Jun 24, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Dispute Resolution, Graduate Certificate

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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 human-centered 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.


Application to the Dispute Resolution Graduate Certificate program requires the following:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education
  • SMU online application
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended (An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher and a graduate GPA of 3.5 or higher is preferred.)
  • Two letters of recommendation.
  • An essay, one – two pages double spaced, explaining interest in studying dispute resolution.
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • Interview with admissions faculty
  • Application fee

Note: The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required but applicants may submit their scores if would like them considered with their application.

Foreign transcripts must be translated and include proof of English proficiency. Student visas are not eligible for graduate certificate programs.

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

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