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Pepperdine | Caruso School of Law
Caruso law building in spring

Master of Dispute Resolution

At the Forefront of Legal Education

Pepperdine's Master of Dispute Resolution (MDR) is available for students looking to work in a variety of law and non-law areas. The study of conflict is not limited to the legal profession. Students have applied their MDR to areas including human resources, law enforcement, business counseling, education, international diplomacy, and more.

Over 95% of cases filed in the courts are handled under dispute resolution processes like negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. Law students, attorneys, and non-law practitioners chose to equip themselves to handle this next generation of conflict. Pepperdine's hands-on approach with lectures, discussions and simulated exercises better prepare students to manage conflict in a variety of environments.

Program Benefits



Now More than Ever

The world needs peacemakers. The Straus Institute is committed to preparing the next generation of negotiators, peacemakers, and problem solvers and serving as a driving force for improving the culture of conflict in America.


On-Campus Experience

Our Malibu campus is a premier destination for students from a variety of professional backgrounds seeking to experience a hands-on approach to dispute resolution from the nation's leading faculty and scholars.


Prestigious Institute

The world famous Straus Institute has educated thousands of lawyers and non-law professionals on the foundational theories and cutting-edge practices in ADR, both in the United States and around the world. Study with the best.


A Straus professor writes on a whiteboard

A Practice-Oriented Approach

The Master of Dispute Resolution allows students the flexibility to customize their education, and gain real-world experience through various clinics and externships. Pepperdine offered more opportunities to handle real cases than any other program in the US.

library books

World's Largest Conflict Resolution Library

Pepperdine is home to the American Arbitration Association Library and Information Center Collection. Founded in 1954 the AAA Library is the largest collection of conflict materials with over 24,000 titles.

A group of Straus MDR students smiling together

Expert Faculty

A pacesetter in the dispute resolution field, the Straus Institute faculty is committed to preparing the next generation of negotiators, peacemakers, and problem solvers.

Master of Dispute Resolution graduates

International Community

Straus’ students and alumni span the globe—hailing from countries like Brazil, China, Germany, India, Japan, and Korea—and of course, across the United States and Southern California.

Online Program Option

Earn your MDR degree from anywhere with Pepperine Caruso School of Law's Online MDR Program.

Why Pepperdine

Pepperdine has risen further and faster than any law school in America. No other law school can match our distinctive Pepperdine community marked by excellence, Christian values, and rigorous legal training. Diverse in our background and faiths, we are united in our commitment to embolden you to reach higher than you ever thought possible.



Beautiful Malibu, CA Campus


Flexible Course Schedules


Small Class Sizes
7:1 Student:Faculty


Global Alumni Network


Take the Next Step

Reach out to us to learn more about Pepperdine's MDR program.

Get In Touch

Fill out the Request Information form to learn about the opportunities that await you and get in contact with a recruiter.

Attend an Info Session

Join us to get an in-depth look into Caruso Law, our distinct program offerings and our admissions process, while engaging in Q&A.

Start Your Application

Accepted on a rolling basis, applications need to be submitted prior to the intended start date and up to one year in advance.


Admission and Tuition

Admission Deadlines: Fall 2021

Fall 2021 Term Begins


Application Due




Application Requirements

A bachelor's degree is required for admission. Pepperdine Caruso School of Law does not require GMAT, GRE, or LSAT scores.

Candidates must submit the following materials to be considered for admission:

  • Transcripts
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose
  • Resume

Learn more about application requirements


$79,360 per year



100% of Applicants Considered for Scholarship

Partial scholarships are considered at the point of application, without any additional documentation. Financial Aid options are available for those who qualify.

Learn more about MDR student scholarships


An LAPD police officer stands with Straus professors

Expand Your Career Paths

Pepperdine Caruso School of Law's Master of Dispute Resolution program teaches practical negotiation, mediation, and arbitration skills needed in a wide range of industries. Students can increase their marketability and make a difference for their clients, employees, and community members by applying their skills in various aspects of dispute resolution.



law faculty line up for a photo during commencement

Distinguished Faculty

Pepperdine Caruso School of Law faculty are accomplished legal scholars and dispute resolution experts committed to providing students with the resources they need to succeed in our online Master of Dispute Resolution program. Our faculty empower students with the practical training and ethical judgment needed to meet the complex challenges they may encounter while settling disputes and solving conflicts.

Let Us Show You Around

Newly renovated in 2018, the law school is perched atop the iconic Pepperdine University Malibu, California campus. Let us take you on a tour through the entire law school, from the classrooms to the on-campus housing, and show you all of the people and resources available to equip you with all you need to succeed in your legal education.

Contact Us

Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution
Pepperdine Caruso Law
24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90263