Graduate Certificate

Program Information

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Program Description

Program Requirements

Core Courses

Internship Experience

Elective Options

Steps to Complete the Certificate

Program Description

The 18-credit hour Certificate in Conflict and Dispute Resolution, offered by the Graduate College at Missouri State, provides a graduate-level experience for those who are interested in dispute resolution and conflict processes. The program provides for the acquisition of knowledge and skills necessary for understanding conflict and resolving disputes.

The certificate is interdisciplinary in nature, allowing students to select the courses that are the most useful and applicable to their chosen or planned profession. The program includes both theory/research and applied components. Six hours of electives allow students to further customize their educational experience as they pursue the study of conflict and its resolution in the context of their specific discipline.

This graduate certificate will benefit anyone who encounters conflict on an interpersonal, family, organizational, inter-group, or community level. Participants in the program learn to analyze and manage conflict professionally and effectively. The skills learned are extremely valuable in a variety of professions and include the ability to understand and effectively intervene in conflict situations. Students learn and practice superior communication skills and develop their abilities to work with and lead others.

Program participants have included individuals from a wide range of fields, including the following:

  • Education
  • Health Care
  • Child and Family Development
  • Ministry
  • Social Work
  • Natural Sciences
  • Business
  • Management
  • Media
  • Politics
  • Public Service
  • Law and Criminal Justice
  • Communication
  • Public Administration
  • Counseling
  • Natural Sciences

Because the graduate certificate in conflict is a transcripted degree program, once you have completed the program the degree will appear on your transcript and you can list it on your resume or vitae just as you would a bachelor's or master's degree.

This certificate program may be taken alone or in conjunction with another graduate-level degree. With permission, students can “double count” coursework in this graduate certificate program toward a master’s degree.

Program Requirements (18 hours)

The following are the required and elective courses options for the Graduate Certificate in Conflict and Dispute Resolution. Note that hours may double-count towards a master's degree (with advisor permission) and that there are additional elective options based on a student's area of study.

Core Courses (9 hours)

Gain a foundation in conflict theory and build your skills by completing 9 hours of required coursework, which may be double‐counted with a master’s degree (with advisor permission).

  • COM 711 (3 hours): Conflict and Communication
  • COM 621 (3 hours): Communication, Mediation and Negotiation
  • COM 723 (3 hours): Contemporary Topics in Conflict (or an advisor approved elective)
Core Courses for Students who Earned the Undergraduate Certificate

Occasionally, students who have already completed the Undergraduate Certificate in Conflict and Dispute Resolution decide they would later like to complete the graduate certificate, as well. For those students, the core courses for the Graduate Certificate in Conflict and Dispute Resolution are as follows:

  • COM 623 (6 hours): Contemporary Topics in Conflict
  • BUS 650 (3 hours): Negotiation, Mediation, and Arbitration in Business

Internship experience (3 hours)

  • COM 794 (3 hours): Conflict Internship

Build your skills by taking part in a 3-credit-hour internship experience that directly relates to conflict and its application in professional settings. You have the option to secure your own internship, or you may choose an internship option offered through the Center for Dispute Resolution (CDR). Students may substitute an additional elective in lieu of internship credit with advisor approval. 

Electives (6 hours)

Focus your study of conflict on your professional interest area by selecting 6 hours of electives. There are elective course options in nearly every department, and you may double-counted hours with a master's degree (with advisor approval). Contact the program director Dr. Erin Wehrman for more information on elective options.

Steps to Complete the Graduate Certificate in Conflict

To earn the graduate certificate in conflict and dispute resolution, you must complete following steps.

  1. Apply for admission through a central application. You must have 3.00 GPA. You do not need to take the GRE. Students who do not meet normal admission standards may be considered for provisional admission. 
  2. Once admitted into the program, email Dr. Erin Wehrman what electives you hope to take for your degree, as well as any questions you might have. You may also set up a meeting to discuss your certificate and course plans moving forward. Approved elective options will then be added to your degree audit, and you may be provided with a release to register for the upcoming term (if needed).
  3. Complete the required coursework for the certificate, maintaining a 3.0 GPA.

  4. During the first week of the semester in which you intend to graduate you must complete the online Apply for Graduation form for the certificate program, located under the Student tab in My Missouri State.

At any point you would like discuss class and certificate options, you may email the program director Dr. Erin Wehrman ( to set up an appointment.