MS in Conflict Management and Resolution Course Schedule

The Master of Science in Conflict Management and Resolution (MS-CMR) is a 30-unit advanced degree program that can be completed in 15 months (full-time) or 9 months (accelerated). Flexible, part-time options are also available. The program is interdisciplinary and courses are carefully selected and sequenced to maximize learning. Courses are designed to build upon one another, with content and expectations compounding with each semester.

The MS in Conflict Management and Resolution program can be completed anytime within 6 consecutive years. Below are some sample course pathways:

Note: Electives are chosen in consultation with your faculty advisor. The sample pathways below are samples and are subject to change. Courses listed may not be offered every year. 


Students entering the University of San Diego and/or declaring a major during 2020-2021, should follow information contained in the printed course catalog (also known as the "catalog of record") published on April 1, 2020. Access the catalog of record at https://catalogs.sandiego.edu.

Degree Requirements

  • Full-time or part-time status as a graduate student
  • Approval of courses by faculty advisor
  • Mandatory orientation
  • 30 units of graduate work with a cumulative 3.0 grade point average or higher
  • Foundations of Peace & Justice course (3 units)
  • Core courses (6 units)
  • Methods and skills courses (at least 6 units)
  • Electives (at least 14 units)
  • Professional portfolio with a “B” or better (1 unit)
  • Electives are chosen in consultation with a faculty advisor. No more than 6 units of coursework may be taken outside of the Kroc School. A maximum of 3 different 1-unit pass/fail electives can be taken, unless a faculty advisor approves otherwise.
Foundations of Peace and Justice (3 units)
KROC 500Foundations of Peace, Justice & Social Change3
Core Courses (6 units)
KROC 530Conflict Analysis & Resolution3
KROC 531Intervention Design3
Skills and Methods (at least 6 units)
KROC 532Negotiations3
KROC 533Mediation3
KROC 513Program Design, Monitoring & Evaluation3
Electives (14 units)
• Electives are chosen in consultation with a faculty advisor. No more than 6 units of coursework may be taken outside of the Kroc School. A maximum of 3 different 1-unit pass/fail electives can be taken, unless a faculty advisor approves otherwise.
Portfolio (1 unit)
KROC 597Professional Portfolio1

Students entering the University of San Diego and/or declaring a major during 2020-2021, should follow information contained in the printed course catalog (also known as the "catalog of record") published on April 1, 2020. Access the catalog of record at https://catalogs.sandiego.edu.

KROC 500 , KROC 510 , KROC 511 , KROC 512 , KROC 513 , KROC 514 , KROC 515 , KROC 520 , KROC 521 , KROC 522 , KROC 523 , KROC 524 , KROC 530 , KROC 531 , KROC 532 , KROC 533 , KROC 570 , KROC 571 , KROC 572 , KROC 573 , KROC 574 , KROC 575 , KROC 590 , KROC 592 , KROC 593 , KROC 594 , KROC 595 , KROC 596 , KROC 597 , KROC 598 , KROC 599

KROC 500 | FOUNDATIONS OF PEACE, JUSTICE & SOCIAL CHANGE

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

The course introduces students to a series of big ideas for making the world more peaceful and just, and how to apply them in shaping their own lives and careers of purpose. The first half of the course features lectures and discussion sections that explore foundational theories behind peace, justice, and social innovation, where they overlap, and where they are in tension. The second half of the course explores specific fields of inquiry and practice in a more intimate setting, with an emphasis on comparing diverse approaches to common problems. Throughout the course, students will be challenged not simply to learn a spectrum of ideas and practices, but to understand how they fit together, where and how to learn more, and how to craft their own educational and professional trajectories so that they can part of the change they want to see in the world. This process has four essential elements: 1) building an inclusive, resilient, and productive culture; 2) getting everyone up to speed on the defining aspects of our field; 3) introducing the unique expertise and experience of Kroc School faculty and staff; and 4) helping you to turn your passion for positive social change into a career.

KROC 510 | LEADERSHIP AND ORGANIZATIONS

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

Students in this course gain understanding about their personal purpose, goals and leadership style and begin to create their own plan to gain agency and grow as adaptive leaders. The course prepares students to become effective leaders in the peace and justice field by bringing core concepts and theories about leadership, organizations and change alive through experiential learning, case analysis, individual assessment, and self-reflection.

KROC 511 | PEACE AND CONFLICT ANALYSIS

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

This course is designed to familiarize students with the interdisciplinary fields of peace and conflict analysis, providing an overview of core concepts of contemporary theory and practice. The course will examine frameworks for analyzing the origins and processes of social conflict and violence, and leading practical approaches to the conduct and evaluation of conflict resolution interventions. Our study will focus on intergroup and international levels of analysis, highlighting the roles of culture, identity, power, relational dynamics, and social structures. The first half of the course emphasizes conflict analysis; the second half emphasizes approaches to conflict resolution. The course will employ diverse methods and media, including lectures, discussions, interactive exercises, film, written assignments, and a project proposal development. The course features experiential learning activities that provide opportunities for practical application of course concepts. Active participation in every class is essential; readings are always necessary but never sufficient for learning the material.

KROC 512 | INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE & HUMAN RIGHTS

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

This course is an introduction to human rights at the level of intellectual theory and discourse and at the level of “real world” action, controversy and struggle. It examines the moral, philosophical, legal and political bases for international human rights, as well as the complex cocktail of actors and organizations involved in human rights advocacy and enforcement. Other specific topics—including transitional justice, R2P, torture, the law of war, and gender-based repression—will vary from semester to semester and instructor to instructor.

KROC 513 | PROGRAM DESIGN, MONITORING & EVALUATION

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

Starting with a solid understanding of the evolution of thinking and practice among key development and peacebuilding actors, this course is designed to prepare students to design, monitor and evaluate peacebuilding programs and project. Students will not only understand best practices in project design and management but also learn the skills and tools necessary to effectively carry out projects.

KROC 514 | INTERNATIONAL SYSTEM

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

In a rapidly globalizing world, problems such as financial crises, poverty, violent conflicts, humanitarian disasters, pandemics and cybercrime are increasingly transnational in nature and cannot be solved solely by sovereign states acting individually or collectively. This course is designed to provide a big picture analysis of global governance and its interlocking elements. This includes an introduction to international organizations and multilateralism in a state-based international system and an examination of the political dynamics and key players of global governance in the post-Cold War era. It aims to enable students to understand the system’s strengths and limitations and how to make it work better at the micro, meso and macrolevels.

KROC 515 | ENVIRONMENTAL PEACE & JUSTICE

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

Evidence is mounting that unprecedented economic growth experienced by human societies has induced a state of crisis for the Earth’s ecological systems. Many of the public goods provided by them – fresh water, clean air, abundant fisheries, nutritious soils, low sea levels, and moderate weather, to name a few – are increasingly at risk. Their failure poses existential threats to the societies humans have collectively built over millennia, and heightens the risk of violent conflict. This course will critically examine connections between the three legs of the proverbial sustainable development stool: environment, economy, and peace. We will explore specific issues in an applied, place-based framework, focusing on ways of understanding larger challenges as they manifest themselves in the San Diego region. We will also ask fundamental questions about environmental sustainability: How do current development paradigms create environmental conflicts? What role can we expect technology to play in offsetting our ecological impact or solving our conflicts over scarce resources? What does environmental justice look like? And ultimately, what are our prospects for peace and progress in the face of environmental peril? Class time will be spent on a combination of exploratory field trips, discussions, debates, and participatory community engagement. Deliverables will include reflective journal-keeping, an issue brief, a policy memo, and a final project.

KROC 520 | GLOBAL CHALLENGES

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

This course follows a systems perspective to explain major challenges of the 21st century, which are included in the Sustainable Development Millennium goals: poverty, hunger, environmental degradation, environment and violent conflict, among others. A systems perspective of current challenges and their causes expand student capabilities for framing problems and designing solutions. In examining major challenges, students also learn about emerging models of leadership, organization and collaboration seeking to address those issues.

KROC 521 | SOCIAL INNOVATION

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

In this introductory course to social innovation, students are introduced to the strategies and processes for creating social change through innovation. Students learn by interacting with social and political entrepreneurs, activists, organizations, and social movements in San Diego/Tijuana. Students analyze cases of individuals and groups who have catalyzed important positive social change through different organizational platforms – in the market, in government, within the nonprofit sector, and increasingly in the space between these three sectors. Throughout the course, students examine social innovation connecting field experiences with readings and in-class discussions. They are introduced in action to the tools and methodologies of participatory innovation, design thinking and measurement and evaluation.

KROC 522 | IMPACT EVALUATION

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

Social innovation must be translated into actionable initiatives to achieve their intended goals. This course is designed to prepare students to design, monitor and evaluate social innovation initiatives. It provides essential knowledge for program design and management, including logical frameworks for monitoring and evaluation. Through this course students learn the skills and tools needed to implement basic methods used in impact evaluation, think critically about the issues involved with evaluating programs and apply various types of tools to systematize the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of projects throughout the project cycle. This course will include an applied project conducted for a community organization.

KROC 523 | SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

How can we translate ideas into sustainable initiatives with social impact? In this course students develop the mindset and capabilities of entrepreneurs or intrapreneurs for social change. Through the design of real world projects, students learn key elements for designing sustainable initiatives that create a new social equilibrium better than what existed before: value proposition, financial modeling, measurement and evaluation, among others.

KROC 524 | SOCIAL INNOVATION PRACTICUM

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

This is a course where students integrate theory and practice to address real-world problems faced by organizations and communities seeking to create social change. Acting as consultants, students acquire knowledge of real-world constraints and opportunities faced by organizations leading social change. Students learn ways to work in teams with organization or community partners for effective co-design of solutions, as they practice resourcefulness and creativity in problem-solving.

KROC 530 | CONFLICT ANALYSIS & RESOLUTION

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

This course will examine how conflicts are identified and analyzed, from low-level political violence to major armed conflict and what theories and tools exist to resolve these conflicts. Students will read classic works in this interdisciplinary field, gaining an understanding of the different scholarly approaches taken to prevent and resolve armed conflict. Students will work in teams on particular case studies, applying theories learned.

KROC 531 | INTERVENTION DESIGN

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

The Intervention Design course is a required course for the MS-CMR program. It provides a framework for students to synthesize and apply knowledge and practical skills gained during the program to create a specific conflict management/resolution project. The course is also a chance to create a key Kroc School Portfolio item that students can showcase to prospective employers, donors, or partners.

KROC 532 | NEGOTIATIONS

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

Negotiation is the most widely used means of conflict management. The aim of this course is to develop your understanding of the principles, strategies, and tactics of effective negotiation in emotionally charged conflict situations. The role of identity – culture, gender, religion, nationality, class – will be mainstreamed throughout the course. Case studies and hands-on simulations will cover a variety of multi-issue, multi-party negotiations involving territorial and ethnic conflict, environmental justice, and post-conflict reconciliation. Each case involves both material concerns and underlying social-psychological interests. This course emphasizes the power of symbols, rules and norms, and regime and relationship building for cooperative ventures, governance and conflict prevention.

KROC 533 | MEDIATION

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

This course will focus on skills-building in mediation. Students will learn and practice a variety of tools and methods of mediating conflicts and disputes. Our experiential class will be divided between learning the traditional mediation skills, practice, and theory, including the benefits and limitations of mediation as a dispute resolution method on the one hand, and alternative approaches to mediation on the other. The alternative models will include the needs analysis-based Problem-Solving Workshop, the narrative analysis-based Mediation of History, and the Evolving Designs model aimed at work in multi-party environments. After taking this course, students will be able to: differentiate among various mediation processes; distinguish between interest-based and needs-based approaches; differentiate between the traditional and alternative mediation practices; demonstrate awareness in regard to ethical dilemmas of mediation practices; possess the skills to serve as a mediator; design and lead context-appropriate mediation processes.

KROC 570 | WAR, GENDER AND PEACEBUILDING

Units: 2 Repeatability: No

This course explores the peacebuilding roles that women play in conflict zones around the world. Like traditional courses, it will include an introduction to gender and peacebuilding and an analysis of women’s leadership in human rights activism and conflict resolution. However, this unique course is built around the involvement of four women peacemakers from conflict zones around the world who will play an active role in the classroom and help us explore how power, oppression, and gendered identities contribute to war and peace from the personal to the societal levels. Through a series of expert lectures, case studies, interactive exercises, and mixed media presentations, students will gain increased understanding about gender and peacebuilding, including the gendered drivers of conflict, and the different roles women and men play supporting, preventing, mitigating, and resolving conflict.

KROC 571 | IMMIGRATION AND ASYLUM IN PRACTICE

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

The course begins with a comprehensive review of the origins and substance of U.S. immigration and asylum law, with a special emphasis on how they interface with the broader history of international humanitarian and human rights norms. Students will then work with staff of the Trans-Border Initiative (TBI) to provide expert testimony for asylum claims filed by individuals fleeing persecution in contemporary Mexico and Central America. Working with the most important national and local networks of pro bono immigration attorneys in the country, the students will assist TBI staff in verifying and reinforcing the most important facts and claims in each case, and preparing effective, thorough, and well-documented expert testimony. Students will mobilize the underlying research and their experience working on the individual cases to develop policy briefs of specific aspects of immigration and asylum policy. Each student will produce a significant written contribution to at least one actual asylum case, one fact sheet, and one policy brief to be published by TBI. In addition to a broad introduction to immigration and asylum law grounded in the practice of real-world cases, the students will learn to work collaboratively, designing and dividing up particular research tasks on hard deadlines, and they will learn to ask effective questions of the lawyers, the asylum seekers, and a variety of experts. The course will meet once per week for 3 hours, and students will be expected to complete approximately 10 hours per week of reading and research.

KROC 572 | TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

This course examines the range of possible legal, institutional and policy frameworks that have been marshaled in an attempt to respond to large-scale human rights atrocities in the wake of conflict, from tribunals to truth commissions and beyond. It also examines debates about stopping ongoing mass atrocities through “humanitarian intervention” and the “responsibility to protect” doctrine.

KROC 573 | APPLIED PEACE EDUCATION IN MEXICO

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

How can universities teach peacebuilding to people in dangerous situations without resorting to hand-wringing paternalism or simply using other people’s misfortunes as teachable material? This is the guiding question behind: “Teaching Applied Peace Education in Mexico.” Students serve as facilitators for the Trans-Border Initative’s “diplomado” [certificate program] in Applied Peace Education, given in collaboration with local educational institutions and civil society organizations in the areas of Mexico most affected by the drug war. The program is designed for the leaders of non-governmental organizations, civil servants, and local university students interested in building sustainable peace in Mexico. The USD student facilitators travel to Mexico with TBI staff and attend the seminars, where they learn a broad interdisciplinary curriculum in Applied Peace Education along with the local participants. The curriculum presents seven interconnected paths to sustainable peace: human rights, citizenship, history and memory, conflict resolution, social innovation, digital technology, and ecology. The student facilitators lead group exercises and discussions that reinforce the course material and assess its local relevance. In weekly meetings between each seminar, the student facilitators help TBI staff to tailor the material to local demands, to design and redesign the group exercises to maximize their effectiveness, and hone their own skills as discussion leaders and facilitators. Each diplomado program carries out a collaborative or “hive model” research project, where TBI leverages the local insight, experience, and connections of the seminar participants to produce useful knowledge about the most pressing local problems of peace and justice. The student facilitators participate in the design, implementation, and analysis of the research project and produce a final report for publication in collaboration with TBI. In the process, the student facilitators receive formal training in conducting ethical and effective interview-based research and intensive mentoring from TBI staff.

KROC 574 | HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCACY

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

An examination of the actors and organizations conducting modern-day human rights advocacy and the techniques central to their work, including fact-finding, monitoring, report writing and media work. The course provides a balance of practical skill development (interviewing, press release writing) and critical-reflective examination of the ethical and strategic dilemmas faced by human rights advocates today.

KROC 575 | ENGINEERING PEACE

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

Students from the School of Engineering and the School of Peace Studies come together to design a drone that will have a positive impact on society. They have the opportunity to work on an interdisciplinary team in a semester-long project-based course. The course is rooted in the social sciences and starts with an investigation of what it means to be an engineer or a peacebuilder. This is followed by the engineering challenge of building a drone. Throughout the semester students will develop entrepreneurial skills as they identify an unmet social need and design a drone for positive social impact.

KROC 590 | SPECIAL TOPICS SEMINAR

Units: 2 Repeatability: Yes (Can be repeated for Credit)

A course focusing on a special topic in peace and justice studies, conflict management and resolution, or social innovation. The course content and structure will differ depending on instructor. See learning objectives for more information about the specific course, and consult your advisor for the full course description.

KROC 592 | WORKSHOPS

Units: 1 Repeatability: Yes (Can be repeated for Credit)

A workshop focusing on a special topic or unique opportunity in peace and justice, conflict management and resolution, or social innovation. Workshop content and structure will differ depending on instructor. See learning objectives for more information about the course, and consult your advisor for the workshop's course description.

KROC 593 | FIELD-BASED EXPERIENCE

Units: 3 Repeatability: Yes (Can be repeated for Credit)

The Kroc School’s field-based courses create a space for students to apply classroom knowledge in the field within creative and structured environments. The field-based course includes three common elements: a) an applied curriculum, b) the opportunity to interact with practitioners from communities affected by violence and injustice, and c) experience in implementing collaborative projects in the field. Students’ work will be guided by USD’s core humanistic principles, emphasizing how to look at individuals and communities in a holistic manner. See learning objectives for more information about the course, and consult your advisor for the workshop's course description.

KROC 594 | SPECIAL TOPICS COURSE

Units: 3 Repeatability: Yes (Can be repeated for Credit)

A course focusing on a special topic in peace and justice studies, conflict management and resolution, or social innovation. The course content and structure will differ depending on instructor. See learning objectives for more information about the specific course, and consult your advisor for the full course description.

KROC 595 | READING GROUP

Units: 1 Repeatability: Yes (Can be repeated for Credit)

A reading group on a special topic in peace and justice, conflict management and resolution, or social innovation. The reading group's content and meeting times will differ depending on the instructor. See learning objectives for more information about the specific course, and consult your advisor for the reading group's description.

KROC 596 | INTERNSHIP PREPARATION

Units: 0 Repeatability: No

This is a 0-unit mandatory seminar to prepare students in the Master of Arts in Peace & Justice program to identify internship placements in line with their career goals and to prepare for their internship experiences.

KROC 597 | PROFESSIONAL PORTFOLIO

Units: 1 Repeatability: No

The Kroc School equips changemakers. This course will help you to link the concepts, skills, and work-products developed in your time here with the professional requirements of the industry you wish to enter or return to upon graduation. In particular, this course will provide the time and support required to compile a professional portfolio comprised of the items specified by your degree program. The Portfolio contains a Curriculum Vitae highlighting your accomplishments to date, a cover letter, and a reflective essay, which serves as a coherent framework for drawing together lessons learned from your studies, and articulates your professional goals and trajectory. The rest of the Portfolio is comprised of work products from portfolio-eligible projects in your courses such as policy memos, strategy memos, articles, and grant applications. During class meetings we will work to identify and refine these work products, and how to showcase your accomplishments for a professional audience.

KROC 598 | INTERNSHIP (IN-ORGANIZATION EXPERIENCE)

Units: 0 Repeatability: No

Prerequisites: KROC 596 with a minimum grade of C-

This course involves participation in an internship related to one of the four areas of specialization within the Peace and Justice Studies Master's curriculum: conflict analysis and resolution, development, human rights, or human security. Internship placements will take place during the summer with a follow-up course in the fall semester. It is open only to students in the Peace and Justice Studies Master's Program. Grading for the course will be on a Pass/Fail basis.

KROC 599 | INDEPENDENT STUDY

Units: 1-3 Repeatability: Yes (Repeatable if topic differs)

An independent study for up to three units provides students an opportunity to research a topic of particular interest to them relevant to Peace and Justice Studies. The faculty supervisor, program director and Dean of the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies must approve the project proposal prior to the beginning of the relevant semester. This course may be repeated up to a maximum of three units.

Semester Course Number Course Title Units Notes

Fall Year 1
(10 units)

KROC500

Kroc Foundations: Peace, Justice & Social Change

3 Required
KROC530

Conflict Analysis & Resolution

3 Core
KROC533

Mediation

3 Skills & Methods
KROC592

Restorative Justice Workshop

1 Elective

Spring Year 1
(10 units)

KROC532

Negotiations

3 Elective
KROC594 

Media & Conflict

3 Elective
KROC593

Field-Based Practicum

3 Elective
KROC597

Professional Portfolio

1 Required

Fall Year 2
(10 units)

KROC531

Intervention Design

3 Core
KROC590

Facilitation & Dialogue Skills

2 Elective
KROC513

Program Design, Monitoring & Evaluation

3 Skills & Methods
KROC590

Intercultural Competency

2 Elective
Total Units: 30

 

Semester Course Number Core Title Units Notes

Fall Year 1
(7 units)

KROC500 Kroc Foundations: Peace, Justice & Social Change 3 Required
KROC530 Conflict Analysis & Resolution 3 Core
KROC592 Restorative Justice Workshop 1 Elective

Spring Year 1
(8 units)

 

 
KROC532 Negotiations 3 Elective
KROC590 Data Visualization & Analytics 2 Elective
KROC593 Field-Based Practicum 3 Elective

Fall Year 2
(8 units)

KROC531 Intervention Design 3 Core
KROC590 Facilitation & Dialogue Skills
 
2 Elective
KROC513 Program Design, Monitoring & Evaluation 3 Skills & Methods 

Spring Year 2
(7 units)  

KROC597 Professional Portfolio 1 Required
KROC590 Intercultural Competency 2 Elective
KROC533 Mediation 3 Skills & Methods
KROC592 Effective Changemaker Workshop 1 Elective
Total Units: 30