Marquette offers two dispute resolution options: a 15-credit graduate certificate and a 33-credit master’s degree. Both are for those interested in becoming a third-party neutral — a mediator, arbitrator or facilitator — or a knowledgeable participant in dispute resolution processes. Both curriculums are interdisciplinary and divided between a sound theoretical foundation and practical field skills.

The dispute resolution program comprises students ranging in age from their mid-20s to mid-50s with an average age of about 40. Students tend to have graduate degrees in a variety of other fields, including law, social work, and master's and doctoral degrees. About 65 percent are female and 35 percent male. Most students work full time, so classes are offered on Friday evenings and Saturdays. 

The graduate certificate gives students a fundamental understanding of the field. The curriculum includes mediation, advanced mediation, dispute resolution theory, advanced issues in dispute resolution and a practicum.

The master’s degree builds on the certificate's curriculum and includes 18 credits of additional dispute resolution work. The curriculum includes dispute resolution and family, dispute resolution and the workplace, dispute resolution and health care, and dispute resolution systems design. Independent study courses allow students to individualize their curriculum.

The faculty, all highly experienced and nationally recognized in their fields, emphasize a collegial, peer relationship with students. Classes are taught in an interactive seminar style with role plays and group exercises, and students are encouraged to engage in critical dialogue with faculty and classmates.

Marquette's graduate program in dispute resolution is Wisconsin's first academic training program for mediators and other neutrals.

Graduate programs in Dispute Resolution

Course Schedule


Click here to view the 2014 Dispute Resolution course schedule.


Contact Center for Dispute Resolution
Education and Graduate Program