Conflict resolution professionals work in a range of fields, including business, law, education, healthcare, and government. They act as arbitrators, mediators, facilitators, ombudsmen, and counselors. They must understand the root causes and dynamics of conflict and how to resolve disputes through reasoned negotiation.

Columbia’s master’s program in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, which can be completed full-time or part-time on campus, or full-time through a combination of online and intensive in-person study, combines theory and applied training to prepare students to develop practical models for negotiating and resolving disputes among parties with differing objectives and desires. This graduate program is part of a rich history of conflict resolution at Columbia University.

The graduate program’s training philosophy is grounded in a commitment to interactive, dialogue-based methods of managing and resolving conflict. The focus is on building common ground, establishing dialogue, applying practical skills, ensuring representation and recognition, and forging relationships.

The program trains students to:

  • Adopt a mindset that is self-aware and sensitive to diverse populations of people in various settings
  • Consider alternative perspectives from differing worldviews
  • Apply sound conflict analysis models, tools and processes
  • Understand system dynamics and complexity of issues and actors
  • Develop a reflective practice of learning
  • Work toward reaching constructive outcomes through the use of collaborative processes
  • Use theory to inform their understanding, and apply pragmatic approaches to resolving conflicts

Who Should Apply

The program targets three different segments of the population:

  • Young career professionals who would like to learn these important life skills, negotiation and conflict resolution, that will enhance any profession within which they want to work. Good communication skills and interpersonal relationships are key to success in any field.
  • Mid-career professionals who would like to enhance the work they have been doing or become more eligible for promotions and career advancement. Effective negotiation and communication skills can help these individuals connect and interact with others so their value and worth are more evident.
  • Career-changing professionals who want to reinvent themselves and develop more effective negotiation and conflict resolution skills to use in negotiating their way to a new career.

Appropriate candidates can also be those who work directly or want to work directly in the field of conflict resolution and peace building and want to enhance their effectiveness by expanding their repertoire of concepts, skills and practices.


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