
Foundations of Strategy
Personal Leadership and Career Development
MS Management Organizational Behavior
MS Management Human Resource Management
Organizational Politics and Change
Specialization (Special Topics) requirements
Select four of the following (or approved substitutions by Degree Director) minimum of 12 credits total: 1
Resolving Contentious Public Issues
Restorative Justice
Intractable Conflict
Negotiate Difficult Situations
Managing Organizational Conflict in the Workplace
Creating Agreement
Public Forum Facilitation
Conflict Vulnerability Assessment
Grant Writing: The Research Proposal and Conflict Analysis
Emphasis (skills/methodology) requirement
CRES 4111Reflective Practice and Evaluation4
Practical and Professional Techniques
CRES 4961Professional Development (three quarters of registration)0
COMM 4270Forty-Hour Mediation4
Internship (required, but registration in CRES 4981 is optional up to 4 credits)
CRES 4981Internship1-4
CRES 4971Practicum4
Thesis (optional) (up to 4 credits)
CRES 4995Thesis Research1-4
Elective requirements
All remaining courses to total minimum of 60 credits
Total Credits60

* COMM classes are offered through the Communication Management program at University College at 4 credits each.


 Students may also select from any of the affiliated academic units (International Studies, Management, Law, Social Work, Professional Psychology, Communication, Religious Studies, University College) by permission of the graduate director.

Minimum number of credits required for degree: 60

Non-coursework Requirements

  • Internship
  • Practicum
  • Thesis (Optional)


CRES 3401 Caribbean Conflict Resolution (2 Credits)

A travel course offering students an opportunity to view a broad spectrum of conflict--from interpersonal to community to intercultural--in Caribbean countries. Local conflicts and conflict resolution processes are examined, along with visits to governmental and non-governmental organizations and cultural sites to develop an understanding of how particular methods and approaches for solving disputes are applied within this political and cultural setting.

CRES 4111 Reflective Practice and Evaluation (4 Credits)

Course is designed for practitioners who would like to become more reflective and theory oriented in their practice, and for researchers who wish to work with actual data and questions from practice. The goals are to learn techniques for making theories of practice explicit, to examine ways practice and research may modify theory, and to explore how to introduce and expand reflective practice into conflict resolution.

CRES 4221 Negotiation Theory and Practice (4 Credits)

An overview of negotiation theories, strategy and tatics to understand the role of power perceptions, communications, and ethics affect bargaining processes and outcomes.

CRES 4222 Mediation Theory and Issues (4 Credits)

An analysis and critique of the nature and role of third parties in conflict intervention including conciliator, arbitrator, facilitator, monitor, trainer. Theoretical perspectives and case studies are used to understand the situations in which third parties operate, what values and resources they bring to their roles, and how power issues affect mediator functioning. Ethical guidelines are also considered.

CRES 4225 Conciliation and Reconciliation (4 Credits)

Societies are often divided along ethnic, racial, or religious lines. Without work at the grassroots level, international peace agreements regularly fail within five years of ratification. How do we create sustainable post-conflict relationships? How does justice factor into peace, or into the sustainability of peace agreements? This course explores these questions by building on concepts and themes introduced in Mediation Theory (CRES 4222), and analyzing topics such as multilevel interventions and their challenges, second track diplomacy, and citizen dialogue. Reconciliation is a key factor in peace building -- Voice, Acknowledgement, and Repair are specifically considered within this realm. Focus is also on the challenges presented by deep-rooted, protracted conflicts, allowing for more complete understanding of the situations in which third parties must operate.

CRES 4333 Resolving Contentious Public Issues (4 Credits)

The course covers collaborative governance work, including identity politics of contentious public issues. Natural resources disputes and the range of processes used to address these conflicts, including theories and concepts useful for understanding environmental and policy disputes, case studies, and world views that premise these disputes, provide insight into constructing interventions best suited to the characteristics and context of each contentious issue.

CRES 4400 Restorative Justice (2 Credits)

This course explores four leading Restorative Justice practices - Victim-Offender Mediation, Conferencing, Talking Circles, and Truth Commissions - to understand how needs of victims are addressed, and embracing notions of forgiveness, reconciliation and social healing within a set of principles based on social justice.

CRES 4410 Intractable Conflict (2 Credits)

This course is focused on factors that lead to intractability, along with strategies for violence prevention and conflict transformation. Conflict mapping and analysis, sources of intractability, and social, psychological, economic and political dimensions of intractable conflicts are examined.

CRES 4420 Negotiate Difficult Situations (2 Credits)

What should a negotiator do when the win-win approach fails and important interests are at stake? This course addresses a variety of tactics and ploys of unethical behavior and dirty tricks used in persuasion and bargaining. Students learn how to recognize and counter such techniques and practice in simulated and real world settings. Prerequisite: CRES 4221.

CRES 4810 Conflict Resolution Topics (2,4 Credits)

Fields of interest to Conflict Resolution Students such as negotiation, international conflict resolution case studies, restorative justice, conflict transformation, methods for conflict resolution research.

CRES 4820 Topics in Conflict Resolution (1-4 Credits)

Fields of interest to Conflict Resolution Students such as negotiation, international conflict resolution case studies, restorative justice, conflict transfos, methods for conflict resolution research.

CRES 4830 Topics in Conflict Resolution (2-4 Credits)

Fields of interest to Conflict Resolution Students such as negotiation, international conflict resolution case studies, restorative justice, conflict transformation, methods for conflict resolution research.

CRES 4840 Managing Organizational Conflict in the Workplace (2 Credits)

A broad study of conflict in organizations that may involve gender, race, age, disability and other issues, using lecture, case studies, group dialogue, and team projects to develop systems of management and evaluation.

CRES 4850 Creating Agreement (2 Credits)

Multilateral agreements are as complex as they are difficult to create. What are the key elements in this process? The history of such negotiations is one of both successes and failures. This course examines the development of criteria necessary for creating satisfactory and acceptable agreements involving multiple parties through a series of case studies that link negotiation theory and praxis.

CRES 4860 Public Forum Facilitation (2 Credits)

Diverse democracies require high quality communication and coordination to function well. In the current era, however, polarization, cynicism and apathy have become the norm, they obstructing possibilities for collaborative problem-solving. What are the best processes for making public decisions in a democracy? This course examines the tools of advocacy, debate, dialogue and deliberation through the lens of facilitation in public forums.

CRES 4870 Conflict Vulnerability Assessment (2 Credits)

This course guides students seeking to specialize in early warning and conflict prevention approaches at the community, societal, or country level through the contemporary scholarly literature, policy-related instruments and models that seek to define and measure "conflict vulnerability.

CRES 4880 Grant Writing: The Research Proposal and Conflict Analysis (2 Credits)

This course is designed to cover key elements of social research methods that are important principles of evidence-based policy, known for its rigor and precision in careful data collection - including quantitative and qualitative methodology analysis and expert opinion to build facts and findings from context-free, context rich and colloquial environments into a coherent whole - to support informed decision-making capability.

CRES 4961 Professional Development (0 Credits)

To develop the specialized knowledge, skills, attitudes, values, norms, and interest needed to perform professional roles in the Conflict Resolution practitioner community. It involves informal socialization including lessons learned incidentally through association with mentors, networking with practitioners, and observations of conflict resolution processes in all areas of life. Students gain an awareness of how self-image and activities play an active part in professional socialization.

CRES 4971 Practicum (4 Credits)

Students design, execute, and evaluate conflict resolution interventions. Student involvement in planning, implementation, reflection, and evaluation may look different in different contexts, but all elements are present in some form. Students are supervised by faculty with relevant theoretical expertise and practice experience.

CRES 4981 Internship (1-4 Credits)

CRES 4985 Internship (4-8 Credits)

CRES 4991 Independent Study (1-4 Credits)

CRES 4995 Thesis Research (1-4 Credits)

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