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Pepperdine University Master of Laws in Dispute Resolution online

Become a driving force in solving pressing conflicts in your community and the world through the advanced Master of Laws in Dispute Resolution degree for lawyers.

About the program

  • Specialized skills: Lawyers are prepared with the specializations and knowledge they need to mediate between people, policymakers, and organizations.
  • Causes of conflict: Learners gain a deep knowledge on both the global and individual level of the root causes of conflict.
  • Career focused: Learners prepare to advocate for clients by delving into mediation theory and practice, negotiation and arbitration.

About Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law Straus Institute

Pepperdine University is a private institution located in Malibu, California. Its learners and graduates focus on purpose, service, and leadership. Pepperdine’s Caruso Law is home to many institutes and academic centers, including the internationally recognized Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, which has been leading the nation for more than a decade in law school based conflict resolution. Lawyers and non-law practitioners have the opportunity to learn the skills needed to manage conflict in a variety of settings.

Tuition and fees

Tuition and fees are subject to change and may increase each academic year. Tuition does not include student fees, technology platform licensing, or support services. Learners are also responsible for travel and accommodation costs related to any in-person immersions or residentials.

Technology and services powered by 2U, Inc., the parent company of edX.

Program structure

Learners complete 26 units over the course of 12 months or 24 months. Their instructors are the very same faculty members who teach the on-campus program. Both versions of the program focus on the legal, cultural, and psychological factors that can affect complex negotiations and conflict.

  • Flexibility is at the heart of the program: Besides taking 10 core courses that cover topics such as negotiation theory and practice, psychology in conflict communication, and cross-cultural conflict and dispute resolution, learners get to also pick 14 elective units. The latter allow learners to customize their education based upon their unique career goals.
  • Electives cover a wide array of topics: These include conflict and systems design for corporations and organizations, divorce and family mediation, and environmental and public policy dispute resolution.
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Pepperdine’s Caruso School of Law attracts high-caliber learners who display a strong work ethic and efficient time management skills, the desire to participate in a rigorous program, and ethical responsibility. Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university, as well as a JD or first professional law degree for international applicants.

To complete an application, you will need to submit:

  • Official transcripts and your class rank

  • A letter of recommendation

  • A résumé

  • A statement of purpose

  • A video interview

In-person residencies


Learners visit the Pepperdine campus in Malibu, explore downtown Los Angeles, and meet with classmates and faculty during two-weekend in-person residencies. Each of these two weekends is worth one unit. During the residencies, learners will network with global dispute resolution experts and engage in hands-on learning activities. 

The first residency — Dispute Resolution in Practice 1 — focuses on mediation and negotiation. The second residency — Dispute Resolution in Practice 2 — concentrates on arbitration and arbitration advocacy.

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