Organizational Psychology Master of Arts (MAOP)

Advance your career in the high-demand fields of organizational development and change management- without having to leave your job or relocate your family.

This accelerated 11-month program offers students two options to earn their Master's degree: online-only, or in combination with Weekends-in-Residence, each coinciding with the end of one of the program's core courses.

The Master of Arts in Organizational Psychology (MAOP) program grounds students in the essentials of adult learning and change, and teaches them evidence-based best practices to apply them in today's organizations in highly valuable ways, such as how to:

  • Accurately diagnose human and systemic causes of underperformance in organizations
  • Intervene constructively with teams-both as an insider and an outsider
  • Foster self-motivation for positive change in workers and leaders at all levels
  • Anticipate and meet the needs of diverse stakeholders within an organization
  • Drive change consistent with an organization's culture, values, beliefs and structures
  • Manage your own strengths and biases to see organizational and human resource challenges and solutions more clearly

A special concentration in Talent Management is also available for students who wish to focus in that area.

Program Overivew

MAOP is an accelerated, highly interactive and outcome oriented program where students attain their 30 credit masters’ degree in 11 months for full time and two years for part time. It provides a sound theoretical foundation integrated with strong emphasis on practical applications. With in-depth skill-building and problem based learning experiences, the graduate will be equipped to effectively develop and steward organizational systems, teams and individuals in the context of uncertainty and change. 

The program is built on multidisciplinary concepts drawn from the psychology of human behavior, organizational development, sociology and education. Students engage deeply in learning how to address organizational challenges through assessment, diagnostic models, interventions, and evaluations. With emphasis on the human side of organizations, the curriculum also includes psychological theories of individual, group, and systems level behavior using real world case studies and other applied projects to ensure learning is grounded in evidence based standards of practice. An experienced practitioner faculty combines academic scholarship with years of experience in the field to create a profound educational experience. Cohort groups create peer learning environment that fosters personal and professional growth. The program is designed to offer students the best practices in their interest area by combining academic knowledge and professional experience.

Mission and Vision

The mission for MAOP and our Organizational and Leadership Psychology Department (OLP) is to have practitioner scholar faculty train a new generation of organizational psychology interventionists, leaders, and talent management professionals who are skilled in working across a diverse array of global clients to make organizations not only more effective, but healthier places to be.

The vision of the OLP department is to make the opportunity of graduate education (masters and doctorate) accessible to a global and diverse community by utilizing the greatest advances in pedagogy and on-line teaching technology.

Scope of Practice

Organizations must be staffed with leaders and individual contributors who have a new set of skills. Students will graduate equipped to:

  • Provide effective leadership for desired change
  • Understand systemic and strategic dynamics affecting the organization
  • Be knowledgeable in cutting-edge methods of leading change
  • Consider the needs and perspectives of relevant and diverse global stakeholders
  • Be self-aware and able to utilize insights into “self” to sensitively and adroitly interact with multicultural competence
  • Act with awareness of the social, cultural, and ethical dimensions of their work as organizational development practitioners and change agents to make change for the better
  • Make change happen for the greater social good in a wide array of roles, communities, industries and geographies.

What

The Organizational Psychology program at William James College involves 30 credits of graduate-level work, including 24 course hours and a 6-credit/80-hour field project culminating in the awarding of a Master of Arts degree in Organizational Psychology. Core classes include reading, online lectures, discussion and written assignments.

The multidisciplinary curriculum draws both from the psychology of human behavior and of organizational behavior. It integrates theories of individual, group, and systems behavior with workplace case studies, applied projects, and research.

The faculty emphasize experiential learning, and students will be in a cohort with others who will take the same courses in the same sequence throughout the duration of their study.

The Master's Program in Organizational Psychology is designed to accommodate schedule of working professionals, and offers the following options:

Where

Students opting for the online-only format may take the course from anywhere in the world, provided that they have the necessary Internet access and can attend online classes and discussions scheduled around those in the Eastern time zone of the United States.

Students in the online only and blended programs access synchronous elements including prerecorded lectures and threaded discussions weekly. Students are also expected attend and to interact with with their cohort via live-webinar on a regular basis.  Typically these live yet distant components are scheduled during lunch or evening hours to accommodate the working professional.

For the blended program, each of the six core courses is followed by an intensive Weekend-in-Residence at our campus in Newton, Mass., immediately outside Boston. Housing is not provided, but lodging options exist within a short drive, bike or cab ride. Each of the Weekends-in-Residence runs from 9 am through 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Who This Program is For

Our students range from twenty something new graduates to career changers in their sixties. The average student has 5-7 years of work experience. The program is designed to accommodate working professionals. Ninety percent of our students work full time, and many are also raising families while they go through the program. We have students from all corners of the globe who participate virtually and asynchronously. 

Career Opportunities

MAOP is geared toward working professionals looking to build and/or enhance careers in:

  • Organizational Development
  • Leadership Training and Development
  • Human Resources
  • Talent Management
  • Executive Coaching
  • Change Management
  • Management Consulting

Organizational psychologists work within organizations and as external practitioners in any number of roles and titles including: Organizational Effectiveness specialist (manager, director, etc.) Talent Manager, Organizational Development Practitioner, Learning and Development Manager, Culture Change Leader, Talent Acquisition Specialist, Leadership Development Specialist, Executive Coach, Human Resources Business Partner, Training and Development Specialist, Facilitator, Team Development Specialist, among others. They apply psychological principles of human behavior to intervene in human systems to improve productivity and the quality of work life. Many serve as human resources / talent management professionals who help organizations with staffing, training, employee development, and employee morale and retention. Others work as systems consultants in the areas of leadership development, team-building, strategic planning, quality management, and facilitating organizational change.

Career Outlook

Studies show that corporate and entire industries are quickly embracing psychology as instrumental to improving performance and efficiency of managers.

  • 53%* increase in career opportunities by 2022 - a rate that could mean there will not be enough trained professionals
  • The educational investment is well worth it with a national average annual salary of $90,070.**

*abcnews.go.com/Business/americas-20-fastest-growing-jobs-surprise/story?id=22364716
**www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes193032.htm

Alumni Data

Of the 97% who are currently working, 87% of our graduates are working in either Leadership, Human Resources (HR), Talent Management (TM) or internal or external Organizational Development (OD) Consulting roles.

11% of MAOP graduates were accepted into leadership and organizational psychology doctoral programs.

50% of alumni surveyed were career changers. Of those alumni who entered the program with the intent to switch careers, 55% were able to attain a job in either OD, HR, or Talent Management in under 6 months of graduation. 34% did so within one year and 11% were able to accomplish this goal in 2 years. 100% of career changers who entered the program secured a job in the OD, HR or Talent Management field.

Within 1.5 years of graduation, 13% of MAOP graduates surveyed were promoted to senior level internal Human Resources, Talent Management or Organizational development roles including: Chief Human Resources Officer, Vice President of Human Resources, or Senior Director or Director of Talent Management roles. Younger alumni who went straight from undergraduate education to the MAOP program (9% of program entrants) are now in Human Resources Specialist, Learning and Development Manager, Associate OD consultant or Recruiter roles within 6 months to one year of graduation.

Don't let fear stop you, when you've been out of school so long, you lack the self confidence that you can do it again. 'What if I don't have time? What if I have an assignment and I can't get it done on time? Are the students all going to be younger than me?' All of those fears keep you putting it off. It worked the way that's best for me right now, but I could have done it sooner."—Darlene Piva