Program Description

The MS in Conflict Analysis and Resolution integrates conflict analysis and resolution theory, research methods, practical techniques, and ethical perspectives of the field. Students learn specific practices for addressing sources of hostility and methods of altering negative patterns of interaction, applying this knowledge in laboratory simulations, workshops, internships, and field practice. Graduates work in a variety of settings where conflict resolution is useful and interest groups are in conflict with current and emergent public policy.

What it costs

The total cost for this program is $657.50 per credit hour for VA state residents or $750.00 per credit hour for Non-VA residents. See the Cost tab below for a breakdown of tuition and fees. All of Mason’s tuition rates and fees can be found on our Student Accounts site.

Application Deadline

The priority deadline for Spring is November 1 and the final deadline is January 4. For Fall, the priority deadline is early February, the standard deadline is mid-March. Applications submitted after the deadline are considered upon space availability. For more application information and deadlines, see the Admissions site.

Request Info

Program Summary

90 Percent Online

Program: Conflict Analysis and Resolution

Degree: MS

College/School: Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution

Credits: 33 total

Who should apply?

Students examine conflicts at all levels – interpersonal, intragroup, intergroup, and international – and analyze the root causes, defining characteristics, and wide-ranging consequences of authentic conflict cases and the parties involved. Additionally, students learn specific practices for addressing sources of hostility and methods of altering negative patterns of interaction. Anyone who desires to mitigate, resolve, and prevent negative relations between parties will benefit from this program.

Why choose George Mason?

  • Mason’s Conflict Analysis and Resolution program is the largest in the world.
  • There are over 1,000 alumni of the program who are connected through a lively network around the world.
  • Students in the bachelor’s program can earn an accelerated master’s online.
  • The Carter School is engaged in numerous initiatives including the Genocide Prevention Program, the Sudan Project, the Experiential Learning Project, the Caucasus Project, and many more.
  • This program can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis, with up to six years from the time of first enrollment to complete the degree.
  • You can take courses as a non-degree student to determine if the MS program is right for you.
  • The program is fully online with the exception of a one-week residency, usually during the month of May.
  • Online classes accommodate those who work full time or live remotely.
  • A flexible curriculum allows our students to pursue their interests.
  • Our faculty members are among the leading experts in the field of conflict analysis and resolution.

Program requirements may change; please refer to the Mason Course Catalog for the most up-to-date requirements.

Requirements: 33 credits total

  • 15 credits core courses
  • 18 credits elective courses

At least 90% of the courses in this program can be completed online. Most online courses are delivered asynchronously and offerings vary by semester.

Required Courses

  • CONF 600 Foundations of Conflict Analysis and Resolution | 6 credits (must be taken in first semester)
  • Choice between CONF 610 Conflict Inquiry OR CONF 660 Conflict Assessment and Program Evaluation | 3 credits
  • CONF 625 Engaging Conflict | 3 credits
  • CONF 657 Facilitation Skills| 3 credits (required, one-week residency course)

Elective Courses

18 credits of electives that allow students to create an expertise in an area of their choice. Within these 18 credits, you will complete 9 credits for a concentration. You will determine which concentration courses to take with the help of your academic adviser.

Students wishing to complete a master’s thesis or internship would count those credits toward the elective requirement. 


  • Social Justice Advocacy and Activism: Geared toward students who want to work domestically or internationally on issues of social justice and human rights promotion.
  • Dynamics of Violence: Prepares students to prevent and address violence in the United States and on international levels.
  • Inclusive Conflict Engagement: Allows students to gain skills to resolve conflicts and address divided cultures, societies, and organizations as advocates, peace-builders, and mediators.
  • Conflict Sensitive Development and Resilience: Students can build a foundation for work in development and humanitarian assistance fields.
  • Media, Narrative, and Public Discourse: Designed for students who wish to work with and create representation, communication, media, and narratives related to conflict.
  • Individualized Concentration: Developed with the approval of the MS Program Director.

Tuition (2021-2022)

Virginia Resident$507.25
Non-Virginia Resident$750.00
Mandatory Student Fee$150.25
Total Cost per Credit for Virginia Residents $657.25
Total Cost per Credit for Non-Virginia Residents $750.00
Graduate New Student Fee$60.00 (non-refundable, one-time fee)

Please Note: In addition to the tuition and fees described above, various course and lab fees may be assessed depending on the course(s) in which the student is enrolled. Please refer to the Students Accounts Office website for more information on tuition and fees.

Financial Aid

For information on loans and scholarships, visit the Office of Student Financial Aid. For information regarding grants, tuition waivers and other merit aid, please inquire with your graduate department. Additionally, consider speaking to your current employer about tuition reimbursement for graduate study.

Career Descriptions

  • Security/Intelligence: Presidential Management Fellowship Program, Department of State, USAID, Department of Defense, FBI
  • Non-profit: International Rescue Committee, Northern Virginia Mediation Service, Search for Common Ground, The Institute for Multi Track Diplomacy
  • Human Rights and Humanitarian Disaster Relief: Red Cross, Oxfam International, Amnesty International, International Crisis Group
  • Public Participation/Service: Social Services, Community Development
  • Multi-Lateral Agencies: World Bank, United Nations, International Monetary Fund
  • Education: DC Public Schools, Engaging Governments in Genocide Prevention, Integral Peacemaker Institute
  • Research: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Brookings Institution, USIP, RAND Corporation
  • Other areas such as International Mediation, Consulting, and Policy

Mason Graduates – Sample Career List

President SourcePoint Consulting, Inc.
Foreign Affairs Officer US Department of State
Emergency Operations Assistant US Agency for International Development
Community Liaison/Assistant Director Colorado State University
Policy Specialist Center for Community Change
Associate Director – Global Negotiation Project Harvard University
Director Alliance for Conflict Transformation, Inc.
Peaceable Schools Coordinator DC Public Schools
Project Manager Center for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation
Special Agent US Department of State
Collaborative Resolution Program Manager US Department of Defense
Communications Manager Advocacy Institute
Founder and Director Creative Solutions Unlimited
EPA Regional Public Liaison/Conflict Resolution Specialist US Environmental Protection Agency
Interfaith Program Coordinator Progressive Jewish Alliance
Associate Prof. of Conflict Studies Eastern Mennonite University
Police Deputy Chief Fairfax County Police Department
International Security Specialist US Department of State
Peace and Development Advisor United Nations
Mediator/Facilitator California State University
Executive Director Evergreen State College

As a Mason student, you may also contact Mason Career Services for more career information and counseling.

Program ContactMonique Barner
Graduate Admissions Counselor, Carter School
School ContactJimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution
Phone: (703) 993-1300
Program Website
Follow the Carter School on Twitter@GMUCarterSchool
"Like" the Carter School on Facebook

All applicants should review Carter School steps to Apply Now. Please follow the Carter School guidelines for International Applicants.


Application Materials

  • Graduate application
  • Application fee
  • Transcripts of all post-secondary education
  • Resume
  • 2 letters of recommendation
  • Goals statement based on prompt:  “Tell us something about how your past experience has prepared you to engage with conflict and how this program will equip you for your future.”
  • GRE or other standardized test scores are not required but may be submitted

If you have any questions during the application process, please contact the Carter School’s Office of Graduate Admissions at tcsinfo@gmu.eduor (703) 993- 3655.