2016-2017 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

Following are the simple steps to apply for master’s program in International Studies at the University of Denver. If you have any questions about the process, please contact the Office of Graduate Studies.

Apply Online / Application Deadlines

  • Applications for graduate study at the University of Denver must be submitted online. Apply online.
  • All online materials must be received, and all supplemental materials including transcripts must be on file in the Office of Graduate Studies, by the program’s stated deadline: January 15, for Fall quarter or November 1, for Winter quarter. These are priority deadlines and the program will continue to consider applications on a rolling basis.
  • A $65 non-refundable application fee is required for an application to be processed. Application fee waivers are available for McNair Scholars Rangel Fellows, Pickering Fellows

Course and Degree Prerequisites and Requirements

  • Applicants must earn and submit proof of earning the equivalent of a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution prior to beginning graduate coursework at DU.


  • Applicants are required to submit an official transcript from each post-secondary institution they have attended, or are presently attending, where two quarter hours (or one semester hour) or more were completed including study abroad and college coursework completed in high school.
  • The applicant is responsible for obtaining all transcripts. Applicants who have earned a degree outside the U.S. must submit transcripts accompanied by certified English translations, if not normally issued in English. DU students and alumni do not need to provide DU transcripts.
  • Official study abroad transcripts are required unless the course titles, grades and credit earned abroad appear on another transcript. Transcripts from outside of the U.S. are evaluated by the Office of International Student Admission. This process can take three to four weeks and must be complete by the program’s stated deadline. Therefore, applicants with a degree from outside of the U.S. are encouraged to apply early. Applicants educated outside the U.S. are encouraged to contact the Office of Graduate Studies for assistance regarding transcript-related materials.
  • The University of Denver will consider electronic transcripts official from a domestic institution provided by the following approved agencies: Army/American Council on Education Registry Transcript System (AARTS); Docufide/Parchment; National Student Clearinghouse; Naviance; Royall and Company; and, Scrip-Safe.
  • Paper Transcripts should be sent to the following address

University of Denver
Office of Graduate Studies
Mary Reed Building, Room 5
2199 S. University Blvd.
Denver, CO 80208-4802

  • Electronic transcripts should be sent to gradinfo@du.edu.

Language Proficiency

  • Official scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) 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. Applications will not be processed until the required TOEFL or IELTS score is received. The TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for two years from the test date. The minimum TOEFL score accepted by the Josef Korbel School of International Studies is 95 (iBT) or 587 (paper-based). The institution code for the University of Denver is 4842. The minimum IELTS score accepted by the University is 7.0. Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) must demonstrate fluency in spoken English by scoring a 26 on the TOEFL speaking section or 8.0 on the IELTS speaking section. Please see the Graduate Policy Manual for complete English language proficiency requirements.
  • Applicants may be exempted from English proficiency test requirements if by the time of matriculation they have earned a post-secondary degree from a formally-recognized/accredited university where the language of instruction and examination is English. Such applicants may be exempt from the TOEFL/IELTS requirement but not from other standardized graduate entrance examinations. There are no exemptions for graduate teaching assistants.
  • Students whose native language is not English and who are required to submit TOEFL/IELTS scores will be assessed by the University of Denver English Language Center (ELC) prior to matriculation.

Test Scores

  • Applicants must take either the GRE General Test or the GMAT and submit the scores to the University of Denver. DU’s ETS Institution Code is 4842.

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.

Resume / C.V.

  • A resume or C.V. is required. This should include work experience, research, and/or volunteer work. The resume should be submitted via upload through the online application process. 

Recommendation Letters

  • Two letters of recommendation are required. Letters should be solicited and uploaded by recommenders through the online application system. Requests for letters should be sent to recommenders well in advance so the letters are on file by the application deadline.

Financial Support

  • To be considered for financial support, domestic applicants should apply early and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the priority deadline; February 15. Information about financial aid can be found on the Office of Financial Aid website. International students are not eligible for federal financial aid.
  • To receive priority consideration for merit-based scholarships we strongly encourage you to apply to the Josef Korbel School prior to the application deadline (November 1 for winter admission and January 15 for fall admission).

Application Status

  • We encourage you to be actively engaged in the admission process. You can check your application status online. Applicants will receive login information post application submission.

Contact Information

  • Mail official transcripts and any supplemental admission materials not submitted with the online application to:

University of Denver
Office of Graduate Studies
Mary Reed Building, Room 5
2199 S. University Blvd.
Denver, CO 80208-4802

  • Electronic transcripts should be sent to gradinfo@du.edu.
  • For more information call (303) 871-2706

International Applicants

  • For complete international applicant information, please visit the Office of Graduate Studies International Student Application Information. International applicants are strongly encouraged to have their applications complete, with all materials on file in the admission office, at least eight weeks prior to the program’s application deadline.

The Graduate Policies and Procedures provides complete details regarding admission requirements.

Master of Arts in Conflict Resolution 

Degree Requirements

Coursework Requirements

Core coursework requirements
INTS 4920Conflict Resolution5
CRES 4221Negotiation Theory and Practice3,5
CRES 4222Mediation Theory and Issues5
CRES 4225Conciliation and Reconciliation5
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 - Digital, Oral, Written
Profiles in Leadership and Management
Foundations of Strategy
Ascend Industry or Topic Ideation and Research
MS Management Organizational Behavior
MS Management Human Resource Management
Conflict and Change Management
Specialization (Special Topics) requirements
Select four of the following (or approved substitutions by Degree Director) (minimum of 12 credits total):
Resolving Contentious Public Issues
Restorative Justice
Intractable Conflict
Negotiating Difficult Situatns
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 Evaluation5
Practical and Professional Techniques
COMM 4701Topics in Applied Comm (40 hr Mediation Training)4
CRES 4961Professional Development (three quarters of registration)0
CRES 4981Internship (variable credits)1-5
CRES 4971Practicum3-5
Thesis (optional) (up to 5 credits)5
CRES 4995Thesis Research1-5
Elective requirements
All remaining courses to total minimum of 62 credits
Total Credits62

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

Minimum number of credits required for degree: 62

Non-coursework Requirements

  • Internship
  • Practicum
  • Thesis (Optional)


CRES 3401 Caribbean Conflict Resolution (3 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 (5 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 (3,5 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 (5 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 (5 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 (5 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 (3 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 (3 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 Negotiating Difficult Situatns (3 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 (3,5 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 (1-5 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 (3-5 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 (3,5 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 (3 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 (3 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 (3 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 (3,5 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 (3-5 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 (1-5 Credits)

CRES 4985 Internship (4-8 Credits)

CRES 4991 Independent Study (1-5 Credits)

CRES 4995 Thesis Research (1-5 Credits)

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