Saint Louis University

Public Policy Studies

Certificate Program in Organizational Development

As of 5/1/2012, we are no longer accepting new admissions into this program.

The Certificate in Organizational Development is an interdisciplinary graduate-level program that focuses on how organizations can be made more effective. It is designed to serve the needs of professionals in government, business, education and non-profits and educate them to stimulate, guide and evaluate change and development within their respective organizations.

The Certificate can be earned in connection with several different degree programs at Saint Louis University, such as Communications, Educational Leadership, Psychology and Public Policy Analysis, or as a stand-alone program.


The program involves 15 credit hours, depending on other coursework taken at the graduate level. The program is anchored in three core Organizational Development competencies. Students take a core course for each of the three competency areas below, plus an elective chosen from any of three elective lists. Curriculum is outlined as follows:

Core : Three (3 credit-hour) courses:
  • PPSI 540 - Organization Theory & Behavior (every fall)
  • PSYA 649 - Organizational Change & Development (every other spring)
  • CMMA 518 - Organizational Communication (every fall)
  • PSYA 649 - Organizational Assessment (every spring)
Elective: One (3 credit-hour) course
Capstone Project: 3 credit-hours

The capstone project will involve assessment of an organizational problem or opportunity (ideally derived from the candidate's work setting) and design of an intervention through the application of specific program core competencies. A written report describing the project will be submitted for review by the candidate's project committee.

Competencies & Courses

Competency 1: Theoretical Understanding of Organizational Effectiveness & How Organizations Work

Core Course
PPSI 540 - Organization Theory & Behavior

Elective Courses
PSYA 546 - Advanced Organizational Psychology
PSYA 547 - Psychology of Small Groups
PPSI 630  - Power, Coalitions & Decision-making

Competency 2: Understanding of the Dynamics of Organizational Change & the Ability to Manage Change  

Core Course
PSYA 649 - Organizational Change & Development

Elective Courses
PSYA 649  - Organizational Learning
SOC 580   - Sample Survey Methods
ELD 496    - Action Research for Educators
PSYA 649 - Organizational Assessment
CMMA 593  - Intermediate Qualitative Methods
CMMA 593  - Training & Development

Competency 3: Understanding & Skills in Organizational Communications

Core Course
CMMA 518 - Organizational Communication

Elective Courses
CMMA 420 - Problem Solving Small Groups
PSYA 663 - Consultation Skills

Possible Additional Electives

CMMA 520 - Communication Ethics
EDL 520 - School-Community Relations
EDR 550 - Evaluation of Educational Programs
EDL 573 - Professional Staff Development & Evaluation
EDL 610 - Theory of Administration
EDL 611 - Human Resource Administration
EDL 620 - Ethics of Education Leadership
PPSI 503 - Issues in Public Administration

Admission Requirements

In addition to a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university, it is recommended that a student have three or more years of work experience and a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or other evidence of ability to do high-quality academic work. A student must also have satisfactory completion of a basic social science research methods and statistics course. The fit of the applicant to program goals and objectives will be reflected in: a personal goal statement, three letters of recommendation and an interview.

For More Information, please contact:

Dr. Robert Cropf, OD Certificate Program Coordinator

Dr. Robert Krizek, OD Certificate Academic Coordinator

Dr. Richard Harvey, Psychology Department contact


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