Mar 04, 2024  
Academic Catalog 2015-2016 
Academic Catalog 2015-2016 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Human and Organizational Systems, PhD (with optional concentrations)

The PhD degree in Human and Organizational Systems is a self-directed program that is normally completed in 4 to 6 years. It requires completion of the following:

  • New Student Orientation (NSO) and Learning Plan
  • Interdisciplinary Knowledge Area Foundations
  • Advanced Specialized Studies
  • Portfolio Review and Comprehensive Assessment
  • Dissertation

Optional concentrations are available in:

  • Aging, Culture and Society (ACS)
  • Information Society and Knowledge Organizations (ISAKO)
  • Transformative Learning for Social Justice (TLSJ)

Required Coursework:

Effective date: 05/01/2013

Foundations of Doctoral Study

18 credits chosen from degree-specific advanced specialized elective Knowledge Areas:

12 credits chosen from additional advanced specialized elective Knowledge Areas:

Additional Coursework:

Dissertation Courses:

Total Semester Credits: 106

Optional Concentrations

Aging, Culture, and Society Concentration (ACS) Requirements:

Required Area of Specialization:

Students will complete a required 4 unit Knowledge Area course (KA). Students will demonstrate scholarly knowledge of all of the components of the concentration. These include wisdom and consciousness development in aging, particularly the role of creativity in the life course. Critical examination of the works of the ACS Outstanding Scholars are included in this KA.

Required KAs:

Students will complete two Advanced Specialization Studies electives (6 credits each) with depth papers and applied components demonstrating knowledge of the following:

  • Aging, the Brain and Positive Psychology
  • Aging and Wellness
  • Social Policy, Social Justice and Diversity in Aging
  • Creativity and Generativity
  • Spirituality and Wisdom Development in Aging
  • Sustainability and Nurturing Environments

Research and Scholarship:

Students will demonstrate ways in which older adults may themselves use methods of inquiry to improve their self-understanding (or in working with their organizations) in one or more components of the research and inquiry sequence or in applied components of KAs. Students will present a professional paper about their research and practice of positive and creative aging in an appropriate conference or organizational setting. Participation in conference presentations and planning is encouraged such as the Fielding Graduate University Positive Aging Conference.


Students will write a dissertation related to creative longevity and wisdom: aging, community and social justice. At least one ACS faculty member must sit on the student’s dissertation committee.

Participation in the ACS community:

Students are expected to attend three or more sessions and events in national or regional sessions devoted to creative longevity and wisdom and contribute to the online community, and are encouraged to apply for fellowships in ACS.

Information Society and Knowledge Organizations Concentration (ISAKO) Requirements

  • HOD-757 Media, Knowledge, & Information Studies  6 semester credits
  • In an HOD Knowledge Area of your choice: Participate in a research and practice project in organizational or social environments that are impacted by issues of information and knowledge technologies.
  • Produce papers related to ISAKO topics in at least 3 additional knowledge areas of your choice.
  • Complete at least 12 Knowledge Areas credits with ISAKO faculty members.
  • Deliver a presentation on an ISAKO topic at a professional and/or academic conference.
  • Participate in at least one collaborative ISAKO seminar.
  • Complete a dissertation that is relevant to the study of, or practice within, the information society, knowledge organizations, social informatics, or virtual environments. At least one ISAKO faculty member must be on the student’s dissertation committee.

Transformative Learning for Social Justice Concentration (TLSJ) Requirements

Knowledge Areas

The student must assess with a TLSJ faculty member in at least two of the Knowledge Areas completed for the concentration.

and 6 credits chosen from

Research Project

Inclusion of a participatory action research project in Knowledge Areas that focuses on both research and social change.

Dissertation Emphasis

Dissertation emphasis related to the TLSJ concentration. One TLSJ faculty member must sit on the dissertation committee.