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Master of Dispute Resolution (MDR)
USC Gould School of Law

Join us on April 22nd at 12:30 p.m. (PDT)!
Register to attend a webinar to learn about USC Gould's master's degrees for non-lawyer professionals: Master of Studies in Law (MSL), Master of Dispute Resolution (MDR), and Master of International Trade Law and Economics (MITLE):

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Our Master of Dispute Resolution (MDR) is designed for exceptional students and professionals interested in taking the next step in their careers as authorities in the field of dispute resolution. Graduates come away with a comprehensive understanding of dispute resolution processes, able to effectively navigate the psycho-social components of healthy dispute resolution and confidently bring parties together in otherwise contentious moments.

The degree program not only provides exceptional in-class education opportunities but encourages students to practice their mediation skills in real-life settings. In addition to building valuable negotiation, mediation and arbitration skills as an advocate for a client or as a neutral, students in the program will develop and hone business management skills to optimally position themselves for leadership roles in dispute resolution organizations.

The MDR is a rigorous, yet rewarding, 24-unit degree program, offered on a part-time or full-time basis. Students may begin their studies in the fall or spring semesters. No law degree is required for the MDR and you do not need to take the LSAT to apply.

Why Choose USC Gould?

Top reasons to pursue the Master of Dispute Resolution (MDR) at USC Gould:

  • Earn a master's degree from a top-20 law school recognized by LLM Guide as offering one of the top 10 dispute resolution programs in the world.
  • Complete your degree in as little as one year.
  • Dispute resolution is one of the fastest-growing fields in the legal industry. Less than 2% of lawsuits make it to trial; today, an overwhelming majority of litigation disputes are resolved through alternative dispute resolution (ADR).
  • Convenient and flexible scheduling.Classes are held during the day and in the evening to accommodate working professionals. The law school is located on USC's University Park Campus near Downtown Los Angeles.
  • Scholarships and housing stipends available. All applicants are automatically considered for scholarship awards and housing stipends. Exceptional candidates are also eligible to receive our prestigious Dispute Resolution Scholars Award. Scholarship awards and stipends range in amounts.
  • Receive career development and professional support. USC Gould's Center for Dispute Resolution offers workshops and individually tailored career development advice for mediation or arbitration professionals, as well as mentorship opportunities with dispute resolution experts.
  • Join the Trojan Family, a renowned network of more than 375,000 alumni who are deeply committed to furthering the success of USC graduates. Our more than 14,000 USC Gould graduates include partners in the world's largest law firms, leaders of civil rights movements, and CEOs and presidents of multibillion-dollar companies.
  • Gain hands-on practical skill development. Learn from award-winning faculty with decades of experience and expertise in dispute resolution.
  • Create new career opportunities. Organizations increasingly use dispute resolution processes to handle business and human resources issues. ADR expertise increases your marketability for a range of work settings, including business, government, human resources, counseling, education and social work.

The MDR is ideal for:

  • Dispute resolution practitioners who seek to deepen their expertise and/or manage ADR processes
  • Business leaders who seek to expand their expertise in dispute resolution and/or design systems to handle conflicts involving managers, customers, suppliers and employees
  • International practitioners interested in designing dispute resolution processes in their home countries
  • Those who seek to manage dispute resolution processes, both public and private
  • Recent graduates seeking to further career goals

James Sullivan, MDR 2018

My MDR degree is exactly what I need to establish credibility for my new commercial-real-estate-focused ADR services business. Through my coursework, I am gaining the knowledge and developing the skills that are essential to becoming a successful third-party neutral.

James Sullivan, MDR 2018


Learn more about eligibility for the MDR and apply online.