For over 50 years, the Graduate Liberal Studies-Dispute Resolution department has offered affordable and accessible education. The human-centered, interdisciplinary, and flexible coursework encourages personal and professional growth as well as the opportunity to make greater contributions to society.


TOTAL COST PER 3 CREDIT COURSE (SUMMER 2023): $2,175 ($725 per credit hour or $2,125 for a 3 credit course - no general student fees)

TOTAL COST PER 3 CREDIT COURSE (FALL 2023 AND SPRING 2024): $3,087 ($725 per credit hour or $2,175 for a 3 credit course plus general student fees of $304 per credit hour or $912)

Click here for a complete listing of current SMU graduate tuition rates: 


Students may be considered for need- and merit-based departmental scholarships on an annual basis. Scholarships will be awarded annually based on the projected number of hours enrolled for each term (Summer 2023, Fall 2023, and Spring 2024). New students are invited to apply as part of the admissions process and will be considered for scholarship awards for the applicable terms remaining through the year (through Spring 2024).

Please note that scholarships may vary annually and are based on limited funds. Details about scholarships will be included in an award letter requiring student signatures and include the amount, length of time, and disbursement information. Awards will be applied based on actual hours enrolled. Students must apply for scholarships on a yearly basis.

Distinguished Scholar Award

For GLS-DR students demonstrating heightened academic merit, leadership, engagement, and demonstrated excellence in their human-centered, interdisciplinary field of studies, personal or professional work.  

GLS Community Leaders Scholarship

For GLS-DR students who wish to customize their graduate studies with the goal of increasing their impact in local, national, and international communities.

GLS Interdisciplinary Educators Scholarship

For GLS-DR graduate students serving as K-12 teachers wishing to further their knowledge and enhance their roles as educators via interdisciplinary graduate coursework. Eligible teachers may apply for scholarship funds to cover full tuition for up to two courses of their choice in the Master of Arts in Dispute Resolution or Dispute Resolution Certificate program.

How to Apply

Scholarship application directions and online application form can be found by visiting the following link:

Preferred Scholarship Application Deadlines:

Continuing Studies - Annual Preferred Deadline of May 15th; May apply past preferred deadline for consideration - limited funds may still be available.

New Students - Recommend applying for scholarship at time of admissions application; may apply following acceptance for consideration - limited funds may still be available.  

Financial Aid

Students who are admitted to the Dispute Resolution master's or certificate program and who enroll for a minimum of 6 hours in any one term may be eligible to apply for federal financial aid. Applicants may submit forms to financial aid before being accepted into the program. Students interested in applying for Direct Loans from the federal government can submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at

The priority filing deadline for the summer term is March 1, fall term is April 1, and spring term is November 1.

***The FAFSA should be submitted at least 60 days before the first day of class. 

For more information, contact the SMU Graduate Financial Aid Office: