Mediation Certificate Information

Program in Conflict, Negotiation, Mediation, and Dispute Resolution

The Department of Communication Studies offers an academic emphasis in conflict, negotiation, mediation and dispute resolution that culminates in the California (DRPA) state-sanctioned Certificate of Completion in Mediation.  Conflict mediation is a growing area ideally suited for communication specialists.  As an alternative to litigation, mediators assist conflict parties to manage or resolve their disputes by using negotiation processes and collaborative communication skills withing a context of supportiveness and civility.  Mediators help disputants in courts, public and private business sectors, communities, and neighborhoods help themselves to effectively and ethically manage their conflicts.  This program combines substantive theoretical study with practical conflict, negotiation, and mediation skills training.

Required Courses: Students interested in pursuing this program must complete the following 12-units:

  1. Comm 330 (Intercultural Comm.) OR Comm 430 (Advanced Intercultural Comm.) — 3 Units
  2. Comm 411 (Communication in Conflict Resolution) — 3 Units
  3. Comm 421 (Communication in Bargaining & Negotiation) — 3 Units
  4. Comm 431 (Mediation and Dispute Resolution) — 3 Units.  The California (DRPA) Certificate of Completion in Mediation is conferred upon successful completion of this last course.


  • Comm 330/430 and Comm 411 are prerequisites  to acceptance into Comm 431;
  • Comm 421 is a pre- or co-requisite to acceptance into Comm 431;
  • *Students must have completed two of the three pre- or co-requisite courses prior to the semester in which they wish to enroll in Comm 431;
  • *To earn the Mediation Certificate, an overall 3.0 grade point average is required in the 4 mandatory courses (330, 411, 421,431). 

Optional Course: Comm 495, Service Learning Mediation Internship — 3 Units.  This course is not a requirement, but is recommended for students who wish to gain actual mediation experience working as volunteer interns in the court system, a community-based mediation program, or on-campus Mediation Service (currently in development).  A minimum of 120 hours of service is required for the internship.

Recommended Pathways to the Certificate:

One Year Pathway Required Courses Optional Courses
Semester 1 Comm 330 and Comm 411  
Semester 2 Comm 421 and Comm 431  
    Comm 495 (in a subsequent semester)
Two Year (3-4 Semester) Pathway Required Courses Optional Course
Semester 1 Comm 330 or Comm 411  
Semester 2 Comm 330 or Comm 411  
Semester 3 Comm 421 or 421 and 431  
Semester 4 Comm 431 Comm 495 (if 431 taken in Semester 3)

For addition information, please contact the Comm 431 instructor, Dr. Pamela Kreiser ( or contact the department’s main office at 562)985-4301.