Top Organizational Development Graduate Programs: List of Schools

Aug 15, 2018

Learn about school rankings for the top three schools for graduate organizational development programs. Find out about flexible degree options for working professionals.

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School Overviews

Potential graduate students wishing to study organizational development can enroll in programs from some top-ranking institutions across the country. Explore a handful of these schools and learn what makes their programs unique.

Organizational development (OD) is often studied by students who want careers in human resources, and graduate programs in this field are typically offered by schools of business, education, and public affairs. For the top three schools with OD graduate degree programs, one offers OD degrees through its School of Business, one offers OD through it's School of Education, and the other offers it through its School of Public Affairs. Learn more about the programs and specializations at OD graduate schools that are ranked highly by various publications.

Pepperdine University in Malibu, California

School Highlight: Ranked by Forbes as #10 on a list of most entrepreneurial universities for 2015.

This university offers various programs through its Graziadio School of Business and Management. These include the Executive MBA program and a Presidents and Key Executives MBA. A Master of Science in Organizational Development is available, with campus locations in California, China, France, and Costa Rica.

University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia

School Highlight: This university was first chartered in 1785 and its College of Education began in 1908, now housing 13 undergraduate and more than 40 graduate programs.

UGA offers a Ph.D. in Adult Education with an emphasis in human resource and organizational development. There is also an M.Ed. in Human Resource and Organizational Development. The school tied for third in the 2016 U.S. News & World Report rankings for online master's programs in education.

American University in Washington, D.C.

School Highlight: Students in organizational development master's programs can complete a 12-day international residency.

American University offers a Master of Science in Organizational Development that takes about 21 months to complete. Coursework includes theoretical and practical elements in the field, and allows students to study and apply these elements to the corporate, private, and government sectors. American University also follows a cohort model to allow students to learn and develop in their profession together.

Top Development Graduate Schools

The following institutions also provide students with unique organizational development programs:

  • Benedictine University in Lisle, Illinois, has a master's program that includes required attendance at OD lecture series.
  • Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, offers a master's program that includes coaching instruction endorsed by the International Coach Federation.
  • The University of Louisville in Kentucky provides a master's in human resources and organizational development program that offers concentration areas in human resources leadership, health professions education, and workplace learning.
  • Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, is ranked #5 among best education schools in the U.S. in 2017 by U.S. News & World Report.

Organizational development graduate programs are available from several top schools in the nation, including Pepperdine University in California. Students can select from among these top programs based on their unique specializations or learning experiences that they offer.

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