George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Leading the Development of our Field

Earning a PhD from the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution is a challenge worth pursuing.

The School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution seeks candidates who exhibit the academic capabilities, professional background, and personal investment in a focused area of interest. We have a faculty admissions committee that reviews all doctoral applications. We only admit new candidates in the fall and the application deadline is Dec. 1 for the following fall. Applications missing required items will not be considered.

You will submit all items required for the application through your application portal. If you want to pursue a PhD from S-CAR, you will need:

  • A completed Online Application for Graduate Study
  • A baccalaureate degree AND a graduate level degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education or international equivalent, which must be verified from official transcripts. (MA, MS, JD, etc.)
  • The application will require you to submit unofficial transcripts. In addition, two official copies of transcripts from each undergraduate and graduate institution you attended are also required. Transcripts must be in sealed, unopened envelopes to be considered official.
  • A goals statement, which answers the question: "How has your past experience prepared you to engage in conflict, and how will this program equip you for your future?" There is no length requirement.
  • Three letters of recommendation, which can be from faculty, colleagues, or supervisors who can attest to your ability to perform well in a doctoral program. Letters should be submitted electronically. When you include the name and contact information of your references, a link will be emailed to them to submit their letters online.
  • A writing sample, submitted electronically, that shows your potential to complete dissertation research. Examples include a master's-level thesis or a graduate-level research paper. There is no length requirement.
  • A current résumé or curriculum vitae.
  • A GRE score is not required, but may be submitted. Those who submit GRE scores are not favored over those who don't.

*Applicants with international credentials will need to submit additional items

Send transcripts to:

Office of Graduate Admissions

George Mason University

4400 University Drive MSN 4C8

Fairfax, VA 22030

When you submit your application, you'll get an email explaining how to view your status online. You'll see the specific items that we have received and a note on any that need to submitted. It's your responsibility to ensure that all documents are submitted online and that transcripts are delivered by the application deadline. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

Application deadline:

  • Fall 2020: December 1, 2019

*This program does not have Spring admissions cycle.

Getting a Head Start

You might qualify to have your PhD course load reduced by up to 15 credits if you:

  • Have an MS in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from Mason.
  • Have graduate credit or or a graduate degree (MA, MS, or JD).

Your advisor and the program director will review the courses you've taken and determine which ones apply.

Doctoral Funding

Some programs are available to help you offset the costs of earning a PhD from S-CAR. They include:

  • Assistantships: S-CAR offers these positions to some newly admitted doctoral students to work on research/grant projects. When you apply, you'll be automatically considered for one of these positions; there is no formal application process.
  • Financial aid: S-CAR hires several students for part-time administrative jobs. Any graduate student is eligible, and application information will be provided when posts come open. These appointments match the needs of the position with the student's experience and skills.
  • Presidential Scholar Award: This source of funding comes from George Mason University. S-CAR nominates one incoming PhD student each fall for this award, which is determined by the Office of the Provost. Criteria include a minimum GPA of 3.5 in the most recently earned degree, and a minimum combined math and verbal GRE score of 1,200 (score earned within the last five years). Based on the latest GRE scale, the minimum required combined math and verbal GRE score is 310.
  • Graduate Inclusion & Access Scholarship: This source of funding comes from George Mason University. As a new applicant, you can apply for this scholarship at the same time you apply for our doctoral program. When you indicate your interest in this scholarship in the application, additional questions will appear as well as upload links. An essay and current resume/CV are required materials for this scolarship. The essay is different from your S-CAR application goal statement.
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