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Social-Organizational Psychology

Department of Organization & Leadership

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Program Description

The Program in Social-Organizational Psychology is concerned with the various contexts (interpersonal, group, inter-group, and inter-organizational) in which human behavior occurs; the ways in which groups of individuals interact and influence these contexts; and how these interactions can be understood, studied, and modified through theory, research, and various types of interventions.

Three programs are offered: a master’s program in organizational psychology, an executive master’s program in organizational psychology with a specialization in change leadership, and a doctoral program. A terminal Master of Arts degree in Psychology: Organizational is awarded upon successful completion of 45 points and passing the comprehensive examination, or in the case of the executive MA program, a capstone project. The Ph.D. degree is awarded upon completion of at least 75 points of planned and sequential study, qualifying papers, and a dissertation.

The programs provide advanced training in the concepts, research methods, and applications of social-organizational psychology. They are designed to prepare students to engage in research, consultation, and teaching in educational, business, governmental, and community organizations. Emphasis is placed on the acquisition of basic concepts and methods applicable to diverse institutional and organizational contexts.

With the help of a faculty advisor, students select courses in a generalist track, or, in their area of specialization, with consideration given to their academic backgrounds, work experiences, and career objectives. These tracks are supplemented by courses offered through other programs and departments at Teachers College and Columbia University.

In addition, an Advanced Certificate in Cooperation and Conflict Resolution approved by the New York State Education Department is also offered to students in the M.A./ Ph.D. programs. Students interested in receiving the certificate must complete a sequence of five courses and one semester of internship. Students who opt for the Advanced Certificate must complete an application for admission with the Office of Admission. Students in the M.A./Ph.D. program who wish to take their electives within the area of conflict resolution but who do not wish to receive the Advanced Certificate may register for courses without completing an application.

Master of Arts in Organizational Psychology (ORGM)

The 45-point M.A. program educates students to be experts in organization effectiveness, culture and change, team development and team building, conflict resolution, assessment and coaching, leadership, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and more, through emphasizing the rigorous scientific study of the practical problems facing people in organizations today, in service of a more just society.

Students who join the M.A. program craft their course of study according to their backgrounds, interests, and goals along with their advisor. Academic, career and personal advising is plentiful and accessibility to meetings with the Program Director and the Program Advisor is a key source of support for M.A. students. Further, all social-organizational psychology program faculty are available for advising and meet with students regularly to discuss research, practice, and myriad other issues related to the program and the field, providing an additional resource to students for academic and career development.

Upon completing the M.A. program, students are prepared to engage in a broad range of professional employment opportunities. Our graduates are often employed in positions typically found within the organization development function of middle or large-size organizations including human resources, people development, human capital, talent management, and the like. These include positions in organization development and consultation, human resource development and strategy, organizational effectiveness, human capital research, employee relations, mediation and conflict resolution, global learning, DEI strategy, and career development and counseling among others.

Graduates of the master’s program may apply for admission to the doctoral program in Social-Organizational Psychology. However, successful performance in the M.A. program does not in and of itself guarantee admission. Students who apply become part of the applicant pool for that year, and their qualifications are evaluated with equal standing along with the other applicants.

Executive Masters Program in Organizational Psychology with a specialization in Change Leadership (ORGX)

Developed specifically for experienced professionals, the Executive Masters Program in Change Leadership is designed to help individuals and organizations increase their capacity for initiating, leading, and sustaining workplace change efforts in increasingly complex and global environments. Focusing on the application of both psychological and business principles to relevant real-world organizational challenges, the program emphasizes individual, team, and organizational learning and transformation through rigorous training in and experience with applied research, reflective practice, and the use of theoretical frameworks and models. Executives enter the program each summer in small cohorts of 16-24 students and are trained by faculty experts in organization change and consultation using a range of innovative adult learning pedagogies and various cultural events in and around the New York City metropolitan area. The program is delivered in four one-week modules extending over one year and includes pre-work, post-work, and guided independent study/action research as part of the formal program requirements. Executives will learn about change-related topics at the societal, organizational, group, and individual levels and will be asked to integrate their own learning and professional development through various opportunities for practice and reflection. The program culminates in a 45-credit Master of Arts Degree in Organizational Psychology, with a specialization in Change Leadership.

For a more comprehensive description of the Executive Masters Program in Change Leadership, please visit

Doctor of Philosophy in Organizational Psychology (ORGD)

The doctoral program in Social-Organizational Psychology follows a scientist- practitioner model. It is designed for full-time graduate students who desire fundamental education and skill development in the science and application of psychology to social and organizational situations and activities. Our goal is to provide an environment that is conducive to the development of scientist-practitioners who are prepared to assume the diverse responsibilities of positions at research universities, leading businesses, and professional service firms. Through coursework, field projects with organizations, and close working relationships with faculty members and fellow graduate students, doctoral students are provided with advanced training in the theoretical concepts, research methods, and applications of social-organizational psychology. Students gain critical knowledge and skills that encompass both research and practice.

Some unique aspects of the program include:

  • The integration of both social and organizational psychology;

  • A theoretical, research, and applied focus on understanding multiple levels of organizational functioning from individuals to groups to organizations as a whole and the dynamic interaction among these levels;

  • A breadth of coverage including human resource management, organizational behavior, organizational change, organizational networks, leadership, conflict and negotiation, coaching, diversity, organizational demography, motivation, power and authority, group processes, and organizational dynamics;

  • An emphasis on both quantitative and qualitative research methods to address organizational issues;

  • Opportunities to engage in basic research, applied research, and organizational consulting and application activities; and

  • Faculty members who are trained in a broad array of disciplines including social psychology, counseling psychology, industrial-organizational psychology, organizational behavior, and business management, and all of whom apply their respective disciplines to social-organizational psychology issues.


Doctoral students enrolled in ORGD may complete 32 credits towards an en passant MA in Social Psychology. There are no direct admits to this degree, and transfer credits are not permitted. Courses used to fulfill the MA in Organizational Psychology (ORGM) cannot be used towards the MA in Social Psychology.


  • Master of Arts

    • Points/Credits: 45

      Entry Terms: Summer Only

      Degree Requirements


      Executives enrolled in the program will be exposed to a change leadership curriculum that is grounded in traditional psychological and business principles while focused on leading change in contemporary organizational environments. Learning objectives reflect professionally documented competencies essential for successful change leaders and are sequenced to emphasize the multi-level, complex nature of change in today’s organizations. Executives will learn about change- related topics at the societal, organizational, group, and individual levels and will be asked to integrate their own learning and professional development through action research projects, cultural events, and participation in discussion-based reflective practice courses.

      Executives will enroll in twelve core courses that reflect the fundamental knowledge, skills, and abilities required for leading organization change. These courses are sequenced across four Learning Modules, each of which focuses on a different aspect or level of change in organizations (e.g., system, group, individual). In addition to the core, two integrative courses have also been developed to assist with the translation and application of course concepts to the actual work environment, namely through action research and individual and group reflection. These integrative courses will span the length of the entire program and will have virtual components that occur in the liminal spaces between modules. All integrative courses are part of the formal curriculum and will be taken for credit.

      Capstone Project

      The third integrative course will require executives to apply their learning to a change leadership initiative within their sponsoring organizations.

    • Points/Credits: 45

      Entry Terms: Spring/Summer/Fall

      Degree Requirements


      The degree program provides courses at Teachers College, and students may take relevant courses at Columbia University, particularly the Graduate School of Business, the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), the School of Social Work, and the Mailman School of Public Health among others. There is one major for the M.A. degree entitled Psychology: Organizational.

      The curriculum is comprised of major courses consisting of four required core level I courses, four required advanced core level II courses, other general elective courses (usually ORLJ but can be outside ORLJ or at other Columbia schools) and 6 credits of breadth courses, which are Teachers College, non-ORLJ courses, in a related field.  The M.A. degree requires the satisfactory completion of a minimum of 45 points.   

      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 graduate programs at Columbia University may be taken as a general elective course (courses not taken at Teachers College may not count as breadth courses). Students must consult with an advisor to select courses outside of Teachers College that may satisfy the elective requirements. An effort is made to assist students in developing a program of study that will best meet their personal career interests and objectives.

      Core Required Courses: Level I

      The following four courses are required for all candidates.

      • 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 II

      The three courses immediately below are required for all candidates. In addition, candidates must choose one of the application courses (listed further down), for a total of four courses required to satisfy the advanced core level II:

      • ORL 5362 Group dynamics: A systems perspective (3)

      • ORLJ 5045 Organizational dynamics and theory (3) (prerequisite ORLJ 4005)

      • ORLJ 5340 Adaptive Negotiation and Conflict Resolution (3)

      Plus one of the following application courses:

      • ORLJ 5012 Organizational internship (2-3) (prerequisite ORLJ 4005)

      • ORLJ 5017 Small group intervention: Improving team performance (3) (prerequisite ORL 5362)

      • ORLJ 5341 Effective Mediation (3)

      • ORLJ 6343 Practicum in change and consultation in organizations (5) (prerequisites ORL 5362, ORLJ 4005)

      Breadth Courses: 6 credits Teachers College, non-ORLJ courses are required. 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 (including courses at the Graduate School of Business, SIPA, etc.) upon consultation with an academic advisor.

      • ORLJ 4010 Executive coaching (3)

      • ORLJ 4331 Constructive multicultural organizational development (1)

      • ORLJ 5002 Advanced functions of organizations (3)

      • ORLJ 5005 Leadership and supervision (3)

      • ORLJ 5012 Organizational internship (1-3)

      • ORLJ 5018 Using survey research in organizational consulting (3)

      • ORLJ 5019 Data-based interventions in organizations (3)

      • ORLJ 5025 People analytics (3)

      • ORLJ 5090 Strategic talent management (3)

      • ORLJ 5115 Social networks and performance (3)

      • ORLJ 5250 Equity, diversity, and inclusion in teams (3)

      • ORLJ 6040 Fundamentals of cooperation, conflict resolution, and mediation in different institutional contexts (3)

      • ORLJ 6343 Practicum in change and consultation in organizations (5)

      • ORLJ 6350 Advanced practicum in conflict resolution (3)

      • ORLJ 6540 Contemporary issues in organizational psychology


      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, ORLJ 5500, may be taken after a student has completed the core level I courses receiving the grade of a C+ or above. In addition, 32 of 45 credits toward the M.A. degree must be complete or in progress the semester the exam is taken. Students are encouraged to take the exam in their penultimate semester of the M.A. degree program.

      A student must score 80% or above to pass the comprehensive examination. Should a student fail the examination twice, he/she may not be allowed to continue in the M.A. degree program.

    • Points/Credits: 45

      Entry Terms: Summer Only

      Degree Requirements

      The following are short summary descriptions of the courses that will be included in the program of study leading to an MA in Organizational Psychology for the cohort of military officers in the Eisenhower Leader Development Program (ELDP). The first four courses will be taught at the United States Military Academy (USMA) and all others will be taken at Teachers College, Columbia University and will be taught by the faculty of Teachers College.

      1. Quantitative Research Methods (LD 710) – This course is designed to give students an understanding of quantitative research studies of human behaviors and how to use data to investigate and answer research questions. Students will identify strengths and limitations of common study designs and will apply statistical models to data and interpret output from statistical software, as well as cover and understand the ethical considerations when conducting research on humans. (3 credits)

      2. West Point, the Army, and the American Military Experience (LD 720) - The course examines the history of West Point and the U.S. Army in the context of the American military experience. LD720 focuses on the history of West Point as an institution in the 20th Century primarily through text; however, the course meets in a different venue on campus for each lesson. West Point’s architecture, art, chapels, cemetery, museum, memorials, and geography serve as vehicles to understand the institution outside of the classroom. For students seeking a graduate degree in organizational psychology, this course provides the historical context for one organization. (3 credits)

      3. Cross-Culture and Strategic Leadership (LD 730) - The course explores the effects of culture on leadership at the organization through global region level. Cultural differences across nations are explored using nine comparable cultural dimensions while simultaneously examining how these same cultures differ internally based on race, gender, religion, and other factors. Through an understanding of cross-cultural differences, leaders enhance their abilities to understand, predict and influence behaviors across different cultural contexts. Students complete three cross-cultural experiences and analyze these cultures using the GLOBE study cultural dimensions and culturally based implicit leadership theories. Course Objective: LD730 graduates will effectively assess culture, understand its influence on individuals, organizations, and societies and are effective leaders across diverse cultural contexts. (3 credits)

      4. Leader Development (LD 740) - The course focuses on the broad domain of leader development.  In short, it concentrates on how leaders in organizations can develop others to realize their potential. Growing other people's talents helps leaders to accomplish the mission and improve their organizations. LD740 builds upon ORLJ 5005 (which examines leadership and leadership theory from a variety of perspectives). The course seeks to integrate much of the theoretical work associated with constructs related to organizations, leadership, and adult development in order to provide a more complete understanding of how leaders are nurtured (and influenced).(3 credits)

      5. Group Dynamics: A Systems Perspective (ORL 5362) – This course provides students with an opportunity to develop an in-depth understanding of group dynamics from a systemic perspective and to learn about their own behavior in groups. This course aims to enable students to perceive, understand, and interpret dynamics in groups and systems using a group relations framework. The course covers: theories of group development; group boundaries, tasks, and roles; power and authority in groups and systems; dynamics of small and large groups; dynamics between and among groups in a larger system or organization; and the interplay of socio-political identities and group dynamics. (3 credits)

      6.  Organizational Psychology (ORLJ 4005) – This course is an introduction to theories and research that underlie the field of organizational psychology and is intended to help students understand the behavior of people in today’s complex organizations. Implications for and applications of topics such as motivation, leadership, group dynamics, organizational culture, decision-making, job design and workforce diversity in various organizational contexts are considered. (3 credits)

      7.  Understanding Behavioral Research (ORLJ 4009) – This course is designed to help individuals become informed consumers of data and information. An overview of the various methods of behavioral research and the relative strengths and limitations of each is addressed. The ability to read and evaluate social science research is developed and the skill of conducting research is initiated. (3 credits)

      8.  Executive Coaching (ORLJ 4010) – Executive Coaching combines two previously taught courses into one, intentionally to integrate theory and practice. As such, this course is intended to provide students with an overview of theory, research, and practice related to executive coaching within organizational settings as executive coaching is viewed as a subset of organizational consultation. Assuming some basic knowledge of organizational behavior and theory and limited experience with coaching, the course is designed to give students an opportunity to gain foundational knowledge of the coaching process, including how to create a coaching relationship, engage in coaching conversations, and build commitment for action planning. Throughout the semester the focus will be on increasing self-awareness and other awareness, and linking one’s experience to theory and research in service of developing effective individual coaching skills. As a result of coaching and being coached, reading and lectures, and through ongoing reflective exercises, each student will develop thier own coaching model as well as a process of ongoing monitoring and revision of the model. (3 credits)

      9.  Leadership & Supervision (ORLJ 5005) – This course focuses on major psychological and other interdisciplinary approaches to the study of leadership and provides a critical analysis of relevant theories and research and an understanding of practical applications within organizations. (3 credits)

      10.   Organizational Dynamics (ORLJ 5045) – This course studies organizations as total systems with consideration of different types of organizations. Emphasis on the impact of such dimensions as mission, strategy, structure, culture, systems, and leadership on individual and organizational performance and vice versa, is considered. Organizational change is also addressed. (3 credits)

      11.  Preparation for Coaching (ORLJ 5310) – In this practicum course, students are supervised in the application of their coaching model, developed in ORLJ 4010, to a cadet at the United States Military Academy, in preparation of assignment as a Tactical Officer and as leaders assigned to coach and develop individuals under their command. (1 credit)

      12.  Any of the following conflict resolution courses (courses outside of those not listed below must be approved by the TC-­ELDP Program Director in advance):

      Adaptive Negotiation & Conflict Resolution (ORLJ 5340) An experiential course designed to promote negotiation understanding and adaptivity across negotiation situations. Students will have the opportunity to develop more self-awareness and basic collaborative negotiation skills with supervised practice. (3 credits)

      Effective Mediation: Standard and Adaptive Practices (ORLJ 5341) Mediators help disputants handle their conflict constructively and to find acceptable solutions. Students will learn the conditions when mediation is most effective, appropriate and feasible; identify basic differences in the task versus relationship nature of the cases presented; and employ strategies that are fitting and conducive to mediation. (3 credits)

      Fundamentals of Cooperation, Conflict Resolution, and Mediation in DifferentInstitutional Contexts (ORLJ 6040) Focusing on theory and research, this course covers such topics as cooperation and competition, trust and suspicion, bargaining and negotiation as they relate to conflict resolution in various contexts. (3 credits) 

      13.  Practicum in Change and Consultation (ORLJ 6343) [capstone course] – This course is intended to provide students with an introduction to the practice of consultation and planned organizational change through the application of behavioral science concepts and tools. Assuming some basic knowledge of organizational behavior and theory, the course will address issues of how to gather information about organizations in order to diagnose and facilitate change, to increase effectiveness, and to foster the capacity for learning and development over time. The focus will be on understanding organizations through the development and use of diagnostic models and self-as-instrument in conjunction with specific change technologies during all phases of consulting to organizations.

      The course is heavily weighted toward practice and provides students with opportunities to: give class presentations; give and receive feedback to and from peers – individually and collectively; learn what factors enhance and impede team development and effectiveness; consult to a team as well as be a client team; and form a consulting firm in which the task is to provide consultation to a “real” client organization.

      The course is divided into two components: class session (Mondays) and weekly team meetings (Wednesdays).  Learning opportunities are intentionally designed to be sequential with team assignments building on learning from class and vice versa.

      Class sessions vary weekly according to the topic and task and include a variety of learning experiences such as brief lectures, discussion of cases, structured team-work, and simulated as well as actual consultation with an organization. (5 credits)

      14.  How Adults Learn (ORLD 4051) – This course provides a sophisticated introduction to basic and significant theories of adult learning. Areas covered include: transitions and evolutions; learning and achieving styles; exploration of how people think, reason, and make meaning of the complexities around them; and transformation theory. Each of these areas focuses on its application to an understanding of how adults learn. (3 credits)

  • Doctor of Philosophy

    • Points/Credits: 75

      Entry Terms: Fall Only

      Degree Requirements


      Students are required to take a minimum of 75 credits for the Ph.D. degree. Occasionally, students may transfer credits - up to a maximum of 15 points from previous graduate training at other institutions. Transferring the maximum is unusual, because courses transferred must be equivalent to courses that are required in our Ph.D. program.

      Students are encouraged to design an individually meaningful course of study within the larger offerings of the Program. Opportunities for doing this are available through coursework, work with faculty members, independent research and study, and teaching activities. Students take a series of required courses that build a strong foundation in social-organizational psychology and may also select a series of more specialized courses depending on their specific areas of interest. Examples include managing conflict, DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion), organizational network analysis, group dynamics, and organizational change. 

      Additional focus and expertise are developed through collaboration on major research projects with faculty members and practice-based or consulting activities under faculty supervision.

      Research Training

      The research training for doctoral students involves acquiring an understanding of underlying concepts and theories in social and organizational psychology and gaining experience in conducting research. The formal coursework provides a strong foundation in both social psychology and organizational psychology theories and their applications. A series of required research methods courses provides the foundation necessary for understanding and conducting scholarly research. Similarly, a series of required courses in measurement and statistics provides students with the strong statistical and analytical background necessary for the research process.

      Research experience is furthered  through “workgroups.” Workgroups are research teams led by a faculty member. In workgroups, students participate in the design, execution, data analysis, and writing phases of research projects. All students are required to participate in workgroups each semester for the first four years in the degree program. The commitment to research training is an important part of the program and consumes a significant amount of students’ time.

      Applied Aspects of the Program

      The applied aspects of the degree program for doctoral students involve the development of skills and knowledge in the application of theory and research to practice and consulting activities. As such, students acquire an understanding of the systems approach, in particular, the dynamic interaction among individuals, groups, organizations, and their environments as well as an understanding of organizational diagnosis, organization development, coaching and managing conflict. A variety of opportunities are available for students to develop skills in conducting applied and action research and in providing consultation to groups and organizations. All of these activities are grounded in theory and research in social-organizational psychology. A series of courses are available which provide students with basic skills in interpersonal relationships, interviewing and information gathering techniques, and process consultation. In addition, supervised field experiences are conducted in which  students engage in an applied project with a local organization under faculty direction. It is assumed that students will undertake internships or work in organizations during summers or in the later years of the program.  The Ph.D. Program in Social-Organizational Psychology is a scientist-practitioner program and as such focuses on both research and practice.

      The curriculum represents the dual emphasis of the program.

      The following are six areas from which students select courses:

      1. Research and Statistics

      2. Theory and Practice in Social-Organizational Psychology

      3. Integrative Experiences

      4. Breadth Requirement (courses beyond those offered by program faculty but within TC)

      5. Elective courses

      6. Dissertation Advisement

      Students take both required and elective courses for a total of 75-79+ credits. Variable-credit courses should be taken for the minimum rather than the maximum number of credits in order to have both the required number of credits and the desired distribution of courses.

      For a more comprehensive description of the Ph.D. degree program requirements, please see the Ph.D. program handbook, located on the Social-Organizational Psychology student resources web page. The handbook should be considered the primary document with regard to degree requirements for the Ph.D. program, including information on requirements for the two Qualifying Papers.

      1.) Research and Statistics (6 courses required)

      • ORLJ 5040 Research methods in social psychology

      • HUDM 4122 Probability and statistical inference

      • HUDM 5122 Applied regression analysis

      • HUDM 5123 Linear models and experimental design

      • HUDM 6122 Multivariate analysis I

      Plus one of the following:

      • ORL 6500 Qualitative research methods in organizations: Design and data collection

      • ORL 6501 Qualitative research methods in organizations: Data analysis and reporting

      • ORLJ 5018 Using survey research in organizational consulting

      • ORLJ 5025 People Analytics

      • ORLA 6641 Advanced topics in research methods and design

      • HUDM 5026 Introduction to data analysis in R

      • HUDM 5059 Psychological measurement

      • HUDM 5124 Multidimensional scaling and clustering

      • HUDM 5133 Causal Inference

      • HUDM 6026 Computational statistics

      • HUDM 6030 Multilevel and longitudinal data analysis

      • HUDM 6055 Latent structure analysis

      2.) Theory and Practice in Social-Organizational Psychology (12 courses required)

      Courses in this section are sub-divided into theory/seminar and practice courses. Of the twelve required courses, there are five courses that are set (two pro-seminars, as well as three practice courses). Of the seven remaining courses, four must be theory/seminar courses taught by TC Faculty, while the remaining three may be selected from either the remaining optional theory/seminar courses or the remaining optional practice courses listed below.



      • ORLJ 5540 Pro-seminar in social psychology

      • ORLJ 5541 Pro-seminar in organizational psychology 


      • ORLJ 5115 Social networks & performance

      • ORLJ 6040 Fundamentals of cooperation, conflict resolution, and mediation in different institutional contexts

      • ORLJ 6045 Demography in organizations

      • ORLJ 6048 Teaching to cognitive & cultural complexities

      • ORLJ 6199 Special topics seminars

        • The social psychology of organizational futures

        • A systems psychodynamic approach to organizational life

      • ORLJ 6500 Stereotypes and stereotypic processes in organizational contexts

      • ORLJ 6502 Dynamic networks and systems

      • B 9506 Organizational behavior



      • ORL 5362 Group dynamics: A systems perspective

      • ORLJ 6343 Practicum in change and consultation in organizations

      • ORLJ 6349 Practicum in process consultation


      • ORLJ 4002 Functions of organizations

      • ORLJ 4010 Executive coaching

      • ORLJ 5002 Advanced functions of organizations

      • ORLJ 5003 Human resource management

      • ORLJ 5005 Leadership and supervision

      • ORLJ 5017 Small group intervention: Improving team performance

      • ORLJ 5025 People Analytics

      • ORLJ 5090 Strategic talent management

      • ORLJ 5250 Equity, diversity and inclusion in teams

      • ORLJ 5340 Adaptive Negotiation and Conflict Resolution

      • ORLJ 5341 Effective Mediation

      • ORLJ 6350 Advanced practicum in conflict resolution

      • ORLJ 6540 Contemporary issues in organizational psychology

      • ORLD 5055 Staff development and training

      • ORLD 5061 The learning organization

      • ORLD 5821 Leveraging emotional intelligence to enhance organizational effectiveness

      • ORLD 5822 Building productive relationships with social intelligence

      • ORLD 5823 Building 21st century organizational capability with cultural intelligence

      3.) Integrative Experiences

      Integrative experiences include participation in eight semesters of workgroups and colloquia, as well as graduate teaching assistantships.


      The curriculum is designed to facilitate students’ completion of two qualifying papers, while enrolled in workgroups for the first four years of the program.

      • ORLJ 6341 Workgroup (Debra Noumair)

      • ORLJ 6344 Workgroup (Peter Coleman)

      • ORLJ 6345 Workgroup (Elissa Perry)

      • ORLJ 6346 Workgroup (James Westaby)

      • ORLJ 6347 Workgroup (Caryn Block)

      • ORLJ 6348 Workgroup (William Pasmore)


      1. One workgroup per semester for a minimum of eight semesters is required from the time a student enters the Ph.D. program.

      2. Students must take six of the eight workgroups for credit points (see Ph.D. Handbook for guidelines). An exception may be made for students who participated in a workgroup as a master’s student in the Social-Organizational Psychology Program, in which case, the student must take a minimum of four of the eight workgroups for credit.

      3. Workgroup credits may not be substituted for required courses.

      4. Students are required to actively engage in at least two different workgroups over the eight semesters that workgroup is required. Active engagement means regular participation in the design and conduct of research until it reaches a conclusion. Solely being present at meetings does not satisfy the requirement.


      Each semester, the program holds a number of colloquia and related activities including invited speakers from academia and consulting, presentations from program members, and general meetings. These are important developmental experiences for learning about research, practice, and professionalism. Attendance is required throughout the first four years of the program.

      • ORLJ 6640 Social-organizational psychology colloquium


      Doctoral students are required to serve as a graduate teaching assistant for master's- level courses (in the Fall and in the Spring) for two years within their first three years of the Social-Organizational Psychology Program. The TA-ship requirement starts in the student’s second year, unless they are a graduate of our M.A. program. Students typically are expected to act as graduate teaching assistants for the Master’s level core courses (Human Resources Management, Organizational Psychology, Understanding Behavioral Research, to name a few). Beyond this, additional graduate teaching assistantship opportunities are available for more advanced courses (e.g., Organizational Dynamics, Leadership and Supervision, Group Dynamics, Executive Coaching, etc.).

      4.) Breadth Requirement

      Students must take a total of six credits of breadth courses. A breadth course must be outside of your program of study (in this case, non-ORLJ) and must also be a course at Teachers College. On the College forms, you are strongly encouraged to count your statistics/methods courses as breadth courses.

      5.) Elective Courses

      To fulfill the 75-credit program, electives can be taken in addition to required courses and the Breadth Requirement. Any ORLJ courses may be taken as electives. Below is a list of pre-approved elective courses outside of ORLJ, including courses at Columbia University. This list is NOT exhaustive.

      If a student wishes to take a course not listed here, he/she must get written approval from the Ph.D. Coordinator (an email will suffice). If the student is at risk of being closed out of the course by waiting for approval, it is best to register for the course during the interim period and then drop it, if necessary.

      • ORLJ 5003 Human resource management

      • ORLJ 5005 Leadership and supervision

      • ORLJ 5025 People analytics

      • ORLJ 5045 Organizational dynamics

      • ORLJ 5250 Equity, diversity and inclusion in teams

      • ORLD 4051 How adults learn

      • ORLD 4085 Management and leadership skills in practice

      • ORLD 4827 Fostering transformational learning

      • ORLD 5821 Leveraging EQ to enhance org effectiveness

      • ORLD 5822 Building productive relationships with SQ

      • ORLD 5823 Building 21st century organizational capabilities with CQ

      • B 7553 Managerial decision making

      • B 9506 Organizational behavior

      • CCPJ 4050 Microaggressions in institutional climates

      • CCPJ 5020 Racism and racial identity in psychology and education

      • CCPJ 5062 Career counseling

      • CCPJ 5563 Multicultural consultation in org development

      • CCPX 4035 Personality and behavior change

      • CCPX 5034 Developmental psychopathology

      • CCPX 6352 Cognition, emotion, & health

      • HUDK 5023 Cognitive development

      • HUDK 5029 Personality development across the life span

      • HUDM 5059 Psychological measurement

      Certification After Completing Coursework

      Certification Examination in Psychology: The Research Methods Examination (RME) in Psychology is part of the certification process for doctoral students in psychology degree programs at Teachers College. The examination measures students' knowledge in statistics, measurement, and research design and is developed by the Research Methods Examination Committee.

      Qualifying Papers: All doctoral candidates in the Social-Organizational Psychology Program must submit two qualifying papers (Theory-based/Empirical and Applied). The primary purposes of the qualifying papers are integrative, diagnostic, pedagogical, and evaluative. The qualifying papers are examples of the kind of work students will be doing as social-organizational psychologists. The papers provide an opportunity for the faculty to help develop and evaluate the student’s skills in an ongoing and iterative process.

      6.) The Dissertation

      The doctoral dissertation is a report of independently conducted research. In formulating and conducting this research, the student has available as consultants and advisors two or three members of the faculty. Students will need to register for dissertation‐related classes. There is a sequence of courses that vary with respect to course credit and fee. When actively working on the dissertation and meeting with one’s sponsor and/or committee, students are expected to register for ORLJ 7501 two semesters. This course is only offered for 1‐3 points and students can register for the minimum number of credits; it is offered for variable credit to accommodate the different needs of various students. Once the student has registered for two terms of ORLJ 7501, Ph.D. students are required to register for ORLJ 8900 for 0 credits and pay a fee for every semester until the term of the final defense when a student must enroll in TI8900, PhD Dissertation Defense. Please see the Office of Doctoral Studies for information regarding the fees.

  • Advanced Certificate

    • Points/Credits: 16

      Entry Terms: Spring/Summer/Fall

      Degree Requirements

      The Program in Social-Organizational Psychology, through the Morton Deutsch International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution (MD-ICCCR), offers an Advanced Certificate in Cooperation and Conflict Resolution approved by the New York State Education Department. Students interested in receiving the certificate must complete a sequence of five core courses including one semester of a 3-credit internship, and one elective for a total of 16 credit points. Students who opt for the Advanced Certificate must complete an application for admission through the Office of Admission. Students in the M.A./Ph.D. program who wish to take their electives within the area of conflict resolution but who do not wish to receive the Advanced Certificate may register for courses without completing an application. The courses are offered in conjunction with the MD-ICCCR whose mission is to help individuals, schools, communities, businesses, and governments better understand the nature of conflict and how to achieve its constructive resolution. Contact: MD-ICCCR at (212) 678-3346 or


  • Faculty

    • Caryn J. Block Professor of Psychology and Education
    • Sarah Jean Brazaitis Associate Professor of Practice
    • Peter Thomas Coleman Professor of Psychology and Education
    • Debra Noumair Professor of Psychology and Education
    • William A Pasmore Professor of Practice of Social Organizational Psychology
    • Elissa L. Perry Professor of Psychology and Education
    • James Westaby Professor of Psychology and Education
  • Lecturers

    • Gina Buontempo Senior Lecturer
    • Marina Patricia Field Lecturer
  • Adjunct Faculty

    • Robert M Anderson PT Instructional Staff
    • Clymer D Bardsley Adjunct Associate Professor
    • Allan Hixson Church Adjunct Assistant Professor
    • Celeste Ann Coruzzi Adjunct Full Professor
    • Dilshad Dayani Adjunct Associate Professor
    • Bruce Alan Echtenkamp Adjunct Associate Professor
    • Alice Milmed Haller Adjunct Associate Professor
    • Latoya Ingram Jordan Adjunct Assistant Professor
    • Sam T Liu Adjunct Full Professor
    • Eric C Marcus Adjunct Assistant Professor
    • Michele S. Riley Adjunct Associate Professor
    • Svetlana Shmulyian Adjunct Associate Professor
    • Ross Tartell Adjunct Associate Professor
  • Instructors

    • Jenny C.M. Besch PT Instructor
    • Allegra Chen-Carrel Interim Course Associate
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