Master's Degree in Organization Development and Leadership

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Time to completion:

2 Years

No App Fee* if Application File Completed Within 20 Days

Leaders today need to navigate the challenges of complex organizations by facilitating change, building relationships, and creating and executing strategies that put people first. Professionals who study organization development and leadership recognize that leadership is a journey of personal transformation. Social science has shown us that outstanding leaders and change agents build a set of competencies and skills by experimenting, reflecting on experiences, and gaining insights through feedback.

The online Master of Science in Organization Development and Leadership (MSODL) from Saint Joseph's University is an interdisciplinary program that focuses on the people side of change, and is an alternative to more traditional business degrees. The hands-on, holistic approach emphasizes experiential learning, with interactive assignments that allow you to apply what you are learning to your current position. Through a series of practical activities aimed at helping you increase your self-awareness and develop knowledge of organizational dynamics, you'll find yourself standing out as a leader and change agent at work.

At the start of the program, you'll meet face-to-face with your classmates and professors in a four-day residency where you'll build powerful personal and professional connections. This environment of experiential learning sets the Saint Joseph's University MS in ODL degree program apart, preparing students for the demands of the modern marketplace. By the time you graduate, you'll be better able to communicate your vision, challenge yourself, inspire and develop leadership in others, and lead sustainable change.

The maximum number of people on a team to drive optimum performance is eight to ten.1

A group's development stage doesn't change unless 50 percent or more of the core members leave.1

MS in Organization Development and Leadership Curriculum

Saint Joseph's online MS in ODL curriculum prepares business leaders to manage strategic change to guide a company's growth and financial success. It focuses on the human side of business, with coursework covering organizational behavior, leadership development, culture change, coaching, and personal and professional growth.

You'll graduate knowing the best ways to inspire and motivate staff to meet their own professional goals using research-based models and tools such as:

  • Emotional and social intelligence
  • Leadership styles
  • Team development
  • Cultural competence
  • Power and authority dynamics
  • Effective communication

In the elective course, Seminar in Global Issues Study Tour, you'll have the unique opportunity to tour a variety of education, business, and social justice settings in another country over nine days. The seminar includes preparation work for the trip as well as post-tour projects that deliver deeply meaningful, direct experiences in a global environment. Past study tours have been in such places as Milan, Rome and Florence.

Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Concentration

Students in the ODL program can also focus their studies by pursuing a concentration in diversity, inclusion and belonging. Through a relevant, hands-on curriculum you will learn to create an inclusive workplace culture where people feel valued and know they belong. When you graduate, you'll be an ethical leader with the skills to implement positive change in your organization.

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Collaborative and Flexible Learning Environment

Collaboration within a team is an important leadership competency, and critical to the adult learning process. That's why the master's in organization development and leadership degree from Saint Joseph's University emphasizes working with others through dynamic, online, experiential learning. You will complete assignments and projects that are immediately applicable to your workplace while honing your team-building and leadership skills — all without sacrificing the convenience and flexibility of online education.

Every online ODL student also takes part in a four-day residency in Change Leadership in Philadelphia. There, you'll interact with faculty members and peers to take a deep dive into facilitating change through understanding and experiencing organizational systems from the individual, group, and organizational perspectives. Through this, you will learn about your own styles and strengths, experiment with team dynamics, and practice leveraging organizational hierarchies and perceptions to foster change.

Saint Joseph's University's flexible online learning format enables working professionals with at least eight years of experience to advance their careers without sacrificing their current job or time with family. You'll be able to complete schoolwork and schedule study time around your existing personal and professional obligations. While the curriculum is rigorous, you will be applying what you learn to your everyday work environment. It's a convenient way to increase your professional credentials and acquire valuable skills in leadership and organizational development that help you advance your career.

The Saint Joseph's University Difference

Earning an online master's degree in ODL from Saint Joseph's University is just a single step in the process of becoming an empathetic leader who understands complex organizations and diverse cultures. The degree is designed to help you draw from the expertise of your faculty and develop yourself as a powerful agent of organizational change. Rooted in theory and built on real-world experience, you'll unlock your leadership potential and take your career to new, rewarding heights.

Discover More about the Master's in Organization Development and Leadership

Take a moment to gain more insight into this growing field by visiting St. Joseph's University's content resource center where you will find tools, tips, and thoughts specific to Organization Development and Leadership.

To learn more about the online Master's of Organization Development and Leadership from Saint Joseph's University, request more information or call (215) 473-2695 to speak with a Program Manager right away.



*No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. To be eligible for the application fee waiver, you must complete your application file, including all supporting documentation outlined in the Admissions Checklists or requested by the University, within 20 days of your appointment with a Program Manager. Call 215.473.2695 for more information.

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