Jun 15, 2024  
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog 
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Organizational Development Psychology: Executive Leadership Concentration, MS

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Master of Science degree in Organizational Development Psychology

The Master of Science degree in Organizational Development Psychology program is a 37-credit Graduate Psychology degree offered through the School of Professional Studies designed to provide graduates with practical, empirically tested principles, tools, and methodologies to manage change in a way that encourages and strengthens individual, team, and organizational potential. As a university member of the Organizational Development Network, our program goals parallel their purpose and values as outlined in their published Principles of Practice (Organizational Development Network (n.d). Principles of practice. Retrieved December 4, 2013, from http://www.odnetwork.org.)

Admissions Requirements

The applicant seeking admission to the program can view requirements on the Admissions  page of this catalog.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Science degree in Organizational Development Psychology requires 37 hours of graduate coursework that students must complete within seven years, maintaining a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in order to graduate.

Student Status within the Graduate Program

Student in Good Standing

  • Has successfully met all entrance requirements;
  • Has maintained an overall GPA of 3.0 or better with no grade below “C” (only two courses with “C” grades are allowed; students may retake a class with a grade below a “C” once);

Probationary Status

  • Newly admitted students may be classified as “probationary” if any portion of their entrance requirements is less than satisfactory. The probationary student must maintain a 3.0 GPA for the first 6 hours of graduate coursework (7 hours if taking OD 600 ) in order to remain in the program.
  • A student may change status from “Student in Good Standing” to “Student on probation” if any of the following criteria are met: overall GPA falls below 3.0, or student receives a grade of “C” or lower in any course.
  • Students on probation have 6 credit hours (7 hours if taking OD 600 ) to return their GPA to 3.0 or above to regain “Good Standing.” Failure to raise the GPA may lead to dismissal from the program.

Applied Research or Internship Project

The members of the graduate faculty of the Organizational Development Psychology program at Avila University believe that students graduating with a Master of Science degree should have a sound grasp of psychological theory and the methodologies that provide the foundation for effective organization interventions. Our graduate students are given an option regarding how they would like to articulate a theory-to-action in their capstone experience. Students may choose to write a thesis, which could address either a theoretical or applied research issue, or they may invest in an applied internship project at an organization of their choice. The course instructor must approve all projects prior to enrollment in the course.

Professional Conduct

Students in the program are expected to conduct themselves as professionals-in-training both inside and outside the classroom. We encourage and expect students to treat others (including classmates and instructors) with sensitivity and dignity. Impairment, incompetence, ethical misconduct, and/or problematic behavior may be identified and addressed in a variety of ways and by a variety of persons, including but not limited to students, faculty, supervisors, clients, and/or members of the community. If student behaviors or attitudes are egregious, he or she may be  dismissed immediately. If student behaviors or attitudes are less dire, they will be addressed in a confidential meeting with the student’s faculty advisor and/or Dean of the School of Professional Studies who will make a plan for remediation in an articulated time frame. At the end of the stated period, during which time the students would be placed on probation, he or she could return to Student in Good Standing status, continue on probation, or be dismissed depending upon the ability to successfully complete the corrective action. Students may appeal this process at any time.


In addition to the general degree requirements stated earlier in this university catalog, Master of Science in Organizational Development Psychology students will be expected to meet the following educational outcomes:

  1. Understand how individual, group and organizational processes and structure influence behavior in organizations.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of how to use each phase of the Action Research Model.
  3. Master the principles, theories, and concepts in organization design and development.
  4. Apply knowledge from the foundation courses and skills developed in the intensives in real time interaction with clients guided by faculty.
  5. Develop skills in managing complexity and influencing high performance in larger organizations.
  6. Gain insights into the impact of globalization and culture on today’s organizations.
  7. Demonstrate effective professional, ethical and interactional communication skills.


The outcomes for the Master of Science degree in Organizational Development Psychology will be assessed through a combination of written and performance examinations and assignments, in addition to self, peer, instructor, supervisor (where applicable), and faculty evaluations. These outcomes will be outlined in detail in individual course syllabi.

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