Develop the essential leadership, creative problem-solving, and analytical skills needed to become a change agent in your organization, work, and life with the organization development master's degree, while also earning an accredited coaching certification from International Coach Federation (ICF).
The Master's in Organization Development and Knowledge Management (ODKM) at George Mason University's Schar School of Policy and Government will prepare you with the skills needed to lead change in complex organizations.
In this cohort-based program, you will be part of a dynamic community of professionals. Explore organizational leadership theory and practice, the shift from hierarchical structures to group-based learning, and best practices to promote the creation of adaptive, collaborative work environments. You will graduate from the organization development master's program with the capacity to manage, evaluate, and affect rapid change in government, corporate, and nonprofit organizations.
The ODKM program is designed to meet the needs of contemporary society and of organizations undergoing rapid changes and shifting from hierarchical structures to more group-based learning environments. While focusing on the human and social aspects of organizing, the program also emphasizes the use of collaborative groupware technologies to support interactive learning, knowledge sharing, and knowledge creation.
A Degree That Works With Your Schedule
You can earn this degree:
- Entirely online in a synchronous format
- Through a combination of on-campus and online classes
Curriculum and Cohort Schedule
This unique cohort-based program is offered in a part-time executive format, with classes offered primarily held Friday evenings and Saturdays on alternating weekends on George Mason University's Arlington, Virginia campus. Learn more about the ODKM curriculum, as well as the program schedule.
The ODKM program also offers a unique opportunity for graduates to become certified coaches. As part of the master’s program, students enroll in two required courses on coaching- Foundations of Coaching and Coaching and Organization Development, which fulfill approved coach training hours required by the International Coach Federation (ICF) for a first level coach credential -- ACC. These courses include a total of 79 ICF-approved training hours (ACSTH). View the coach training courses.
"I believe that joining the [master's program] was one of the best decisions I have taken. The program creates a wonderful learning experience that provides students a strong theoretical foundation covering current thinking on [organization development] and [knowledge management] in a rich experiential cohort-based learning environment."
—Ajay Narayanan, Master's in Organization Development and Knowledge Management '20
"This isn’t just a graduate program; it’s a family. You are instantly connected to your fellow students and a vast alumni network. From now on, when someone says, “I went to Mason for [the ODKM program],” you are instantly connected. This is a program you want to continue to come back to to renew a very special experience."
—Lauren Green, Master's in Organization Development and Knowledge Management '16
“All of these experiences prepared me to be a better executive and to seek different opinions—leveraging the knowledge and experience of those individuals to provide clients innovative solutions that exceed expectations.”
—Michael Donoghue, Master’s in Organization Development and Knowledge Management '07
"I am in awe at the level of intentionality that is built into the program for its students to undergo a transformational and life-changing experience. As a result of this phenomenal program, I am not only a trained [organization development] practitioner, I now have a completely new sense of awareness, mindfulness, and way of being."
—Lea M. Pickett, Master's in Organization Development and Knowledge Management '23
"Every week of my career brings some reminder of the wisdom I experienced in [the program]. The work of an organization requires managing knowledge and an understanding of its human-centered systems. Mason not only taught me these skills, but helped me appreciate the important and complex dependencies between the two."
—David York, Master's in Organization Development and Knowledge Management '17
"I had many ideas and goals but needed to find the right program to fit me. I can honestly say this program changed my life. Different classes such as group dynamics enabled me not only to learn about the topics we discussed but about myself."
—Denise Lee, Master's in Organization Development and Knowledge Management '01
"The foundational learnings and the cultivation of a human-centered lens that now serves as my filter as an [organizational development] practioner combined with the tools of [knowledge management] gives me a greater sense of meaningful impact."
—DaSilva Ajibade, Master's in Organization Development and Knowledge Management '19
Where You'll Work
With George Mason University's prime location in the Washington, D.C. area, Schar School students gain access to leading scholars and practitioners who bring real-world experience to the classroom, providing you with the mentorship and skillsets needed to advance in your career.
The Schar School as a whole has 80+ faculty members, as well as hundreds of adjunct faculty, allowing students to gain access to a variety of perspectives and subjects through elective courses. Notable faculty members in the organization development and knowledge management program include program director Tojo Thatchenkery, Jessica Srikantia, Sheldon Edner, and more.
In addition to university-wide resources, the Schar School has a dedicated team of student services and career development advisors to assist you in your academic and professional plans. The Master's in Organization Development and Knowledge Management program prepares students for a range of industries and roles in the public and private sectors. In a recent graduating class career outcomes survey, approximately two-thirds of Organization Development and Knowledge Management graduates reported working in private sector consulting, and one-third identified as working in federal or local government.
Top employers hiring our ODKM graduates include:
- Booz Allen Hamilton
- Deloitte Consulting
- Defense Logistics Agency
- Grant Thornton
- Organization of American States
- Pew Charitable Trusts
- Target Corporation
- The World Bank
- U.S. Department of Defense
- U.S. Department of Homeland Security
- U.S. Department of Labor
Jacquelyn Ingros overcame multiple obstacles to earn her undergraduate degree. Now she advocates for postgraduate education.
ODKM students became facilitators for a day and learned how to "color their personal brand" during the Spring 2019 Learning Community.
Schar School student became facilitators for a day when a metaphorical "ship" docked at Van Metre Hall for the ODKM "Learning Community."