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All communities have conflicts, some much more severe than others, often driven by deep racial and ethnic divisions, economic inequity, complex intractable problems, and environmental degradation. Many community conflicts are triggered by changes, whether a new law or new development. These are among the many issues that effective, inclusive, collaborative community processes can help address. This certificate incorporates theory and skills needed to identify concerns and design collaborative processes that employ a wide range of design options ranging from small group dialogue to facilitated consensus building and online engagement to thousand person town meetings. 

This 15-credit certificate is specifically tailored to provide students with practical knowledge of conflict analysis and resolution relevant to their focused areas of work. Designed for mid-career professionals studying in a cohort environment, the certificate programs integrate conflict analysis and resolution theory, research, and practical technique. This certificate uses intensive course sessions, lecture, seminar, and applied mentored learning in real and simulated situations to prepare students to use conflict analysis and resolution approaches in their work in a variety of fields.

This certificate may only be pursued on a part-time basis.



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.  Applicants to this certificate must submit an undergraduate transcript showing completion of an undergraduate degree or equivalent, a cover letter specifying interest in the program, two letters of recommendation, and a curriculum vitae or résumé indicating relevant work experience.

In addition, prior work experience in areas related to the chosen graduate certificate is desirable. 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


Class Schedule

Please note that some classes for this graduate certificate are offered only in Saturday and Sunday sessions. Please check the Schedule of Classes for each term to identify course meeting dates, and specific add/drop dates for these partial semester courses.

Banner Code: CA-CERG-CNRC

Certificate Requirements

Total credits: 15

Required Courses

CONF 502Intensive Introduction to Conflict Analysis and Resolution (fall and spring)3
or CONF 501 Introduction to Conflict Analysis and Resolution
CONF 651Collaborative Community Action Participatory Governance (fall)3
CONF 657Facilitation Skills3
CONF 668Applied Integration for Graduate Certificates (summer)3
Total Credits12


Select 3 credits from the following: 13
Diversity and Difference in Conflict Analysis and Resolution
Leadership in Conflict Analysis and Resolution
Conflict Assessment and Program Evaluation
Special Topics in Conflict Analysis and Resolution
Ethnic and Cultural Factors in Conflict Resolution
Conflict and Race
Conflict and Gender
Law and Justice from a Conflict Perspective
Total Credits3

Application of any other course toward fulfillment of the elective requirement must be approved by the Certificate Program Director.