Organizational Studies is an interdisciplinary course of study focusing on administrative, economic, political, psychological and sociological factors that affect cooperative human systems. A major in Organizational Studies emphasizes an understanding of how organizations operate, how they affect society and how they change. Students are encouraged to design a specific thematic focus to structure the depth of their study.
Students interested in public administration, business administration, public health administration, organizational behavior, industrial psychology, labor, or sociology of work may find this program an appropriate preparation for either career or graduate work in these areas.
Pitzer Advisers: J. Lewis, K. Rogers. Affiliated faculty: N. Boyle, M. Federman.
Requirements for the Major
Organizational Studies majors take twelve courses from three groups that provide: breadth, core and depth for the major. The courses include a set of four classes: one from each of the social sciences that Organizational Studies draws upon as an interdisciplinary field, one methods class and seven additional classes drawn from thematic and core courses that focus on organizational, industrial, or work-related topics. In most cases several breadth courses will have been completed by the time a student begins to take courses in the core.
Four breadth courses are required, one from each of four fields of study: economics, political studies, psychology and sociology. Breadth courses are Microeconomics (ECON 52); Comparative Politics (POST 30), Congress and the Presidency (POST 100), or another government course relevant to the student's interests; Social Psychology (PSYC 103); and one course on the impact of organizations on society, such as Economy and Society (SOC 13) or Technology and People (SOC 25).
Students complete five core courses. Three are required: Organizational Theory (ORST 100), Organizational Behavior (ORST 135) and any statistical methods course (ECON 91, POST 91, PSYC 91, or SOC 101).
Two additional core courses are chosen from those below:
Cases in Management (ORST 105), Directed Fieldwork (ORST 110), Manufacturing Tales (ORST 120), Nature of Work (ORST 148), Social Responsibility and the Corporation (ORST 160), Negotiating Conflict (ORST 192), Ontario Internship program (by special arrangement), and occasional topics or seminar courses which may be selected with the adviser, such as Organizational Studies 198.
In consultation with their advisers, students select three courses for depth which together represent either a single theme or provide further work in one of the breadth fields. Sample topics have included nonprofit administration, arts management, labor studies, organizational communication, finance and accounting, information technology, women and work, organizations and economic development, leadership and others. A brief rationale describing how the choice of depth courses represents the student's theme should be filed with the adviser at the same time as the major form, i.e., no later than the fall of the junior year. Students are urged to consider courses from the five colleges and at Pitzer beyond those normally designated within Organizational Studies which integrate their topical interests. Topics can also frequently be pursued in coordination with study abroad.
Combined Majors: Students who are pursuing a combined major with Organizational Studies and another field may take three courses which simultaneously fulfill the requirements for Organizational Studies and the other field of major. Normally, students with double majors will choose a depth area in Organizational Studies that is different from their other major. A combined major with Organizational Studies normally includes nine courses of which three may overlap with another field. The combination is to be worked out by the student and cooperating advisers.
Honors: Students with exceptionally strong academic records may be invited by the field group to be considered for honors. Eligible students will be notified at the end of their junior year. Honors will be awarded based on excellence in overall academic work, work in the major, a senior thesis and an oral presentation.