Frequently Asked Questions
Organizational Development and Leadership

What can I do with an MS in ODL?

Our MS in Organization Development and Leadership (ODL) is a multi-sector and multi-disciplinary program. We have adult learners (leaders/practitioners) from various sectors (profit, not-for-profit, health care, 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 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.

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, coaching and collaborative learning both in and outside of the classroom.

Is a thesis required to complete the Master of Science in Organizational Development and 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 an issue 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?

For information regarding tuition or financial assistance, please visit the Financial Aid section.

When are classes offered?

In order to accommodate full-time working professionals, ODL classes are delivered in a blended face-to-face weekend format which utilizes interactive online technologies to support the collaborative learning delivered in the class laboratory. 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 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 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 weekends. Also, the two to three years allotted for completion of the MS degree allows flexibility. In fact, employment during the program is 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 affiliated with the ODL program?

Yes, there are two organizations with which our ODL program is affiliated, one in Pennsylvania and one in Georgia. 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 MS ODL degree students.

What are the minimum admissions requirements?

The following are the minimum requirements for admission to the Master of Science in Organizational Development and Leadership degree program:

  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited institution with a B average or better
  • 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 in ODL
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work
  • Recommendation letter and form
  • Curriculum vitae or resume

Each application is reviewed on an individual basis. GRE scores are not required for admission into any of the ODL programs. Visit the admissions section for more information regarding the application requirements and process.

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?

For more information about ODL programs offered on the Philadelphia campus, contact Program Director Dr. Jeff Branch at 215-871-6947 or For information regarding Georgia campus ODL offerings, contact Elizabeth Levine at 678-225-7589 or