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Degree Overview: Master’s Degree Programs in Negotiation

Majors Overview June 5, 2015

This article talks about master’s degree programs in negotiation and their educational requirements, coursework, career choices, and job and wage outlook.

Master’s Programs in Negotiation

Professionals in government, law, education, and business can obtain the practical skills necessary for negotiating disputes and settling conflicts between parties by enrolling in master’s degree programs in negotiation. Schools commonly offer a Master of Science (M.S.) in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution aimed at providing students with a strong grasp of negotiation models and theories that professionals across several fields could find useful.

Lawyers seeking to sharpen their verbal skills for use in negotiations with other defenders and prosecutors may find the program attractive. Businessmen seeking to learn about negotiating with partners and clients may also benefit from the program as well as community organizers, politicians, and sales agents, among others. Through classroom lectures, students are taught about negotiation and communication theories; simulations and group projects are used to apply those theories in practical settings.

Educational Requirements

The majority of master’s degree programs in negotiation and conflict resolution target mid-career professionals. Applicants are required to have prior work experience extending to a number of years. Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree; the field may vary by program and could include pre-law, business, and communications.


Program coursework covers the patterns and root causes of conflict and effective interaction methods. Students learn about communication techniques, human behavior, reflexive actions, trigger responses, and dialog techniques. Courses include the practical and theoretical tactics of communication and negotiation. Core coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Resolution strategies
•Applied research methods
•Advanced negotiation
•Conflict assessment
•Dynamical systems theory
•Conflict and cooperation
•Communication technologies

Career Choices

Program graduates may seek careers that have a heavy reliance on mediation and communication techniques. They may choose from possible job titles such as:

•Community service manager
•School psychologist
•Marriage and family therapist
•Business executive
•Real estate sales agent
•Health and safety engineer
•Equal opportunity representative
•Criminal investigator
•School administrator

Job and Wage Outlook

About 8,400 individuals were employed as conciliators, mediators, and arbitrators, in the United States during 2012 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In 2012, a job growth rate of ten percent has been predicted for these professionals. During May 2014, these professionals brought in an average annual wage of $70,740 (BLS).

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