Organizational Development Degree Program Overviews

Oct 20, 2021

Essential Information

Many master's degree programs in organization development are created specifically to suit the academic needs of working business professionals who are interested in advancing their careers or in reorganizing their current business structures. These 2-year programs focus on organizational theory, business development strategies, human resource management and more. Many degree programs in organization development are designed for individuals who have some experience in the business field, and proof of past work experience is often required. Other degree programs in organization development simply require the completion of a baccalaureate program in a related field and passing scores on a Graduate Record Examination.

Master's Degree in Organization Development

One of the important topics covered in a master's degree program in organization development is change theory as well as an understanding of organizational theory and development theory. Graduate students are expected to apply these different elements and theories to specific business models to maximize operating potential and many go on to earn voluntary professional certifications in their field of expertise. Some specific graduate level courses include the following:

  • Foundations of organizational development
  • Small systems diagnosis and change
  • Large-scale systems change
  • Organizational design and metrics
  • Dynamics of an organization
  • Communication and facilitation

Popular Career Options

Graduates of a master's degree program in organization development can go on to leadership or consulting roles in large corporations, government agencies, non-profit organizations or small businesses. Some of these available roles include:

  • Manager
  • Director
  • Project manager
  • Supervisor
  • Organizational consultant
  • Administrator

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

The salary for a manager or director varies wildly depending on the organization or industry in which they're employed. As for jobs in consulting, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), management consultants or analysts were expected to see job growth of 11% between 2019 and 2029 ( The BLS also stated that management analysts earned a median salary of $87,660 as of May 2020.

Certification Information

Although there are no certifying bodies in the specific field of organization management, graduates of a master's degree program in the subject can go on to earn other types of certification. Some organizations that offer management-related certification applicable to the field include the Project Management Institute, the Society for Human Resource Management and the Association of Professionals in Business Management.

Organizational development degree programs will help students sharpen their organizational skills so they can better manage people and operations within a company or organization.

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