Degree Requirements

Georgetown’s M.A. in Conflict Resolution requires 34 credit-hours of coursework. Full-time students can complete these requirements with four consecutive semesters of classes, including a summer of fieldwork. We operate the program in person on Georgetown’s main campus in Washington D.C.

The normative course progression for the program, since Fall 2022, is as follows:

The Conflict Resolution curriculum at Georgetown includes three distinct elements:

World-class academic training in the social science of conflict & peace

Core courses within this element, such as Conflict Resolution Theory and Research Methods, ground the curriculum.

Elective courses allow our students to build a degree that is tailored to their interests. Electives can be taken within the Conflict Resolution Program or in other units of the university. These credits can be used to pursue an optional certificate.

Conflict resolution skills

Core skills training includes negotiation, mediation and facilitation. Students have the option to earn certification in mediation.

Optional skills courses, taught by top practitioners in their field, prepare students for a variety of professions in which conflict resolution practice is in demand.

Experiential learning

Students follow a 3-semester sequence of experiential learning, consisting of the Practicum I & II and the Summer Field Fellowship. Students engage in their chosen field, build professional networks and benefit from a guided, collective learning experience while doing so.

In the Practicum series, students conceive of and deliver concrete products to partner organizations.

The Summer Field Fellowship is a program-funded 6 to 8-week professional placement, undertaken anywhere in the world and tied into an online course on professional practice.

Georgetown’s M.A. in Conflict Resolution is small, specialized, and skill-based. Students have the advantages of an active learning community and faculty who are cutting-edge academics and the top practitioners of the field. Students are also encouraged to take advantage of speakers, events, and workshops both on campus and in Washington, D.C. 

  • Introduction to Conflict Resolution Theory
  • Applied Research Methods for Conflict Resolution
  • Applied Negotiations
  • Mediation
  • Facilitation
  • Conflict Resolution Practicum: Parts I & II
  • Intersections 

Students are required to take five graduate-level electives (generally numbered 4000 – 6999) toward their M.A. degree in conflict resolution.

2 * 3-credit Conflict Resolution electives

Conflict Resolution electives are graduate-level courses that address conflict resolution, the origins and nature of conflict, mediation, post-conflict development, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding. Students may take Conflict Resolution electives in programs across campus, given program approval. Any elective offered by the Conflict Resolution program counts toward this requirement.

2 * 3-credit General electives

General Electives are graduate-level courses that relate to students’ individual interests and career goals. These can be taken within the offerings from the Conflict Resolution program or in other programs within the Department or the University.

1 * 3-credit Area or Region-specific elective

Area or region-specific elective focus on a particular geographic region or area, deepening students’ knowledge as applied in the world. An area focus can include courses focused on the United States and/or North America.

Students are also required to take  one-credit skills courses. Skills courses are generally short, intensive courses that focus on a particular set of skills or a deep-dive into a particular subject. These courses are taught by top practitioners in their fields.

Over the first part of the summer term (mid-May through the end of June), our master’s students train in a field-based, program-funded fellowship. Placements can be international or domestic.

The experience offers students opportunities to engage in relevant practice and apply skills learned during their studies. All students receive a summer stipend to assist in the conduct of this fieldwork. Students are prepared for the experience through assistance in finding and selecting the internship as well as targeted skills training when applicable.

Summer fellows take Intersections, an on-line course organized in partnership with the Center for Social Justice. The course directs reflection and skills-building that wraps around their practicum anywhere around the world. Intersections students ask ethical questions and apply social justice theories to real-world issues in virtual collaboration with a tight-knit learning cohort. Including this type of learning experience allows students to identify in real-time the application of conflict resolution skills and principles. Doing this in partnership with a cohort deepens learning by providing a global comparative experience.

Upon return to the program, summer fellows present their work to the program and participate in debriefing sessions that seek to synthesize their learning over the summer.

The summer field fellowship is more than an internship. The Conflict Resolution program seeks to apply principles of reciprocity, social justice, and partnership to our placements. We hope to build partnerships with organizations over time that will allow our students to serve and learn

All students in the program must demonstrate they have completed substantial foreign language training prior to completing the program. Students may take language classes at Georgetown to meet the requirement and qualify for tuition assistance from the Graduate School for courses in the introductory and intermediate range. The full foreign language policy is in the Department’s MA Programs Handbook.

Students may also earn an area-studies or thematic certificate offered to Georgetown graduate students. Examples of these include:

The coursework for these certificates also count toward a student’s progress in the CR Program; however, students are responsible for tracking their own progress toward certificate completion.

Students may opt to write a master’s thesis. The thesis should be researched and written in the final semester of study. The thesis is pursued for 3-credits in lieu of one elective.