Jun 14, 2024  
Graduate Catalog | 2023-2024 
Graduate Catalog | 2023-2024 Previous Edition

Organizational Science, Ph.D.

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Organizational Science is an emerging interdisciplinary field of inquiry focusing on employee and organizational health, well-being, and effectiveness. Organizational Science is both a science and a practice.  Enhanced understanding leads to applications and interventions that benefit the individual, work groups, the organization, the customer, the community, and the larger society in which the organization operates. Specific topics of study in Organizational Science include, but are not limited to: Team Processes and Performance; Organizational Structure and Effectiveness; Selection, Testing, and Promotion; Leadership; Organizational Culture and Climate; Training and Development; Performance Evaluation; Workplace Health and Safety; Workplace Diversity; Employee Attitudes; Job Satisfaction and Turnover; Rewards and Recognition; Communication Effectiveness; Technology and Work; Employee Motivation and Participation; Employee Citizenship and Deviance; Work-Life Programs; Organizations and External Environment; Customer Service and Satisfaction; Organizational Behavior; Employee Recruitment and Socialization; Interorganizational Relations; and Organizational Change. The discipline stems from (in alphabetical order): Human Resources Management, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Organizational Behavior, Organizational Communication, Organizational Sociology and Social Psychology.

Upon graduation, students will have achieved the following educational objectives:

  • Acquire a comprehensive and integrated body of organizational science knowledge ranging from micro issues concerning employee selection and socialization to more macro issues concerning organizational structure and effectiveness
  • Demonstrate competence in synthesizing and transcending disciplinary perspectives to generate novel, useful, and robust understandings of organizational science phenomena
  • Demonstrate competence in planning, conducting, and evaluating Organizational Science research
  • Demonstrate competence in teaching, communicating, and disseminating organizational science knowledge to others in an effective and pedagogically appropriate manner
  • Demonstrate competence in collaborating with a diverse group of professionals, students, research participants, and consumers of organizational science services
  • Demonstrate competence in applying research in organizational science to practice leading to applications and interventions that benefit the individual, the organization, the customer, and the larger community in which the organization operates

By meeting these objectives, graduates of the program will be prepared to assume leadership roles as organizational scholars, researchers, and educators in academic institutions and as practitioners and policy makers in a wide range of public and private settings. By doing so, our graduating doctoral students will be further promoting our core mission to advance employee and organizational health, well-being, and effectiveness.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the general requirements for admission to the Graduate School, we ask students to submit the following:

  1. A one to two-page professional statement (discuss interest in the program and objectives for pursuing this degree)
  2. A current resume or vita
  3. International students (whose native language is not English) must submit official test scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) of at least 550 on the written test or 220 on the computer-based test or a score of at least 85% on the Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB). All tests must have been taken within the past two years

The following are recommended admissions requirements:

  1. Completed undergraduate degree with a GPA of 3.0 or above
  2. Completion of statistics and research methodology courses
  3. Research experience

Note: Standardized test scores (e.g., GRE, GMAT, MAT) are not required.

Degree Requirements

Outlined below are the requirements of the Ph.D. in Organizational Science program.  Additional detail on all can be found in the Organizational Science Graduate Handbook.

  1. 77 credit hours (post baccalaureate) are required
  2. Graduate students must have a 3.0 GPA in the courses on their degree plan of study in order to graduate.  Two grades of C or one U will result in suspension from the program.  If reinstated, another grade of C or U will result in termination from the program.
  3. Students who have taken graduate coursework but have not earned graduate degrees may transfer in up to six credit hours of coursework.  Students who have earned master’s degrees may transfer up to thirty credit hours
  4. Beyond the 30 hours that students with a Master’s degree can transfer into the program, all coursework that will count toward the Ph.D. will be 6000-level or above. The majority of the coursework will be at the 8000 level
  5. Master’s thesis or Independent Pre-Doctoral Research Project is required
  6. A qualifying exam is required.  Failure to pass the qualifying examination after two attempts will result in termination from the program
  7. A Dissertation is required
  8. An organizational science practicum is optional
  9. Each year, a student will have a performance appraisal assessment
  10. A student may choose a disciplinary “emphasis” (e.g., an emphasis in Business, Sociology, Psychology, or Communication Studies).  An emphasis includes three discipline-specific courses. A disciplinary emphasis would provide an opportunity for a student to combine interdisciplinary training with a core disciplinary specialization.  Students preparing for careers in academia may benefit most from having such an emphasis.  Students may choose to not have an “emphasis” and instead take electives that span across all disciplines.  Program director approval is needed in order to count a course toward an emphasis
  11. A student can consider co-enrolling in other MA programs at UNC Charlotte
  12. Students must complete their degree, including dissertation, within nine years


The curriculum has three major curricular components: (1) Core Organizational Science and Research, (2) Electives/Advanced Seminars, and (3) Dissertation Research.

Elective Courses (18 credit hours)

Select from the following:

Other Elective Course Options

  • Graduate courses (6000 or 8000 level) in the Departments of Communication Studies, Psychological Science, Sociology, and the College of Business can serve as elective courses. Other content (e. g., strategy, decision making) or methods (e.g., multivariate, ethnography, focus group, SEM, categorical methods) courses outside of these core disciplines of OS can also serve as elective courses upon the approval of the Director (prior to taking the class). They must be at the 6000 or 8000 level.

  • OSCI 8899 - Organizational Science Readings and Research (1 to 3)  (there is no limit on the amount of readings and research credits a student can take) - While 6 credit hours of readings and research will count for dissertation research, other credits of OSCI 8899  can be used for elective credits with the approval of the Director.  But, this is only granted in limited circumstances and the student should never assume credits will be counted until they consult with the Director.​

Dissertation Research (18 credit hours)

Elective Dissertation Research Courses

Students may take additional credit hours of OSCI 8998  or OSCI 8999 , or use up to 6 credit hours from OSCI 8899  to fulfill the remaining 6 credit hours of the 18 credit hour requirement for dissertation research.

Degree Total = 77 Credit Hours

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