Conflict Resolution Practice Areas

Find Your Passion


Conflict resolution is a broad field without defined boundaries. At its core, it involves facilitating improved social relations through better communication, improved understanding, and effective problem solving. These are skills that can be applied across many sectors and professions. That’s why the Conflict and Dispute Resolution Master’s program offers a wide range of practice areas for you to focus your degree on. You can find out more about each of these areas below, and discover internships relevant to each area here.

Family
In this area you will focus most prominently on divorce mediation, but will also work on mediating prenuptial agreements, parent/teen mediation, inter-generational disputes, probate and elder issues mediation, family property and family business conflicts, and collaborative law. 

Environmental/Public Policy
Here, you will use collaborative governance approaches to public decision-making that involves multi-party negotiations to create agreement and resolve conflicts over contentious public issues. Examples include land use, resource management, health care, affordable housing, and transportation. Working in this area, you will use mediation, facilitation, negotiation coaching, training, and project management. 

Education
As well as the mediation, facilitation, training, and ombuds services that you can apply in any organizational/workplace setting, this practice area includes special education mediation (among parents, their special needs children, school districts, school staff, and teachers), designing and managing peer mediation programs, and violence prevention and anti-bullying programs. 

Organizational/Workplace
This area covers economic sectors and institutional contexts, including corporate, nonprofit, health care, education, and government. It is suited to various roles, both internal employee-based and external consultancy, that provide mediation, negotiation, facilitation, training, ombuds services, and conflict management system design. Work in this sector can include HR, risk management, and management roles generally.

Labor/Management
Includes negotiation and mediation of labor relations as well as the mediation of employment-related disputes. Training and negotiation coaching may also be involved.

Community
Includes work with community mediation centers that provide mediation, training, and community education, as well as community organizing, inter and intra-community dialogues, restorative justice programs, and police/community relations. Work in this area includes mediation, facilitation, case management, nonprofit management, and community organizing and activism.

International
Includes a wide range of engagement at many possible levels from on-the-ground people-to-people activities to nongovernmental organizations to diplomatic and government work addressing humanitarian aid and relief work, international development, human rights, and peace and security.

Academic
Includes research, writing, theory-building, teaching most commonly in the undergraduate and graduate university context, but also includes opportunities in policy centers and “think tanks.”