Organizational Sciences and Communication

Undergraduate Programs:

The Communication Program offers the communication major and two minors (communication and organizational communication). The programs of study explore how people constitute and share meaning in an abstract world. Current curricular offerings probe communication events as media-bound occurrences, studying the verbal and nonverbal, oral or written, live or mass media nature of communication phenomena.  A recent poll of major U.S. employers, conducted by the American Association of Colleges and Universities, stressed the importance of communication studies. The top three "areas in which employers feel that colleges most need to increase their focus include (1) written and oral communication, (2) critical thinking and analytical reasoning, (3) the application of knowledge and skills in real-world settings." Understanding the theory of communication and being able to put that theory into practice increasingly are seen not just as assets but also as "differentiators" in a person's ability to succeed at work and to feel satisfied at home. 

Students are accepted as communication majors through a selective application process. Applications are accepted from students up to a 75-credit limit. A student may apply twice for admission to the major. Expectations for admission include a GPA of 3.0 and completion of, or current enrollment in, one of three courses: COMM 1025 Introduction to Communication Studies Introduction to Communication Studies, COMM 1040 Public Communication Public Communication, or COMM 1041 Interpersonal Communication Interpersonal Communication. Achievement of the expected GPA does not guarantee admission to the major because the acceptance process is selective. Application forms and the Student Handbook for Communication Majors, which provides additional information about the major, including the application process, are available in the department office.

The Organizational Sciences program operates within a human-centered philosophy of organizations and offers an undergraduate major and minor. Its interdisciplinary curriculum draws on social science disciplines such as anthropology, communication, economics, political science, psychology, and sociology. Organizational Sciences ties managerial and executive success to the integration of knowledge in three key areas: strategy and change management, communication and leadership, and performance and talent development. Each of these knowledge components are interlocking dimensions that, when fused, create a knowledge base critical for individual and organizational success.

The program’s fundamental premise is that organizational effectiveness requires an understanding of human behavior in organizations within the context of multiple overlapping systems (teams, divisions, organizations, nation states, and the global environment). The program has a multi-sector orientation, offering a curriculum adaptable to the unique characteristics of business, government, and nonprofit sectors within both the domestic and global spheres. The primary aim of the program is to cultivate students’ intellectual capacity to integrate and synthesize knowledge of organizations so as to lead and manage effectively in their particular settings within different types of jobs and hierarchical levels. The major prepares students to analyze and solve problems by synthesizing information, rethinking work processes, enhancing collaboration, shaping the organizational culture, integrating the interests of stakeholders, and steering the organization toward success.

Graduate Programs:

The Department offers an interdisciplinary program leading to the degree of Master of Arts in the field of Organizational Management. Organizational Management is focused on preparing individuals to quickly analyze and solve problems by synthesizing information, rethinking work processes, enhancing member collaboration, sculpting organizational culture, integrating the interests of a diverse set of stakeholders, and steering the organization toward a successful future. The achievement of this requires a deeper understanding of the interactive-systems relationships among the individual, organization, and environment.  The program is designed for public, private, and nonprofit sector professionals who wish to increase their managerial competence, enhance their leadership ability, and improve their potential for career growth.

In partnership with the Department of Human and Organizational Learning in GW's Graduate School of Education and Human Development, and with the Division of Leadership at the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA), the Department of Organizational Sciences and Communication also offers an interdisciplinary program leading to the degree of Master of Arts in Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) within the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. The LEAD program provides graduate education for talented and highly qualified junior officers to serve as USNA company officers and for their continued service in the Navy and Marine Corps. This distinctive M.A. in leadership is designed to develop the ability to think critically and analytically, and focuses on the knowledge, abilities, and skills to understand, design, and foster leader and team development.

The Industrial/Organizational (I/O) Psychology Doctoral Program, a degree in psychology offered through the Department of Organizational Sciences and Communication, provides graduate education in areas such as personnel selection, training and development, work motivation, leadership, work teams, and organizational development. The program of study is designed in accordance with guidelines established by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP; Division 14, APA).

Applications are accepted from students up to a 75-credit hour limit.  A student may apply twice for admission to the major.  Criteria for admission include a GPA of 3.0 and completion of, or current enrollment in, one of three courses: COMM 1025 Introduction to Communication Studies, COMM 1040 Public Communication, or COMM 1041 Interpersonal Communication. Achievement of the stipulated GPA does not guarantee admission to the major because the application process is rigorous. Application forms and the Student Handbook for Communication Majors, which provides additional information about the major, including the application process, are available in the department office.

Bachelor's programs

Minors

Master's programs

Doctoral program

The Doctor of Philosophy in the field of psychology with a concentration in industrial/ organizational psychology is offered through the Department of Organizational Sciences and Communication on a full-time basis only.

A graduate certificate in organizational management is offered. 

Professors L. Offermann, C. Warren (Chair)

Associate Professors T. Behrend, D.P. Costanza, G. Debebe, M. Liu

Assistant Professors  J.C. Miller, J. Mote, N. Olsen, K. Pariera

Visiting Associate Professor T. Andrews

Adjunct Professor K. Froemling, J. Procopio, T. Suiter, C. Wood

Professorial Lecturers Q. Ahmed, M.A. DiMola, D. Getter, T. Hayes, E. Hoffman, L. Karimova, J. MacDoniels, D. Minionis, E. van Iersel

Adjunct Instructor C.M. Clapp

Lecturers S. Bergman, D. Coultice-Christian, S. Ewing,  P. Hanke, C. Kennedy, M. Lally,  G. Nair, B. Piatt, P. Schechter, P. Scott, D. Tighe,​ S. Tomasovic, A. Weiner

Explanation of Course Numbers

  • Courses in the 1000s are primarily introductory undergraduate courses
  • Those in the 2000–4000s are upper-division undergraduate courses that can also be taken for graduate credit with permission and additional work
  • Those in the 6000s and 8000s are for master’s, doctoral, and professional-level students
  • The 6000s are open to advanced undergraduate students with approval of the instructor and the dean or advising office

Within the Department of Organizational Sciences and Communication, any course counted toward the major may not also be counted toward the minor. Students taking more than one minor in the department may not double-count electives.