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

Dispute Resolution, M.A.D.R.


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Greta Davis, Department Chair & Director (ad Interim)

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. Capstone also provides opportunity for professional practice.

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the M.A.D.R. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Resume or curriculum vitae (CV)
  9. Interview with a member of the Admission Committee
  10. Non-refundable application fee payment
  11. 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.

Degree Requirements

The M.A.D.R. program requires the completion of 36 credit hours in dispute resolution, 24 of which are required and 12 of which are dispute resolution (HDDR) electives. Students must complete 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 concentrations have been designed to assist in the selection of elective coursework. Students select four HDDR courses from within concentration areas or across concentration areas depending on their needs. 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


Elective Courses by Concentration Area:


Executive and Leadership Coaching


All four courses required:

Total: 12 Credit Hours


Total: 36 Credit Hours


Study Abroad


During intermittent summer terms, courses may be offered at off-site destinations such as Croatia, Ireland, Italy, and Switzerland.

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