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Juris Doctor / Master of Dispute Resolution (JD/MDR)

For students desiring to concurrently earn a Juris Doctor degree and a Master of Dispute Resolution degree, 14 units from the Pepperdine Juris Doctor program can also apply toward the 32 units necessary for the master's degree. Thus, a Pepperdine law student need only complete an additional 18 units to earn the master's degree. These units could be completed over summer sessions, allowing students to earn both degrees in three years.


First-year law students follow a rigorous course of study that covers the following subjects: Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Introduction to Ethical Lawyering, Legal Research and Writing, Property, and Torts.

After the first year, students are required to complete 18-21 units of additional required courses (depending on the units offered for certain courses), including: Corporations, Criminal Procedure, Evidence, Federal Income Taxation, Remedies, and Wills and Trusts.

Students also have the opportunity to select from a broad range of elective courses, clinics, externships, and student-edited journals.


The Master's Degree in Dispute Resolution is a 32-unit program offered to those who possess a bachelor's degree. It consists of the following requirements:

Required Courses - 18 units (16 units required for law students)

  • One Arbitration Course:
    • Arbitration Law +, Arbitration Practice and Advocacy or International Commercial Arbitration
  • Communication and Conflict
  • Cross-Cultural Conflict and Dispute Resolution
  • Interviewing, Counseling and Planning
  • Introduction to Legal Processes (for non-lawyers and non-law students)
  • Mediation Clinic
  • Mediation Theory and Practice
  • Negotiation Theory and Practice
  • Psychology of Conflict

Elective Courses - Eight units required (10 units required for lawyers and law students)

  • Advanced Mediation Seminar
  • Advanced Trial Practice +
  • Appellate Advocacy +
  • Arbitration Law * +
  • Arbitration Practice and Advocacy *
  • Current Issues in International Dispute Resolution: London/Geneva
  • Current Issues in International Dispute Resolution: Hong Kong/Beijing
  • Dispute Resolution in Education
  • Dispute Resolution and Religion
  • Dispute Resolution Law Journal (up to 4 units)
  • Divorce and Family Mediation
  • Environmental and Public Policy Dispute Resolution
  • International Commercial Arbitration +
  • International Investment Disputes
  • International Litigation +
  • Lawyering Process +
  • Restorative Justice
  • Selected Issues in Dispute Resolution:
    • Apology, Forgiveness and Reconciliation
    • Dispute Resolution Systems Design
    • Dispute Resolution and Technology
    • Employment Disputes
    • Entertainment Industry Disputes
    • Faith-Based Diplomacy and International Peacemaking
    • Healthcare Dispute Resolution
    • Honors Negotiation Advocacy (JD Students Only)
    • Honors Mediation Advocacy (JD Students Only)
    • Ideological Foundations for Third Party Processes
    • Intellectual Property
    • Labor Disputes
    • Managing Litigation and Conflict for Corporations and Organizations
    • Mass Torts
    • Ombuds
  • Special Education Advocacy Clinic +
  • Trial Practice +
  • Trial Preparation and Settlement +
  • or a Substantive Law Class with Institute Approval (non-law students only)

Thesis/Project or Externships - Six Units Required

Students are required to complete either 6 units of Thesis or Externship.


* If this course was not taken to fulfill the arbitration requirement, it can be taken as an elective.

+ This course is only available to law students, law school graduates or LL.M. candidates.