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Online PhD in Organizational Development: Program Overview

Research online organizational development doctoral degree programs. Find out what you can learn in these courses and what you'll need in order to participate in online learning to determine if it's right for you.

Essential Information

Online Ph.D. programs in organizational development are typically not available. Online options are more common at the undergraduate and master's degree levels and prepare students for careers in human resources.

Students looking for a doctoral degree in organizational development can instead find related online Ph.D. programs in organizational leadership and organizational learning. These programs allow working human resources professionals to transition into managerial career tracks that emphasize company-wide restructuring.

Applicants typically need to hold a bachelor's or master's degree, along with past experience in human resources or management. Ph.D. students usually need to complete a few weekend residencies each year in order to work with faculty members and other students on formulating their dissertation.

Online Availability Courses online
Ph.D. Majors Available Organizational leadership, organizational learning
Important Prerequisites Prior experience in HR or management
In-Person Requirements Campus residencies

Ph.D. in Organizational Development

Organizational development-oriented doctoral degree programs provide focused, advanced study on institutional restructuring. Such programs are designed to be a progression of a student's professional experience in human resources or management.

Information and Requirements

This doctoral degree program can have specialization such as educational organization development, but generally covers the fundamentals of organizational development as it applies to any organization's strategic plan. Entrance requires an accredited bachelor's or master's degree. Many seek an online Ph.D. in organizational development as an extension of their existing duties in human resources or management.

The online Ph.D. program requires student to develop a curriculum that includes research and defense of a thesis resulting from the research. Lectures and professor interaction are done through a combination of email, online forums and, in some cases, streaming video.

Common Coursework

An online doctoral curriculum in organizational development typically begins with foundational courses in research, analysis and organizational theory. Later courses delve into organizational specialties that support a doctoral thesis requirement.

Organizational Research Methods

This course teaches student how to effectively access, search and cite information sources. Student typically complete this course in the first semester of study.

Organizational Development Theory

Students learn how to analyze organizational structures and develop plans to shape an organization into a more efficient system. Topics include organizational cultures, leader-follower dynamics and communication methods.

Management Fundamentals

This course has students studying multiple theories in leadership and management theory. Student develop a broad sense of the management structure in an organization.


Career Information for Graduates

Most organizational development graduates find employment in the human resources field. In May 2014 the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported an average annual salary of $114,140 for human resources managers. Ph.D. graduates may also go into postsecondary education. In May 2014 the the BLS reported an average salary of $74,040 for postsecondary educators.

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