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Organization & Leadership
Teachers College, Columbia University
Teachers College
Columbia University

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Program Information > Degree Requirements

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Program Information

Degree Requirements

Master of Arts
The program curriculum is comprised of major courses consisting of four required core courses, five required advanced core courses, other elective ORLJ courses, and 3 Teachers College non-ORLJ courses taken for at least 2 points each in related fields. Certain required courses may be waived depending on the person's undergraduate background, graduate study, and work experience. Additional elective credits must be substituted if required courses are waived.

Courses available at the Graduate School of Business, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, School of International and Public Affairs, Social Work, and in other areas of the Columbia University graduate programs may be taken. Students must consult with an advisor to select courses outside of Teachers College that may satisfy the elective/concentration requirements. An effort is made to assist students in developing a program of study that will best meet their personal career interests and objectives.

In addition, within the program, persons may elect to concentrate in any one of three areas:
  • Human resource management;
  • Organization change and consultation; or
  • Conflict resolution.
However, students are not required to choose a concentration. Thus, if a student desires a broadly based and general degree in organizational psychology, courses may then be selected, with the assistance of an advisor, across all three areas of concentration.

Core Required Courses: Level 1
Regardless of concentration, the following four courses are required for all candidates, unless waived by the program advisor, due to the person's background:
  • ORLJ 4002     Functions of organizations (3)
  • ORLJ 4005     Organizational psychology             (3)
  • ORLJ 4009     Understanding behavioral research (3)
  • ORLJ 5003     Human resource management (3)
Advanced Core Required Courses: Level 2
  • ORL 5362     Group dynamics: A systems perspective (3)
  • ORLJ 5045     Organizational dynamics and theory (3)
  • ORLJ 5106     Psychological aspects of organizations (3)
  • ORLJ 6040     Fundamentals of cooperation, conflict resolution, and mediation in different institutional contexts (3)
Plus one of the following application courses:
  • ORLJ 5012     Internship in organizational psychology (2-3)
  • ORLJ 5340     Basic practicum in conflict resolution (3)
  • ORLJ 6343     Practicum in change and consultation in organizations (4)
Breadth Courses:
3 non-ORLJ courses of at least 2 points each taken at Teachers College. Please consult an advisor.

Suggested Organizational Psychology Elective/Concentration Courses:
The following courses are suggested electives within ORLJ. Students may choose from among these electives and other relevant electives that are not listed here upon consultation with an academic advisor.
  • ORLJ 5005     Leadership and supervision (3)
  • ORLJ 5012     Organizational internship (2-3)
  • ORLJ 5013     Negotiations in organizations (3)
  • ORLJ 5017     Small group interventions (3)
  • ORLJ 5018     Using survey research in organizations (3)
  • ORLJ 5020     Special topics: Executive coaching (1-3)
  • ORLJ 5046     Intercultural communications: Issues, theories, and practices (3)
  • ORLJ 5047     Development of the multicultural self (3)
  • ORLJ 5310     Preparation for coaching (3)
  • ORLJ 6048     Teaching to cultural and cognitive complexities (2-3)
  • ORLJ 6343     Practicum in change and consultation in organizations (4)
  • ORLJ 6350     Advanced practicum in conflict resolution (3) (two terms)
While not a prerequisite for graduation, an internship may be helpful for proper job placement. The purpose of the internship is to provide students with an opportunity to gain practical experience relevant to their interests, and to apply the principles of organizational psychology theories to real-world situations. Students who are interested in doing an internship should consult with an academic advisor.

Comprehensive Examination
The Comprehensive Examination may be taken after a student has completed the core level 1 courses and the requisite number of credit within the grade of a C+ or above hours. Students are encouraged to take the exam in their penultimate semester of the M.A. program.

A student must score 80% or above to pass the comprehensive examination. Should a student fail the examination twice, he/she will not be allowed to matriculate from the M.A. program.

Doctor of Philosophy
Students are required to take as many as 86 points for the Ph.D. (Occasionally, students may transfer credits-'"up to a maximum of 30 points from previous graduate training at other institutions. Transferring the maximum is unusual since courses transferred must be equivalent to courses that are required in the Ph.D. program.)  ORL 5522, Evaluation Methods I will be replacing HUDM 5055, Evaluation of Institutions, Programs and Curricula I; ORL 5523, Evaluation Methods II -'" Seminar, will replace HUDM 5055, Evaluations of Institutions, Programs and Curricula II; and ORL 5524, Instrument Design and Validation will replace HUDM 5053. Please look under ORL listings for updated course descriptions and semester information.

ORL 5522
Evaluation Methods I
Provides an overview of major evaluation models and social research methods useful in developing, monitoring and studying effects of programs, services and institutions in education, health and other fields. This is the second course in a 3-course sequence in assessment and evaluation methods offered through the Organization and Leadership department. The prerequisite is the 4000 level course on testing, assessment and accountability or an instructor-approved substitute. Offered twice annually.

ORL 5523
Evaluation Methods II -'" Seminar
This evaluation research seminar, conducted in actual client contexts, provides laboratory and field experiences in planning, designing, execution and reporting of various components of evaluations. This course is the third and culminating course in a 3-course sequence in assessment and evaluation methods offered through the Organization and Leadership department. The prerequisite is ORL 5522 Evaluation Methods I or an instructor-approved substitute. Offered once biennially, typically in fall.

ORL 5524
Instrument Design and Validation -'" Seminar
Provides hands-on seminar experiences in the design and validation of instruments to measure educational, psychological, health and social contracts. The type of instrument can vary according to student interests (e.g., multi-part surveys, attitude scales, behavior ratings scales, performance assessments or tests of cognitive abilities and achievement). The prerequisites are intermediate level courses in measurement/statistics or instructor-approved substitutes. Offered once biennially, typically in the fall.