Portland-State-University 2014-2015 Bulletin

Conflict Resolution

239 Neuberger Hall (NH)



  • B.A., B.S.
  • M.A., M.S.

The Bachelors of Arts/Sciences and Master of Arts/Sciences degree programs in conflict resolution are trans-disciplinary, encompassing the practical and theoretical bases of mediation and negotiation, involving research, theory, and competency-based education to help build conditions necessary for positive peace, conflict transformation (from destructive to constructive), and universal respect for context-sensitive human rights.

Students in both programs learn how to analyze conflict, uncover the underpinnings of conflicts in a wide variety of settings and scales. Students gain skills to defuse and deescalate destructive conflicts that arise among individuals, groups, and countries. Graduates from either program are prepared to design and evaluate conflict management systems for workplace and community organizations. Bachelor's degree holders are suited to entry-level careers in the field of conflict resolution, as well as being prepared to add value in any occupational field or workplace by bringing conflict transformation strategies to bear. Master's degree holders are prepared for leadership positions in conflict management and intervention via governmental, non-governmental, and corporate actors in local, regional, national and international settings.

The core skill set in both programs provides skill development through an integration of theory, method, and practice. Undergraduates acquire these skills commensurate with those required for working in peace and conflict settings, as well as those that add value to any occupational category. They go on to focus on transformation of conflict for the achievement of peace and social justice at the small group and community level. Graduate students emphasize implications of skill development for leadership in conflict and peace intervention, and go on to focus on strategies and processes at the organizational level of peace building and conflict transformation.

The programs' general divisions are as follows. The undergraduate program emphasizes #1 and #3, and the graduate program emphasizes #1 and #2:

  1. Core conflict resolution theories, methods, and practices
  2. International and intercultural conflict resolution
  3. Peace and justice

Courses in conflict resolution are also offered in support of programs in other fields.