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Become an expert in managing conflict, facilitating peaceful problem solving, and fostering collaborative decision-making.

Program Type

Graduate Certificate

Semester Start


Study Options

Online, On Campus, Hybrid

Minimum Duration

9 months

UMass Boston's Conflict Resolution graduate certificate program provides professionals with the unique skills needed to manage conflict in a variety of settings. It’s designed for professionals who want to develop their conflict management skills and add a professional certificate to their résumé. Students are trained in a range of approaches to the resolution of conflict, collaborative decision making, and problem solving. Courses examine the development, role, and management of conflict and encompass the theory, methods, and ethical perspectives of conflict resolution. Focus on areas such as court mediation, restorative justice, cross cultural conflict, peacebuilding, organizational and international conflict, and more. Alumni work in many fields, including business, government, education, health care, human resources, law, ministry, and international humanitarian work. You can also continue on for an additional two semesters to earn an Master's in Conflict Resolution.


  • This program consists of four 3-credit courses, or 12 credits.
  • Online tuition is $575 per credit.
  • Total estimated cost to complete this program is $8,800
  • Other fees may apply. Request Info to connect with a program representative for further details about curriculum.


  • Applications to start in the fall semester are due by June 1

Application Checklist

  • Online application and fee ($60 domestic, $100 international)
  • Official transcripts (completed bachelor’s degree required)
  • Submission of TOEFL or IELTS score* (required for all students that submit undergraduate transcripts where the national language is not English. Minimum required score for TOEFL is 79 to be considered).
  • Résumé
  • 2 letters of recommendation
  • Statement of Purpose — Please supply one document including the answer to each of the following 2 questions. Be sure to answer each question.
    • Describe one or more specific experiences you have had with conflict. What was your role? What were your rewards and frustrations? (500-750 words)
    • How will you apply the skills, knowledge, and perspective acquired through the program in your current and/or future employment? (500-750 words)

*Please note the certificate does not meet eligibility requirements for issuance of an I-20.

  • Introductory Theory (CONRES623)
    This course examines the theories and assumptions underpinning the practice of negotiation and mediation. It identifies the major schools of thought that influence models in practice and shape research agendas. It examines theories critically, with three aims-uncovering implicit assumptions of practice, testing those assumptions against empirical evidence or other theories, and gleaning insights to assist practitioners.
  • Special Topics in Conflict Resolution: Online Dispute Resolution (CONRES603-02CE)
    Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) is the use of technology to help people prevent, manage, and resolve disputes. ODR has been growing steadily over the past twenty years, driven mainly by the expansion of eCommerce, but the pandemic has accelerated this growth markedly as face-to-face options for dispute resolution have evaporated. In this course, you'll be introduced to ODR, learn about the latest developments in the field, and view ODR technology in action. This class will also address some of the complex challenges raised by the growth of ODR, including ethical and practice dilemmas, as well as outlining emerging best practices and procedural safeguards.
  • Negotiation (CONRES621)
    Negotiation is the bedrock skill in this field. This course addresses the development of negotiation techniques and fosters student knowledge of the substantial body of negotiation theory that is now available.
  • Cross-Cultural Conflict (CONRES625)
    This course emphasizes the special characteristics of conflict based in religious, ethnic, national, or racial identity-conflicts that the field calls ''intractable.'' The primary focus of the course is on intervention techniques that have been used and that have been proposed for use in these settings.

At the end of this two-semester program, you’ll be awarded a graduate certificate in Conflict Resolution. The certificate will demonstrate your expertise in the field on your résumé, as well as in interviews and workplace evaluations. You can also continue on for an additional two semesters of on-campus classes to earn a Master's in Conflict Resolution.

This certificate provides the theoretical foundations and practical skills to advance your current career trajectory or help you transition to a new one. You will gain a thorough grounding in the theory of conflict and its resolution. Explore the social, psychological, political, structural, and cultural factors which give rise to conflict and shape its course. Understand the effects of different types of conflict on people and the relationships among them. Develop skills in the practice, design, and evaluation of a variety of conflict management and resolution applications relevant to a broad range of contexts and group sizes. These skills include nonviolent, collaborative resolution methods, such as mediation, facilitation, negotiation, dialogue, organizational change, and consensual decision making.

Alumni work in many fields, including business; government; education; health care; human resources; law; ministry; international humanitarian work; and individual, couples, and family counseling.

Why UMass Boston Online?


Among the lowest online tuition rates of an accredited, public research university.


Study full-time to finish fast, or part-time to suit your schedule. Live sessions scheduled with the working professional in mind.


The same courses taught by the same academic departments as on campus. No third-party providers.

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Conflict Resolution Certificate

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