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Prospective Students FAQs

We welcome prospective students to meet with a prospective student advisor or peer mentor to answer their individual questions. Below are some common questions interested students have about the program.


Deciding to Apply

How do I make an appointment to see a prospective student advisor?

Interested students can make an appointment to meet with our Student Services Coordinator or our Peer Mentors via our online advising calendar.

When should I apply to the OS major?

The OS Program admits students once a year, during the winter semester. You should plan to apply in the winter term of your sophomore year. Please note that you can only apply to the OS Program once. If you have questions about when you should apply, please see a prospective student advisor. Prospective transfer students wishing to apply to OS should see an advisor as early as possible!

I'm considering applying to the Organizational Studies Program, and I've read through all the web site materials. What is the best way to obtain further information?

Each semester, the Organizational Studies Program conducts an OS Information Session. Attending this session will  allow you to meet program faculty, staff, and students, hear a presentation about the program and the admissions process, and participate in a question and answer session. If you are not able to attend the session, you can make an appointment to meet with our Student Services Coordinator, or with the OS Peer Mentors through the on-line advising calendar. Also look for OS at Festifall and the Major/Minor Expo.

How many people apply to the program and how many are admitted?

Past application cycles garnered between 160-200 applications. Due to limited faculty resources the target admission class size is 50.

What is the average GPA of incoming students in the OS program?

The average cumulative GPAs of each entering cohort is typically in the 3.6-3.8 range, but there is no minimum GPA requirement to apply to the major. We encourage students to maintain a strong cumulative GPA in order to remain competitive with their peers, but all applications are forwarded to the Admissions Committee, regardless of their cumulative GPA. The Admissions Committee reviews applications holistically and considers all parts of the applications in their decisions.

I am a transfer student. Can I still apply to OS?

Yes. Transfer students may apply to OS provided they have been admitted to the University of Michigan and have completed all the prerequisites required for the application (see below).

If you are a transfer student applying simultaneously to UM-AA and OS for the same fall term, please contact for specific instructions.

Transfer students should be aware that if they are accepted, the program requires at least three fall/winter semesters to complete, beginning with the Fall semester following their admission to the program.


What are the prerequisites for applying to the program?

  • Introductory Psychology 111, 112, 114, or 115 and
  • Introductory Sociology 100, 102, 195, or 300 and
  • Economics 101

Can I take prerequisite courses on a pass-fail basis?

Yes, effective F22, prerequisite courses may be taken on a P/F basis, but the actual grade received will be retrieved from UM records and considered in the OS admissions process (but your UM cumulative gpa will not be affected). 

For transfer students, effective F22, if you wish to elect the course P/F, we request that you verify with the host institution that you will receive and actual letter grade for the course, and that an official document showing that letter grade will be available from that institution to be sent to UM.  If the host institution does not assign letter grades for P/F courses, and/or cannot produce a document showing a letter grade received, it is preferred that you elect the course on a graded basis (not P/F). Please contact the Organizational Studies Office with any questions or extenuating circumstances (

For students taking prereq courses at other institutions, you should also be sure to verify that your course will transfer as equivalent to the UM prereq course.

Can AP credit be used to fulfill prerequisite requirements?

Yes, AP, IB, and A-Level credit can be used to fulfill prerequisite course requirements.  Please note that AP Econ credit will appear as ECON 101X for 2 credits on your transcript, and while this is not considered exactly equivalent to Econ 101 at UM, it is acceptable for the OS prereq.  If you plan to take further courses in Econ, however, you must complete Econ 101 at UM or take an equivalent transfer course at another college or university.

Can I transfer in my prerequisite courses from another institution?

Yes, transfer credit may be used to fulfill prerequisites and transferred as an equivalent course credit to UM. See your general advisor for more details on choosing appropriate transfer courses.  


I don’t have all my prerequisite courses completed. Can I still apply to the OS program?

Applications will only be accepted if at least two of the required three prerequisite courses have been completed and the student is enrolled in the third prerequisite course at the time of application. We encourage students to have completed all three prerequisite courses before the application deadline, as it provides the Admissions Committee with the most complete picture of candidates’ preparation for the OS program.


Will taking a lot of OS courses before applying increase my chances of admission to the program?

No. Students might wish to take an ORGSTUDY 200-level course to get an idea of what the program is like, but these courses are not prerequisites, and Organizational Studies courses are not given extra weight in admissions decisions. Students should take courses that would meet requirements for distribution and for other majors that may interest them.

Application Preparation and Submission

What materials and documentation should I submit with my application?

Applicants need to submit their essay, resume and application form via the online OS application. No additional materials are required for application to Organizational Studies. OS will retrieve your transcripts from UM files, and recommendation letters will not be accepted.

How can I make myself an outstanding candidate for the OS program?

The Admissions Committee seeks candidates who have a passion for the study of organizations and who have demonstrated academic preparation for the rigor of the program. The Admissions Committee takes a holistic approach to making decisions about applications. Each aspect of the application from overall academic performance to the quality of the essay and resume is given equal consideration. Admission is highly competitive and there is no exact “formula” for  acceptance.

What else can I do to prepare to apply to the OS major?

The best thing you can do to prepare is to perform as well as possible in your courses and give a good amount of time and attention to your essay question response.

Because our application process is very competitive, with a typical admissions rate of 25-30%, we strongly recommend that you develop an alternative academic plan. Consider what other majors interest you. Make sure that your class choices will fit not only OS requirements, but also prepare you to pursue another major.

When will I find out about the results of my application?

Students will typically be informed by email about the admissions decision on the Friday immediately preceding spring break.