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Curriculum Information for Prospective Students

Scroll to bottom for list of lower-level OS courses open to first-years and sophs for W24!

What courses do OS students take?

OS is an interdisciplinary program, drawing courses from many different departments to create our curriculum. OS gives you a great deal of freedom in choosing which courses will be included in your specific plan of study. We call this your “OS Pathway,” and it allows you to tailor the OS major to your interests and goals.

The OS curriculum contains core and elective courses offered by the OS Program, but the majority of the curriculum is made up of classes drawn from departments across the university. Courses included in the OS curriculum can cover a very broad range of academic fields and topics, but must be in some sense “organizational” in their content or approach.

It is important to note that the OS Program is designed to be a two year academic program. The curriculum is intended to be progressive, with core courses being taken in the first fall term in the program, and research courses taken in the second fall term in the program. 

  • First fall term in the program: Both core courses (OS 305 and OS 310, 6 credits)
  • Second fall term in the program: Senior Research Capstone (OS 410 or OS 497)
  • Second winter term in the program: OS 498 if completing honors research sequence

Due to this sequencing, the OS program cannot be completed in one academic year.

It is also important to note that OS 305, 310, and 410 are required courses that are offered at only one time each fall semester. There are no substitutions allowed for OS 305 and 310. The only substitution allowed for OS 410 is an approved OS Honors project (OS 497+498, fall and winter terms of your senior year). If you are pursuing a dual degree or double-major and a conflict with OS 305, OS 310, or OS 410 arises, OS is unfortunately not able to provide flexibility, and you may have to choose between programs or remain for extra terms.

Study abroad and off-campus domestic program are possible and encouraged in the winter, spring or summer terms. More information is available in the Current Students/FAQs section of this website.


OS Pathway

As an OS student, you are in the driver’s seat. Because the curriculum is so rich and diverse, Organizational Studies has created a planning tool called the OS Pathway. You develop your own map of the curriculum, choosing from a broad array of courses to develop and pursue your educational goals. OS provides additional guidance and works with you to create and adjust your pathway as you move through the program.

Applying to the Program and Requirements

Students must apply for and be accepted into the major. Only students admitted to the program can be declared majors. Before joining the OS Program, students must complete prerequisites that prepare them for the program in several vital disciplines. Following the prerequisites, the OS major requires a minimum of 34 credits distributed across several broad areas:

  • Core Requirements provide the foundational knowledge for the major.
  • Cluster Requirements (A, B, and C) are designed to provide disciplinary variety in the study of organizations, drawing on courses in a number of fields, and ranging across multiple levels of organizational analysis.
  • Quantitative Skills and Senior Research Capstone requirements give students the tools necessary to engage in various types of research in organizations, and provide the opportunity for real-world experience in organizational research.

Details and course lists for each requirement area are listed on the main Curriculum Page via the link below, and an OS Curriculum Worksheet is also available for your reference.