Pepperdine Law’s Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution Will Offer its Number-One Ranked Master of Dispute Resolution in New, Innovative Online Format

Now accepting applications

Malibu, Calif. – April 2, 2018 - The Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine Law, one of the world’s premier schools in the field of conflict and dispute resolution, announced today that it will deliver its renowned Master of Dispute Resolution (MDR) degree online. The degree will be delivered in partnership with 2U, Inc., a leader in global education technology, and is a part of the Law@Pepperdine graduate program. Applications for the online MDR are available now. 

Ranked number one in Best Dispute Resolution Programs by U.S. News and World Report for 2019, Pepperdine Law’s Straus Institute will offer the online MDR to empower professionals, across a variety of industries, to tactfully resolve conflicts between parties and artfully negotiate complex transactions. The rankings released on March 20, 2018, place the Institute at the top of the list for the thirteenth time in fourteen years.

“As one of the world’s leading institutions in the field of dispute resolution, we’re thrilled to extend access to our renowned dispute resolution program to working professionals around the world, through a digital format that includes live classes and in-person residencies. Pepperdine’s online Master of Dispute Resolution will provide students with the transformative, values-centered legal education for which we are known,” said Paul L. Caron, the Duane and Kelly Roberts Dean of the Pepperdine School of Law.

There is an acute need for conflict resolution as various forms of conflict can be encountered in nearly every business and organization, and more than 95 percent of cases filed in courts are handled under alternative dispute resolution processes. The online MDR is designed to prepare students to apply the negotiation, mediation, and arbitration skills needed to mitigate and successfully resolve conflict with clients, employees, and community members in various scenarios.

The curriculum aims to provide students with insight into the legal, psychological, and cultural factors that affect conflict and complex negotiations. Foundational coursework includes an introduction to U.S. law, legal research and writing, negotiation, mediation, arbitration, cross-cultural conflict, conflict communication, and employment disputes. Students may also customize their studies with elective courses for a deeper study of specific industries including entertainment, health law, intellectual property, and public policy, among others 

A wide range of occupational roles may require or involve conflict mediation or negotiation skills, including business managers, human resource directors, ministers, social workers, health care providers, lobbyists, and lawyers, among others. The digital format is ideal for mid-career professionals and executives who aim for career advancement and new leadership roles and wish to remain employed while pursuing graduate studies.

Students will receive the same degree, and experience equivalent quality and rigor, as students enrolled in Pepperdine’s on-campus Master of Dispute Resolution program. Students will be taught by Pepperdine Law faculty through weekly live classes and faculty-developed interactive coursework on an online platform that works seamlessly on mobile devices, allowing students to complete their assignments from nearly anywhere. Students in the program will also attend two in-person residencies — held on Pepperdine’s Malibu, California campus — where they will engage in hands-on learning and simulations while networking with peers, faculty, and dispute resolution experts. 

The program comprises 32 units and can be completed on a part-time basis in as few as 28 months or on a full-time basis in as few as 16 months. The next application deadline for the online MDR is June 15, 2018, with classes beginning in September 2018. For more information, please visit or email the admissions team at


About Pepperdine University School of Law

The School of Law offers a top-ranked legal education with nationally recognized degree programs committed to the highest principles of professional, ethical, and societal responsibility. With an emphasis on experiential learning, mentorship, faculty accessibility, global justice, and professional formation, Pepperdine Law offers a juris doctorate, two master’s degrees, six joint-degree programs, seven LLM degrees, and five certificate programs. The School of Law houses nine clinics and five institutes, including the globally recognized Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution. Follow the School of Law on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

About 2U, Inc. (NASDAQ: TWOU)

2U partners with great colleges and universities to build what we believe is the world's best digital education. Our platform provides a comprehensive fusion of technology, services, and data architecture to transform high-quality and rigorous campus-based universities into the best digital versions of themselves. 2U's No Back Row® approach allows qualified students and working professionals around the world to experience a first-rate university education and successful outcomes. To learn more, visit

Media contacts:

Jodi Hill, Pepperdine Law


Shirley Chow, 2U