Organization Development and Change

Graduate Program HeadSusan Land
Program CodeODC
Campus(es)World Campus (M.P.S.)
Degrees ConferredMaster of Professional Studies (M.P.S.)
The Graduate Faculty


The MPS in Organization Development and Change (MPS-OD&C) is an online program of study designed for professionals working primarily in organization change and workforce development related careers.

The program will highlight the changing nature of the field of Organization Development, including the impact of the globalization of private and public organizations and the growing importance of organization change and development in the workforce. It will culminate in a field-based project course in which students will demonstrate their understanding of the curriculum and apply it to their professional areas of interest. Students will be expected to complete an organization development-related project and are encouraged to solicit project ideas from a work-related environment to ensure that the problems or opportunities they identify are grounded in the reality of organization development. Upon completion of the MPS-OD&C degree, students will be equipped to work as professionals in corporate development, talent development, workforce development, performance improvement, training and development, and with private employers, government agencies, and non-profit organizations.

Admission Requirements

Applicants apply for admission to the program via the Graduate School application for admission. Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-300 Admissions Policies.

Applicants to the MPS-OD&C must submit the following materials:

  • Penn State Graduate School application form and nonrefundable application fee
  • World Campus program application
  • A statement of career and educational goals including documentation of a minimum of two years of related full-time work. The statement should be an essay (2-3 pages in length) that demonstrates the applicant’s written communication skills. A resume should be attached as a supplement.
  • Three letters of recommendation that attest to the applicant’s readiness for graduate study and that he or she has the requisite minimum of two years of work experience
  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended
  • TOEFL score, if applicable

The language of instruction at Penn State is English. English proficiency test scores (TOEFL/IELTS) may be required for international applicants. See GCAC-305 Admission Requirements for International Students for more information.

Admissions decisions for the program are based on the quality of the applicant's credentials. The decisions are based on a review of the complete application portfolio. During the admission process, students who appear to be better suited for another graduate level program will be encouraged to apply to the appropriate program. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are not required.

Degree Requirements

Master of Professional Studies (M.P.S.)

Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-700 Professional Degree Policies.

The MPS in OD&C is conferred upon students who earn a minimum of 30 credits of course work at the 400, 500, or 800 level while maintaining a grade-point average of 3.0 or better in all course work, including at least 18 credits at the 500 or 800 level (with at least 6 credits at the 500 level), and who complete a quality culminating field-based capstone project in consultation with a graduate adviser. The program curriculum includes:

  • Required courses (15 credits; five core courses)
  • Electives (12 credits; select courses aligned with student’s career interests)
  • Required culminating capstone project (3-credits)

In the 30-credit program, students obtain a critical knowledge base in organization development, appreciative inquiry, collaborative engagement, and change leadership. The curriculum includes five core courses, four elective courses, and one required field-based capstone in which students identify an organization development related project related to their career interests in business, industry, or government and carry out a practical problem analysis and resolutions effort.

As students progress through the courses, they can gain new skills to apply immediately in their current work environment to help improve their organization's effectiveness. Their course projects will regularly draw from work-related environments to ensure that the concepts they are building on are grounded in the reality of organization development.

Required Courses 1
WFED 572Foundations in Organization Development and Change3
WFED 578Process Consultation in Organization Development3
WFED 582Assessing Data: Organizational Diagnosis3
WFED 884Appreciative Inquiry3
WFED 880Facilitating Groups and Teams3
Select four elective courses 212
Culminating Experience
WFED 595AField Based Project for Workforce Development Professionals (Capstone Project)3
Total Credits30

Substitutions for the prescribed core courses, either with resident-instruction courses, alternate online courses, or courses from other institutions, will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and must be petitioned and approved by the program coordinator, with input from the student’s graduate adviser.


Elective courses can be taken at any time during degree progression. Students will need to obtain prior approval from their academic adviser before taking any 400-, 500-, or 800-level courses outside of the pre-approved electives. Students may also be able to transfer credits into the program, in consultation with their academic adviser and subject to restrictions outlined in GCAC-309 Transfer Credit. An extensive variety of elective courses are available; the most current list is maintained by the program office. An extensive variety of pre-approved elective courses are available; the most current list is maintained by the program office. Electives will include 6-12 credits that comprise a concentration. Students may bundle electives into one or more 6-12 credit concentration areas. However, students may complete this degree program without a concentration.


A graduate minor is available in any approved graduate major or dual-title program. The default requirements for a graduate minor are stated in Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-600 Research Degree Policies and GCAC-700 Professional Degree Policies, depending on the type of degree the student is pursuing:

Student Aid

World Campus students in graduate degree programs may be eligible for financial aid. Refer to the Tuition and Financial Aid section of the World Campus website for more information.

No student aid is offered by the MPS-OD&C program.


Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 699 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

Workforce Education and Development (WFED) Course List

Learning Outcomes

  1. KNOW. Graduates will be able to obtain a critical knowledge base in organization development, appreciate inquiry, and change.
  2. APPLY. Graduates will be able to use various resources for developing, implementing, evaluating, and marketing organization development programs.
  3. COMMUNICATE. Graduates will be able to observe group dynamics, facilitate change efforts, and communicate professional organization development knowledge in written and oral presentation formats in a manner appropriate to the audience.
  4. CRITICAL THINKING. Graduates will be able to become an effective organization development practitioner through critical thinking and hands-on experience.
  5. PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE. Graduates will be able to address ethical issues in practicing organization development activities, including engagement 
in professional service to the profession.
  6. TEAMWORK. Graduates will be able to observe group dynamics and strategically lead and facilitate both small group and large group change initiatives.


Campus World Campus
Graduate Program Head Susan Land
Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) or Professor-in-Charge (PIC) Heather Toomey Zimmerman
Program Contact

Whitney A DeShong
303 Keller Building
University Park PA 16802
(814) 865-0473

Program Website View