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Best 7 Organizational Development Degree Programs in 2021

September 22, 2021 | Staff Writers

Organizational Development Degree
Degree Finder
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Every organization needs to utilize employees as best they can and provide positive reinforcement that leads to happy, hardworking employees. When there is a dedicated work staff, the organization or business usually experiences enhanced workflows, making it a win/win for the employee and employer. This is one of the roles of those pursuing a degree in Organizational Development.

Those with a Master’s in Organizational Development will learn the tools needed to engage employees, help develop their talents, finds ways to motivate them, encourage change, elevate attitudes, and increase employee performance. These are all critical behaviors for those that want their organization to run as best it can.

Top 5 Organizational Development Degree Programs

Rank School Location
1University of DenverDenver, Colorado
2Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, Ohio
3The University of LouisvilleLouisville, Kentucky
4The University of San FranciscoSan Francisco, California
5Queens University of CharlotteCharlotte, North Carolina

Part of the job of the Organizational Development leader is to explore relationships in the business culture by:

  • Scientific approaches to observing individual behavior and interpersonal relationships within the workplace
  • Applying strategic visioning models that help capitalize on those with leadership qualities
  • Consultations skills that help encourage a productive corporate culture
  • Help employers by determining ways to increase employee productivity

Motivation and Negotiation

Two of the most important skills students learn with a master’s degree in Organizational Development is how to translate the skills they learned in school into a work setting. Probably the two most important and most used skills will motivation and negotiation.

Motivation:

Leaders need to understand what motivates employees, observe attitudes, and conduct audits. This will help determine whether the employee is working in an environment that promotes productivity and creativity. Making changes to enhance the workplace can show employees they are valued, vital assets to the success of the organization. This shows a corporations’ commitment to enriching the lives of its dedicated employees and in turn, helps the organization realize its goals.

Negotiating skills:

Developing keen negotiating skills is one of the key benefits of those with a degree in organizational development. They have developed strong people skills and have the experience to achieve better outcomes respectfully and productively. The behavior science tools students learn throughout their education helps them to develop employee leadership and motivational skills. These are tools important in today’s workplace.

Tools to Help Students find the Right Organizational Development Degree:

Many schools offer master’s degrees in Organizational Development (which is often referred to as Leadership and Change, Organizational Leadership, and other names, but refer to the same program), but the trick is finding the school that offers the curriculum students are looking for, at a price they can afford and within the time limit they are looking to complete the program.

Here are some of the top schools that we have researched that we feel offer great educational programs and meet our stringent criteria.

Best 7 Organizational Development Degree Programs

1

University of Denver

  • Denver, Colorado
  • Graduation Rate: 79%

The University of Denver’s University College, the college of continuing and professional studies, offers an Organizational Development master’s degree concentration. Students will learn to connect culture, structure, and strategy, and manage change by leveraging organizational development best practices. They’ll gain insight into the history and challenges of organizational development, then learn to construct a diagnosis plan, synthesize data, and communicate their findings while adhering to a personal philosophy about organizational development.

After graduation, students can look forward to careers as:

  • Organizational Development Specialist
  • Professional Development Manager
  • Business Manager
  • Coach or Trainer
  • Consultant
  • Strategic Design Manager
  • Organizational Development Analyst

The University of Denver is a private research university based in Denver, Colorado, and was founded in 1864. It is the oldest independent university in the Rocky Mountain region. The school offers 120 graduate programs, with 10 schools and colleges. Areas of study include business, entrepreneurship, politics, and natural sciences.

School Overview

Tuition: $35,040
Student Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Visit School Website
2

Case Western Reserve University

  • Cleveland, Ohio
  • Graduation Rate: 82%

Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University offers a Master of Science in Positive Organization Development & Change (MPOD). The degree is a leading program for learning how to manage organizational transformation, leadership development, and team effectiveness. This program has been growing strong since it was first implemented over 45 years ago. Students can focus on individual field projects, conduct teacher instructed world challenges, or participate in practices with actual clients.

Teachers administering classes are industry leaders who are pioneers in the fields of:

  • Appreciative Inquiry
  • Emotionally Intelligent Leadership
  • Coaching with Compassion
  • Positive Impact Change Interventions
  • Team Effectiveness and more

The Weatherhead School of Management is a private business school of Case Western Reserve University located in Cleveland, Ohio. It was founded in 1967 and offers various programs dedicated to the studies of stainability, design innovation, healthcare, organizational behavior, and education.

School Overview

Tuition: $1,939 per credit hour
Student to Faculty Ratio: 11:1
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3

The University of Louisville

  • Louisville, Kentucky
  • Graduation Rate: 57%

The University of Louisville’s College of Education and Human Development offers an impressive Master of Science degree in Human Resources and Organizational Development course of study. It is aligned with the highly regarded Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Studies show that there is an ongoing demand for those with graduate degrees. There are many jobs open currently and not enough quality candidates to fill them. The schools’ master’s program emphasizes studies on performance, development, and education through research and discovery. They offer a fully online program. Their faculty are world renowned for their research and expertise in practice, drawing from government, non-profit leadership, private practice, Fortune 500 companies, and education. The diversity of their faculty and students is what makes the program stand out.

The program will prepare students for jobs in fields like:

  • Work in corporations, government agencies, healthcare organizations, military, non-profit organizations, educational positions, and a variety of community-based groups

The University of Louisville is a public research university ad part of the Kentucky State University system. It was founded in 1798 and was the first university west of the Allegheny mountains. The university is known for its research capabilities. The University of Louisville School of Medicine is where the first artificial heart transplant surgery took place.

School Overview

Tuition: $5,866
Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
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4

The University of San Francisco

  • San Francisco, California
  • Graduation Rate: 66%

The University of San Francisco’s School of Business has been developing business leaders for over 40 years. The classes offered in the Organization Development program focuses on understanding the behavior of employees, as individuals and in teams. Earning a Master’s in Organization Development gives professionals the skills they need to impart change through collaboration.

Students learn a variety of skills like research, values of self-awareness, reflection, and compassion.

Students graduate with a variety of skills including:

  • The ability to solve real-world workplace challenges
  • Ability to encourage employees to excel and hone skills
  • Develop programs that enrich and motivate employees

The University of San Francisco was founded in 1855 by Jesuit priests as St. Ignatius Academy. In 1863 the school awarded its first bachelor’s degree. For most of its history, the school was male-only; it was not until 1964 when the school began allowing women. By 2017 the school had 11,080 undergraduate and graduate students in its four schools, laws, management, education, and medical professions.

School Overview

Tuition: The estimated total for the MS program tuition is $48,800
Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
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5

Queens University of Charlotte

  • Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Graduation Rate: 53%

Queens University of Charlotte’s McColl School of Business offers a highly regarded Master of Science degree in Organizational Development. Graduates of the program differentiate themselves by creating a positive workforce willing to adapt to changes for the betterment of the organization. One of the key benefits of taking classes at the McColl school is its small class sizes, some as small as 18 students per class. Graduates will gain the skills needed to impart theoretical concepts and principles that will benefit organizations that need to change their organization’s procedures to excel in the future.

Some of the curriculum students partake in include:

  • Organizational Systematic Changes
  • Introduction to Coaching Theories and Applications
  • Business Acumen Advanced Coaching
  • Skills in consulting, human resources, executive coaching, leadership development, and management

Queens University in Charlotte is a private university that opened in 1857. It has around 2,300 undergraduate and graduate students. They have several specialty colleges including the McColl School of Business, Wayland Cato Jr. School of Education, James Knight School of Communications, and College of Arts. The university offers 34 different undergraduate majors and ten graduate programs.

School Overview

Tuition: $15,737 for the academic year 2020-2021
Student to Faculty Ratio: 10:1
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6

St. Edward’s University

  • Austin, Texas
  • Graduation Rate: 64%

St. Edward’s University is highly regarded for its Office of Graduate and Professional Studies, Master of Science in Leadership Change (MSLC). The program prepares students for leadership positions in a fast-paced business world. Students will learn confidence and the ability to enact positive, organizational changes in the organizational structure. This program is very comprehensive and gives students the tools they need for students to excel. The program will teach students to:

This degree is offered in an accelerated, low-residency format to accommodate working professionals. The program can be completed in five semesters, taking two courses each semester.

Throughout the program, students will learn to:

  • Develop the ability to conduct organizational assessments and develop action plans
  • Evaluate quantitative and qualitative data and support actions that create positive change
  • Establish ethical guidelines that help organizations upgrade their business behaviors and practices

St. Edward’s University is a private, Catholic university based in Austin, Texas. The university dates back to 1877. In 1971 it graduated with the first bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration. As time went on the school added more educational offers including Theater Arts, Freshman Studies, and others. In 1990 the enrollment reached 3,000 for the first time.

School Overview

Tuition: $30,447 for academic year 2020-2021
Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
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7

University of Georgia

  • Athens, Georgia
  • Graduation Rate: 86%

The University of Georgia’s Mary Frances Early College of Education consistently turns out leaders and scholars that offer a deep understanding of how to change the work environment for those that want to excel. The program is called Learning, Leadership, and Organizational Development. It was built on three principles: to teach, research, and serve. The program helps early- and mid-career professions hone their leadership skills, learn to change their thinking, and learn the ability to work in face-to-face, group, and team settings. The goal is to develop business leaders that will enhance and practice their skills to move their organizations forward.

Students will graduate with increased knowledge of:

  • Organization development and adapting to changes in leadership
  • Team and group development and honing problem-solving skills
  • Talent management and development
  • Individual career development and coaching

The University of Georgia was founded in 1785 and is one of the oldest universities in the U.S. It is a public university and is home to nearly 800 student organizations like fraternities, social, and volunteer programs. It also receives accolades for its intercollegiate sports teams.

School Overview

Tuition: 2020-2021 estimated tuition & fees $11,357
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
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Organizational Development Degree Program Ranking Methodology

It can be difficult to analyze universities to see which one is best for those pursuing a graduate degree in Organizational Development. There are so many different statistics to look for and comparisons to make. We hope to make the task a bit easier for master’s degree students by doing some of the work for you. 

When looking at the schools that offer Organizational Development degrees, we looked at a lot of different schools and made our comparisons. We reviewed the schools’ offerings, studied the history of the program, the graduation rates, the student to faculty ratio, and the cost of the program.

We hope the list we have created is helpful and will help graduate students cut through much of the red tape to get to the valuable information.

If there is a school omitted from this list or if any information is incorrect, please contact us so omissions or corrections can be made.

Find the program that’s right for you

Whether you’re trying to start your career or make a big change, we can help you find the perfect school to help you reach your goals.

Degree Finder
BestValueSchools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
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