PON Semester Programs Frequently Asked Questions

« Return to Main Frequently Asked Questions Page

What are the PON semester programs?

Open to participants from all disciplines and professional fields, the PON semester programs are semester-length courses designed to increase awareness and understanding of successful conflict resolution efforts.

Two semester programs are offered: Negotiation and Dispute Resolution and Mediation and Conflict Management. Both programs provide participants with a conceptual framework and practical advice for professional and personal development in dispute resolution. Faculty is drawn from the PON community of scholars and practitioners of alternative dispute resolution.

How much do the PON semester programs cost?

Please visit the Negotiation and Dispute Resolution and Mediation and Conflict Management program pages for pricing.

How do I qualify for the graduate student rate?

To confirm your status as a graduate student, we require a letter from a supervising faculty member or program administrator certifying that you are enrolled as a full-time graduate student in a degree program. This letter can be scanned and emailed to negotiation@law.harvard.edu.

What are the time commitments for taking a PON semester program?

The semester programs are structured as semester-length courses that meet weekly over 10 to 12 weeks. Classes are offered live, weekly for two hours and you can expect one to two hours of homework assignments (readings, videos, simulation preparation, etc.) each week. Some negotiations, mediations, or small group work may take place outside of scheduled class time.

What is the attendance policy?

Because the format of the class centers on classroom discussion and participation in role plays, attendance is critical. Since many of the simulations will be conducted in pairs or small groups, absences will not only affect your own learning but also that of your fellow classmates. Please note that participants are only allowed one or two absences based on the program. Please refer to the syllabus of the semester program for clarification. Tardiness of more than 20 minutes will count as an absence. Certificates will be mailed after the program to participants who meet attendance requirements.

What is your payment policy?

Enrollment is not guaranteed until payment has been received. Tuition must be paid upon acceptance into the program. If paying tuition by wire or check, PON requires a wire receipt or check copy within five business days of acceptance sent via email to negotiation@law.harvard.edu.

As of 21 business days prior to the start date of the course, tuition is immediately due for prior and new registrations.

What is the cancellation policy?

Cancellations received in writing at least 21 business days prior to the start date of the course will be eligible for a full refund less a $250 administrative fee, issued in the original form of payment (check or credit card). Cancellation requests received within 21 business days prior to the start of the course are subject to full payment of the program fee.

Please submit your cancellation request in writing to PON at negotiation@law.harvard.edu.

May I transfer to another course or defer my attendance?

Because we compose a diverse class with a defined number of participants for each offering of the PON semester programs, we cannot accept requests to transfer to another seminar or defer participation.

What is the substitution policy?

Registrants may transfer a registration to another person within the same organization. A request to send a substitute must be received in writing no later than five business days prior to the start date of the course.

Please submit your request in writing to PON at negotiation@law.harvard.edu.

Where is the class held?

Our online courses use Zoom and Canvas for web conferencing and program materials. If this is your first time using either platform, you should plan to join one of the technology overview sessions in advance of the course. Participants must be able to navigate both platforms during the program.

Will I receive a certificate?

Participants will receive both a printed and digital certificate of completion. Please note that conditions of receiving the certificate of completion include attendance at and participation in all sessions throughout the program, as well as completion of the program evaluation.

PON staff will begin processing certificates one week after the conclusion of the program. Therefore, please allow two to four weeks for digital and four to six weeks for printed certificates. Please note that we will use the address provided to mail the printed certificate. It is the registrant’s responsibility to provide a complete and accurate address to facilitate shipment from the United States. Failure to do so may result in a delay or inability to deliver the printed certificate.

Is there a dress code for the program?

Business casual dress is the expected attire for all program functions.

Is the class accredited?

This is a professional skills program; it is not accredited, and no course credit or continuing education credits are offered.

What do I need to participate in an online program?

In order to connect to the Zoom virtual classroom, students must have reliable internet access, a microphone, and speakers. Participants are required to connect to Zoom using the desktop application. The web browser and mobile versions do not have the same functionality. Attending the program on a tablet or mobile device is not advised. A technology overview session will be scheduled for participants the week before the program start date.

What level of English is required?

For the success of all program participants, applicants are required to be fluent in understanding, speaking, reading, and writing English. While no specific exam is required, a TOEFL score of 100 (internet based) or higher is recommended. Test results do not need to be submitted. PON expects that all participants represent their language proficiency accurately. Misrepresenting proficiency is not grounds for a refund once the program begins.

If English is your second language, or if you have less than one year of experience working in an English-speaking environment, PON staff may request more information to assess English proficiency.

Please note translation services are not provided in any open-enrollment program.