Sep 30, 2022  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Dispute Resolution, M.A.D.R.

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Betty Snyder, Director

During the spring of 2006, SMU became the first university in the Southwest to offer an interdisciplinary master’s degree in dispute resolution. The M.A.D.R. degree emphasizes the development of skills vital to the resolution of disputes in business, domestic, education, public policy, religious, legal and healthcare settings. The program’s quality and uniqueness stem, in significant measure, from its multidisciplinary approach to conflict management and its commitment to integrating ethics throughout the curriculum. Rooted in the social and behavioral sciences, the faculty and curriculum integrate such diverse fields as psychology, law, sociology, public policy and economics.

The master’s curriculum provides a greater depth of study than the certificate program in dispute resolution, providing opportunities for additional specialization of skills that allow graduates to contribute to as well as practice in the profession. Students are able to practice and refine their resolution skill sets through fieldwork in the program’s Mediation and Conflict Resolution Clinic (described in the Client Services section below). Capstone also provides opportunity for professional practice.

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the M.A.D.R. program must submit the following:

  1. A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher education.
  2. Official undergraduate transcripts from all institutions of higher education previously attended.
  3. Three letters of recommendation.
  4. An essay, minimum of 250 words, maximum of two pages double spaced, explaining why the applicant wants to study dispute resolution.
  5. A minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.750 (on a 4.000 scale). If the GPA is lower than 2.750, the applicant must submit acceptable GRE graduate school exam, LSAT law school aptitude test or GMAT scores and interview with the center director or associate director.
  6. If applying to the master’s program after completing the graduate certificate program in dispute resolution, a 3.500 GPA from the certificate program and evidence of compliance with all other admission requirements.
  7. Resume or curriculum vitae (CV)
  8. Interview with a member of the Admission Committee
  9. Non-refundable application fee payment

Degree Requirements

The M.A.D.R. program requires the completion of 42 credit hours in dispute resolution, 24 of which are required and 18 of which are electives chosen from the entire pool of HDDR courses. Students must complete the requirements for the degree within six years of the program start date.

The concentrations offered within the dispute resolution program cover a broad spectrum of applications and topics. As an aid to planning, the following four concentrations have been designed to assist in the selection of additional coursework. All courses listed within concentrations can be taken as electives. Courses are offered on a rotation, therefore all courses may not be offered every term or year.

Requirements for the Degree

Total: 24 Credit Hours

Electives by Concentration Area:

Total: 42 Credit Hours

Study Abroad

During the summer term, students may earn credit toward the master’s program by completing coursework at off-site destinations such as Croatia, Ireland, Italy, and Switzerland.

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