Description of Master's Degree Courses

DIRS 6600 — Mediation

Mediation as facilitated negotiation, three-party processes vs. two-party processes, interest-based bargaining vs. positional or adversarial bargaining. Concepts will be explored through the use of class role plays, which will be videotaped and critiqued as a part of mediation training.

  • (70 percent theory, 30 percent skills)

DIRS 6605 — Advanced Mediation

An exploration of more advanced issues in the practice of mediation, including brokering, emotions in mediation, agenda, joint session, caucuses, agreements and multiparty/multi-issue cases.

  • (80 percent skills, 20 percent theory)
  • Prerequisite: DIRS 6600

DIRS 6610 — Dispute Resolution Theory

The development of conflict between and among individuals, organizations and governmental units; various models for conflict and types of conflict resolution will be surveyed.

  • (100 percent Theory)
  • Prerequisite: DIRS 6600

DIRS 6615 — Advanced Issues in Dispute Resolution

Explores current theoretical and applied issues in mediation. These issues may include communication theories and models, legislative enactments, dispute resolution systems design, and court-connected dispute resolution systems. Case studies provide an opportunity to examine the theory through an applied approach.

  • (Theory-to-skills ratio varies)
  • Prerequisite: DIRS 6600

DIRS 6964 — Practicum

Required of all students; for example, an internship may be established with a community mediation center, a court system, a hospital peer review committee or a public school teachers' collective bargaining unit. Placements will be arranged on an individual basis. S/U grade assessment.

  • (90 percent skills, 10 percent theory)
  • Prerequisites: DIRS 6600 and DIRS 6605

DIRS 6720 — Arbitration

Explores the adjudicative process of arbitration or private judging in commonly used contexts such as labor, construction, securities and consumer disputes. The course also examines the United States Supreme Courtís line of precedent regarding the enforceability of arbitration clauses in contracts. Finally, the course addresses the common techniques used in the arbitration process.

  • Prerequisite: DIRS 6600

DIRS 6725 — Negotiation

Explores a variety of styles of negotiation, focusing primarily on interest-based bargaining. The course also addresses criticisms of the efficacy of interest-based bargaining in some depth. Finally, the course relies heavily on the use of role plays for instructional purposes, using scenarios from two-party single-issue negotiations to multiparty multi-issue negotiations.

  • Prerequisite: DIRS 6600

DIRS 6710 — Dispute Resolution and Education

Explores the many ways dispute resolution processes are used in the educational context, including collective bargaining agreements, student-peer mediation programs, student-teacher disputes, teacher-teacher disputes, ombuds programs in higher education, and the mediation of special education disputes. The course also addresses problem-solving skills that teachers or school administrators may find useful in dealing with parents, students and colleagues. This course will use a significant number of role plays to allow students to apply and refine their skills.

  • Prerequisite: DIRS 6600

DIRS 6705 — Dispute Resolution and the Family

Explores the many ways that dispute resolution processes are used in the family dynamic, including the division of marital property, resolution of child custody issues, resolution of parent-child behavioral issues, resolution of contested adult guardianships, resolution of issues involving the termination of parental rights and placement of adult family members in institutional settings. This course will include an analysis of the roles of unique stakeholders, such as guardian ad litem, medical personnel, and extended family members. This course will use a significant number of role plays to allow students to apply and refine their skills.

  • Prerequisite: DIRS 6600

DIRS 6735 — Dispute Resolution and Health Care  

Explores the many ways dispute resolution processes are used in health care, including the resolution of patient payment disputes with hospitals, health care providers and health maintenance organizations; resolution of disputes regarding treatment options; resolution of disputes among professionals treating the same patient; resolution of lifestyle issues (smoking and alcoholic beverages) in long-term care facilities; resolution of health care provider malpractice; and resolution of end-of-life issues among providers, family members and hospital ethics committees.

  • Prerequisite: DIRS 6600

DIRS 6715 — Dispute Resolution and the Workplace 

Explores the many ways dispute resolution processes are used in the workplace, including interest arbitration, grievance arbitration, the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements, ombuds systems, peer review panels, mediation systems in unionized and non-unionized environments; and the use of processes to address issues of sexual discrimination, sexual harassment, and the lack of retention and promotion of minority workers. The course will use a significant number of role plays to allow students to apply and refine their skills.

  • Prerequisite: DIRS 6600

DIRS 6730 — Dispute Resolution Systems Design

Explores the process by which one designs, implements and administers a dispute resolution system. It analyzes methods of stakeholder investment, intake, screening, referral, record-keeping, data collection and evaluation. It contrasts the methods used in a variety of dispute resolution systems, including internal and external mediation systems, arbitration, and ombuds programs. It emphasizes ethical standards applicable to system administration. Students will be required to design and document a system.

  • Prerequisite: DIRS 6600

DIRS 6995 — Independent Study

Topic determined by student and adviser.

DIRS 6998 — Professional Project in Dispute Resolution

Project that consists of a six-credit course divided into two semesters. Includes individual research and the completion of the written capstone paper.

Course Schedule


Click here to view the 2014 Dispute Resolution course schedule.


Contact Center for Dispute Resolution
Education and Graduate Program