Cornell University

Graduate Degree Programs

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MILR Concentration: Dispute Resolution

In the Dispute Resolution concentration students can prepare for careers as neutrals, advocates, or consultants in conflict resolution. The rise of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in employment relations and other fields has created opportunities for students interested in pursuing careers as mediators, arbitrators, or facilitators. A growing number of corporations and other organizations have hired dispute resolution specialists to manage their ADR programs. Federal and State agencies, such as the United States Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service and the United States Department of Labor, and international agencies, such as the International Labour Organization, employ specialists in dispute resolution. Given the Diversity in these career options, the concentration is quite flexible and is intended to address student needs and interests.

Core Courses

All MILR candidates must complete the following six core courses

  • ILRCB 5000 Collective Bargaining
  • ILRCB 5010 Labor Relations Law and Legislation
  • ILRST 5110 Statistical Methods for Social Sciences
  • ILROB 5200 Organizational Behavior and Analysis
  • ILRLE 5400 Labor Economics
  • ILRHR 5600 Human Resource Management

Concentration Courses

In addition to the 6 core MILR courses, students must complete a minimum of 6 courses in Dispute Resolution, but there are no set requirements regarding the nature of the elective courses. Rather, students should design a course of study that suits their needs under the direction of their faculty advisor. Students choosing the dispute resolution concentration can choose from courses on the theory and practice of conflict management both in conjunction with and outside of collective bargaining. See below for some possible courses in this area.


Students in the Dispute Resolution concentration enroll in a minimum of 4 additional free electives.

Concentration and Elective Course Examples

(See Courses of Study Catalog for full course descriptions)

  • ILRCB 4040 Contract Administration I
  • ILRCB 6020 Arbitration
  • ILRCB 6080 Collective Bargaining Simulation
  • ILRCB 6011 Negotiation: Theory and Practice
  • ILRCB 6012 Managing and Resolving Conflict
  • ILRCB 6014 Employment Law I
  • ILRCB 6016 Employment Law II
  • ILRCB 6860 Collective Bargaining in the Public Sector
  • ILRCB 7050 The Economics of Collective Bargaining
  • ILRCB 7080 Negotiations in Practice

ILR Faculty Members in Dispute Resolution

Additional Information on Dispute Resolution

Professor David Lipsky

The Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution is housed in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University. More than 40 programs on conflict resolution have been developed at universities and law schools throughout the nation but ICR is the only program with an exclusive focus on the workplace. ILR also maintains the largest concentration of faculty in the related fields of conflict and dispute resolution and problem solving of any university. The faculty's expertise and broad experience in working with all types of organizations, combined with access to an expansive research network, ensures the high quality of our conflict and dispute resolution education and services.