This program is delivered as a cooperative partnership with the nonprofit Organization Systems Renewal Northwest (OSR), which has been engaged in educating leaders of organizational change in the Pacific Northwest since 1979. OSR offered this master’s program for 20 years at another local university and joined Seattle University in 2005. This program brings expertise in the design and leadership of organizational and community change, using a systemic approach.
Master of Arts in Organization Systems Renewal
The Organization Systems Renewal (OSR) program provides the opportunity for students to achieve excellence as designers and leaders of systemic change within their organizations and communities. The curriculum integrates academic knowledge, consultative skill development, practical application, reflective practice, and adaptive leadership. The program design operates on multiple levels, paying equal attention to theory and application. When combined, the curriculum and the program design provide adult learners with opportunities to:
- Design processes and structures for leading and managing systemic change
- Develop holistic and sustainable perspectives about individuals, groups, organizations, and global communities
- Recognize the synergistic qualities and opportunities inherent in living systems
- Develop the heart (courage, love, compassion), skills and integrity to move theory to practical action
- Develop a congruence of personal development and professional practice to help others manage their own transformation and renewal
Core curriculum areas emphasized in the program include organizations, change, leadership, ethics, design, consultative skills, and intercultural perspectives. The curriculum is based on the work of classical and contemporary theorists and practitioners, including Malcolm Knowles, Kurt Lewin, Ron and Gordon Lippitt, Eva Schindler-Rainman, Marvin Weisbord, William Bridges, Chris Argyris, Mary Parker Follett, Donald Schön, Peter Senge, Margaret Wheatley, Fritjof Capra, Ralph Stacey, Jay Forrester, Donella Meadows, Edward Hall, Edgar Schein, Gareth Morgan, William Isaacs, David Orr, Russell Ackoff, Peter Block, Ron Heifetz, and David Cooperrider.
Core faculty (lecturers) support the day-to-day operation of the program and provide hands-on student support. The student core faculty ratio is approximately 10:1, allowing for individualized coaching and mentoring. The program is designed within a 21-month cycle, with students typically in session once a month for three to five days. Session days are scheduled to include weekends and there are two residential sessions during the cycle. In addition to the core faculty, OSR enjoys long-standing relationships with a host of distinguished visiting presenters who are leading thinkers and practitioners in their field. Consistent with adult learning theory, another portion of the OSR curriculum is designed and delivered by the students themselves. Core faculty members serve as mentors for these student-led Design Teams.
Candidates for Admission
The primary aim of the OSR program is to help students become competent and confident designers and leaders of systemic change, especially within organizations and communities. The program’s structure supports study while working full time.
Applicants provide the following for consideration:
- Completed Application for Graduate Admission form and a non-refundable $55 application fee (waived for Seattle University alumni)
- Evidence of four-year U.S. equivalent bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
- Minimum of 3.00 grade point average (GPA) calculated with course work from all post-secondary educational institutions attended in the last 90 quarter/60 semester credits of your bachelor’s degree and any post-baccalaureate course work. In special cases, those with less than a 3.00 GPA may be admitted on a probationary status. Applicants with a non-graded bachelor’s degree must submit official MAT or GRE scores.
- Two recommendations using the OSR forms provided from individuals who are able to assess your qualifications for this program
- OSR admission essay following the guidelines stated in the application packet
- Current résumé
- If English is not the applicant’s native language, official English proficiency scores meeting the university’s entrance requirements must be submitted. See policy 2008-01 in Admissions Policies for details. Admission through Culture and Language Bridge program is not an option.
- Screened candidates will be invited to interview accompanied by an on-site writing skills exercise