Required Courses

MS in Organization Development

The MS in Organization Development degree program offers classes that provide unique opportunities to deepen self-awareness, while honing skills in leading effective change at the individual, team, and system levels.

Example MSOD Required Classes

Self As Instrument OD 655

Examines a cornerstone of Organizational Development and an essential element of becoming an effective OD consultant which is a high degree of self-knowledge and a commitment to developing the self throughout one’s life. Understanding and refining one's self-knowledge is equally as important as updating one's technical OD knowledge and expertise. The courses uses self-assessments, readings, reflections and class discussion, as it allows students to build emotional and intuitive self-awareness, clarify personal values, identify blind spots, and develop a better understanding of self-as-instrument.

Understanding Behavior in Organizations OD 660

Examines key constructs, theories and practices associated with leadership, management, organizational behavior and organizational theory. The course explores the relationships among individuals, groups, organizations, and society within the context of a globalized and ever-changing world. A dynamic, holistic, systems approach frames the examination of individual behavior, interpersonal relationships, and organizational processes, structures, and cultures with emphasis on the interdependencies that impact organizational functioning. Students reflect on their competence as leaders in the Jesuit tradition of service to others and respect for diverse ideas and backgrounds.

Leading Organization Change and Development OD 661

Investigates the nature of change, forces for change, and the impact of change on its recipients. Introduces students to the practice of organization development with respect to change efforts in organizations as they examine their own roles and skill sets as change agents.

Research and Analysis for Organizations OD 668

Covers qualitative and quantitative research methods that can be used in the diagnosis of organizational issues, to test hypotheses, or to evaluate organizational interventions. The intention of this course is to enable students to become critical consumers of research with the capabilities to carry out research projects in the context of their work in organizations. The teaching methodology of the course will be varied. In addition to lectures, in-class activities, presentations, and discussions, this course will use an experiential learning approach (service-learning) to enhance student learning.

Consulting Practices OD 671

Reviews the consulting process, especially with respect to organization development. Focuses on the values and ethics underlying the consulting practice, and the essential skills for a consultant, including entering, contracting, developing client capability, and managing unplanned events in the change process.

Large-Scale Systems Transformation OD 673

Stresses the design and implementation of various organizational interventions by applying the diagnosis-intervention-evaluation process. Students learn to choose between, and then design, appropriate interventions to transform an organization from a current state to a desired future state.

Team Interventions OD 674

Introduces major theories of team process and dynamics, as well as practical techniques for facilitating productivity as a team member and leader. This class integrates previous coursework on motivation, attitudes, power and politics, conflict, and decision-making. During this course students engage with an external client team to take them through the team contracting process and conduct a structured observation. Course theories and frameworks are then used to analyze the client team's effectiveness and to provide feedback and recommendations. Students are also required to conduct a collaborative assessment of their internal team effectiveness.

Statistics Fundamentals OD 683

Familiarizes students with core statistical methods - including descriptive and inferential statistics, correlation, regression, and ANOVA - used in behavioral research and data analysis.

Finance and Accounting Fundamentals OD 684

Introduces fundamental accounting and financial terms and concepts leaders and managers rely on as they consider the viability of change initiatives. Focuses on budgeting and financial tools needed to develop a business case for human capital expenditures and make decisions to ensure the organization’s long-term viability.

Organization Development Culminating Project OD 690

Requires a diagnostic and data-based approach to conducting an applied research project within an existing organization. Working in teams, students will serve as consultants and provide a preliminary diagnosis or evaluation regarding an aspect of organizational change that the organization: 1) may be considering; 2) is in the process of executing; or 3) has recently completed. The type of organizational change may be evolutionary, incremental or large-scale.

Example MSOD Elective Classes

Human Resource Management OD 651

Blends strategic human resources concepts and theory with significant practice to examine how human resources systems are designed, implemented and continually evolving to achieve the strategic outcomes required.

Evidence-Based Management OD 654

Exposes students to the concept of evidence-based practice within managerial disciplines (HR, OD, OB etc.). The course aims to equip students with the necessary skills to make judicious use of research evidence, to recognize the variance present in the quality of organizational research and finally, to encourage them to turn their organization and their own behaviors into those motivated by datasets, not mindsets. This class is an antidote to managerial faddism and organizational trends for those interested in the practice of management.

Dialogic Approaches to Organization Development OD 656

Explores the foundations of Dialogic OD, key ways in which it is being practiced in the field today, new advances in Dialogic OD, and the potential for combining Diagnostic OD and Dialogic OD in organizational interventions.

Developing Power and Influence OD 657

Examines the nature of power, its development and its use. Selected readings, exercises, and case discussions help students improve their comprehension of power dynamics within groups and organizations. Students learn to harness that understanding in order to mobilize resources and accomplish goals.

Negotiation and Bargain Strategy OD 664

Introduces students to the theory and processes of negotiation as practiced in a variety of organizational settings. It is designed to expose you to negotiation theory and research and give you practice in applying negotiation strategy and tactics to specific and change situations. This course is skills-based, experiential and participatory in nature.

Project Management OD 665

Prepares students to work effectively in complex project environments. Focuses on the foundations of professional project management and change management that are necessary to assume with confidence a challenging role in contemporary and future projects.

Academic Global Immersion OD 691

Students visit selected international corporations, organizations and cultures over a ten-day to two-week period.

MSOD Special Topic OD 699

Special topics course for MSOD students. Potential courses include Diversity, Inclusion and Bias; Work and Well-Being; Decision Making for OD; Cultural Intelligence; Big Data for OD.

Contact Info

Admission: Graduate

Monday–Friday 9 a.m–5 p.m.

University of San Francisco
Downtown Campus
101 Howard Street, Suite 500
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 422-2221