In rapidly changing and global environments, organizations remain competitive and economically viable through changes in their strategies, technologies, structures, work designs, and human resource systems. The Master of Science in Organization Development (MSOD) program’s mission is to prepare leaders in the art and science of managing strategic change. It is designed for individuals involved in organizational change and development, typically as professionals, consultants, or managers. Four learning goals and objectives are central to the MSOD curriculum:
- Students will increase their knowledge of self in order to be more effective as change agents.
- Students will be able to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in providing organization development consulting.
- Students will increase their understanding of the global challenges that face organizations and increase their ability to ethically consult globally.
- Students will develop skills to contribute to the rigor and relevance of the organization development field.
This six-trimester program utilizes a strategic management and systems theory orientation to the study of planned organizational change and development. Concepts from organization theory and the behavioral sciences-such as group dynamics, the process of change, organization and work design, and culture-provide the foundation for the development of advanced knowledge and skills, including strategic change, international and cross-cultural management, interorganizational relationships, and managing complexity. Emphasis is placed on the application of these concepts to current issues facing organizations, such as globalization, growth, restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, down sizing, productivity improvement, and changes in strategic direction.
Courses are delivered once per trimester in intensive residential sessions that provide a highly interactive learning environment. Each course is preceded by a preparatory foundations course that introduces primary subject matter and establishes the theoretical and practical foundation upon which the intensive face-to-face courses are built. Six 8- to 12-day seminars are scheduled at 10- to 12-week intervals. This format attracts students from around the world. It also enables participants to maintain full-time employment and to learn through the application of course concepts in their work settings. To develop global citizen and practitioner knowledge, sessions are held in domestic as well as international locations. The first session is a personally challenging week that develops skills in interpersonal relations, communications, and group development and creates a collaborative learning environment among the students.
Participants typically represent a variety of organizations in the public and private sectors and a wide range of backgrounds, including line management or staff functions, organization development, management consulting, and human resource management. Students come from the United States, Canada, Asia, Europe, and Central and South America.
During the program, each candidate develops a strategic learning contract that defines the student’s individual goals and measures of achievement. With faculty guidance and supervision, each candidate also designs, implements, and evaluates a planned change project that becomes a formal written research report.
Admission Requirements for the MSOD
The MSOD application process is intended to ensure a good fit between the program’s objectives and the applicant’s experience, qualifications, and potential. Each applicant is assessed in a holistic way; no single criterion controls the admission decision.
To be considered eligible for admission to the MSOD program, a student must have an undergraduate degree with an acceptable grade point average from a regionally accredited four-year college or university or foreign institution (preferably in a related field). International academic institutions must be accredited by the ministry of education or like accrediting bodies from their respective countries.
- A completed online Application for Admission with a vocational self-evaluation inventory, a sentence completion form, a work history, and a $100 payment for the nonrefundable application fee must be submitted electronically to the Graziadio School Admission Office.
- An official transcript(s) with the terminal degree(s) posted and mailed directly by the registrar from the college or university that granted the degree must be sent to the Graziadio School Admission Office. The school reserves the right to request official transcripts of all previous academic courses.
- A minimum of five years of organization experience, preferably as an external consultant; as a line or staff manager; or in an internal organization development, human resources, or strategic planning position.
- Two letters of recommendation from persons familiar with the applicant’s educational, consulting, and/or management experience. Where applicable, it is strongly recommended that the applicant’s direct supervisor or organizational sponsor provide one of the recommendations.
- The Graziadio School reserves the right to require an applicant to attain an acceptable score on the Miller Analogies Test (MAT), the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
- All international students whose first language is not English must submit scores on one of the following tests. Any student who earns a bachelor’s degree from a United States college or university is exempt from this requirement. The bulleted list below contains test and contact information:
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Contact: www.toefl.org or call (617) 671-2075.
- Pearson Test of English (PTE). Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (323) 255-2771.
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Contact: www.ielts.org or call (609) 921-9000.
- International students who do not hold a permanent resident visa in the United States must submit an International Student Data form. International Student Data forms may be obtained through the Office of International Student Services at http://www.pepperdine.edu/internationalstudents/oiss-forms/.
- Superior applicants will have had at least one course in organizational behavior and a human interaction laboratory experience. The MSOD director, with the recommendation of the MSOD Admission Committee, may request applicant participation in such a laboratory experience as preparation for program attendance.
Selected applicants with complete application files are scheduled for a personal interview with a member of the MSOD Admission Committee. This interview may be conducted in person or by telephone.
- If accepted, a $1,400 nonrefundable deposit is required to reserve a place in the class for which the student has been accepted. The deposit is included in the total tuition cost of the program and is accounted for in the first trimester’s tuition. International students accepted to the program will be assessed a $400 fee to partially offset special charges.
Applications to the MSOD program are accepted continuously throughout the year. Please refer to the MSOD website for specific deadline dates for each round of admissions. Student interviews are scheduled and notifications of acceptance are targeted for mailing following MSOD Admission Committee review of all applications meeting that round’s deadline. The great interest and desire for admission to the MSOD program results in an abundance of applications. Persons may be accepted as alternates to the class, and notification of admission may occur at any time prior to the first session.
Notification of Admission
The Admission Office will inform the applicant of the status of the application, but it is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all necessary documents are on file by published deadlines for admission.
While acceptance to the program may allow a student to enroll for 45 days as an unclassified student, admission to Pepperdine University will not be fully considered until the application file is complete. No amount of credit taken while on unclassified status will assure a student of admission. Admission will be confirmed by a letter from the associate dean.
Standards and Measurements of Achievement for MSOD Students
Satisfactory completion of 36 units of course work and a 4-unit applied research project, successfully passing the final comprehensive exam, and completing a personal learning contract are necessary for graduation. While it is expected that all requirements for graduation will be completed by the sixth trimester, students who are not yet finished will be enrolled in the project extension course unless they have petitioned the MSOD Program Committee for a leave of absence. The leave of absence petition must be submitted prior to the beginning of the term the student is requesting, stating the reasons for the leave and the projected time of return. Degree work in the MSOD program must be completed within four calendar years from the date on which the student begins work at Pepperdine University. In rare cases, the associate dean may grant a limited extension of time to complete the degree. Enrollment must be continuous until completion of the requirements for the degree, unless the student is on an approved leave of absence. The student must be enrolled in a course during the term he or she expects to graduate. Courses in this program are graded credit or no credit.
Upon completion of the first and third sessions, a student’s progress and potential in the MSOD program are reviewed. The MSOD director, upon recommendation of the MSOD Program Committee, may counsel a student to withdraw from the program based on the committee’s assessment that the student’s performance, conduct, and potential do not align with the program’s objectives.