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MS Leadership and Organizational Development with a concentration in Executive Coaching


The Master of Science in Leadership, Organizational Development (MS LOD) is designed to give students a foundation of management concepts and an in-depth specialization in Organizational Behavior and Executive Coaching.


The goal of the executive coach training program is to help students acquire principles and techniques needed to develop creative solutions in a changing business environment, contributing quickly to their professional and company success within their area of specialization. The benefits are:

  • Focused set of courses on how people behave in organizations and how they can be influenced for performance and development purposes.
  • Advanced education in your area of specialty
  • Convenient class scheduling with online classes and distance learning
  • The opportunity to participate with experienced professionals with a wide variety of business experiences
  • High value for the money; similar programs charge higher tuition

Leadership, Organizational Development and Executive Coaching

The concentration in Executive Coaching focuses on the description and explanation of how people behave in organizations. The courses close the gap between what is known about why individuals and groups behave as they do and how they can be influenced for performance and developmental purposes.

The coaching certification program curriculum includes executive and professional coaching theory and practices. Students learn coaching tools, techniques, models and how to become instruments of individual and group change and growth. The curriculum is delivered online using advanced distance learning methodologies with both synchronous and asynchronous attendance. It offers flexibility and convenience for busy professionals.

The courses draw upon many disciplines, including psychology, organizational theory, counseling, group process, and leadership theory. Students are expected to develop competence in management and master concepts and methods for analyzing and predicting individual, group and organizational behavior.

The coaching degree program is an accredited coach-training program under the International Coach Federation (ICF).

Now Accepting Applications for Spring 2019

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited university and five years of satisfactory work experience; for consideration of exceptions contact the program director
  • A complete online application form, which includes personal, employment and education information
  • A resume of your career experience for the last five years or longer
  • Application Essay
  • Three letters of recommendation on forms supplied by the Leadership, Organizational Development and Executive Coaching Program
  • Official transcripts from any college and universities that have awarded you a degree
  • International applicants have additional requirements that are available upon request

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Leadership, Organizational Development and Executive Coaching Program
School of Management, SM10
The University of Texas at Dallas
800 West Campbell Rd.
Richardson, Texas 75080-3021

Application Procedure

Applications are reviewed upon receipt of the online application, resume and essay. After approval, admission is completed upon receipt of all required components. Candidates are notified shortly after the admission decision has been made. Early submission of all application materials is strongly recommended.

A non-refundable $200 application fee payable online by credit card or by a check made out to The University of Texas at Dallas and mailed to:

Leadership, Organizational Development and Executive Coaching Program
Executive Education, SM11
The University of Texas at Dallas
800 West Campbell Rd.
Richardson, TX 75080-3021

Minimum Technology Requirements

  • High-speed Internet access
  • Computer Microphone

Recommended Technology Requirements

  • Skype account
  • Webcam
  • The MS Leadership and Organizational Development (MS LOD) degree focuses on the description and explanation of how people behave in organizations. The curriculum closes the gap between what is known about why individuals and groups behave as they do and how they can be influenced for performance and developmental purposes.

    The program is delivered online using both recordings and live web conferencing to create a more successful learning experience. This allows students to attend The University of Texas at Dallas no matter where they are in the world.

    Our program requires completion of a 36 credit hours, consisting of 12 hours of core organizational behavior courses and 24 hours of courses in a selected area of concentration. Those candidates who also wish to receive a Academic Certificate in Executive and Professional Coaching must complete those courses below that are marked with an asterisk and successfully pass the ACTP comprehensive exam.

    Core Courses

    The study of human behavior in organizations. Emphasizes theoretical concepts and practical methods for understanding, analyzing, and predicting individual, group, and organizational behavior. Topics include work motivation, group dynamics, decision making, conflict and negotiation, leadership, power, and organizational culture. Ethical and international considerations are also addressed.

    This course explores theories and techniques of leadership, emphasizing the complementary roles of management and leadership in organizations. This course involves the study of leadership theories and approaches from antiquity to the present time. It includes information concerning the development of these approaches as well as critical analyses. The course will address emotional intelligence, leadership styles, communications and leadership practices generally, focusing specifically on how leaders turn challenging opportunities into successes and get extraordinary things done in organizations. Self-assessment exercises will focus on the development of individual leadership skills.

    The discipline of applied organizational development (OD) is broadly concerned with the application of empirically supported theoretical frameworks that, when applied, improve the performance capability and effectiveness of individuals, teams and entire organizations. This course will cover a range of models and practices spanning all three domains with a focus on how they translate to and apply in practice. Topics range from improving individuals’ performance, to improving the effectiveness of work teams, to large-scale system and organizational behavior diagnosis and change. The course is designed to bridge the gap between OD theory and research and actual practice.

    This course explores how real change happens in organizations including setting a business strategy, using change models and showing leadership throughout the change process. Topics include the linkage of business strategy and organizational change, driving and resisting forces to change, frameworks helpful in guiding the change process, and types of leadership most critical at different stages of the change process.”

    Concentration Courses

    Coaching Practicum (2 semester credit hours) Executive Education Course. Individual sessions with a supervising coach and small-group supervised sessions. For the individual sessions, students will be required to submit recordings for review or provide for real-time attendance by the supervising coach so that an evaluation of their coaching competence can occur. Feedback and guidance will help students develop their coaching skills. A comprehensive exam will be used to evaluate coaching competency. The exam will test for their knowledge, skills, and abilities as an executive and professional coach. Instructor consent required. This course is offered in an online format only. Pass/Fail only. Corequisite: OB 6352.

    Solution Focused and 4 Square Framework Coaching
    This learning module introduces students to a solution-focused approach to coaching. Topics include: the fundamental processes of coaching, the meta-model of communication, solution-focused theory and practice, the trans-theoretical model of change. At the conclusion of the learning module, students will be able to assess a client’s readiness for change and carry out a structured solution-focused coaching session.

    The Foundation and Structure of Coaching
    This learning module provides an overview of professional coaching and introduces participants to the 11 coaching competencies, their significance, and how to apply them in working with coaching clients. It also provides context for coaching credentials, niches and specialties, professional connections, and organizing yourself as a coach. Principles of Solution Focused Coaching are applied throughout.

    The Ethics and Standards of Coaching
    This learning module provides an introduction to the role and application of ethics and standards in the professional coaching environment. EC 102 is a foundational class that will assist students in developing the knowledge and resources needed to handle ethical dilemmas that present themselves in the coach-client relationship.

    Strategic Inquiry
    This learning module provides students with a model for understanding and working with clients at a deeper level; using strategies of effective inquiry to facilitate understanding and self-directed change. Topics include: language and the brain; the Meta Model (deletions, distortions, generalizations); and the use of effective inquiry strategy. At the conclusion of the learning module, students will understand nine linguistic patterns that serve as stimulus for powerful inquiry so that they will be able to move from surface level to deep structure understanding.

    Developing Coaching – Therapy Distinctions
    This learning module teaches how coaching and therapy differ, and what they have in common. In addition, students learn how coaching-therapy distinctions guide their approach to coaching and the coach-client relationship and how to ensure that clients receive the services most suited to their situation.

    OB 6248. Coaching Practice Lab, Part 1. This class requires students to apply and practice the theory and techniques discussed in OB 6350. Class meets during the regular online schedule.

    Group Coaching Methodologies
    Group Coaching is one of the most powerful formats in professional coaching. It enables collaboration, and provides a proven forum for clients to learn from the integrated business and life experience of all the Group participants. This learning module teaches class participants what procedures/techniques facilitate a smooth, virtual presentation of material and the use of Group process for successful virtual Group Coaching. Real-world examples are utilized throughout, and the approach is experiential. Participants will take and analyze the results of the Gregorec Mind Profile Assessment Instrument, designed for use with Coaching Groups.

    Cognitive Coaching
    This learning module teaches participants how to apply the cognitive coaching model to their coaching practice. We begin by examining the foundations of the cognitive model and how to identify cognitive distortions. Topics include the A-B-C Model, combating irrational beliefs, and uncovering deep structure automatic thoughts. This module will build on concepts learned in the Solution Focused Coaching module and will include a practice lab.

    Motivational Interviewing
    This learning module provides an overview of Motivational Interviewing within a coaching context. Participants will learn the 4 principles of Motivational Interviewing and gain tools to address ambivalence and resistance to change within the coaching conversation while strengthening client motivation. The 4 square coaching framework principles are applied throughout.

    Using Assessments in Coaching
    This learning module provides participants with an overview of how to use assessments in a coaching relationship. Assessments are often used in coaching to develop the client’s awareness, to jump start the initial phase of the coaching, and to provide data for goal setting and return on investment. Numerous assessments are available to coaches, some at no cost and others costing hundreds of dollars or more. Your decision as a coach to incorporate assessments into your practice may depend on the types of coaching clients you work with, the kinds of assessments your own coach has used in your coaching, and your overall familiarity with assessments. One of the most effective ways to explore assessments and their value is through taking some of these measures yourself in order to evaluate what value they provide.

    Coaching Techniques and Practices
    Real life coaching issues and challenges are used to demonstrate coaching techniques, and practices. This is an action packed experientially based class designed to demonstrate the Solution Focused Coaching Model in action AND at the same time demonstrate the 11 Core Coaching Competencies as described by the International Coach Federation.

    Mastering Core Competencies
    A solid understanding of the distinction between ACC and PCC for each competency covered is the goal for this learning module. By the completion of these classes and peer practice groups, the goal is for students to know their competency strengths and gaps, and leave with a personalized coaching development plan.

    OB 6249. Coaching Practice Lab, Part 2. This class requires students to apply and practice the theory and techniques discussed in OB 6351. Class meets during the regular online schedule.

    Coaching and Appreciative Inquiry
    This learning module teaches participants how to apply the Appreciative Inquiry and Appreciative Coaching principles, model and techniques to real-world coaching scenarios. This module offers a useful, powerful structure and steps to follow in the coaching process. Participants will also learn how to incorporate systems elements into coaching within organizational settings.

    Evidence Based Models
    This learning module introduces learners to the core theories from psychology, adult development and related fields which underpin the principles and practices of coaching. The concept of evidence-based practice, integrating coaching context, coach and client characteristics and engagement goals is introduced and addressed as a working framework. In each session, participants review theoretical principles and discuss the application of those principles in conjunction with their real-world coaching practice.

    Advanced Core Competencies in a Solution Focused Model
    This module is devoted to understanding and practicing the ICF core competencies and ethical standards at a PCC level, and provides a comprehensive review within the context of Solution Focused Coaching.

    Positive Psychology in Coaching
    This learning module exposes students to the science around the burgeoning field of human flourishing, which is now known as “Positive Psychology.” The class will cover the inception of the field in the late 1990′s and will track its growth, and particularly its successful application in the field of coaching. Special attention will be paid to separating the idea of “happyology” from Positive Psychology, which is undergirded by important findings around how to assess one’s flourishing, why it is important to learn how to identify and apply so-called “positive interventions,” and how the process of goal-setting is intricately wrapped up in the field of human flourishing. Students will learn about many of the concepts that support and encourage emotional flourishing and goal accomplishment, including grit, savoring, resilience, self-regulation and priming. Takeaways will include the identification of student’s own strengths through the Positive Psychology assessment of VIA Signature Strengths, worksheets on how to identify and encourage positive socially contagious environments, and a deep understanding of why the science of happiness is relevant to every coaching engagement, regardless of the context.

    Transactional Analysis for Coaches
    Transactional Analysis (TA) is both a theory of personality and an organized system for understanding the cognitive and behavioral aspects of human interaction. It is grounded on the assumption that, as adults, we adopt ego states and associated patterns of behavior based on early life interactions with parental figures. The goal of working with transactional analysis as a framework for coaching is to support autonomy, which is defined as awareness, spontaneity, and the capacity for intimacy. In the Transactional Analysis for Coaching module, students consider ego states, parallel and crossed transactions, discounting, and transactional dramas or “games” with an emphasis on how these concepts can be applied to coaching.

    Team Coaching in Organizations
    The primary purpose of this module is to create an experiential learning environment in which students can synthesize and apply knowledge related to team coaching acquired in previous courses. Team coaching is an effective method for improving productivity and team cohesion by reducing conflict and improving working relationships. Concentration is on challenges often encountered by teams and learning which methods and tools coaches may use to address these challenges. The students become the teachers, leading the discussions for applying what they have learned previously about coaching competencies to team coaching. The instructors serve as facilitators.

    Political processes and the development and use of power in organizations including the role of power in decision making, sources of power, conditions for the use of power, assessing power in organizations; political strategies and tactics; political language and symbols, and applications to budgeting, careers and organizational structure.

    This course is focused on gaining theoretical knowledge and practical skills necessary to diagnose the operating effectiveness of a firm, business unit, or business function. The course will teach how to design a diagnostic approach, gather fact-based information, how to analyse it, draw actionable conclusions, and how to create a set of actions necessary to impact organizational performance. A case study approach will be used.

    Estimated tuition-only for the Master of Science Leadership and Organizational Development with concentration in Executive Coaching is $32,400 ($900 per credit hour; 36 hours).

    Financial Aid

    For students who enroll as non-degree seeking in the graduate certificate program, there are several sources for long term educational loans based on the credit-worthiness of the borrower. For those who enroll as degree-seeking students, federal financial aid may be available. Veteran’s benefits may also apply for both the graduate certificate and the degree programs.

    More information is available by contacting the Executive Education Financial Services Manager: (972) 883-4114.

    Robert Hicks

    Hicks, Robert, PhD (USC)
    Clinical Professor, Organizational Behavior, Executive Education

    Anne Ferrante

    Ferrante, Anne
    Lecturer I

    Tracy Rockett

    Rockett, Tracy
    Lecturer I

    Larry Norton

    Norton, Larry

    Debb Fuqua Program Manager