Mediation Schools and Colleges in the U.S.
When there is a legal dispute between two or more parties, mediation is an alternative to the traditional litigation process. A mediator is a neutral party brought in to assist the disputants involved in a legal argument and help them reach a mutually acceptable resolution. Mediation schools offer a range of options, from workshops to certificate programs to Master of Laws degrees.
How to Select a Mediation School
Choosing a mediation school will depend greatly on the desired level of education. Some schools offer weekend workshops and undergraduate or graduate certificate programs in dispute resolution or mediation. Certificate programs typically take approximately one semester to one year to complete. Students may also have the option of earning a mediation certificate concurrent with a separate degree. Most undergraduate certificate programs are open to any interested students, but admission to graduate-level programs may be restricted to students with bachelor's degrees or those with a master's or doctorate.
Schools can also offer various mediation degree programs, including bachelor's degrees in conflict analysis and resolution, master's degrees in conflict resolution and legal problem solving, and master's or doctoral degrees in dispute resolution. At schools without full mediation or dispute resolution degrees, dispute resolution courses may be part of certain law degree programs.
Prospective students should consider the preferred area of concentration when choosing a mediation school. There are many different specialties in the field of mediation, and students may choose to focus study on one or a few subjects. Possible concentrations include divorce, family, malpractice, property, business and civil mediation. Concentrations will have different requirements based on the subject matter, and some more legally-oriented programs may be limited to law students.
Mediation programs and degrees may be offered by a university's school of law, communication or continuing studies. Depending on the degree and concentration, core courses for mediation degrees will include subjects such as conflict resolution philosophy, the psychology of conflict, communication, culture and conflict, roots of social conflict, human diversity and global conflict analysis.
Largest Schools by Student Enrollment
|College/University||Student Population||Institution Type|
|University of California-Berkeley||35,396||4-year, Public|
|Wayne State University||31,024||4-year, Public|
|George Mason University||30,613||4-year, Public|
|University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill||28,567||4-year, Public|
|Nova Southeastern University||28,378||4-year, Private not-for-profit|
|Portland State University||26,382||4-year, Public|
|University of Akron Main Campus||24,119||4-year, Public|
|Kent State University Kent Campus||22,944||4-year, Public|
|University of Oregon||21,452||4-year, Public|
|Kennesaw State University||21,449||4-year, Public|
|Missouri State University||19,489||4-year, Public|
|Georgetown University||15,318||4-year, Private not-for-profit|
|CUNY John Jay College Criminal Justice||14,844||4-year, Public|
|California State University-Dominguez Hills||12,851||4-year, Public|
|University of Arkansas at Little Rock||11,965||4-year, Public|
|University of Notre Dame||11,731||4-year, Private not-for-profit|
|American University||11,684||4-year, Private not-for-profit|
|University of Denver||11,328||4-year, Private not-for-profit|
|Regis University||11,040||4-year, Private not-for-profit|
|Southern Methodist University||10,965||4-year, Private not-for-profit|
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