Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution
Professors: Avruch, Druckman, Gopin, Mitchell, Rouhana, Rubenstein, Sandole
Associate professors: Cobb, Cheldelin, Jeong
Assistant professors: Goodale, Lyons, Paczynska, Warfield
Assistant term professor: Johnston
Research professor: Sluzki
Sara Cobb, Director
The Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (ICAR) offers all course work designated CONF in the "Course Descriptions" chapter of this catalog.
Conflict Analysis and Resolution, BA or BS
All Conflict Analysis and Resolution (CAR) students take a series of core courses that address conflict theory, processes, and identity conflicts, and provide training in conflict resolution skills. Following the core courses, students take a series of gateway courses which cover conflict resolution in the arenas of interpersonal conflict, group/community conflict, and international conflict. After selecting an arena of conflict as a concentration, students choose courses from a variety of disciplines across the university that relate to their concentration, including anthropology, communication, economics, government, sociology, philosophy, psychology, and New Century College courses. The major also requires three credits of field work, which can take the form of an internship, service learning, or study abroad through the Center for Global Education. The BA/BS in Conflict Analysis and Resolution is jointly awarded by the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution and the College of Arts and Sciences. Students in this major are considered full students in both CAS and ICAR.
In addition to satisfying the necessary university-wide general education requirements and the requirements for the BA or the BS degree within the College of Arts and Sciences, students majoring in Conflict Analysis and Resolution must complete the following 39 credits:
Students will complete a total of 39 credits for the major:
The university requires all students to complete at least one course designated as writing intensive in their majors at the 300-level or above.
Minor in Conflict Analysis and Resolution (CAR)
The minor in conflict analysis and resolution requires students take the following, for a total of eighteen credits:
Conflict Analysis and Resolution, MS
The Master of Science in Conflict Analysis and Resolution, offered by the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, is a two-year professional program that prepares students for practice and further academic work by integrating conflict analysis and resolution theory, research, and practical technique. Students study the theory, methods, and ethical perspectives of the field and apply this knowledge in laboratory simulations and workshops, internships, and field practica. Graduates of the program work in a variety of settings where conflict resolution is usefulbusinesses, unions, government agencies, religious groups, court systems, educational institutions, community centers, international relief and development organizations, conflict resolution consulting firms, and where interest groups are in conflict with current and emergent public policy.
In addition to meeting all admission requirements for graduate study, an applicant to the MS program must submit the following:
The GRE or other standardized test is not required, but may be submitted. The TOEFL is required for foreign students. See Admission of International Students in the Admission Chapter.
Background courses in the social sciences, as well as prior work experience, are desirable. Prior graduate academic work is evaluated on an individual basis for possible transfer credit and fulfillment of program requirements; normally, the university does not permit any reduction in the total credits required for the degree. Although students may enroll on a full- or part-time basis, entry into the program is in the fall semester only.
A total of 41 credit-hour units are required: 15 credits are required core courses, 20 credits are electives and, 6 are integrative credits (students can choose from a defined list). The choice of electives can vary significantly according to each student's individual goals or needs. Therefore, each student should develop a Plan of Study that should be discussed once each semester with his/her advisor and updated as appropriate.
Time Limit: George Mason requires that all students complete their masters degrees within six years of their official admission date.
Students take 15 credits of required course work.
The semester in which courses are generally offered is indicated in parentheses.
Students take 20 credits of elective course work.
CONF 695, CONF 795, CONF 697, and appropriate graduate courses from other George Mason departments or consortium universities may also apply as electives.
Students must complete 6 credits (two courses) of integrative work, choosing one of the following options:
Only two directed readings (CONF 697) may be applied toward requirements for a master's degree.
Internship. ICAR's internship option is available throughout the academic year to MS and PhD students as three-credit-hour elective opportunities to experientally apply theory to practice. With the assistance of ICAR's Internship Coordinator, students locate suitable organizations or other opportunities "in the field" where they can assist site supervisors in relevant aspects of conflict analysis and resolution. Frequently, this takes place where public agencies have formulated or intend to formulate policies that one or more segments of the population are in conflict with. Although internships can be done throughout the year, enrollment occurs only during the summer term (CONF 694). Additional Information on ICAR Field Opportunities and Internships can be found in the ICAR Student Handbook.
APT. The Applied Practice and Theory (APT) program is a six-credit course running yearlong. It is designed to take the concepts presented in class and practiced in labs into real situations with conflict and consequences. Students work in teams integrating research and practice with theory development and applied ethics.
Certificate in Conflict Resolution for Health Professionals
ICAR jointly offers a certificate program for health professionals. For more information, see the "College of Nursing and Health Science" chapter.
Conflict Analysis and Resolution, PhD
The doctoral program, the first of its kind in the United States, provides advanced study for students in the fields of conflict and conflict resolution. Students are prepared for careers as researchers, theoreticians, and teachers in higher education, and as policy administrators, analysts, and consultants in both the public and private sectors.
The program stresses a close link between knowledge of theory and of process in the resolution of conflict. For this, training in the methods of research and analysis is necessary and is emphasized. In addition, students are expected to obtain a background in a substantive area of conflict, usually related to the topic of the dissertation.
In addition to the three requirements listed for applicants to the MS program, requirements for the PhD program include a written sample of work that shows the applicant's potential for completing dissertation research in a doctoral program. Although students may enroll on a full- or parttime basis, entry into the program is in the fall semester only.
For students with a master's degree, a total of 57 credits are required. The semester in which courses are usually offered is indicated in parentheses.
Required Core Doctoral Courses
Students take 24 credits of required course work; each course is 3 credits.
* CONF 811 has a prerequisite, "demonstrated competence in social statistics." This means that the entering student may be required to take an advanced course in statistics, STAT 510 (fall) or STAT 550 (spring), before registering for CONF 811. Such a course is not, however, counted toward the total credits needed for the degree.
Students must take 2 (6 credits) of the following:
A total of 15 credits of electives from among any appropriate graduate courses is required, provided that one is in the diversity, cultural, and regional area of study (72X series), one is in the structural or institutional conflict area of study (73X series), and one is in the conflict analysis and resolution area of study (74X series). The intent is for students to build an area of study and skills that will be needed in their dissertation work. These courses are to be completed before comprehensive exams.
CONF 695, 795, and 895 can be repeated for credit as electives.
Only two directed readings (CONF 897) may normally be applied toward doctoral elective requirements.
CONF 998 (up to 6 credits) Doctoral Dissertation Proposal**; CONF 999 (up to 12 credits) Doctoral Dissertation Research*** for a total of 12 credits.
** All CONF 998 courses are graded In Progress (IP) until completion of the proposal. At that time an appropriate grade is issued.
***All CONF 999 courses are graded In Progress (IP) until the dissertation defense is successfully completed. At that time an appropriate grade is issued.
Credit for Prior Study
Students with an MS in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University may have the course total required for doctoral degree, reduced by up to 18 credits. The actual number of the credit reduction is determined in consultation with the student's advisor and the program coordinator, after a review of courses taken.
Students entering with graduate credit or degrees (MA, MS or JD) may have required course load reduced by up to 15 credits. The actual number of applied credits is determined in consultation with the student's advisor and the program coordinator, after a review of courses taken.
Entering the Doctoral Program without a Master's Degree
Students may be admitted to the doctoral program directly without completion of a relevant master's degree (in conflict analysis and resolution or a related field). Such students are required to take 15 additional hours of credit at the beginning of their doctoral course of study, including: CONF 601, and 720 or 730 or 740.
Foreign Language Requirement
Every doctoral student must show competence in a foreign language (that is, a language other than the native tongue), preferably before "comps." This requirement must be completed before beginning the dissertation. Under no circumstances are dissertations accepted without evidence of meeting this requirement. Overseas students may use English as their foreign language and the TOEFL examination as a demonstration of competency. The Department of Modern and Classical Languages has ruled that American Sign Language or computer languages cannot be used to fulfill this requirement.
Advancement to PhD Candidacy
Upon completing course work (except dissertation) listed on the Program of Studies and passing written comprehensive exams, students will be advanced to candidacy. A candidate is permitted six years from the advancement date to complete the dissertation.