This professional program prepares students for practice and further academic work by integrating conflict analysis and resolution theory, research, and practical techniques. Participants study the theory, methods, and ethical perspectives of the field, and apply this knowledge in laboratory simulations and workshops, internships, and field practice. Graduates work in a variety of settings where conflict resolution is useful and interest groups are in conflict with current and emergent public policy. Examples are businesses, unions, government agencies, religious groups, court systems, educational institutions, community centers, international relief and development organizations, and consulting firms.

Admissions

Admission Requirements

Applicants to all graduate programs at George Mason University must meet the admission standards and application requirements for graduate study as specified in Graduate Admissions. In addition, applicants must submit all undergraduate and graduate transcripts; two letters of recommendation, one of which should be from a faculty member in the applicant's undergraduate or graduate major field; a resume or curriculum vitae; and a 750- to 1,000-word essay on goals and reasons for seeking admission to the program. GRE or other standardized test scores are not required but may be submitted. The TOEFL is required of international students. For more information, see Admission of International Students. Students can be admitted to the MS program for either the Fall or Spring semesters.

Background courses in social sciences, as well as prior work experience, are desirable. Prior graduate academic work is evaluated on an individual basis for possible transfer credit and fulfillment of program requirements; however, Mason usually does not reduce the total credits required for the degree. Students may enroll on a full- or part-time basis. The MS Program is available on-campus, online or in a hybrid format (on-campus and distance learning). 

Policies

Mason requires all students to complete the master's degree within six years of their official admission date.

Consult the S-CAR student handbook for information on registration procedures.

Transfer of Non-Degree Credit

A maximum of 12 credits of S-CAR graduate courses taken at George Mason as a non-degree graduate student, or as part of S-CAR's graduate certificate program may be transferred into the MS program. How credit will be counted will be determined in consultation with the admitted student's advisor. A maximum of six credits of non-S-CAR courses taken as non-degree credit can be counted toward the MS program. Courses counted toward another degree cannot be transferred.

Adding an S-CAR Certificate Program

Students may elect to complete an S-CAR Graduate Certificate in addition to the MS program. Graduate certificates are opportunities for students to further tailor their academic program and specialize in a specific area of conflict resolution practice. Certain graduate certificate courses can be used to fulfill MS program requirements. Students should consult with the Certificate Program Director and the Master's Program Director for policies on counting certificate courses toward the MS degree.

Banner Code: CA-MS-CONF

Degree Requirements

Total credits: 42

Required Courses

Introductory Course 1
CONF 600Foundations of Conflict Analysis and Resolution6
Conflict Inquiry
CONF 610Conflict Inquiry3
or CONF 660 Conflict Assessment and Program Evaluation
Conflict Praxis 2
CONF 657Facilitation Skills3
CONF 625Engaging Conflict3
Total Credits15
1

Students must take the introductory course in the first semester.

2

Students must take CONF 657 Facilitation Skills and at least 3 credits of CONF 625 Engaging Conflict. Additional credits of CONF 625 Engaging Conflict will count as electives.

Electives

Select 27 credits of elective courses from any 500, 600, or 700 level CONF courses, except required courses.27
Total Credits27

Because the choice of electives can vary significantly according to individual goals or needs, each student should develop a plan of study that should be discussed once each semester with the advisor and updated as appropriate.

With the advisor's approval, each student is eligible to include a maximum of six credits of electives from outside the S-CAR program, including courses in other Mason departments, consortium courses, and transfer courses from other universities.

Students wishing to complete a Master's Thesis or Internship would count these credits towards their elective requirement.

Internship

The CONF 694 Internship internship course provides students with opportunities to use and develop conflict resolution skills, integrate theory and practice of conflict analysis and resolution, and network with professionals in the field to enhance employment opportunities. The internship requires 160 hours of supervised work per every 3 credits. The goals and objectives of the internship are defined in an application and memorandum of agreement to be signed by the student, the internship site supervisor, and the director of field experience before the internship begins.

Students may either take 3 or 6 credits of CONF 694 Internship.

CONF 694Internship (take 3 or 6 credits)1-6

Thesis

Students wishing to complete a Master's Thesis are strongly encouraged to take CONF 797 Proposal Development (Proposal Development) the semester before beginning the thesis project. Before registering, students must have identified a Master's thesis committee chair to supervise the project. Students should contact S-CAR student services to receive the CRN to register for thesis.

CONF 797Proposal Development1
CONF 799Thesis1-6

Directed Readings

Only two directed readings may be applied toward requirements for the master's degree (maximum 6 credits).

CONF 697Directed Readings and Research1-3

Dual Degree Program with the University of Malta

Students have the opportunity to pursue a MS in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University and a MA in Conflict Resolution and Mediterranean Security from the University of Malta through an innovative Dual Degree Program. Teaching faculty includes professors from both George Mason University and the University of Malta. All teaching is in English and all classes are held at the Valetta Campus of the University of Malta. The 400-year-old University of Malta Valletta campus incorporates state-of-the-art instructional technology. The entire program is delivered over three intensive semesters on a full time basis starting in late September. Classes are held on a two week intensive block basis for the first two semesters while the third semester is devoted to the completion of a thesis.

Orientation in Malta begins at the end of September. Classes run from the beginning of October through June. Students work on their theses from June until October. University of Malta graduation is in November and Mason graduation is in December. The total duration of the program is 15 months. More information is available at the program website. US and Canadian students apply through the Mason graduate admissions process and indicate they want to participate in the Malta program. All other students should apply through the University of Malta.

Conflict Analysis and Resolution, MS and Social Work, MSW Dual Degree

The Department of Social Work and the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution have joined forces to offer a three year dual-degree program. Students can earn both an MSW and an MS in Conflict Analysis and Resolution while taking advantage of the diversity of the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area and the university's proximity to the nation's capital. This is the only dual-degree program of its kind.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must meet the admission standards and application requirements specified in Graduate Admissions and apply using the online Application for Graduate Admission. The application process is competitive, and applications are considered for the fall semester only.

Students interested in the 3-year dual degree program submit one online Application for Graduate Admission, select the MSW in Social Work as a primary program, and submit all application support materials to the Office of Graduate Admission in the College of Health and Human Services. Applicants should communicate their interest in completing the dual degree program in their essays, and recommendations should address the dual program interest. Students must be admitted to both programs in the same semester (fall only) to be admitted to the dual degree program.

For application deadlines and detailed application requirements please refer to the CHHS Admissions website. Interested students should consult the MSW program website, the MSW program, and the MSW program director for additional information prior to applying.

Transfer of Credit

Transfer credit is governed AP.6.5.3 Transfer of Credit and AP.6 Graduate Policies. Transfer credits must be approved by the program director and the dean. Students who enroll initially through non-degree studies should seek course advising through the department prior to taking a course and plan to submit their application to the dual degree program as soon as possible. 

Please refer to the Transfer of Credit policy for the MSW in Social Work for departmental policy governing courses taken at another institution and the maximum number of credits allowed.

MSW-MS Degree Requirements

Total credits: 78

Social Work Courses

SOCW 623Human Behavior and Social Systems I3
SOCW 624Human Behavior and Social Systems II3
SOCW 651Social Policies, Programs, and Services3
SOCW 652Influencing Social Policy3
SOCW 657Direct Social Work Practice I3
SOCW 658Direct Social Work Practice II3
SOCW 670Social Work Program Planning, Communications, and Technology3
SOCW 672Generalist Field Practicum and Seminar I3
SOCW 673Generalist Field Practicum and Seminar II3
SOCW 687Empowering Communities for Change3
SOCW 688Program Evaluation for Social Workers 13
or CONF 660 Conflict Assessment and Program Evaluation
Total Credits30-33
1

 Students complete only one of SOCW 688 or CONF 660.

Social Change Concentration (SOCC)
SOCW 684Social Work and the Law3
SOCW 685Organizational Leadership for Social Workers3
SOCW 694Specialist Social Change Field Practicum and Seminar I3
SOCW 695Specialist Social Change Field Practicum and Seminar II3
Select two courses from the following. At least one course must be an Advanced Policy Course.6
Advanced Policy
Immigration Policy
Social Policy for Children and Youth
Aging Programs and Policies
Global Human Rights Policy
Integrated Behavioral Health Policy
Selected Topics in Social Work and Social Change
Additional Course Options
Forensic Social Work Practice
Art Therapy and Social Work
Psychopathology
Selected Topics in Clinical Practice
Selected Topics in Social Work and Social Change
Family Therapy
Trauma and Recovery
Military Social Work
Substance Abuse Interventions
Clinical Practice with Older Adults
Thesis Project Seminar
Total Credits18
Clinical Practice Concentration (CLNP)
SOCW 640Advanced Clinical Practice3
SOCW 674Psychopathology3
SOCW 692Specialist Clinical Field Practicum and Seminar I3
SOCW 693Specialist Clinical Field Practicum and Seminar II3
Select two courses from the following. At least one course must be an Advanced Policy Course.6
Advanced Policy
Immigration Policy
Social Policy for Children and Youth
Aging Programs and Policies
Global Human Rights Policy
Integrated Behavioral Health Policy
Selected Topics in Social Work and Social Change
Additional Course Options
Art Therapy and Social Work
Selected Topics in Clinical Practice
Family Therapy
Trauma and Recovery
Military Social Work
Substance Abuse Interventions
Clinical Practice with Older Adults
Total Credits18

Conflict Analysis and Resolution Courses

CONF 600Foundations of Conflict Analysis and Resolution6
CONF 610Conflict Inquiry3
CONF 657Facilitation Skills3
CONF 625Engaging Conflict 13
Total Credits15
1

CONF 657 Facilitation Skills should be completed before a student takes CONF 625 Engaging Conflict.

Electives

Select 12 credits of CONF Electives with approval from S-CAR12
Total Credits12

Conflict Analysis and Resolution, BA or BS/Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Accelerated MS

Overview

The Accelerated Master's is designed for highly qualified and motivated undergraduate students majoring in Conflict Analysis and Resolution. If accepted, students may take up to 12 credits of graduate coursework before undergraduate degree conferral and will be able to earn the Conflict Analysis and Resolution, BA or BS and the Conflict Analysis and Resolution, MS after satisfactory completion of 155 credits. The time period for the combined program is typically five years. It provides a streamlined MS application process with no additional application fee.

For more detailed information, see AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees. For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Application Requirements

Applicants to all graduate programs at George Mason University must meet the admission standards and application requirements for graduate study as specified in Graduate Admissions. For additional application requirements and information specific to the accelerated Conflict Analysis and Resolution, MS, see Eligibility, Policies, and Deadlines on the departmental web site.

Accelerated Option Requirements

  • During the first semester of senior year, after completing 90 hours of undergraduate coursework, admitted students may take up to 6 credits (1-2 classes) that will count towards both their undergraduate AND graduate degrees. During the second semester of senior year, students may take up to 6 credits (1-2 classes) that will count towards the graduate degree only.
  • At the beginning of the last semester of undergraduate study, the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition Form must be submitted to the Office of the University Registrar. Upon completion and conferral of the undergraduate degree they are admitted to graduate status.
  • Students must begin their master's program the semester immediately following conferral of the undergraduate degree and will be expected to complete all remaining graduate program requirements within five years.
  • Additional policies can be found on the program website.

GPA Requirements

  • Students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of a 3.25 or higher at the time of application.
  • No grade below a B is permitted for any undergraduate or graduate CONF course taken after application to the accelerated master's program until completion of the undergraduate program.
  • If a student receives a grade below a B in any CONF course after acceptance in the program, they will not be allowed to continue on to the master's program. Students that have received a grade below a B in a CONF course after acceptance into the program may re-apply to the master's program after conferral of the undergraduate degree however; re-application does not guarantee admission.
  • At the time of the undergraduate degree conferral, students' GPAs must meet the standard required for admission to the master's degree.

Course Criteria

  • Students may only take courses indicated on their Accelerated Master's Program Application and approved by an academic advisor.
  • Students may not take more than 12 credits a semester if taking two graduate courses or 15 credits a semester if taking one graduate course.