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Degree Overview: Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Alternative Dispute Resolution

Majors Overview March 4, 2015

Get information about bachelor’s degree programs in alternative dispute resolution and their coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Alternative Dispute Resolution

Schools offer programs in alternative dispute resolution, often called conflict resolution, as a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) as well as a Bachelor of Science (B.S.). In offering the programs, they typically combine them with related areas, such as negotiations or international security, and may also allow students to specialize in subjects such as global justice or mediation.

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma.


Coursework typically combines fieldwork, research, specializations, and core courses and may be augmented by internship opportunities. Classes can differ in accordance with the student’s choice of concentration or the general focus of the program (e.g., international conflicts). Core coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Community conflict
•Global conflict
•Research methods
•Conflict resolution theory

Career Choices

The student may need to study beyond the bachelor’s degree in order to enjoy suitable career choices. After he or she earns a master’s degree, relevant graduate certificate, or doctoral degree, the candidate can seek jobs that involve the settlement of disputes and aim for job titles such as:


Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, an at-par-with-average job growth rate of ten percent has been predicted for arbitrators, conciliators, and mediators (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, these professionals brought home an average annual wage of $61,280 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Those who complete the bachelor’s degree program may seek continuing education by earning a graduate degree that would help them gain a position in an occupation, which involves conflict resolution through alternative methods, such as negotiation and mediation.

Schools offer programs under the title of alternative dispute resolution mainly at the master’s degree level. Coursework may include subject areas such as negotiation, organizational conflict, international conflicts, and human communication. Schools often offer internships to augment core coursework.

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