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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.

Interested? Learn more.

A top-rated law school nationwide, USC Gould is the first law school in Southern California, renowned for its history of innovation and excellence in legal education.

Why Choose 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.

Gain hands-on practical skill development. Learn from award-winning faculty with decades of experience and expertise in dispute resolution.

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.

Complete your degree in as little as one year.

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.

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.

ADR on the Rise

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).

Center for Dispute Resolution

The Center for Dispute Resolution at USC Gould offers workshops and individually tailored career development advice for mediation or arbitration professionals, as well as mentorship opportunities with dispute resolution experts.

The Trojan Family

USC's renowned network of more than 480,000 alumni are deeply committed to furthering the success of USC graduates. Our more than 15,000 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.

The MDR is ideal for:

Dispute resolution practitioners who seek to deepen their expertise and/or manage ADR processes

International practitioners interested in designing dispute resolution processes in their home countries

Those who seek to manage dispute resolution processes, both public and private

Business leaders who seek to expand their expertise in dispute resolution and/or design systems to handle conflicts involving managers, customers, suppliers and employees

Recent graduates seeking to further career goals


Application Fee Waiver

We will automatically waive our $75 application fee for all applicants who apply by our priority application deadline.

Redefined Blog

Student Spotlight: Stephanie Moran (MDR Class of 2024)
Student Spotlight: Stephanie Moran (MDR Class of 2024)
Stephanie Moran (MDR Class of 2024), student services advisor for USC Gould’s Graduate & International Programs, decided to pursue a Master of Dispute Resolution (MDR) to better advocate for students navigating their academic journey at USC.
April 25, 2023
Student Spotlight: From Law Enforcer to Mediator
Student Spotlight: From Law Enforcer to Mediator
Master of Dispute Resolution student Xochilt Rosas went back to school to transition her career in law enforcement to a career in mediation. In this Q&A, learn why she chose USC Gould School of Law’s dispute resolution program and how she is balancing graduate school as a working professional.
November 9, 2022
Mediation's Future as a Profession
Mediation's Future as a Profession
Q&A with USC Gould Lecturer Jack R. Goetz, president of nonprofit MC3 Mediation Certification.
November 29, 2021

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