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Why This Matters


    Although the majority of Negotiation and Conflict Management professionals are in the legal field, most industries employ mediators and arbitrators to settle conflict.


    Because arbitration and alternative dispute resolution methods are quicker than litigation, it is estimated that there will need to be 8% more professionals in the field in the next decade.


    High-level positions in the legal sector of the conflict management field earn a median pay of $119,970 or more, but even those starting out earn on average $60K or more.

Our Research

Our list focuses on programs that offer a master of arts or master of science in conflict management, negotiation, or dispute resolution — the names differ from program to program, but all equip students to work as a negotiator and manager of conflict situations. Programs are offered in either on-campus or online formats; some institutions have both as options.

All programs are accredited with the regional accrediting agency that assesses higher education in that area. These include the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and the New England Commission of Higher Education. Periodic accreditation ensures you that the institution is offering credible, top-line curriculum, taught by professors with the terminal degree in their field and pertinent real-world knowledge.

We evaluated each program on the basis of flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score for each program on a scale from 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

  • 50 hours to write this article
  • 64 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 129 education programs we compared

The Top 26 Master’s in Negotiation And Conflict Management Degree Programs

Best Master's in Negotiation And Conflict Management Degree Programs
Intelligent Pick
Kennesaw State University
Best Catholic University
University of San Diego
Best in the Northeast
University of Baltimore
Best Private University
Bay Path University
Best Master of Arts Degree
Dominican University
Best Public Research University
George Mason University
Best in the Southeast
Nova Southeastern University
Best Ivy League Program
Columbia University
Best in the Northwest
University Of Oregon
Best MLS Degree
Arizona State University
Best Private Research University
Georgetown University
Best On-Campus Program
Lipscomb University
Best Faculty
Salisbury University
Best Experiential Learning Opportunities
Brandeis University
Most Flexible
Portland State University
Best in the South
Southern Methodist University

Discover More Options

What You Should Know About This Degree

Although Negotiation and Conflict Management is a specialized field, it is applicable to multiple industries. The majority of arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators work in local and state government, but many are employed in healthcare and social assistance and across the span of the corporate world.

A master’s degree in Negotiation and Conflict Management can be a valuable accompaniment to a J.D. degree or a master’s in Healthcare Management or Educational Administration. Conflict can arise in just about any situation, so there is a need for negotiators in many settings.

There are no national-level licensing requirements to become a conflict management specialist. Many negotiators are active in groups such as the International Association for Conflict Management and the Association for Conflict Resolution, which offer opportunities for further education or credentialing.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching Negotiation and Conflict Management programs:

  • Am I eligible for this program? All programs require you to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, and most require a GPA of at least 3.0. Check with your chosen school to see if they require you to have taken the GRE or GMAT tests — some do, but not all. You’ll need to submit an application, recommendation letters, and more to request a place in the incoming class.
  • How long does it take to complete this online degree? The time it takes to earn a master’s degree in Negotiation and Conflict Management varies by program, and is also impacted by whether you attend school full-time or part-time. A full-time student might be able to complete their program in a year or more; for part-time students, plan on at least two years to completion.

Most institutions have admissions counselors available to talk to you throughout the day, either via phone, email, or online chat. These individuals can be an invaluable resource, and can help you determine if a program is a good fit for your needs.

An admissions counselor may also be able to help you apply for school-based financial aid. In addition, you may be able to receive scholarships, grants, or loans from your place of employment or any professional organizations to which you belong.