Apr 16, 2024  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
    
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Dispute Resolution, Graduate Certificate


Greta Davis, Department Chair & Director (ad Interim)

SMU’s 21-credit-hour graduate certificate in dispute resolution offers classroom instruction in the practical application of principles and techniques under the guidance of a master instructor. Through interdisciplinary study, students learn formal conflict management skills in negotiation, mediation, domestic relations and dispute resolution to achieve improved relationships among individuals and organizations.

Students gain theoretical and practical knowledge that is applicable in both social and psychological environments. They learn the art of negotiation, problem-solving, mediation, arbitration, systems design, team building, executive coaching and many other applications of dispute resolution. The program incorporates active role-playing from varied aspects of human relationships in order to engage students in class discussion and provide the skill and training necessary to become adept at the art of conflict resolution.

Completion of HDDR 6303  satisfies the Texas statutory requirement for being a court-connected mediator.

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the Dispute Resolution Graduate Certificate program must submit the following:

  1. A completed online application.
  2. A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher education.
  3. Official undergraduate transcripts from all institutions of higher education previously attended.
  4. Three letters of recommendation.
  5. An essay, minimum of 250 words, maximum of two pages double spaced, explaining why the applicant wants to study Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management.
  6. Resume or curriculum vitae (CV).
  7. Interview with a member of the admissions committee.
  8. Non-refundable application fee.
  9. If English is not the student’s native language or if the student attended school outside the US, a score from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) must be submitted via the online application.  The minimum acceptable TOEFL score for admission is 80.

Study Abroad

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

Certificate Requirements

The graduate certificate in dispute resolution program requires the completion of 21 credit hours in dispute resolution, nine of which are required and 12 of which are electives chosen from the entire pool of HDDR courses. Students must complete the requirements for the program within three years of the program start date.

Requirements for the Certificate


Total: 9 Credit Hours


Open Electives


Total: 12 Credit Hours


Total: 21 Credit Hours