Undergraduate Major in Organization Behavior

Organization behavior is an interdisciplinary major that combines the theoretical understanding of an organization’s influence on the behaviors and attitudes of individuals with practical applications of that influence within an organization. The major gives students a broad conceptual foundation, drawing upon insights from management theory, social psychology, sociology and communication studies, while developing the communication and analytical skills needed to pursue careers in management, consulting, human resources or entrepreneurship.

Developed collaboratively by schools across Northwestern University, including the Kellogg School of Management, the School of Communication, and the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, the organization behavior major offers a curriculum taught by instructors with expertise in both the theory and practice of organizational behavior. Students in the major develop an understanding of how organizations work, while acquiring sophisticated communication skills and a quantitative competency.



About Organization Behavior

Organization Behavior Major Goals & Curriculum

Program Goals

Graduates will be prepared to
  • Integrate principles of organizational behavior with other social sciences, communication studies, and the fundamentals of finance and accounting for application to real-world scenarios
  • Demonstrate analytic, communication, collaborative and problem-solving skills
  • Lead, communicate, and work effectively with diverse individuals and teams across organizations
  • Analyze the effects of behavior at the individual, team and organizational levels on an organization
  • Demonstrate ability to make the crucial decisions required of leaders of complex organizations


Choose from two degree programs for the organization behavior major. The bachelor's degree requirements are 45 units total and include distribution, writing, and elective courses, and the major requirements.

Organization Behavior major requirements:

Communication Foundation

  • COMM ST 205 Theories of Persuasion
  • COMM ST 250 Team Leadership and Decision Making
  • COMM ST 360 Theories of Organizational Communication
  • ENGLISH 205 Intermediate Composition: Business Communication

Organization Behavior

  • ORG BEH 301 Organization Behavior
  • ORG BEH 307 Leadership Principles and Practice
  • ORG BEH 310 Organizational Change
  • PSYCH 213 Social Psychology (was PSYCH 204)
  • SOCIOL 302 Sociology of Organizations

Analytical Foundation

  • ACCOUNT 201 Introduction to Financial Accounting
  • FINANCE 202 Introduction to Finance
  • SOCIOL 226 Sociological Analysis
  • STAT 202 Introduction to Statistics

3 300-level courses in organization behavior or communication studies, focused on organization behavior (courses in other disciplines may satisfy this requirement, with consent of Assistant Dean)

Undergraduate Organization Behavior Courses

Explore Undergraduate Organization Behavior Courses for descriptions, locations, and schedules. Classes are held on Northwestern's Evanston or downtown Chicago campuses, and meet once weekly in the evening or on Saturdays.

Major in Organization Behavior Admission & Transfer Policy

Application to Northwestern University School of Professional Studies bachelor's degree programs is completed online. Once admitted, students create a shorter path to degree completion by applying transfer credit. View detailed application instructions and transfer credit policies on the Admission & Transfer Policy page.

Organization Behavior Tuition & Financial Aid

The School of Professional Studies offers competitive tuition rates for undergraduate courses. The Tuition & Financial Aid page lists current per-course tuition rates in addition to financial aid and scholarship opportunities.

Registration for Organization Behavior Majors

Registration for courses opens 8 to 10 weeks before each quarter and is accessed CAESAR,  Northwestern's online student records system. View course registration timelines and instructions on the Registration Information page.

Career Options for Organization Behavior Majors

Knowledge of human behavior and business is critical to the achievement of organizational goals and objectives and to the success and well-being of the individual in the workplace. For details, see the Organization Behavior Career Options page.

Find out more about the Major in Organization Behavior

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