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Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution

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Even though Pepperdine University's Straus Institute program is located at a law school, the program is not exclusive to students with law training. Students have studied through Straus' academic Certificate in Dispute Resolution and Masters in Dispute Resolution (MDR) programs, and Professional Training Programs from a variety of different professions including medical doctors, human resource professionals, business executives, psychologists, counselors, teachers, peacemakers, labor professionals and more. Straus Institute's Academic Graduate Program requires to completion of a Bachelor's Degree Program, while their Professional Training Programs do not require academic degrees or prior training.

The Straus Institute has also established relationships with many of Pepperdine's other graduate level programs to offer our Certificate program in conjunction with their graduate academic program. Students in Pepperdine's MBA program can select to have an emphasis or concentration in dispute resolution and earn our Certificate simultaneously. Pepperdine's Graduate School of Education and Psychology students earning a Masters in Family Therapy (MFT) or Educational Doctorate in Organizational Leadership (EDOL) can also elect to participate in Straus' Certificate program.

Academic Programs

Professionals looking for a comprehensive educational experience and wanting to establish themselves in the field of dispute resolution can participate in our Certificate or Masters in Dispute Resolution (MDR) programs. Both programs are graduate level, and require the completion of a Bachelor's degree. Straus' Academic Program was created for professionals in the field, and the academic program can be catered to meet the full-time or part-time needs of the students. With the two-weekend courses offered in Orange County, students commute from all over the nation including Alaska, Hawaii, New Jersey, Ohio, Tennessee and Texas.

Certificate in Dispute Resolution

The Certificate program is a 14 unit program consisting of foundational courses in Mediation, Negotiation and Arbitration. Students can complete the program full-time in one semester or over three years as a part-time student. Professionals who participate in the Certificate program are looking for more depth than can be provided by professional training programs and the additional credibility of our Certificate Program. Those that complete the Certificate program and want additional training can also reapply for our MDR, and if accepted, transfer their Certificate units into the MDR program.

Masters in Dispute Resolution

While the Certificate program provides students with the foundations of dispute resolution, the Masters in Dispute Resolution (MDR) program builds on the Certificate experience to add required courses of Cross Cultural Conflict and Dispute Resolution; Psychology of Conflict; Communication and Conflict; the Mediation Clinic and two Externships. Students can also delve deeper into specialty areas including Labor, Dispute Resolution Systems Design, Ombuds and more.

The MDR Program is a 32 unit program that can be completed in 1 year as a full-time student and up to 3 years as a part-time student. Courses are available at the Malibu or Orange County campus, and student can choose to study in Malibu for the full year, or commute to Straus' 2 weekend courses in Irvine or Malibu's 1 week or 2 week intensives.

Professional Training Programs and Conferences

The Straus Institute offers a variety of Training Programs and Conferences ranging from three-day conferences to six day mediation training programs. The Professional Skills Program Conference (PSP) is offered every summer in Malibu and every Fall in Vermont. The skills building workshops cover a full range of dispute resolution topics including negotiation, introductory mediation, advanced mediation, arbitration and a variety of areas of specialization. Participants arrive annually from locations all over the nation and the world from a variety of professions, and in 2007 included a group of judges from Jordan.

Those looking to mediate in the courthouse or with other panels can receive more extensive training through the Mediating the Litigated Case Program. Mediating the Litigated Case is a 42 hour mediation and negotiation program for lawyers, judges and other professionals in the field offered several times a year traditionally in Malibu and Orange County, and also in select locations which have included Chicago, Hawaii and China. Participants and organizations from all around the nation participate in this program in either the one week or two weekend format. This program traditionally sells out months in advance, so register early!

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