CRES Core Courses

The core required curriculum includes skills-based and more theoretical course work. The required courses are listed by term below.  Alphabetically, they are:

Please note, the schedule below reflects the core course order for 2016/17. Course order and/or format may change year to year.

Summer term

CRES 610 Cross Cultural Dynamics in Conflict Resolution I (1 credit) Graded

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an opportunity to build or enhance necessary theoretical knowledge, awareness, understanding, practical skills, and strategies for effectiveness in cross-cultural and intercultural conflict resolution. The course will explore the ways in which cultural dynamics influence conflict and the conflict resolution process. In this capacity, culture is defined broadly and will be considered as it plays a part in either the actuality or perceptions of our experience. Through an overview of the variety of cultural values and structures that can promote peace or violence, students will have an opportunity to explore their own cultural identity as well as learn from other cultural perspectives including exploring cultural values and biases that may produce prejudice and discrimination.   It explores creative ways to handle ‘difference’ as a central assumption in peacebuilding.  Subject matter will include intercultural communication, cross cultural value patterns, styles of conflict and conflict resolution, power dynamics in intercultural relationships and the cultural relativity of various conflict resolution paradigms. We will explore cultural competency models and will work to examine our respective personal and cultural experiences, identities, norms, narratives, and biases. The course uses a multi-modal methodology that includes lectures, multimedia presentations, small group discussions, large group dialogue, role plays, group reflection, group presentations, case study analysis and reflection and experiential activities. This is the first of a set of four one-credit cross culutral dynamics courses taught over the first year; each term course builds upon the previous term(s)content.  Syllabus

CRES 614 Negotiation, Bargaining, and Persuasion (4 credits) Graded

This course is designed to develop students' skills of negotiating and communicating effectively, the heart of all conflict resolution and management. Negotiation is a communication processes that people use to plan transactions and resolve conflict. A natural tension exists between our tendencies to compete with others and our willingness to collaborate with others for mutual gains. Managing these mixed motives is the central task of effective negotiation. Much of a negotiator's success is dependent upon upon effective preparation and the ability to reconsider and change one’s patterns of responses to others while negotiating. Therefore, negotiators must know how to communicate with others effectively, understand our own motivations and emotions, and be mindful in their responses to others. With enhanced skills, students can be flexible enough to work successfully in many contexts. This course includes reading from texts simulated negotiations, exercises drawn from journalistic sources, and an opportunity to research a topic of particular interest to each student.  Syllabus

Fall term

CRES 610 Cross Cultural Dynamics in Conflict Resolution II (1 credit) Graded

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an opportunity to build or enhance necessary theoretical knowledge, awareness, understanding, practical skills, and strategies for effectiveness in cross-cultural and intercultural conflict resolution. The course will explore the ways in which cultural dynamics influence conflict and the conflict resolution process. In this capacity, culture is defined broadly and will be considered as it plays a part in either the actuality or perceptions of our experience. Through an overview of the variety of cultural values and structures that can promote peace or violence, students will have an opportunity to explore their own cultural identity as well as learn from other cultural perspectives including exploring cultural values and biases that may produce prejudice and discrimination.   It explores creative ways to handle ‘difference’ as a central assumption in peacebuilding.  Subject matter will include intercultural communication, cross cultural value patterns, styles of conflict and conflict resolution, power dynamics in intercultural relationships and the cultural relativity of various conflict resolution paradigms. We will explore cultural competency models and will work to examine our respective personal and cultural experiences, identities, norms, narratives, and biases. The course uses a multi-modal methodology that includes lectures, multimedia presentations, small group discussions, large group dialogue, role plays, group reflection, group presentations, case study analysis and reflection and experiential activities. This is the second of a set of four one-credit cross culutral dynamics courses taught over the first year; each term course builds upon the previous term(s) content.  Syllabus

CRES 613 Perspectives on Conflict Resolution (4 credits) Graded

Conflict resolution is a dynamic field of interdisciplinary study that interrogates how troubles among people arise, gain meaning and are acted upon. It takes seriously the importance of knowledge building and putting knowledge to work. Conflict and how it is handled are crucial concerns in every institutional sphere, ranging from family and community life to the global order among nations. And, how conflict is resolved shapes judgments of organizations and social trust among people situated differently in terms of power and status. 

This course introduces perspectives of conflict resolution through scholarship, particularly the interdisciplinary field of law and society, life experiences of those participating in the course, and scenario-base applications drawn from professions that are responsible for acting on conflict. Guest speakers may attend. Four questions will drive the exploration of perspectives: why study conflict; how do we study conflict; what conceptual frames give us purchase on conflict and its resolution; what conflict resolution practices matter and to what ends?  Syllabus

CRES 616 Mediation Skills (4 Credits) Graded

The Mediation Skills course is focused on the “practice” of mediation.  Students gain proficiency in using the fundamental skills, tools, and concepts necessary to effectively assist parties to manage, minimize, and resolve conflict. The course is highly interactive with extensive opportunity to apply theoretical learning in role-plays, small and large group exercises, and video analysis. Students are introduced to the transformational potential of mediation and to a wide range of mediation settings. Students grow in the clarity and confidence needed to constructively engage with conflict t- an invaluable asset for mediators, lawyers, managers, labor leaders, and engaged citizens. This course is structured to also satisfy the Oregon basic mediation training requirement.  Syllabus

CRES 618 Adjudication and Courts (2 credits) Graded

Dispute resolution courses typically focus on alternatives to litigation. Yet the civil litigation system is the most heavily subsidized dispute resolution system in our society. Those who are not trained in the law typically have, at most, anecdotal experience with litigation. To fully understand and appreciate the conditions in which litigation is (and is not) most appropriate as a dispute resolution mechanism, one must have some understanding of the litigation process. This seminar seeks to give students a better understanding of litigation and adjudication by providing an overview of modern civil litigation in the United States.   It traces the life of a typical civil case through the various stages of modern litigation, explaining the relevant terminology and the court structure. 

 The course strives both to demystify the process of litigation and to instill an appreciation of the complexity and uncertainty inherent in adjudication.  It also asks students to consider certain assumptions they may have about the adjudicatory system, such as the impartiality of the decision-maker, the accessibility of the system, and the irrelevance of constitutional considerations to the adjudication of everyday disputes.  Students will also consider the place of adjudication in a constitutional democracy and the benefits of adjudication, for the disputants and for society generally. Syllabus

Admitted concurrent JD students are not required to take this course.

Winter term

CRES 610 Cross Cultural Dynamics in Conflict Resolution III (1 credit) Graded

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an opportunity to build or enhance necessary theoretical knowledge, awareness, understanding, practical skills, and strategies for effectiveness in cross-cultural and intercultural conflict resolution. The course will explore the ways in which cultural dynamics influence conflict and the conflict resolution process. In this capacity, culture is defined broadly and will be considered as it plays a part in either the actuality or perceptions of our experience. Through an overview of the variety of cultural values and structures that can promote peace or violence, students will have an opportunity to explore their own cultural identity as well as learn from other cultural perspectives including exploring cultural values and biases that may produce prejudice and discrimination.   It explores creative ways to handle ‘difference’ as a central assumption in peacebuilding.  Subject matter will include intercultural communication, cross cultural value patterns, styles of conflict and conflict resolution, power dynamics in intercultural relationships and the cultural relativity of various conflict resolution paradigms. We will explore cultural competency models and will work to examine our respective personal and cultural experiences, identities, norms, narratives, and biases. The course uses a multi-modal methodology that includes lectures, multimedia presentations, small group discussions, large group dialogue, role plays, group reflection, group presentations, case study analysis and reflection and experiential activities. This is the third of a set of four one-credit cross culutral dynamics courses taught over the first year; each term course builds upon the previous term(s)content.  Syllabus

CRES 612 Philosophy of Conflict Resolution (4 credits) Graded

This course addresses some basic concepts of conflict resolution and their philosophical presuppositions. It is not a comprehensive survey of topics or theories in the field; it is selective in its approach, but in ways that mean to provoke reflection on the methods and aims of conflict resolution as a whole. We cover a number of contemporary problems ranging from restorative and transitional justice to the meaning of forgiveness and reconciliation in personal and political contexts to the historical relation between law and alternative methods of dispute resolution. We read a variety of materials, along with watching a few movies, with a focus on discussion in class.  Syllabus

CRES 625 Psychology of Conflict (4 credits) Graded

This course examines the psychological sources, nature, and functions of conflict as a great deal of the foundational theory and practice within the sphere of conflict resolution roots in psychology, particularly, social psychology. It covers multiple levels of analysis relevant to conflict and its antecedents: intrapersonal, interpersonal, intragroup, and intergroup.   The class will explore a historically grounded, contextualized perspective on the psychological dimensions of conflict at the micro and macro levels. It is intended to provide an overview of issues related to human aggression, conflict, violence and peace based on the premise that an understanding of these issues can contribute to a greater ability to reduce conflict and build peace between individuals, groups and societies. Class topics include identity, needs, cooperation/competition, structural violence and peacebuilding.  The course uses a multi-modal methodology that includes lectures, multimedia presentations, small group discussions, large group dialogue, role plays, group reflection, group presentations, case study analysis and reflection and experiential activities.  Syllabus

Spring term

CRES 610 Cross Cultural Dynamics in Conflict Resolution IV (1 credit) Graded

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an opportunity to build or enhance necessary theoretical knowledge, awareness, understanding, practical skills, and strategies for effectiveness in cross-cultural and intercultural conflict resolution. The course will explore the ways in which cultural dynamics influence conflict and the conflict resolution process. In this capacity, culture is defined broadly and will be considered as it plays a part in either the actuality or perceptions of our experience. Through an overview of the variety of cultural values and structures that can promote peace or violence, students will have an opportunity to explore their own cultural identity as well as learn from other cultural perspectives including exploring cultural values and biases that may produce prejudice and discrimination.   It explores creative ways to handle ‘difference’ as a central assumption in peacebuilding.  Subject matter will include intercultural communication, cross cultural value patterns, styles of conflict and conflict resolution, power dynamics in intercultural relationships and the cultural relativity of various conflict resolution paradigms. We will explore cultural competency models and will work to examine our respective personal and cultural experiences, identities, norms, narratives, and biases. The course uses a multi-modal methodology that includes lectures, multimedia presentations, small group discussions, large group dialogue, role plays, group reflection, group presentations, case study analysis and reflection and experiential activities. This is the last of a set of four one-credit cross culutral dynamics courses taught over the first year; each term course builds upon the previous term(s) content.  Syllabus

CRES 620 Facilitation (2 credits) Pass/No Pass

Excellent facilitation is at the heart of successful leaders, teams, and even families. Understanding how groups work, what individuals within groups need, and your own abilities to lead groups is the focus of this class. The course is designed to be highly interactive with extensive opportunity to apply theoretical learning in role-plays, small and large group exercises. Students taking the course will be able to gain greater clarity and confidence in facilitating groups that can be invaluable whether planning to continue as a mediator, a lawyer, a manager, or a citizen. We will cover basic principles and values of facilitation, meeting design, group dynamics, strategic approaches for addressing meeting objectives, decision making and meeting management skills.  Syllabus

CRES 632 Research Methodology (3 credits) Graded

In this seminar, students learn what research is, what problems research may encounter or raise, and how to engage in it. The course considers some of the assumptions underlying both qualitative and quantitative research methods in traditional disciplines. We hear from scholars in different disciplines discuss how they use theoretical models to guide their practical, empirical, and archival work. Among the questions and issues we cover in this course are: How is theory related to research? How does research relate to efforts for social change? Does the social location (intersections of race, class, sexual identity, etc.) of the researcher affect her/his research? What is the relationship of the researcher to the researched? What ethical, political, and methodological considerations might arise in doing research?  Syllabus

Fall term, second year

CRES 650 Capstone Seminar (1 credit) Pass/No Pass

This professional seminar is designed to promote the integration of the core curriculum, electives, professional project, and practicum experience of the Conflict and Dispute Resolution Master’s Program. Active participation in the course helps students prepare for the transition to a professional position following completion of the degree. In this course, students (1) assess skills development up to this point; (2) write a professional narrative that explores interests and motivations; and (3) design a tentative plan for launching and/or developing a professional career. Required for students completing a thesis or teminal project. Students completing the course concentration should take Academic Capstone.

Spring term, second year

Academic Capstone (1 credit) Pass/No Pass