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University News | 03.28.24

Online Campus’ Ph.D. programs set to reduce credit requirements this fall

The Online Campus’ two doctoral programs — Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial and Organizational Psychology and Doctor of Philosophy in Organizational Leadership — are reducing their completion requirements from 90 credits to 66 credits for incoming students in Fall 2024.

The reduction, set to begin in August, will make both programs more competitive to similar online programs, more efficient with the student admissions process, and result in an overall better educational experience for students.

“Improving upon our current structure, this change will provide students with the opportunity to be in a true cohort model, which creates a richer student experience,” said Marianne Cabrera, Ph.D., Organizational Leadership program director.

The decision to reduce the credit requirements is the result of a program review conducted in the summer of 2023. The review found that the current program requirements created barriers to student enrollment, made the University less competitive, and produced workload challenges.

Currently, each student can waive credits by transferring master’s level coursework to their online doctoral program — a time- and energy-consuming manual process for staff.

“Removing credit waivers and reducing credit requirements allow us to be more efficient with our process,” said Donna DiMatteo-Gibson, Ph.D., Industrial and Organizational Psychology program director. “And this reduces anxiety from our students trying to figure out what transferrable credits they may have.”

The credit reduction will not affect current students in either online Ph.D. program. However,  each program is developing a plan for this spring to ensure current students’ questions and concerns are addressed. The programs are also developing a tiered plan to make concessions and provide waivers to current students who still have elective credit hours to complete.

“With any changes, we want to be cognizant that the impact is clear, and our students don’t feel there are any equity challenges,” said Dr. DiMatteo-Gibson.

The online I/O Psychology program trains students to be forward-thinking, socially responsible organizational experts who draw on scientific research to gain a deeper understanding of motivation and how to maximize human potential. Meanwhile, the online Organizational Leadership program prepares students to become innovative and socially conscious leaders in both academic and professional settings.

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