Affordable Online Master’s in Negotiation & Conflict Management Degrees

Negotiation and conflict management plays a crucial role in understanding and improving the complex relationships between individuals, communities, businesses, and countries. Because nearly every workplace involves interpersonal interactions, professionals skilled in managing and resolving disputes can work in most industries. Whether you are interested in pursuing a negotiation and conflict management master’s degree online or on-campus, this degree provides access to an exciting range of career options.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that between 2014 and 2024 the number of jobs in this field will increase by 9%, which is higher than the national average. More employers are looking for conflict management professionals to teach their communities how to manage conflict in order to save money and boost workplace happiness and productivity. There are also a variety of job opportunities available in international relations and foreign policy for conflict management professionals.

Most Affordable Online Master's Degrees in Negotiation & Conflict
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Amberton University

Value Score 8.50
Average Tuition $6,000
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 74
Number of Online Programs 3

Amberton University offers an affordable online master's specialization in negotiation and conflict management. This specialization is completed alongside the master's of arts in professional development, the MBA in strategic leadership, or the master's of science in human relations and business. This specialization requires a total of 12 credit hours. The program teaches students strong negotiation skills and persuasive communication techniques in order to better manage conflict. This business-oriented program is designed to help professionals handle conflict within their organizations. Only four courses are needed for this track: conflict management, negotiation skills for managers, persuasion, and organizational behavior. Full-time degree candidates who maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 can expect to finish their master’s degree and specialization in two years. Prospective students are encouraged to contact an Amberton distance learning advisor to find the best fit for their academic and financial needs.

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California University of Pennsylvania

Value Score 8.12
Average Tuition $8,460
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 90
Number of Online Programs 9

One of the best online colleges in the US, California University of Pennsylvania offers an online MA in social science conflict resolution. This online master's in conflict resolution is an interdisciplinary program that integrates sociology, psychology, history, and communication studies. Courses are offered asynchronously so students can attend class and submit coursework on their own schedule. A total of 30 credit hours must be completed in order to graduate. Full-time students at Cal U often complete these requirements over the course of five semesters. Competitive applicants have a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA or higher. Financial aid is available for online students with some restrictions. Prospective students should contact the bursar's office in order to find the best financial aid options for their online education.

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Touro University Worldwide

Value Score 7.54
Average Tuition $9,000
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 100
Number of Online Programs 5

Touro University Worldwide is a nonprofit institution that offers an online master's in negotiation and conflict management. This MA in dispute resolution is for professionals who want to improve operations and morale in their organizations. Degree candidates study essential skills like negotiation, mediation, arbitration and facilitation, and other foundational tools for developing effective leadership in the workplace. Graduates work as company managers, union representatives, consultants, arbitrators, or mediators.

This 12-course, 36-credit degree requires a capstone project. Degree candidates must demonstrate their ability to utilize the dispute resolution techniques taught in the program. Financial assistance is available to those pursuing online degrees. TUW offers need and merit based scholarships. The financial aid office also helps incoming students locate outside sources of funding. Students may transfer credits from other schools as long as 75% of their coursework is completed at TUW.

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California State University-Dominguez Hills

Value Score 7.13
Average Tuition $6,738
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 22
Number of Online Programs 0

California State University - Dominguez Hills offers a 36-credit MA in negotiation, conflict resolution, and peacebuilding. The online master’s degree in conflict resolution prepares degree candidates for fruitful careers in counseling, labor relations, litigation, and human resources management. Classes are asynchronous; students can watch lecture videos at any time most convenient to them. A wide variety of conflict resolution courses are available, including family mediation, labor conflict, conflict resolution for sports, international peacebuilding, reducing school violence, and inter-cultural conflict. Students must complete a final capstone project or traditional master's thesis in order to be eligible for graduation.

Competitive applicants submit their GRE exam scores, a written essay, and letters of recommendation. In some cases, prospective students might have to participate in an oral interview prior to admission. Once enrolled, students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.2. Students also have the option to pursue a joint master's JD/MA degree in cooperation with Southwestern Law School.

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Excelsior College

Value Score 7.13
Average Tuition $11,160
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 100
Number of Online Programs 14

Excelsior College's negotiation and conflict management master's degree online prepares students to work in domestic and international business. Excelsior's master's of management with a concentration in mediation and arbitration focuses on alternative conflict resolution in the workplace. The program operates on a flexible, eight-week online course schedule. Many MA degree seekers continue to work full time while enrolled. Core courses in this program include organizational communication, human resource management, and managing global environments. Degree candidates must also complete a strategic management-based capstone course. This is a 30-credit hour degree program for which students may transfer up to 15 credits. Applicants do not need to submit their GRE or GMAT scores.

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George Mason University

Value Score 6.97
Average Tuition $10,328
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 19
Number of Online Programs 10

George Mason University offers an MS in conflict analysis and resolution with a specialization in resolution theory, research methods, and ethics. Courses for this program are delivered in an asynchronous format so students can learn on their own schedule. Students are required to attend a one week on-campus residency, but all other credits can be earned online. Degree candidates receive special training in addressing sources of hostility and techniques for altering negative behaviors. GMU graduates often seek employment in security intelligence, disaster relief, public service, and nonprofit organizations. Online students have access to GMU's career services center, which includes free counseling and career resources. While distance learners receive a discounted tuition rate compared to traditional learners, non-Virginia residents pay slightly more per credit hour than residents. Students should speak directly with the office of financial aid to find the best sources of funding for their education.

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Norwich University

Value Score 5.75
Average Tuition $16,962
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 99
Number of Online Programs 9

The oldest private military college in the US, Norwich University offers a negotiation and conflict management master's degree online. The MA in diplomacy is a 36-credit program that consists of six 11-week courses. While all students take the same core curriculum, students can select an area of concentration that best fits their professional goals. Distance learners must choose between a concentration in international terrorism, international conflict management, international commerce, or cyber diplomacy. At the end of the program, degree candidates must attend a one-week residency and graduation ceremony at the Norwich campus. In order to graduate, students must pass a comprehensive essay exam. An optional master's thesis may be added for individuals who anticipate a research-heavy career or want to pursue a Ph.D.

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Creighton University

Value Score 5.53
Average Tuition $15,052
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 55
Number of Online Programs 7

Creighton is a private Jesuit Catholic university established in 1878. Their online negotiation and conflict management master’s degree is a 32-credit hour program that may be completed in a hybrid format or entirely online. Courses include foundational instruction in conflict resolution as well as specialty courses like culture, power, and gender differences in conflict. Online students must participate in a practicum where they apply skills in a professional or organizational setting of their choice. Distance learners are required to attend two on-campus residencies. Most full-time students complete the degree in 16 to 20 months. Competitive applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. Applicants must also submit a writing sample, two letters of recommendation, and complete an interview with a department faculty member. The GRE is not required but may help Creighton assess a distance learner's capacity for success in the program.

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University of Baltimore

Value Score 5.26
Average Tuition $13,096
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 31
Number of Online Programs 4

The University of Baltimore is a public university established in 1925. The online master's in negotiation and conflict management is one of 11 MS degrees offered by the university. UB boasts a highly integrative, interdisciplinary program that educates students in healthcare, law, and international relations. A total of 42 credits is required for graduation, which most full-time students complete in two years. Degree candidates must participate in a capstone internship to help them expand their professional network and become stronger candidates in the professional job market. UB also offers a dual JD/MS program for distance learners interested in acquiring a law degree. Students can receive need and merit based internal scholarships. All prospective graduate students must complete a FAFSA to be considered for financial aid.

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Arizona State University-Tempe

Value Score 5.11
Average Tuition $10,610
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 15
Number of Online Programs 10

Arizona State University - Tempe has one of the best negotiation and conflict management programs in the country. ASU offers an affordable online master's of legal studies with an emphasis in conflict resolution. While this program is housed in the law school, the curriculum is also applicable to business and international affairs. Courses include mediation, family dispute resolution, workplace disputes, and psychology of conflict.

This degree requires 30 credit hours over a total of 10 courses. Full-time students can complete this degree in as little as one year. While most courses are delivered online, students must attend two residencies at ASU's Phoenix campus. Students enrolled in the program receive a travel stipend to offset costs for these trips. Applicants must submit a personal statement, resume, writing sample, two letters of recommendation, and their official undergraduate transcripts. The GRE and GMAT are not required for admission.

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Dallas Baptist University

Value Score 5.08
Average Tuition $14,814
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 45
Number of Online Programs 12

A Christian liberal arts institution, Dallas Baptist University offers an online master's in negotiation and conflict management focused on business environments. DBU's MBA in conflict resolution is a 36-credit hour program that teaches students theories of conflict resolution and mediation techniques. Methods of instruction include lecture, group discussions, and personal meditation sessions. MBA courses include corporate finance, business ethics, strategic management, and leadership in management. Of the 36 required credits, 12 are in the conflict resolution concentration, including conflict resolution management, advanced family mediation, and employee negotiations and collective bargaining. Courses are delivered in an asynchronous format. Full-time students generally need two years to complete the degree. All students pay the same tuition regardless of residential status and financial aid is available to all in the form of need and merit based scholarships. All students must fill out a FAFSA in order to be considered for aid.

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Nova Southeastern University

Value Score 4.97
Average Tuition $16,760
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 54
Number of Online Programs 52

Located in Fort Lauderdale, Nova Southeastern University is private nonprofit established in 1964. NSU’s online MS in conflict analysis and resolution trains young professionals to peacefully resolve conflict in businesses, international environments, and communities. Full-time students can finish in 15 months while part-time learners need approximately two years. All students must be enrolled during the summer semesters.

Distance learners must attend two on-campus residencies per academic year. In order to graduate, students must also complete a minimum of 36 credit hours, pass a field practicum, maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher, and pass a comprehensive exam or an optional master's thesis.

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Dominican University

Value Score 3.63
Average Tuition $17,815
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 17
Number of Online Programs 8

Dominican is a coeducational Catholic institution established in 1901. The online master's of arts in conflict resolution centers around notions of peace and justice. Students can earn two certifications: the mediation skills training certificate and the graduate certificate in conflict resolution. The former requires one extra course and is geared toward individuals who wish to work in the state of Illinois. The latter requires three additional courses and is not specific to a geographic location. While the majority of requirements are completed online, distance learners must attend two five-day intensive courses on campus. This 36-credit hour program also requires that learners participate in a practicum to gain real-world experience. Practicums are completed over the course of 40 hours in a professional setting under the supervision of a Dominican faculty member. No master's thesis is required for graduation.

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Bay Path University

Value Score 3.62
Average Tuition $20,385
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 38
Number of Online Programs 7

Bay Path is a private university in Longmeadow, Massachusetts, established in 1897. While Bay Path is a coeducational institution, it was the first all-women online college. Bay Path’s online master's of science in leadership and negotiation is a 36-credit hour, 12-course program that specializes in the practical application of mediation theories, concepts, and academic research. Most distance learners complete their degrees in 12 to 24 months. Courses are offered in an accelerated eight-week format and may be taken full-time or part-time. Students can earn a certificate in leadership and negotiation as a stand-alone designation or for credit towards the master's degree. No GRE or GMAT scores are required to apply. Applicants must submit a statement of purpose, two letters of recommendation, and undergraduate transcripts with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Financial assistance in the form of federal and private loads is available for US citizens and permanent residents.

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Abilene Christian University

Value Score 3.40
Average Tuition $19,116
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 51
Number of Online Programs 9

ACU offers an online master of arts in conflict management and resolution that emphasizes the importance of maintaining relationships, even through disagreements. Students can choose one of two tracks: practitioner or organizational. This program provides students with the foundational knowledge and skills needed to successfully manage conflicts while fostering a relationship on both sides of a disagreement.

The 36-credit curriculum includes coursework on a variety of topics, such as conflict theory and communication, ethics in conflict resolution, conflict management systems design, and negotiation and mediation. Students can earn their degree in just two years of full-time study. Graduates are prepared to pursue a variety of mediation roles in government, law enforcement, or private companies. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and submit two letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and a current resume to be considered. ACU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

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What Will I Learn in My Online Master’s in Negotiation & Conflict Management Program?

Online master’s in negotiation and conflict management programs teach individuals to develop solutions to disagreements between individuals and groups with different points of view and objectives. Most programs feature coursework in both practical and theoretical methods and emphasize skills in effective communication, cultural awareness and understanding, interpersonal skills, counseling, and conflict resolution. Additionally, most programs require students to complete a capstone thesis project and fieldwork to apply their learned skills in a professional environment.

Sample Courses

  • Understanding Conflict and Cooperation This course prepares students to succeed in more advanced classes and introduces learners to the major schools of thought that contribute to conflict management in the areas of psychology, law, business, political science, and social work.
  • Introduction to Mediation This class provides students with a strong foundation in both traditional methods of third party intervention and contemporary approaches to conflict resolution.
  • Fundamentals of Organizational Ombuds Practice Ombuds work on behalf of the public to investigate and address issues of maladministration and rights violations. This class prepares students for work by introducing them to the theories and practical methods of conflict resolution systems.
  • Intrapersonal Dynamics and Conflict This course focuses on varying personalities, temperaments, motivations, learning styles, and communication styles to strengthen interactions between individuals and communities. This class often includes self-assessment exercises and emphasizes a better understanding of the self.

Concentrations for Online Negotiation & Conflict Management Master’s Degrees

Because the field of negotiation and conflict management is so varied, many master’s programs allow students to choose a specialized concentration to support their chosen career path. Below is a list of common specializations for both on-campus and online master’s in negotiation and conflict management.

  1. Business Administration: Many programs offer either dual degrees in business administration and conflict management or a concentration in business administration. Students who choose to specialize in this area are prepared to work in business and human resources management, consulting, and public policy.
  2. Healthcare: Specializing in healthcare prepares students to work in hospitals, governmental agencies, and other health-related settings. Many nurses, administrators, and other health professionals choose this concentration to advance their careers.
  3. Public Relations: This concentration prepares students for work that utilizes the principles of persuasion, traditional and digital media content creation, communication plans, critical thinking, writing, and public relations campaigns.

Employment Outlook for Master’s in Negotiation & Conflict Management Graduates

Master’s in Negotiation & Conflict Management Careers

Students who earn a negotiation and conflict management master’s degree online have a great deal of career freedom and flexibility; individuals can apply their degree to almost any field. Conflict management professionals often work as mediators, conciliators, diplomats, ombudsman, psychologists, and administrators in government, healthcare, higher education, business, and law settings. Many individuals with this degree also work in the fields of restorative justice and international peace studies. Ideally, individuals who enter this field are strong communicators and critical thinkers who can respond to stressful situations in a calm manner.


$59,770 Avg Annual Salary
Bachelor’s Degree Required

Mediators help to facilitate conversations and resolve conflicts between parties outside of the court system. Mediators do not usually make decisions for these parties. Instead, they guide the opposing sides to a mutually-acceptable settlement. While a bachelor’s degree is sometimes sufficient to find work in this field, many employers require a master’s degree.

Projected Growth Rate 9%

Political Scientist

$114,290 Avg Annual Salary
Master’s Degree Required

These professionals often work as policy analysts and diplomats, researching, analyzing, and carrying out foreign policy. These careers often focus on international research and intercultural diplomacy.

Projected Growth Rate -2%

Human Resources Manager

$106,910 Avg Annual Salary
Bachelor’s Degree Required

HR managers plan, organize, and direct the daily operations of an organization’s administration. Job duties include interviewing and hiring staff, managing conflicts between individuals, and serving as an intermediary between employees and management. Many positions in this field require a master’s degree.

Projected Growth Rate 9%


$118,160 Avg Annual Salary
Doctoral or professional degree Degree Required

Lawyers represent individuals, organizations, and other groups and help them navigate conflicts and legal issues within and outside of the court system. In addition to their juris doctor degrees, lawyers may find it useful to have a separate master’s degree in a conflict resolution-related field.

Projected Growth Rate 6%

Negotiation and Conflict Management Licensure and Certification

While there is no standard licensure for most careers in negotiation and conflict management, there are several professional organizations that can help add to your professional qualifications. The International Mediation Institute, for example, offers certification programs for mediators, mediation advocates, and advisors. Other organizations, such as the American Arbitration Association, help members develop professionally through networking events, conferences, and training sessions. Below are two types of professional development that negotiation and conflict management professionals may be interested in pursuing.

  • Mediator Certification: Offered through the International Mediation Institute, which develops professional standards for mediators around the world, this certification helps individuals find professional opportunities and be accepted to participate in court panels and other dispute resolution groups.
  • Harvard Negotiation Institute: Part of Harvard University, this institute is a world-renowned organization in the field of negotiation and conflict management. While these courses do not always lead to licensure or certification, they provide government officials, lawyers, executives, and professionals from other industries with the opportunity to further their negotiation skills and advance their careers.

Job Placement for Graduates of Negotiation and Conflict Management Programs

In most fields, holding a master’s degree allows you to access higher salaries and pursue advanced positions. Professional psychologists, lawyers, administrators, managers, and educators often earn a master’s in negotiation and conflict management in order to specialize their skillsets and become more marketable. According to the BLS, individuals who earn master’s degrees in fields related to negotiation and conflict management, such as business and social services, enjoy significant increases in their salaries. Counselors and social workers with master’s degrees earn 25-35% more than those with only bachelor’s degrees, while office administrators and managers with master’s degrees earn 27% more than their peers with only bachelor’s degrees.

Master’s in Negotiation & Conflict Management Salary

Many factors, including your employer, location, and specialization, affect your earning potential as a graduate with a master’s degree in negotiation and conflict management. Your experience in the field also affects your salary. Below, you can find more information about median salaries for common careers related to negotiation and conflict management. Data for entry-level, mid-career, and late-career positions are shown.

Median Salary for Negotiation & Conflict Management Careers by Experience
Job Title Overall Median Salary Median Salary for Entry-Level Employees (0-5 years) Median Salary for Mid-Career Employees (5-10 years) Median Salary for Late-Career Employees (20+ years)
Conflict Analyst $55,858 $51,318 $60,563 N/A
Policy Analyst $55,903 $53,183 $64,560 $78,987
Human Resources Manager $106,910 $56,223 $65,323 $72,068
Lawyer $118,160 $68,419 $92,758 $128,133

Do I Need to Take the GRE to Enroll in an Online Master’s in Negotiation & Conflict Management Program?

Many schools require prospective students to submit satisfactory Graduate Records Examination (GRE) scores in order to be admitted into a program. The GRE tests students in the areas of verbal reasoning, analytical writing, and quantitative reasoning. The exam includes multiple choice sections and two written essays. While the recommended study time for this exam depends on your learning and test preparation styles, most test experts suggest one to three months of preparation for the GRE.

In addition to the GRE, some schools accept LSAT (Law School Admissions Test), GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test), or MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) scores. Alternatively, some programs do not require applicants to submit any exam scores; instead, admission is granted based on the strength of a student’s letters of recommendation, work samples, statements of purpose, and other standard application materials.

Accreditation for Online Master’s in Negotiation & Conflict Management Degrees

Attending an accredited school is very important; many employers and universities do not accept degrees or credits from unaccredited institutions. The accreditation process is performed by verified external agencies and ensures that a school meets certain national or regional standards, enabling it to provide a quality education to its students.

The two types of accreditation are regional and national. Regional accreditation is more widely accepted and authoritative, and most schools are regionally accredited through one the nation’s six regional agencies. Nationally-accredited schools are often for-profit institutions and have less rigorous admissions requirements. For more information, visit the U.S. Department of Education’s list of accredited schools or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation’s directory of recognized organizations.

When researching online colleges, it is best to look for regionally-accredited institutions. Additionally, while many areas of study have specific accrediting agencies, there are no current accrediting bodies for programs in negotiation and conflict management.

Financing Your Online Master’s in Negotiation & Conflict Management Program

It is important to realize that there are many financial resources, including grants, scholarships, loans, and fellowships, available to both undergraduate and graduate students. These sources can help make an online master’s in negotiation and conflict management more affordable. In order to gain a better understanding of the financial aid available to you, be sure to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. There are several scholarships available for students in the fields of peace and conflict studies, including negotiation and conflict management. In particular, there are many financial aid opportunities for students engaged in international conflict resolution and peace work. It is also prudent to check for financial aid opportunities offered by your specific school and program.

Scholarships for Online Negotiation & Conflict Management Master’s Degrees

Negotiation & Conflict Scholarships

Rotary Peace Fellowships Covers full tuition costs

Each year, the Rotary Foundation provides scholarships to up to 50 graduate students to enroll in master’s degree or certification programs in international relations or peace and conflict resolution at a university affiliated with the Rotary Foundation. In the U.S., these host institutions are Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Scholarship Deadline: May 31

Eligibility Requirements: Students should be proficient in English, demonstrate strong leadership and academic skills, and have work and educational experiences related to their field.

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Angela DiPietro Women in Business Scholarship $500

This privately-funded scholarship helps women entrepreneurs and professionals advance by helping them pursue higher education.

Scholarship Deadline: May 31

Eligibility Requirements: The scholarship is open to women who are enrolled in an accredited undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral program. Applicants must possess an interest in business, entrepreneurship, or a related field and have a minimum 3.0 GPA.

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Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship $1,000

This scholarship is awarded through Zonta International, which is a global professional organization that aims to empower women.

Scholarship Deadline: Varies

Eligibility Requirements: Women of any age must be pursuing a business or business-related field. Applications are submitted through an individual’s local Zonta club.

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Weinstein JAMS International Fellowship Up to $20,000

JAMS is the world’s largest private alternative dispute resolution organization. Each year, this organization provides scholarships to individuals from outside the U.S. who are engaged in conflict resolution work.

Scholarship Deadline: November 17

Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be citizens of a country other than the U.S., fluent in English, and submit proposals for projects and research focused on establishing conflict resolution systems.

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