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Academic Programs

Straus Institute at Pepperdine University

The Straus Institute offers some of the most comprehensive Dispute Resolution programs in the world. Hands-on faculty, small class sizes, and flexible schedules make our Academic programs accessible and suitable for a variety of professional goals.

Degree and Certificate Programs

Master of Laws (LLM) Programs

Our LLM program is for those who have already earned a law degree. The 26-unit program comprises an equal amount of required and elective course, as well as thesis and/or externship work for hands-on learning. Pepperdine offers the following LLM program options:

  • LLM in International Commercial Arbitration (ICA)
  • LLM in International Commercial Law and Arbitration (ICLA)
  • LLM in International Commercial Law and Dispute Resolution (ICLDR)
  • LLM in US Law and Dispute Resolution
  • LLM in Dispute Resolution
    • Concentrations in Mediation, Arbitration and Litigation

More about the LLM Program

Master of Dispute Resolution (MDR)

The MDR program is for those with a bachelor's degree. The 32-unit program has 18 units of required coursework, 10 elective course units, and the choice between a thesis project and externship opportunities to round out your education. MDR joint degrees are also available at the School of Law and in conjunction with Pepperdine University Graziadio School of Business and Management and Pepperdine School of Public Policy.

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Joint Programs

Certificate in Dispute Resolution

A certificate at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution is earned in 14 units and is offered as a stand-alone program, as well as a joint program with a number of Pepperdine University's graduate programs.

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Undergraduate Certificate in Conflict Management

The Undergraduate Certificate in Conflict Management is a joint enterprise between the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution and Seaver College, Pepperdine University's undergraduate college of letters, arts, and sciences.

More about the Undergraduate Certificate in Conflict Management

Summer and Winter Programs

Summer Program

Our Summer Program draws students and faculty from around the world. Offering the most extensive dispute resolution curriculum in legal education, Straus Institute offers courses in a one-week intensive or two-weekend format in the summer with class locations in Malibu, California, and international study tour opportunities.

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Winter Intensive Program

Students can earn earn two credits in one week by choosing a course from five dispute resolution areas. Designed to be interactive, fast-paced, and stimulating, classes will meet for 4 days in early January from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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U.S. Law and Legal Writing Seminar

Designed for international professionals, the U.S. Law and Legal Writing Seminar provides an overview of U.S. Law while strengthening legal research and writing skills. The program prepares students starting in an LLM program, as well as judges and attorneys looking for a summer training program.

More about the U.S. Law and Legal Writing Seminar

Beyond Academics

Clinics and Practicums

Gain experience through one of our five clinical and practicum programs.


The Externship Program is available to LLM and MDR candidates.

London, England

A Global Presence

The Straus Institute partners with domestic and international organizations to provide our exceptional dispute resolution programs to working professionals outside of Malibu, California, including London, England, Heidelberg, Germany, and Nashville, Tennessee.

More about our Global Partnerships

Peter Robinson teaching at Straus Institute

Why Straus?

In addition to a variety of educational opportunities, the nationally ranked Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution offers flexible class schedules, internationally recognized faculty, and over 24,000 titles in a leading dispute resolution library.

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