The core required courses form the base upon which all other aspects of the program are built. In addition to traditional mediation, negotiation, and adjudication courses, the first-year curriculum explores ethical issues, cross-cultural competency, and third-party dynamics in the field of conflict resolution. Characterized by small classes, dedicated professors, and engaged students, the first-year course of study sharpens analytical skills, encourages intellectual rigor and fosters the lively exchange of ideas in and out of the classroom.
Wherever two or more people come together, in those social relations will be woven threads that relate to the study and practice of conflict resolution. In the many disciplines that seek to understand and grapple with human social experience, from the interpersonal to the international, from the social and political sciences to the neurosciences, much of the knowledge that is developed will apply to and inform this area of study and practice. We toss around the terms 'multi-disciplinary' and 'inter-disciplinary' but they reference a deep truth of this field even as it generates its own independent theory and conducts original research. We are multi-disciplinary in the sources of our knowledge base and in the application of our practice. As participants in such an inter-disciplinary field, students' education is enriched by the extensive elective coursework offered across the university campus. Students broaden and deepen their perspectives on conflict and its management by taking courses offered in the schools of sociology, psychology, business, international studies, economics, public administration and planning, among others. The Master's program also develops its own elective courses that attract students from across the campus. Examples include:
- Conflict Resolution in Schools
- Understanding Conflict in Divided Societies: Northern Ireland and Peace Making
- Environmental Conflict Resolution
- Managing Conflict in Organizations
- Sports and Conflict
- Working in the Overseas Context: Relationships Across Cultures
- Mediating Family Disputes
- The Palestinian/Israeli Conflict: History and Current Conditions
- Humanitarianism, Development, Peace, and Conflict: Understanding the nature, roots, and implications of conflict in the context of development work.
- The Politics of Global Flashpoints: Why Longtime Hot Spots Remain Unresolved and the Impact on Democracy and Economic Development
- The Politics of Terror: State and Non-State Actors, Engagement, Tactics, and Outcomes
- Nonprofit Clinic: Nonprofit management, conflict management systems, and legal compliance
- Small Claims Court Clinic: Mediating small claims disputes in the court house
- Inside/Out Courses: Topics Vary (I/O Application for Fall 2013 Course Information)
Final Project (CRES 611) or Thesis (CRES 503)
Each student must complete and successfully defend a Final Project or Thesis. The Final Project is intended to foster and reflect individualized, integrative learning. This substantial project embodies the knowledge and skills acquired by the student in classroom and independent studies during the course of his or her Master's work. Flexibility in format and content of the project allows students to choose between a theory-based academic paper or a project more practical in nature. The former typically will be a formal study of some aspect of the field, the latter a project of practice conducted in the field followed with a Final Project report. Thus, the Final Project may take various forms, including (but not limited to) a 40 – 60 page (double spaced) theoretical paper/study/literature review, a survey research and analysis project, the design and documentation of a systems-level dispute resolution instrument, the creation of a handbook, or an extended project evaluation based on the student's practicum experiences. If students choose to do a practice-oriented project rather than an academic paper, they must write and submit a project report of 20+ pages (double spaced) describing the project, its methodology, its rationale, its outcomes, its links to the literature, implications for further research or practice, etc. The Thesis is a formal academic paper complying with the Graduate School thesis guidelines and timelines. Successful completion of the Final Project or the Thesis requires an oral defense before the student's Final Project or Thesis committee.
The Internship is a key element of the Master's in the degree requirements and the student's educational experience. Students must complete 320 hours (8 credits) of Internship work. The Internship is intended to offer practical learning experience in a setting that has relevance to the student's educational and career goals. It is an opportunity to apply the theory and skills introduced in earlier coursework and to develop relationships with established practitioners who can provide guidance and mentorship. In addition to the work itself, the student's relationship with his or her UO faculty advisor and on-site supervisor and their required written blog play important parts in the overall educational experience. Internship placements range from local to international. Students are not required to complete all internship credit hours within a single term. Internship hours needn't be acquired only at one placement location but may be divided among two, or possibly even three, sponsoring agencies. Eighty hours (2 credits) is the minimum number of hours at one placement unless prior authorization is given by the Program Director. (Approval will be given as long as the number of hours is sufficient to provide a reasonable learning unit, as long as the placement makes sense within a larger Internship plan, and as long as the placement agency believes that it will receive sufficient return on its investment in the student.)
We work closely with each student to secure an internship that best suits his or her educational and career goals. Sometimes a student walks into our office with news of having secured a great internship independently. Other times, we have helped to secure the internship placement. The program houses an extensive and ever-growing internship data base and has many contacts domestically and internationally. Our students have interned throughout the US as well as internationally (eg's South Africa, Kenya, Lebanon, Israel/Palestine, Macedonia, Northern Ireland, Australia) and in a wide range of types of placements (workplace ombuds offices, environmental dispute resolution, community work, restorative justice programs, health care, education, immigration and refugee work, mediation and law offices, etc.)
In addition to our many connections with potential placement organizations, we have two programs of more structured internship placement, one for students interested in collaborative governance and environmental/public policy dispute resolution and decision making, and the other for those interested in international work.
Collaborative governance and environmental/public policy internship track: Working with the National Policy Consensus Center, Oregon Consensus, and Oregon Solutions, we have developed a two-day training for students in public policy collaborative negotiations and consensus-building. With this training as a pre-requisite, our students are then placed on actual environmental/public policy projects throughout Oregon for on-the-ground, real-world experience dealing with such public issues as resource management, land use, transportation, water and forest management, access to government, etc. To see a short video clip on the internship program, click here.
Northern Ireland Internship track: Faculty member Shaul Cohen, an expert on the Northern Ireland conflict, directs our Northern Ireland internship program. Students take a four-credit course on that conflict and, with that course along with our Working in the Overseas Context: Relationships Across Cultures course as pre-requisites, are placed with a variety of peace and reconciliation and community groups in Northern Ireland. Placements are tailored to suit each student's interests. We have had students placed to work with youth, with education, with public planning and administration, with labor/management issues, and with peace-building and reconciliation, for example.
Israel/Palestine Internship track: "Israel/Palestine Internship track: Faculty member Diane Baxter, an expert on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, directs our Israel/Palestine internship program. Students take a four-credit course on that conflict and, with that course along with our Working in the Overseas Context: Relationships Across Cultures course as pre-requisites, are placed with organizations in Israel/Palestine dealing with various aspects of that conflict and with education, dialogue, reconciliation, and peace-building efforts.
Students who intern overseas must, as a pre-requisite, take our "Working in the Overseas Context: Relationships Across Cultures". This course covers a range of issues including culture shock, health, safety, and security, colonial history and its impact on the interpersonal and institutional relationships between the developed and the developing worlds, neo-colonialism, etc. We will waive this requirement for students who can demonstrate sufficient overseas experience and subject matter understanding. Petitions for waiver are considered on the basis of:
1. A written document from the student that includes three elements:
- a review of her or his overseas experience and any training on relevant subject matter
- a discussion of her or his understanding of some of the key issues involved in relationships between individuals and institutions from "developed and developing" countries or regions
- a description of the ways in which he or she dealt with issues of cultural norms/values for daily living in the host country
2. An interview with the course professor after she's read the student's written submission
Denial of the petition may be arrived at on the basis of the written submission alone. The written document must be submitted in time to allow for scheduling of the interview prior to the first week of classes. The professor's decision is final and not appealable. Examples of internship work