Organization Development and Knowledge Management (ODKM)

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, including coaching courses to apply for a coach credential with the International Coach Federation (ICF).

In this cohort-based program located in the D.C. metropolitan area in Arlington, Virginia, 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.

Whether you're a human resource professional, mid-level executive, or senior leadership, this program will help you develop critical career skills.

Email us: schar@gmu.edu

Call: 703-993-8099

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Skills You'll Gain

This program develops three levels of core competencies:​

  • Individual: analytical skills, emotional intelligence, mindfulness, and appreciative intelligence ​

  • Group: coaching skills, dialogue, change conversations, and process work​

  • Organizational and Societal: systems thinking, knowledge management processes, organizational analysis and diagnostic tools,  appreciative inquiry, action research, dialogical organization development, and organizational transformation  ​

A Degree That Works With Your 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 Mason Square campus in Arlington or online. Learn more about the program schedule.

Students can take classes:

  • On-campus
  • Entirely online in a synchronous format
  • Through a combination of on-campus and online classes

*Full time offered only under certain circumstances, such as when required by an external scholarship or the military.

Become a Certified Coach

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 coach education hours required by the International Coach Federation (ICF) for a first level coach credential (ACC) via the ICF portfolio path.  View the ODKM coaching courses.

Photo of Ajay Narayanan

"I believe that being a part of this [master's program] was one of the best decisions I have taken. The program creates a wonderful learning experience that provides students with a strong theoretical foundation covering current thinking on [organization development] and [knowledge management] in a rich experiential cohort-based learning environment."

Ajay Narayanan
Master of Organization Development and Knowledge Management

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No GRE Required to Apply

D.C. and Maryland Pricing Discount

Master's or certificate students who reside in Washington, D.C., and Maryland can qualify for a tuition rate is equivalent to the in-state rate! This new policy applies to Schar School students who begin their degree in fall 2023 or later. 

DC skyline from Arlington at night

Where Our Recent Graduates Work

Pie chart showing: Academia 18%, Federal government 16%, Local Government 4%, Multilateral/International 2%, NGO/Nonprofit 7%, Private Sector (Consulting) 29%, Private Sector (General) 24%

Top Employers of Recent Graduates

  • Accenture
  • Brighter Strategies
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Deloitte Consulting
  • Defense Logistics Agency
  • Grant Thornton
  • GroupSense
  • 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

The average salary of 2020/2021 program graduates surveyed after graduation was $78,600.


Lea M. Pickett

"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 of Organization Development and Knowledge Management

The Master of Science in Organization Development and Knowledge Management program is a 35- to 38-credit executive format program.

Students work in teams and complete most of the courses in sequence. The second academic year includes an action learning component, in which participants undertake projects in organizations and apply research methods.

Core Curriculum

Students are required to take the following core courses:

  • Foundations of Organization Development and Knowledge Management
  • Group Dynamics and Team Learning
  • Social and Organizational Inquiry
  • Creating Learning Organizations
  • Foundations of Coaching
  • Coaching and Organization Development:
  • Knowledge Management and Collaborative Work
  • Leadership and Social Justice
  • Organizational Development Practices
  • Learning Community

Practitioner Faculty

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 skill sets needed to advance in your career. The Schar School 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. 

Meet ODKM Program Faculty

Barbara Fillip, Adjunct Faculty

Lauren Green, Adjunct Faculty

Stacey K. Guenther, Adjunct Faculty

John Hovell, Adjunct Faculty

Penny Potter, Adjunct Faculty

Ann Romosz, Adjunct Faculty

Tojo ThatchenkeryProfessor; Director, Organization Development and Knowledge Management Program

Photo of Tojo Thatchenkery

Professor Tojo Thatchenkery
Program Director