Admission Requirements

  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher education.
  • Official transcripts from all institutions of higher education previously attended.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • An essay, minimum of 250 words, maximum of two pages double spaced, explaining why the applicant wants to study Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management.
  • A minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75 (on a 4.0 scale). If the GPA is lower than 2.75, the applicant must submit acceptable GRE, LSAT, or GMAT scores.
  • Interview with a member of the Admission Committee
  • Students applying to the Master’s program after completing the certificate program must demonstrate a 3.5 GPA from the certificate program (and comply with all other admission requirements). Up to 21 credits from the certificate program will be accepted towards your Masters requirements.


The Dispute Resolution Program offers rolling admissions throughout the year. Priority admission deadlines follow.

  • Fall Term - June 1st
  • Spring Term - November 1st
  • Summer Term - May 1st


For the Cost of Attendance (tuition and course fees), visit the Bursar's webpage. Textbooks and assessments/instruments required typically cost about $100 to $200 per class depending on the class, method of delivery, etc. There are a few classes in the program that require an additional cost not included in the tuition. These course fees are for items such as instruments, assessments and manuals.

Instructors use Canvas to administer both face-to-face and hybrid courses. Students will need a personally-owned device to access course materials and participate in class. Please refer to the Digital Course Requirements for device specifications.

Financial Assistance

Federal financial aid is available to students in the Master of Arts degree and in the Graduate Certificate in Dispute Resolution program. Please go to to apply. Students using federal financial aid programs must enroll in two classes per term to be in compliance. Click here for financial aid and loan information.

In some cases, the Simmons School awards financial support based on financial need and/or academic merit. You are encouraged to apply for tuition support as part of your program application, which can be found at

Employers often provide tuition assistance for graduate programs that enhance the training of their employees. Be sure to check with yours to determine if you are eligible.


Admission to the Dispute Resolution Program requires submission of transcripts from all institutions of higher learning attended, including transfer credits. If your school participates in 'E-scripts,' we can accept transcripts sent directly from your school to If sent through the physical mail, please mail to:

Graduate Application Processing
PO Box 518
Dallas, TX 75275-0518


If English is not your native language, and you have not previously taken any academic coursework within the United States, you will be asked to submit a TOEFL score (Test of English as a Foreign Language). This test is administered by the Educational Testing Service, PO Box 6151 Princeton, New Jersey 08541 ( The score must be reported to the Dispute Resolution office directly from The Educational Testing Service. It is important when applying that you indicate on the TOEFL form the code number 6660 so that your score is sent to Dispute Resolution Program.

Foreign Transcript Policy

All foreign transcripts must be accompanied by a professional evaluation and an official transcript, including an English translation if it is not in English. It is the applicant’s responsibility to procure this evaluation and to assume financial responsibility for it. An exception to this requirement is an exchange agreement between SMU and a foreign institution which is modeled after the U.S. education system.

Because of the importance of this information, SMU only accepts evaluations from the following agencies of proven reliability:

World Education Services, Inc.
PO Box 745 Old Chelsea Station
New York, NY 10113-0745
Telephone: 212-966-6311
TOLL FREE: 1-800-937-3895

International Academic Credential Evaluators, Inc.
PO Box 2585
Denton, TX 76202-2585
Telephone: 940-383-7498

Josef Silny & Associates, Inc.
7101 SW 102 Avenue
Miami, FL 33173
Telephone: 305-273-1616
Fax: 305-273-1338

The above services' evaluations should include an explanation that the institution is recognized by the ministry of education in the home country and is generally considered to offer at least the equivalent of U.S. higher education credit. In addition, it should include an explanation of the credits, the grading system and course levels, as well as a course-by-course evaluation. 

The expertise and reliability of a professional evaluation report is recognized worldwide and is likely to be accepted by other academic institutions, employers and state licensing boards. However, the report is not binding to SMU and it will be considered a recommendation for SMU's independent decision of the credit to be given. Information and applications from the agencies are available online.

Please request that the Evaluating Service mail the evaluation and all supporting documents directly to:

Graduate Application Processing
PO Box 518
Dallas, TX 75275-0518

Or email to

Southern Methodist University (SMU) will not discriminate in any employment practice, education program, education activity, or admissions on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, or veteran status. SMU’s commitment to equal opportunity includes nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.