What can I do with an MS in ODL?
Our MS in Organization Development & Leadership is a multi-sector and multi-disciplinary
program. What does this mean? We have adult learners (leaders/practitioners) from
various sectors (profit, not-for-profit, healthcare, government, etc.) and disciplines
who are searching for skill enhancement, field advancement and other opportunities
to set themselves apart and make a difference in their chosen fields of practice.
As PCOM ODL current adult learners or alums, you are immediately adding value to your
organizations, being noticed and setting yourself apart from other leaders, aspiring
leaders and practitioners by embracing a collaborative leadership mindset to deliver individual and organizational results.
Are practical/field experiences a part of the program?
PCOM’s ODL program is focused on action learning. What this means from an intentional design practice is that you—as the adult learner—identify the issues that are most important to you
and your organization. We (faculty) design the coursework to promote individual discovery
as you integrate ODL theory into your practice, thereby creating the real experience
necessary to encourage growth as a leader and practitioner.
Because of the nature of our action learning emphasis, practical/field experiences
are specifically aligned with the design intent of the course. In a couple of courses,
the primary focus will be a field experience comprised of focused exposure to different
organizations. In a couple of other courses, an extended field experience with a single,
external organization will serve as a platform for skill development and enhancement
as well as an opportunity to view your own organization through different cultural
Who will teach my courses?
The courses are taught by our exciting community of faculty who are active consultants,
practitioners and leaders in the field of ODL—a critical element in providing value-added
learning to our students. Our students are learning, testing and applying theory and
experience in real-time using the latest tools, methodologies and practices necessary
to deliver results for themselves and their organization(s).
What is the quality of the student/faculty relationship?
The quality of the student/faculty relationship is a unique and a special strength
of the ODL program. While class sizes vary each semester, class size is moderated
to allow faculty to provide meaningful, individualized attention to their students.
The majority of the program faculty members are also working in the field and can
provide excellent, practical examples in relation to coursework. Many of our students
enjoy collaborative relationships with faculty who actively participate in and contribute
to the overall leadership development of their students. In providing feedback to
our program directors about their experiences, our students and alumni report that
our faculty members are caring, respectful and responsive and that our faculty demonstrate
their genuine interest and concern for their students through mentoring and collaborative
learning both in and outside of the classroom.
Is there a thesis required to complete the Master of Science in Organizational Development
& Leadership degree?
In lieu of a thesis, a final capstone project is required for completion of the
MS in ODL degree. The capstone project is an action research experience that serves
as a tool for faculty to assess students’ competency and skill development. The capstone
project process can start as early as halfway through the ODL curriculum, although
many students enter the program with a ‘burning issue’ that they want to address as
the capstone project and use the coursework to support their action research experience.
What is the cost of the program? Is financial assistance available?
The following tuition rates apply:
Academic Year 2013-2014
Tuition (per credit): $755
Comprehensive Fee (Summer Term):$182
Comprehensive Fee (Fall, Winter and Spring):$181 (per term)
When are classes offered?
In order to accommodate full-time working professionals, ODL classes are held on
weekday evenings and on weekends. Turbo courses are conducted only on weekends. Other
courses may be held primarily on weekday evenings with an occasional weekend class.
Course schedules are designed to allow the greatest flexibility for our students.
How long does it take to complete the master's program?
Most of the students complete the program in two to three years. However, we collaborate
with students to work out a schedule that can accommodate the different life experiences
and goals of our students. This may mean extending the course work past three years,
if it makes sense to meet the needs of our students.
Can I attend the program part-time?
Yes. Because the ODL programs are designed for working professionals, most students
pursue their degree and/or certification part-time. Our flexible course offerings
on weekday evenings and on weekends are intended to provide flexibility for our students.
Is it possible to work full- or part-time during the program?
Yes. Our programs are designed for working professionals with all classes meeting
on weekday evenings or on weekends. Also, the 2-3 years allotted for completion of
the MS degree allows flexibility. In fact, employment during the program may be beneficial
in providing real-time experiences for engaging in ODL practice.
Are any standardized test scores required for admission?
No. We have found that standardized test scores are not effective indicators of successful
ODL students, rather previous education and former/current work experience are key
factors in admissions decisions and predictors of student success.
Are there any professional organizations affliliated with the ODL program?
Yes, there are two organizations with which our ODL program is affiliated, one in
PA and one in GA. Philadelphia Region Organization Development Network
(PRODN in PA) and Organization Change Alliance
(OCA in GA) are professional networks of organization development practitioners and
leaders. Their focus is to provide additional learning and growth opportunities for
practitioners and leaders, nurture strong relationships with their communities, and
as engaged citizens to provide their skills whenever possible to make a difference
and facilitate change. PCOM pays for the first year of membership for all first year
ODL degree students.
What are the minimum admissions requirements?
Below are the minimum requirements for admission to the Master of Science in Organizational
Development & Leadership degree program. Each application is reviewed on an individual
NOTE: GRE scores are not required for admission into any of the ODL programs.
A bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited institution with a B average or
Work experience preferred (in order to take advantage of action learning).
Students may apply for a maximum of 6 credits for life/work experience.
Application fee of $50 (checks made payable to PCOM).
Application, including autobiographical statement reflecting understanding and interest
Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work.
Recommendation letter and form.
Curriculum vitae or resume.
What is the deadline to apply for admission?
In order to allow the greatest flexibility for applicants, the ODL program follows
a rolling admissions cycle, meaning that there is not a specific deadline for application.
However, as the greatest demand for admittance is for the fall and spring terms, early
application is strongly encouraged to guarantee placement within the program during
the desired term.
Is an interview required for admission?
Yes. Once all applications materials have been received by the Admissions Office,
eligible candidates will be invited to interview with the program leadership.
Who should I contact for more information?
Philadelphia, PA Campus
Jeff Branch, EdD
Organizational Development & Leadership Graduate Program
Suwanee, GA Campus
Elizabeth (Beth) P. Levine, MA
Assistant Program Director
Organizational Development & Leadership Graduate Program
Rachel Cuffeld, MBA
ODL Program Coordinator
PCOM Department of Psychology