Degree Essentials

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Degree Essentials

Program Guidelines and Goals

The Organizational Studies program is multidisciplinary in intent and grounded in the liberal arts. Developing a theoretical base for organizational participation and leadership requires moving beyond a single area of specialization. Through a multidisciplinary approach, students will begin to develop 1) an understanding of the human condition as it is experienced in organizational life, 2) an understanding of the complex nature of systems and institutions, and 3) the capacity for analysis that moves beyond simplistic solutions to explore the interplay of values, responsibility, and the achievement of social goals. The goals of this theoretical base are to be supplemented by and integrally related to both a significant internship experience in an appropriate organization and the mastering of specific skills not available in the regular curriculum.

Organizational Studies Certificate

General Requirements for the Certificate In order to fulfill the requirements for certification in Organizational Studies, a student must accomplish the following:

  • complete three core courses: one from each each of the two major content areas and a third from either content area (some courses are listed below)
  • complete Organizational Psychology (PSYC 230), which is offered each spring semester
  • participate successfully in a month-long summer session.
  • complete an appropriate internship following the summer session
  • write an integrative paper upon completion of the internship

In order to further integration and thoughtful choices, the program director shall advise and have final authority over each student's particular program selections. Course selections are to be made from the approved list. Exceptions are only by petition. Petitions must include a complete course syllabus and a detailed rationale for the exception.

Core Courses The three courses – one from Area A, one from Area B, and one from either area – must be taken from at least two different departments. A Directed Study or Senior Research Project may replace one of the courses.

  1. The Individual Within the Organization. Courses that meet this requirement are designed to focus on the role and development of the individual in organizational settings. Students will examine some combination of the following issues: 1) how individuals acquire, develop, and use knowledge in organizational settings, 2) how individuals communicate in the process of social interaction, 3) how individuals gain an overview of the nature and foundations of sociocultural behavior. Examples of courses that satisfy this requirement:
    • BLST 212 Race and Ethnicity
    • COMM 101 Public Address
    • COMM 221 Group Communication
    • COMM 224 Interpersonal Communication
    • COMM 244 Intercultural Communication
    • PSYC 220 Social Psychology
    • PSYC 240 Personality
    • PSYC 330 Cognitive Psychology
    • REL 225 Ethics and Institutional Morality
    • SA 210 Sexual Inequality
    • THTR 230 Acting: Realism I
  2. Organizational Processes and Social Organizing. Courses that meet this requirement are designed to focus on interdependent relationships within organizations. Students will develop an understanding of organizational life that reflects on either the broad nature of social organizing or a specific aspect of organizational life. Examples of courses that satisfy this requirement:
    • BLST 265 Black Women and Organizational Leadership
    • BLST 339 Culture, Identity, and Politics in Caribbean Society
    • BLST 340 Social Justice Movements in Communities of Color
    • COMM 306 Organizational Culture
    • COMM 409 International Communication
    • COMM 415 Conflict and Communication
    • ECON 422 Industrial Organization and the Public Control of Business
    • ECON 423 International Trade
    • ECON 424 Labor Economics
    • ECON 425 Racial and Ethnic Groups and the U.S. Economy
    • EDUC 213 The U.S. Education System
    • ENVS 240 Environmental Politics and Decision Making
    • ENVS 284 Environmental Planning and Design
    • ENVS 301 Environmental Practicum
    • PHED 430 Organization and Administration of Physical Education, Health, and Athletics
    • POSC 202 American Political Behavior and Institutions
    • POSC 311 Political Organizations in the U.S.
    • POSC 319 The Politics of Congress
    • REL 217 Sects and Cults
    • REL 319 The Human Condition: Economic Factors and Theological Perspectives
    • SA 244 Environment, Technology, and Society
    • SA 342 Non-Governmental Organizations, Development and Human Rights
    • SA 349 Complex Organizations
  3. Electives or Applications. Courses and projects that meet this requirement are designed to focus on an aspect of organizational studies that is particularly appropriate to the student's vocational aspirations, the integrity of the program, and/or the major. Students have the following options:
    1. An integrative directed study (or)
    2. A senior research/honors project in the major that integrates the program into a new research project (or)
    3. An elective course approved by the director.

Additional Points of Interest

Summer Session The premise guiding this four-week session is that organizations need persons capable of examining problems with a critical and imaginative eye and of responding in an ever-changing environment with policies, actions, and decisions derived from a broad knowledge base.

A major strength of Denison's liberal arts program is that it fosters the development of this broad knowledge base, as well as critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. The summer seminar focuses on the application of those skills in organizations. Working primarily with Denison alumni/ae, students are introduced to the language and fundamental principles of organizational management, decision-making, marketing, finance, and accounting. Equipped with this information, students serve as consultants for local nonprofit and commercial enterprises, taking on the tasks of researching and analyzing problems, formulating solutions, and presenting findings to clients.

In addition, students travel to cities such as New York, Chicago, and Washington to learn first-hand the nature of operations in advertising agencies, investment banks, manufacturing plants, and other organizations.

Internship and Integrative Paper The internship should take place during the months following the summer session. The internship will become the venue where coursework and the summer seminar are brought into play. The completion of the internship shall result in a major, integrative paper.