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Pepperdine University: Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution

Pepperdine University
Rick J. Caruso School of Law

Ranked as the #1 graduate program in Dispute Resolution by the U.S. News for 13 of the last 16 years, Pepperdine Law’s Straus Institute provides advanced training in dispute resolution through professional training and academic programs. Straus has one of the most comprehensive ADR programs in the United States. Law and graduate students, mid-career professionals, and religious and community leaders can study the fields of mediation, negotiation, arbitration, international dispute resolution, and peacemaking.

The Straus Institute brings together an unparalleled full-time teaching and research faculty with scholars and practitioners from throughout the U.S., Canada, Latin America, Asia, and Europe. In the over thirty years since its founding, the Straus Institute has established itself as a standard of excellence in preparing effective negotiators, peacemakers, problem solvers, and a driving force for improving the culture of conflict. Straus offers a Certificate in Dispute Resolution, a Master's in Dispute Resolution, and seven LL.M. degrees.

Master of Laws (LL.M.)
The Masters of Laws or a 26-unit program and is an advanced law degree available exclusively for attorneys or judges. International applicants for the LL.M. program must have completed the first degree of law required to practice or teach law in their country. For candidates in the United States, this requires a JD degree from an ABA-accredited law school. Any one of our LL.M. programs may be tailored to help students qualify to take the U.S. Bar Examination.

  1. LL.M. in Dispute Resolution
  2. LL.M. in International Commercial Arbitration
  3. LL.M. in International Commercial Law & Arbitration
  4. LL.M. in International Commercial Law & Dispute Resolution
  5. LL.M. in U.S. Law and Dispute Resolution
  6. LL.M. in United States Law
  7. LLM in Entertainment, Media, and Sports Law


Master of Dispute Resolution (MDR)
The Master of Dispute Resolution (MDR) program is a 32-unit program that provides practical dispute resolution training for candidates who do not have a law background or degree. Students in the MDR program consist of people from a variety of professions including business and other graduate students, executives, human resource professionals, doctors, psychologists, peacemakers, social workers, and more. Students can delve deeper into specialty areas including Cross-Cultural Dispute Resolution, Dispute Resolution Systems Design, Ombuds, and more. Please refer to course descriptions for a full list of courses.

Certificate in Dispute Resolution
The Certificate program is a 14-unit program consisting of foundational courses in Mediation, Negotiation, and Arbitration. Students can complete the program full-time in one semester or over three years as a part-time student. Students who participate in the Certificate program are looking for more depth than can be provided by professional training programs and the additional credibility of the Academic Certificate Program. Those that complete the Certificate program and want additional training can reapply for our LL.M. or MDR, and if accepted can transfer their Certificate units into the respective program they’ve applied.

Due to its commitment to access to education, the Straus Institute has traditionally offered generous scholarships to students based on merit and need, and we are proud to continue to offer scholarships for 2021. International applicants applying for our programs will be considered for partial scholarship at the point of application. In addition, the Straus Institute offers full scholarships, which are applied to separately.



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(310) 506-4655


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