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Shippensburg, PA 17257
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Phone: (717) 477-1148
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Organizational Development & Leadership- Master of Science

ODL.Reese   “I would recommend this program to anyone looking to develop professionally and broaden their perspectives. The principles and ideologies taught in this program are applicable in both your personal and professional life. You can’t escape leadership— it’s with you everywhere you go.”
~David Reese
Program   Degree Requirements 
Concentration Areas

Applied Experiences
Admission Requirements  Faculty 

The Organizational Development and Leadership Program is designed for those students pursuing leadership positions in various career fields. Its objective is to apply the critical view of organizations from social scientific perspectives and enhance students’ understanding of how organizations operate and change over time. The performance and role of leadership in formal and informal settings is an integral part of the program. In addition, students will have the opportunity to develop skills and increase their knowledge in selected discipline areas.

The Program

The master of science degree in organizational development and leadership is an interdisciplinary program that will provide students with several opportunities:

  • to learn basic principles and theories of organizational development and the role of leadership
  • to enhance skills and knowledge in specified content areas
  • to combine theory with practical experience through an internship in the student’s concentration.

This 30-credit program is designed for both full and part-time students. Core courses will be offered on campus and at the Dixon Center in Harrisburg. Not all concentrations are available in Harrisburg. Course sequences are flexible and core courses have no prerequisites.

The program requires:  

  • 12 credits in core courses,
  • 12 credits in a concentration, choose from one of the following,
    • business
    • communication
    • environmental management
    • higher education structure and policy
    • historical administration 
    • individual and organizational development
    • management information systems
    • public organizations
    • social structures and organization
  • 6 credits in a capstone experience that includes a mandatory internship. The capstone course, SOC570, is not guaranteed in Harrisburg.

Degree Requirements

Core Courses (12 crs.)

  • SOC550 Leadership Theory & Practice
  • SOC560 Leadership, Change & Innovation
  • PLS501 Organizational Theory & Behavior
  • PLS601 Research Methods

Capstone Experience (6 crs.)

Recommend after completing 18-21 credits.

  • SOC570 Applied Leadership & Organizational Analysis (3 crs.)
  • SOC609 Internship (within concentration area, 3 crs.)

Concentration Areas & Suggested Electives (12 crs.)

Other courses in concentrations may be approved by Program Director; courses listed below are not necessarily appropriate and are listed as suggestions only. 


  • BSN510 Economic & Information Systems Management
  • BSN511 Business Operations & Analysis
  • BSN512 Essentials of Accounting & Finance
  • BSN513 Organizational Behavior & Marketing
  • BSN514 Strategic Management & Leadership
  • MBA547 Management Information Systems and Applications

* Concentration is designed for students without a business or business-related undergraduate degree


  • COM410 Women and the Media
  • COM460 Case Studies in Public Relations
  • COM482 Internet Communication
  • COM484 Electronic Media Programming and Management
  • COM490 Selected Topics in Communication/Journalism
  • COM500 Communication Theory
  • COM516 Photographic Communication
  • COM526 Emerging Mass Media Technologies
  • COM530 Law & the Media
  • COM536 World Broadcasting Systems
  • COM544 Advanced Communication Problems
  • COM561 Press and Public Affairs
  • COM570 Fund Raising and Association Public Relations
  • COM600 Introduction Mass Communication Research

ODL students in this concentration are advised COM600 may be taken in place of PLS601 in core; an additional concentration course will be necessary if that substitution is made)

Environmental Management

  • GEO415 Regional Geographic Studies
  • GEO440 Field Techniques
  • GEO444 Environmental Land-Use Planning
  • GEO446 Water Resources Management
  • GEO490 Selected Topics
  • GEO522 Geoenvironmental Hydrology
  • GEO524 The Geologic Environment
  • GEO528 Geography of Economic and Environmental Systems
  • GEO532 Disease and the Environment
  • GEO536 Problems of the Atmospheric Environment
  • GEO542 Land-Use Regulations
  • GEO594 Selected Topics

Higher Education Structure and Policy

  • CNS562 Student Personnel Work in Higher Education
  • ESC400 Methods of Coaching (restricted, ask ODL coordinator for more information)
  • PLS504 Ethics for Public Service Managers
  • PLS603 Public Policy Analysis
  • PSY516 Motivation
  • SOC435 Gender and Leadership
  • SOC445 Sexuality and Sexual Orientation: A Social Approach
  • SOC530 Sociology of Higher Education
  • SOC490 and 594 Courses may be approved from time to time

Historical Administration

  • HIS433 Oral History
  • HIS501 Introduction to Applied History
  • HIS502 Introduction to Archives
  • HIS505 Advanced Topics in Public History
  • HIS513 Seminar in U.S. Women’s History
  • HIS515 Seminar in 20th Century U.S. Social History
  • HIS512-562 Seminars in Various Areas
  • HIS594 Selected Topics
  • HIS599 Readings in History

It is recommended students in this concentration take HIS 600 instead of PLS 601 for their research core course; HIS 600 may not be used in the concentration.

Individual & Organizational Development

  • PSY512 Theories of Learning
  • PSY515 Theories of Personality
  • PSY519 Life Span Psychology
  • PSY529 Psychology of Successful Aging
  • PSY533 Advanced Social Psychology
  • PSY565 Human Factors
  • PSY590 Introduction to Group Dynamics
  • PSY595-597 Selected Topics

Management Information Systems

  • ISS515 Information Systems Project Management
  • ISS550 Database Design
  • ISS570 Information Analysis
  • MBA547 Management Information Systems and Applications

Public Organizations

  • PLS502 Human Resources Management
  • PLS504 Ethics for Public Service Managers
  • PLS511 State Government
  • PLS512 Intergovernmental Relations and Programs
  • PLS561 Administrative Law
  • PLS603 Public Policy Analysis

Social Structures & Organization

  • SOC410 Family & Society
  • SOC435 Gender & Leadership
  • SOC445 Sexuality and Sexual Orientation: A Social Approach
  • SOC490 Selected Topics
  • SOC530 Sociology of Higher Education
  • SOC594 Selected Topics 

Applied Experiences

All students must fulfill the capstone experience that requires completion of a 3-credit internship in some leadership capacity within their concentration area. The internship should be simultaneous with the Applied Leadership and Organizational Analysis course where students will conduct an organizational analysis project. 

Admission Requirements

Applicants must meet the standards for admission established by the SU Graduate School. Applicants must: 

  • Have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  • Have a minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 2.75. If GPA is below 2.75, an interview may be requested by the ODL Admissions Committee.
  • Submit the graduate application form along with:
    • a current resumé
    • a personal goals statement, usually one page single-spaced explaining your personal and/or professional goals for pursuing the program
    • an undergraduate transcript
    • requisite application fee. 
    • Track Selection Form

The resume and personal goal statement should be submitted via email as a PDF or Word Document attachment to  Please include your full name and date of birth with each submission.  


The interdisciplinary master of science in organizational development and leadership degree is an interdisciplinary program that is delivered by a diverse faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences, the John L. Grove College of Business, and the College of Education and Human Services. 

Barbara J. Denison, Ph.D., Chair, Organizational Development and Leadership Program Coordinator, Sociology and Anthropology Department, Northwestern University

Dina Banerjee, Ph.D., Sociology and Anthropology Department, Purdue University

C. Nielsen Brasher, Ph.D., Political Science Department, American University

Michael E. Greenberg, Ph.D., Political Science Department, University of Texas at Austin

Amanda M. Olejarski, Ph.D., Political Science Department, Virginia Polytechnic University