Contemporary Dispute Resolution Graduate Certificate

Contemporary Dispute Resolution Graduate Certificate

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The purpose of the Graduate Certificate in Contemporary Dispute Resolution is to prepare individuals with the analytical and practical skills using process such as mediation, negotiation, coaching or facilitation to deal effectively with disputes in work settings including schools, businesses, and local and state government. Students will be prepared to analyze and understand disputes in the context of larger social, structures (for example: economic and racial inequality, unequal access to the justice and education systems). Students will be trained to identify and implement appropriate dispute resolution strategies. Students will learn to analyze the factors underlying disputes, recognize power differential among disputing parties, and choose appropriate strategies to address those factors. Graduates will be able to use dispute resolution methodologies including mediation, negotiation, coaching and facilitation to assist people to manage disputes.

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Developed in partnership with NAFCM 



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Dominion Energy Scholars Program for Dispute Resolution

Learn about this scholarship

Thanks to the generous support of the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation, the Carter School is proud to announce the Dominion Energy Scholars Program for Dispute Resolution.  Beginning in Fall 2022, this program will fund a number of partial and full scholarships for the Graduate Certificate in Contemporary Dispute Resolution.  These one-time scholarships will be awarded based on merit and financial need.

  • Full scholarships are limited to current Virginia residents only.
  • Partial scholarships are open to all applicants, regardless of residency.
  • In their personal statement, applicants must address the question: “How will you change the field of dispute resolution?”
  • To be eligible for either scholarship, applicants must have a current FAFSA (2022-2023) on file.

Applicants will be automatically considered for the Dominion Energy Scholars Program upon receipt of their online application for the graduate certificate.  No additional application is required.  Recipients will be notified of their award when they receive their admission decision.


Program Requirements

Number of Credit Hours: 15 graduate credit hours

In the course listing below, asterisks denote new courses.

Foundation Course: 3 credits

  • CONF 500: Frameworks for Ethical Dispute Resolution Practice (3 credits) *

Practice Foundations: 9 credits

  • CONF 631: Mediation in Diverse Settings (3 credits) *
  • CONF 632: Coaching through Conflict (3 credits) *
  • CONF 657: Facilitation Skills (3 credits)
  • CONF 741: Negotiating in Complex Systems (3 credits)
  • CONF 651: Collaborative Community Action & Participatory Governance (3 credits)

Practicum: 3 credits

  • CONF 640: Practicum in Contemporary Dispute Resolution (3 credits) *


Application Deadline for Certificate Programs


Priority: Open

Standard: Open


Priority: April 1

Standard: May 15