Graduate Certificate in Mediation and Negotiation

The Department of Communication, in cooperation with the Master’s in Human Resources and Labor Relations (MHRLR) and the Lubar School of Business, offers the Graduate Certificate in Mediation and Negotiation. The program of study is designed to provide practical and theoretical knowledge for students who wish to pursue or advance careers that involve managing or resolving disputes in organizational, educational, community, or family contexts. The program is designed to meet the increasing need of business, organized labor, public sector, and community organizations for people with skills in conflict resolution.

Using an interdisciplinary approach, the program offers a basic knowledge of mediation and negotiation between individuals and across organizations, allows some specialization in further coursework, and is integrated with a final course involving either field-work or a research paper written under the direction of an expert in the area.

Students can complete the Graduate Certificate in Mediation and Negotiation while enrolled either part-time or full-time, and by taking courses during evenings and/or weekends. With the approval of the program, students admitted to either the M.A. in Communication or the MHRLR degree program may apply courses taken to meet certificate requirements toward their degree.

Eligibility and Admission

Students applying for the Certificate Program in Mediation and Negotiation must hold a bachelor’s degree and must have earned a 2.75 GPA overall or must furnish substantial evidence of ability to succeed in graduate-level work.


  • Students wishing to obtain this certificate must declare their intention by applying to the program office or director.
  • All graduate certificate applicants—even those already enrolled in a UWM graduate program—must apply to the Graduate School through the Panthera Admission Application.
  • Graduate degree and previously admitted graduate non-degree students who decide to pursue a certificate program must submit the Panthera application before completing 6 credits in the certificate sequence.
  • Applicants must possess a baccalaureate degree and have a minimum 2.75 cumulative undergraduate grade point average to be admitted in to a certificate program.

Certificate Requirements

Credits and Courses
The certificate requires 12 credits, including 9 credits of coursework and 3 credits of field work or research.

Required Courses (2)
Comm 665: Introduction to Mediation
Econ 753: Collective Bargaining

Elective Course (1)
Comm 865: Theory and Practice of Mediation
IR 715: Alternative Dispute Resolution
Bus Admin 737: Managerial Decisions and Negotiations

Field Work or Research Requirement (1)
Comm 998: Internship in Communication
Comm 999: Independent Study
IR 801: Research Seminar in Industrial and Labor Relations
IR 921: Internship in Industrial Relations
IR 999: Independent Study
Bus 799: Reading and Research

Recommended or Related Courses
Not required for the Certificate
Comm 710: Managerial Communication
Comm 823: Seminar in Small Group Communication
Ed Pol 510: Foundations of Human Relations
IR 711: Labor Relations Law
IR 714: Industrial Relations in the Public Sector
Soc 766: Theory and Method in Social Psychology

Grade Point Average Requirement
A minimum cumulative 3.00 grade point average in certificate courses taken at UWM is required.

Transfer Credit
No more than 20% of the required credits may be taken at an institution other than UWM. These courses are subject to Graduate School transfer policy and must be approved by the director of the certificate program.

Articulation with Degree Programs

  1. Credits and courses required for a certificate may double count toward meeting UWM graduate degree requirements subject to the following restrictions:
    • Degree programs must approve the courses from certificates that can double count toward the degree.
    • All credits taken in completion of certificate requirements may count towards a UWM graduate degree as long as they do not contribute more than 90% of the total credits needed to obtain the degree. (Note: Students in Ph.D. programs must still complete the minimum residency requirements)
    • Certificate courses used toward meeting degree requirements must be completed within the time limit for transfer credit.
  2. Courses completed for a degree may be counted toward a subsequent certificate, subject to all certificate policy requirements.
  3. A course may count toward no more than one certificate and one degree.
  4. Students may not earn a certificate subsequent to a concentration in the same area.

Time Limit

Certificate program time limits shall be established as follows:

18 or fewer credits/Three years from initial enrollment in the certificate sequence.

19 or more credits/Four years from initial enrollment in the certificate sequence.

For certificates that are designed as add-ons to degree programs and are awarded concurrent with the degree, the time limit shall be the same as that of the degree program.