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Alternative Dispute Resolution (Certificate)

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The Alternative Dispute Resolution graduate certificate is offered online or on campus at the University of Denver in the evenings, or in a combination of both, to meet the needs of busy adults who seek to enhance their current skills. Alternative dispute resolution uses mediation, negotiation, and facilitation methods to resolve conflicts between individuals, organizations, small groups, and nations.

As a comprehensive approach to the study of conflict analysis and resolution, the ADR?certificate recognizes the potentially destructive nature of conflict and how to resolve it. Classes are led by professional practitioners who work in the fields they teach and offer a unique and comprehensive approach to the study of conflict analysis and resolution.

The program teaches students how to apply conflict theories for understanding and analyzing conflict situations, as well as developing contextually appropriate conflict management options. Credits earned through this graduate certificate may apply toward a master's degree in Organizational and Professional Communication.

This certificate prepares students to:

  • Apply conflict theories to understand and analyze conflict situations

  • Recognize the potential role of culture in conflict situations

  • Utilize a variety of alternative processes to resolve conflict, including mediation, negotiation, and facilitation

  • Develop contextually appropriate conflict management systems

  • Perform alternative dispute resolution practices in accordance with various applicable codes of ethics

Organizational and Professional Communication Outcomes

This program prepares students to:

  • Demonstrate effective written and verbal communication skills across organizational, professional, and social settings
  • Utilize knowledge of theoretical foundations and applied techniques to expand one's comfort level with communication choices across settings
  • Display critical thinking processes: analyze, understand, and evaluate communication within organizations and as part of external professional situations
  • Utilize creativity in constructing, assessing, and/or managing problem solving, decision making or conflict processes and interactions; demonstrate the ability to revise such processes for more effective outcomes as needed
  • Understand the nature and needs of group/team processes as they relate to and operate within organizations
  • Demonstrate social awareness, responsibility, and sensitivity for the communication required in culturally diverse groups
  • Develop knowledge and skills within one or two communication specialties which enhance and clarify professional direction, career objectives, or personal development

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who have completed the program, and other important information, please visit our website at

Required Courses

The graduate Certificate of Advanced Study in Alternative Dispute Resolution requires completion of 24 credit hours (6 courses).

Concentration Courses - 16 qtr. hrs (Choose 4)

Professional Concentration courses allow students to focus on a specific professional area within the larger industry sector in which they are working or wish to work, and master the skills needed to excel in that area.

Further Study - 8 qtr. hrs (Choose 2)

Further Studies Options allow students to customize their degrees to match their career needs by either choosing in-depth study in their concentration by selecting three of the following courses, or exploring other options by using our Degree Builder tool.

Additional Further Study courses available, please see Design your custom plan for complete option of Further Study courses

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Careers in Alternative Dispute Resolution Certificate

Mediator, Mediation Specialist, Consultant, Dispute Resolution Specialist, Dispute Coordinator, Dispute Resolution Analyst, Paralegal, Alternative Dispute Resolution Administrator.

Manage disputes, collaboration, communication, training, development, labor relations, research, review and evaluation, problem-solving, negotiation, arbitration, troubleshooting.

Employment for mediators and arbitrators is expected to grow faster than the average through 2018, as the public attempts to avoid court delays and costs while undergoing mediation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While several professionals choose to be freelance consultants, 29% of arbitrators and mediators work for state or local government. Turnover tends to be low for these positions, so advanced degrees and specializing in specific areas is your best bet for future employment.

Careers in Organizational and Professional Communication

Communicate success
Top communicators get the top rankings! Public relations specialists, marketing researchers, art directors, and marketing managers all placed among the top 100 best careers in a 2013 ranking by U.S. News & World Report. And although communication, public relations, and media jobs tend to be in larger, metropolitan areas, there is a trend that clearly shows a dispersal of job openings across the nation. Whether you're looking to enter creative services, mediation, media, training and development, or another communication field, the key is to prove ingenuity, resilience, and communication savvy.

Stay ahead of the curve!
New media, new technology, and new global opportunities are all the rage within the communication industry, as employers seek industrious professionals who have innovative skills and can bring something new and dynamic to the table. By next year, total marketing spend will have shifted drastically: interactive online marketing will reach $55 billion and search marketing will grow 15% per year to reach $32 billion. Those with an innate ability to generate creative solutions, think innovatively, and market themselves will likely excel within the organizational and professional communication field.

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Even if you missed the application deadline, you can start taking courses for one quarter before you have to submit a completed application. We know how important it is to get started when you're ready, so review the class schedule or start the registration process now.

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