Graduate Certificate in Conflict Mediation


UA Little Rock’s Graduate Certificate in Conflict Mediation is interdisciplinary with courses in applied communication, law, social work, public administration, education, and psychology. Courses are taught by UA Little Rock faculty and by national experts in the field.

Professional conflict managers assist individuals and groups in reaching agreements in cases ranging from employee grievances to child custody agreements. Elective courses allow you to tailor your program to various interest areas like school mediation, dispute resolution programs, or family mediation.

Program Learning Objectives

  • Gain grounding in theory of conflict
  • Understand causes and effects of different types of conflict on people and communities
  • Develop skills in practice, design, and evaluation of different types of conflict

Program Requirements

Students must possess an undergraduate degree with at least a 2.7 cumulative GPA and submit an online application to UA Little Rock’s Graduate School.  Official transcripts must be sent directly to UA Little Rock’s Graduate School.  A current resume, one-page written statement of your educational/career goals along with two references may be emailed to the graduate coordinator at


The graduate certificate requires 18 credit hours for completion. Courses are typically scheduled on two weekends during the semester for the convenience of working professionals. Students can complete the program in one year or go at their own pace, and courses may be taken in any sequence.

Required Conflict Mediation Courses

Conflict Analysis & Intervention (ACOM 7323)

This course introduces students to psychological and communication theories of conflict as well as conflict management approaches of negotiation and mediation.  The focus is on using in-class activities to better understand the factors and dynamics of conflict resolution and develop effective conflict-management skills. This course is only offered in the Fall.

Mediation (LAW 6329)

This course focuses on mediation theory and practice.  We will explore mediation as a process of resolving different types of conflicts.  The course will explain and initiate development of the skills necessary to effectively participate in mediation.  Primary attention will be given to collaborative, problem-solving mediation techniques.  Simulated mediation (role-plays) will deal with a range of dispute subject matter and address mediation within the role of law and justice, the role of lawyers in mediation, and overcoming barriers to agreement.  This course is only offered in the Spring.

Negotiation (ACOM 7324)

Students will learn the concepts of distributive and integrative bargaining, with an emphasis on building strong working relationships.  This course is highly interactive, utilizing lecture, discussion and extensive role-playing scenarios. This course is only offered in the Summer.

Elective Conflict Mediation Courses – Choose Three

Managing Public Disputes (PADM 7341)

This course teaches knowledge and skills necessary for effective management of multi-party public policy disputes and for collaborative problem solving in the public sector by examining public issues and policy conflicts; exploring effective methods for analyzing and framing public issues; and identifying step-by-step procedures for engaging in dialogue and deliberation, managing public policy disputes, and solving problems collaboratively.  Numerous case studies and real-world examples are discussed and analyzed. In addition to written assignments, the course requires active participation in class discussion, role-plays, and in-class small group exercises. This course is only offered in the Fall.

Designing Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Systems for Organizations (PSYC 7330)

Conflict exists in all areas of life, and certainly within organizations, both public, private and nonprofit.  ADR system design helps to match the appropriate dispute resolution process with the type of dispute and culture of the organization.  Successful organizations deal with conflict in ways that improve rather than destroy relationships, and that endeavor to leave everyone satisfied with the processes used to arrive at solutions, whether or not they agree with those solutions.  Students will research assigned ADR techniques and prepare a short but informative presentations and work in small groups to analyze a case study. This course is only offered in the Spring.

Effective Crisis Communication (ACOM 7350)

Over the past 30 years, crises, change and disasters have been studied in a number of disciplines.  Sociologists, psychologists, economists, organizational theorists, and communication scholars to name a few have examined these events from different vantage points.  Communication researchers are interested in the impact of communication on the onset and recovery of these events.  Our ultimate goal in this course is to help the student develop as a professional to better conceptually understand crises in order to produce effective crisis communication. This course is only offered in the Spring.

Collective Bargaining (MGMT 7340)

This course explores various aspects of labor-management relations, including union organization, legal parameters, agreement negotiation and day-to-day administration of union-management agreements.  The emphasis is on the roles of industrial relations managers and line managers through an extensive use of case studies. This course is only offered in the Spring online.

Family Mediation (SOWK 8302)

This course focuses on the practice of family mediation by exploring the values, attitudes, beliefs, knowledge base, problem solving processes, and skills necessary to facilitate family mediations. Issues facing today’s society such as divorce, substance abuse, domestic violence, child abuse, family communication issues, care for elderly family members, and neglect will be addressed. The emphasis will be on the role of the mediator as he/she works with families as they make decisions about letting go of the old family, dealing with issues of family members, and creating plans for the future. Mediating family cases can be challenging and this course will include strategies for addressing those most difficult of situations.  This course is only offered in the Summer.

Conflict Management in Schools (TCED 7341)

Conflict occurs every day in our school settings.  Excessive conflict impacts the amount of time available for instruction, test scores, adult and student morale, feelings of safety, student attendance, and the general culture of the school. This course is designed to provide a basic understanding of the nature of conflict and how it can be better managed in our schools.  Students will examine conflict that arise between students, teachers, support staff, paraprofessionals, parents, administrators, school board members, and any else who comes into the school setting.  Strategies, processes, and skills for managing conflict will be present and practiced throughout the course.  This course is only offered in the Summer online.

For Additional Information, contact Dr. Jerry G. Stevenson, Program Coordinator at or 501-916-3331.