Certificate in Communication Studies

An interdisciplinary certificate in Conflict Resolution can be an excellent complement to any major. This certificate complements degree programs in communication, business, criminal justice, ethnic studies, international relations, labor and employment studies, political science and psychology. 

Conflict Resolution Certificate Program

The purpose of this certificate is to learn to manage conflicting positions in various contexts and to develop constructive ways to engage in dispute management or conflict negotiation. Students may use this certificate to enhance their understanding of the critical role that conflict and its resolution play in the world today. This certificate complements degree programs in business communication, criminal justice, ethnic studies, international relations, labor and employment studies, political science and psychology.

The Conflict Resolution Certificate Program in the Communication Studies Department received a donation of $25,000 from Frank and Linda Kurtz in October 2017. The purpose of their gift is to conduct conflict management workshops that provide an opportunity for SFSU undergraduate students to learn approaches and skills for constructive dialogue in social interactions where diverse viewpoints can create tension and conflict. Dr. Victoria Chen, the Director of the Conflict Resolution Certificate Program, conducted the inaugural workshop in April 2018. 

It is recommended that General Education Segment I be completed prior to students beginning this program. Students must pass a GWAR course, JEPET, or pass ENG 414, Elements of Writing, before receiving the certificate. Program requirement and course options are listed in the Bulletin.

  • The certificate consists of 7 courses (4 courses in the core and 3 courses selected from one focus area) Courses in the certificate may be substituted on advisement. Note an internship focusing on conflict management is required, and at least three courses in the certificate must have a prefix that is different from the student’s major (i.e., from departments other than the student’s major). Online course descriptions are available.

  • Students make an appointment with the Director to sign a Declaration form and submit an unofficial transcript.

  • Upon completion of the coursework, students

    • a) file a Certificate Approved Program (CAP) form, must be printed and typed. Click here for the CAP form;

    • b) print out a copy of unofficial transcript after all grades are posted. The transcript attached must show all 7 courses with final grades that fulfill the requirements of the program;

    • c) pay from your SF State student online account the application fee $7.00 for the award of the certificate (no need to print out receipt);

    • d) bring the completed CAP form and unofficial transcript to the Director.

Typically it takes 2-3 months for the Undergrad Division to process, print, and deliver the certificates to the department. The department will then mail the certificates to students, using the address listed on their CAP form.

View the SF State Bulletin for more information on the Conflict Resolution Certificate.

Completion of the certificate contributes to a student's preparation for employment in such fields as counseling, criminal justice, diplomacy, education, government, human resources, international relations, labor, law, management, mediation, public relations and social work.