Analytical skills and techniques are critical to solving the world's toughest problems. In order to solve conflict we must first understand it. Critical thinking and research skills are the focus of our Bachelor of Science program and are in demand by employers of all sectors. Students pursuing a Bachelor's of Science in Conflict Analysis and Resolution develop research skills and have the opportunity to gain experience designing surveys, conducting interviews, analyzing statistics, and organizing data.

All conflict analysis and resolution majors choose an area of concentration:

  • Building Peace in Divided Societies
  • Global Engagement
  • Political and Social Action
  • Justice and Reconciliation
  • Interpersonal Dynamics
  • Collaborative Leadership
  • Environmental Conflict and Collaboration


Advisors help students create an interdisciplinary course of study that meets their interests and career goals. All majors are strongly encouraged to meet regularly with an academic advisor from the School who will help students develop and follow a coherent plan of study and complete the degree in a timely manner.


For policies governing all undergraduate degrees, see AP.5 Undergraduate Policies.

Major Coursework Grade Requirement

Students cannot use more than 12 credits of coursework within the major with a C- or D grade to count towards the Conflict Analysis and Resolution, BS. If a student receives C- or D grades in excess of the allowed number, they may retake courses to meet the major coursework grade requirement for graduation. Students taking a graduate course for undergraduate credit must achieve a grade of B- or higher for graduate course credits to count towards their undergraduate degree.

Transfer Students

For policies governing admission and requirements for students transferring from another college or university, see Undergraduate Admission Policies - Transfer.

Admitted and enrolled transfer students who have completed an AA, AS, or AA&S degree from the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) and have been offered admission to Mason by the Office of Admissions may be eligible for a waiver of all George Mason University's Mason Core requirements in accordance with the Guaranteed Admission Agreement. Students eligible for this waiver are still required by the university to complete ENGH 302 Advanced Composition (Mason Core) and a synthesis course.

Banner Code: CA-BS-CONF

Degree Requirements

Total credits: 120

Students must fulfill all requirements for bachelor's degrees as stated in Academic Policies including all Mason Core requirements. Carter School majors must complete the 6 credit college-level requirement in research methods as well as 51 major requirement credits for the BS degree.

Students pursuing a double major/degree with a program outside of the Carter School undergraduate program will be expected to fulfill all of the Mason Core and college requirements necessary to complete the second major. Please check with the second major department concerning additional requirements.

Required Core Courses

CONF 101Conflict and Our World (Mason Core)3
CONF 210Theories of Conflict Analysis and Resolution3
CONF 300Conflict Resolution Techniques and Practice3
CONF 301Research and Inquiry in Conflict Resolution3
CONF 302Culture, Identity, and Conflict3
CONF 320Interpersonal Conflict Analysis and Resolution3
CONF 330Community, Group, and Organizational Conflict Analysis and Resolution3
CONF 340Global Conflict Analysis and Resolution (Mason Core)3
CONF 490RS: Integration (Mason Core)3
Total Credits27

Field Experience

Students can choose to fulfill this requirement through an internship, service learning, study abroad, or independent study.

Students may not be approved for field experience until they have earned at least 30 credits. It is recommended that students complete at least 9 credits of conflict coursework before applying for field experience credit. Prior departmental approval is required for students to receive credit through any field experience options. Students interested in trips with the Carter School can find information here. Students interested in study abroad through the Global Education Office can find information here. Please contact a Carter School advisor with questions or for information on the opportunities, policies, and procedures for field experience credit.

Select a minimum of three credits from the following:3
Internship Field Experience
Special Programs Field Experience
International Field Experience
Independent Research in Conflict Analysis and Resolution
Total Credits3

Skills and Practice

This three credit requirement can be fulfilled by taking

  1. an additional 3 credits from a second field experience, OR
  2. a foreign language course at the 250 level or higher, OR
  3. one 3 credit course or three 1 credit courses from the following:
Select one of these 3 credit courses:3
Dialogue and Difference
Special Topics in Advanced Techniques and Practices
Mediating Conflict
Independent Research in Conflict Analysis and Resolution
Or select 3 of these 1 credit skills courses:
Special Topics in Practice
Career Development Seminar
Simulation in Community and Organizational Conflict Resolution
Simulation in Global Conflict Resolution
Total Credits3

Courses may NOT double count for the concentration requirement and the skills and practice requirement.

Research Methods

Select at least six credits from the following:6
Language and Culture
Qualitative Methods: Nonstatistical Approaches in Culture and Social Research
Research Methods and Analysis in Criminology
Introduction to Cultural Studies
Research Methods and Analysis
Public Policy Analysis
Introduction to Historical Method (Mason Core)
The Digital Past
Philosophy of the Social Sciences
Statistics in Psychology
Research Methods in Psychology
Methods and Logic of Inquiry
Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences (Mason Core)
Social Surveys and Attitude and Opinion Measurements
Introductory Statistics I (Mason Core)
Introduction to Computer Statistical Packages
Introduction to Survey Sampling
Feminist Approaches to Social Research
Total Credits6


There are eight concentrations:

To fulfill the concentration requirement students select six concentration courses. Four of those six courses must be taken from within their chosen concentration. The remaining two concentration courses may be taken from any of the concentration course lists. Special topics courses relevant to the concentration and/or courses that provide regional expertise can be substituted with departmental approval. Students are encouraged to check special topics courses each semester and think creatively about the applicability of courses that support learning in their chosen concentration. At least two of the six concentration courses must be CONF courses taken in residence. CONF 397 Study Abroad Special Topics and courses transferred from another institution do not fulfill this requirement. Courses may not double count for the concentration requirement and the skills and practice requirement.

Concentration in Building Peace in Divided Societies (BPDS)

Focuses on how divided societies with a history of conflict seek to transform relationships and situations of violence and injustice. Examines communities and societies that have experienced conflict and how individuals and groups build peace locally and globally.

Select at least four of the six concentration courses from the following:12
Dialogue and Difference
Justice and Reconciliation
Youth and Conflict
Violence: Causes, Dynamics Alternatives
Building Peace in Divided Societies
Foundations of Intercultural Communication (Mason Core)
Globalization and Culture
Economics of Developing Areas (Mason Core)
Geographic Approaches for Sustainable Development
The Civil War and Reconstruction
Conflict Resolution and Transformation
Globalization and Social Change (Mason Core)
Total Credits12

Concentration in Global Engagement (GLBE)

Focuses on studying the dynamics and impact of global conflict resolution. Examines domestic and international dimensions of security, state-to-state conflict, internal wars, terrorism, migration, negotiation, and diplomacy. Explores what can be done to reduce violent conflict and increase peace and security.

Select at least four of the six concentration courses from the following:12
Justice and Reconciliation
Social Dynamics of Terrorism, Security, and Justice
Law and Justice around the World (Mason Core)
International Economic Policy
Environmental Policy Making in Developing Countries
Political Geography (Mason Core)
Geographic Approaches for Sustainable Development
International Relations Theory
International Law and Organization
Refugee and Internal Displacement (Mason Core)
Violence and Religion
Total Credits12

Concentration in Political and Social Action (PSA)

Focuses on the ways that people organize themselves to effect change in their societies. This concentration explores social action, social organization, social movements, and civil resistance to analyze and investigate the role of constructive conflict.

Select at least four of the six concentration courses from the following:12
Violence: Causes, Dynamics Alternatives
Human Rights and Inequality
Rhetoric of Social Movements and Political Controversy (Mason Core)
Economic Problems and Public Policies
Public Law and the Judicial Process
Public Policy Making
Social Movements and Community Activism (Mason Core)
Environmental Justice (Mason Core)
Social Justice and Human Rights (Mason Core)
Community Engagement for Social Change (Mason Core)
Social Movements and Political Protest
Power, Politics, and Society
Social Problems and Solutions (Mason Core)
Total Credits12

Concentration in Justice and Reconciliation (JRCN)

Focuses on the relationships between human rights, justice, and conflict resolution. Encompasses a spectrum of coursework including legal dimensions of human rights, trauma, memory, healing, conflict transformation, and forms of restorative justice.

Select four of the six concentration courses from the following:12
Justice and Reconciliation
Human Rights and Inequality
Building Peace in Divided Societies
Social Inequality, Crime, and Justice
Crime Victims and Victimization
Family Law and the Justice System
Law and Justice (Mason Core)
Conflict, Trauma and Healing
Social Justice and Human Rights (Mason Core)
Race and Ethnicity in a Changing World (Mason Core)
Social Inequality (Mason Core)
Total Credits12

Concentration in Interpersonal Dynamics (INTD)

Focuses on the dynamics of social interaction that lead to interpersonal conflict and the processes and skills that support the transformation of these conflicts. Issues examined include intercultural communication, psychology of groups, family relationships, and other dimensions of human relations.

Select four of the six concentration courses from the following:12
Dialogue and Difference
Youth and Conflict
Mediating Conflict
Relational Communication Theory
Foundations of Intercultural Communication (Mason Core)
Interpersonal Communication in the Workplace
Issues in Family Relationships (Mason Core)
Social Psychology (Mason Core)
Applied Cross-Cultural Psychology (Mason Core)
Science of Well Being
The Psychology of Working in Groups and Teams
Marriage, Families, and Intimate Life
Contemporary Gender Relations (Mason Core)
Total Credits12

Concentration in Collaborative Leadership (CLDR)

Focuses on improving the capacity of leaders to work with conflict and manage change. Includes topics in conflict transformation, mediation, dialogue, and organizational leadership.

Select four of the six concentration courses from the following:12
Dialogue and Difference
Mediating Conflict
Small Group Communication
Organizational Communication
Administration in the Political System
Ethics and Leadership
Leadership in a Changing Environment
The Nonprofit Sector (Mason Core)
Managing People and Organizations in a Global Economy
Leadership and Outdoor Education
Industrial and Organizational Psychology
Psychology of Creativity and Innovation
Total Credits12

Concentration in Environmental Conflict and Collaboration (EVCC)

Focuses on using a variety of conflict resolution processes to address environmental issues.  Examines how communities and societies are dealing with environmental issues and prepares students with process skills to promote collaborative solutions.

Select at least four of the six concentration courses from the following:12
Dialogue and Difference
Community Engagement and Collaborative Problem Solving
Mediating Conflict
Environment and Culture
Human Dimensions in Conservation (Mason Core)
RS: Integrated Conservation Strategies (Mason Core)
Human Dimensions of the Environment
Environmental Policy Making in Developing Countries
The Human Dimensions of Global Climate Change
Geographic Approaches for Sustainable Development
Environmental Justice (Mason Core)
Total Credits12

Individualized Concentration (IND)

Students interested in creating their own concentration can work with an advisor to decide upon a set of at least six courses that will fulfill the requirements of the BS in Conflict Analysis and Resolution. Individualized concentrations must be approved by the Director of the Undergraduate Program.

BS in Conflict Analysis and Resolution without Concentration

Students may opt to complete their major in Conflict Analysis and Resolution without a concentration. The department offers many elective courses that allow students to deepen their understanding of theory and practice within the field of Conflict Resolution. Students may choose this option and complete the conflict resolution Core and 18 credits of conflict coursework selected from the following. These credits may not be used to also fulfill the skills and practice or field experience requirements.

Select 18 credits from the following:18
Dialogue and Difference
Justice and Reconciliation
Social Dynamics of Terrorism, Security, and Justice
Special Programs Field Experience
Youth and Conflict
Violence: Causes, Dynamics Alternatives
Human Rights and Inequality
Special Topics in Advanced Techniques and Practices
Special Topics in Conflict Analysis and Resolution
Mediating Conflict
Building Peace in Divided Societies
Independent Research in Conflict Analysis and Resolution
Total Credits18

Writing-Intensive Requirement

All Mason students are required to complete at least one course designated as "writing intensive" in their major at the 300-level or above. CONF 302 Culture, Identity, and Conflict has been designated "writing intensive."


Remaining credits needed to bring the degree total to 120 may be fulfilled with general elective courses. 1,2

Mason Core

Some Mason Core requirements may already be fulfilled by the major requirements listed above. Students are strongly encouraged to consult their advisors to ensure they fulfill all remaining Mason Core requirements.

Foundation Requirements
Written Communication (ENGH 101)3
Oral Communication3
Quantitative Reasoning3
Information Technology and Computing3
Exploration Requirements
Global Understanding3
Natural Science7
Social and Behavioral Sciences3
Western Civilization/World History3
Integration Requirements
Written Communications (ENGH 302)3
Writing-Intensive 13
Synthesis/Capstone 23
Total Credits40

Bachelor of Science in Conflict Analysis and Resolution Sample Plan of Study

The sample plan below is a recommended sequencing of courses based on pre-requisites and scheduling. This may not fit every student's needs and is a guideline, not a requirement. Students should confirm major requirements with their academic advisor and with PatriotWeb Degree Evaluation to ensure they enroll in the proper courses and are on track to graduate.

First Year
Fall SemesterCreditsSpring SemesterCredits
CONF 1013CONF 2103
Mason Core (ENGH or COMM)3Mason Core-ENGH or COMM3
Mason Core-Quantitative Reasoning3Mason Core-World History or Western Civilization3
Mason Core-Fine Art3Mason Core-Natural Science non-Lab3
Mason Core-Information Technology3Minor Introduction Course3
UNIV 1001 
 16 15
Second Year
Fall SemesterCreditsSpring SemesterCredits
CONF 3003CONF 3203
CONF 3141Concentration Course #23
Mason Core-Literature3Mason Core-ENGH 3023
Mason Core-Natural Science with Lab4Minor Course3
Concentration Course #13Minor Course3
CONF 3101 
 15 15
Third Year
Fall SemesterCreditsSpring SemesterCredits
CONF 3303CONF 3403
CONF 3013Research Methods #13
Concentration Course #33Minor Course3
Minor Course3Concentration Course #43
 15 15
Fourth Year
Fall SemesterCreditsSpring SemesterCredits
CONF 3023CONF 4903
Field Experience3CONF 3101
Concentration #53Concentration #63
Research Methods #23Electives7
Skill Based Elective3 
 15 14
Total Credits 120

Detailed four year plans and degree planning checklists can be found at

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


This accelerated Master's option is designed for highly qualified and motivated undergraduate students that have completed at least 6 credit hours of CONF coursework at the time of application.  If accepted, students may take up to 12 credits of graduate coursework before undergraduate degree conferral and will be able to earn an undergraduate degree and the Conflict Analysis and Resolution, MS after satisfactory completion of at least 147 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

For specific application requirements and information for the accelerated Conflict Analysis and Resolution, MS, see Eligibility, Policies, and Deadlines. 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

Students must have a minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.25 at the time of application.

Accelerated Master's Requirements

  • During the first semester in senior status 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 status, students may take up to 6 credits (1-2 classes) that will count towards the graduate degree only.

  • 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.
  • See the program website for additional information.

Accelerated MS Requirements

  • 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.
  • 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.