Why the Master's Program in Learning & Organizational Change?

Why the Master's Program in Learning & Organizational Change?


The workplace grows more complex, and the pace of change continues to accelerate. That means opportunities for innovative, confident leaders to make an impact through an organization's most resilient resource: Its people.

The Master's Program in Learning and Organizational Change at Northwestern University (MSLOC) can enhance your career by helping you seize those opportunities.

Maybe you are an experienced leader who aspires to discover new paths to transform your workplace. Or a manager in human resources or learning and development looking for new angles to approach change management challenges. Or you are early in your career and see yourself as an organizational consultant or change management professional, knowing that real change happens because you understand people as much as you do the numbers.

Our close-knit community of students (on average 120 to 140) includes professionals who fit each of these profiles and more. Their common motivation: transforming their thinking about organizational change. And regardless of our students' professional starting place, we work with everyone throughout their time in our program to find the right career match, with more than half of our part-time students moving into new roles while they are still in our program.

We help you become a fearless change agent – for business, education, design, technology, research, consulting and more.

An Alternative to the MBA

MSLOC offers an alternative to MBA programs and master's programs in organizational development, organizational behavior, industrial/organizational psychology, human resource development or similar graduate programs.

Compared to MBA programs, the center of our attention is not the business or enterprise but the people within the enterprise.

In every course our organizational focus is also broader than for-profit businesses. We engage organizations across sectors, from private sector to social and public sector organizations, and prepare graduates to operate effectively in any environment to advance strategic change, organizational culture, learning and performance.

A Multidisciplinary Approach

Compared with other master's degree programs that focus on organizational change or human resources management, MSLOC draws upon research and insights from a more diverse set of academic and professional disciplines. These include organizational development, organizational and social psychology, learning sciences and organizational learning. We also draw from the fields of strategy, change management, knowledge management, social networking, coaching and design.

Why do we explore multiple ways of thinking about learning and organizational change? Dealing with complex, ambiguous challenges in a changing environment depends on a practitioner's ability to continuously learn, to question assumptions and to innovate. And innovation happens at the intersection of different ways of thinking.

One Curriculum, One Student Community

All students are part of a single community of learners – regardless of where you live or your status as part-time or full-time, master's degree or certificate candidate. Each of you will attend courses with a common learning and organizational change curriculum.

Download full course descriptions

Live Anywhere – Flexible Options for Part-Time Study

Our classes are held in a hybrid format, which consists of blended learning with live virtual classes and mandatory in-person sessions on campus. Students join weekly virtual synchronous classes, held on weeknights via Zoom, and then gather at the Evanston campus in-person for a mandatory 2.5-day intensive onsite session, one per course, per quarter (with the exception of project/Capstone courses). The onsites are a combination of live learning, interspersed with group learning and simulations. They are planned out in advance and typically take place over a weekend but may be on weekdays depending on course scheduling. Attendance at both the virtual sessions and onsite sessions is required. View our full course schedule here.

Nearly half of our students live and work outside Illinois, in places like San Francisco, New York City, Dallas, Denver and Washington, D.C. They take advantage of our unique hybrid schedule — part online and part on-campus.

Degree Options


where you live

Anywhere in
the U.S.

average time to degree

18 months

(15 credits required)


where you live

Anywhere in
the U.S.

average time to degree

2.7 years

(15 credits required)

Learn How to Apply

Contact Us

Master's in Learning & Organizational Change

1800 Sherman Avenue
Suite 3500
Evanston, IL 60208
Northwestern University

Phone: 847/491-7376

MSLOC Staff In-Person Office Hours - Monday - Thursday 9:30 am - 4:30 pm

MSLOC Staff Remote Office Hours - Friday 9:30 am - 4:30 pm

Email: msloc@northwestern.edu