Human and Organizational Development (HOD)

HOD focuses on lifespan development through enhancing life-long learning and developing caring and competent learning communities.


Department Overview

The Department of Human and Organizational Development offers degree programs that share a focus on human behavior and well-being in organizational and community contexts. Our programs help students apply conceptual and methodological approaches to a wide variety of institutions with a goal of enhancing human development and creating social capital. Students gain skills to facilitate individual development as well as that social institutions and organizations.

The department is home to Vanderbilt University's largest undergraduate major (Human and Organizational Development) in conjunction with the Department of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations. For information on the undergraduate Capstone Program, click here.

Alignment Nashville

"My…degree from Vanderbilt Peabody College helped me to better understand the public sector landscape, while also emphasizing the community's role in creating solutions to complex community problems."

Robert Robinson, M.Ed.
Alignment Nashville

Undergraduate Program

Master's Programs

  • Community Development and Action

    The Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Community Development and Action is a two-year graduate program through the Department of Human and Organizational Development. It attracts students from around the world committed to learning how to create positive, community-level change in a collaborative and participatory way.

    Learn More About Community Development and Action

  • Human Development Counseling

    Counseling begins and ends with the needs of human beings. Gain experience working with diverse populations in diverse contexts by earning a Human Development Counseling (HDC) degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling or School Counseling from Vanderbilt University. The HDC master's degree trains you to translate sound theoretical knowledge and research into effective counseling programs as a clinical mental health or school counselor. In a rigorous and integrated program of study, you will acquire a strong theoretical grounding in human development, counseling paradigms, and change strategies.

    Learn More About Human Development Counseling

  • Human Development Studies

    From personal relationships to group dynamics to entire organizational structures, the principles of effective human development can be applied in many ways. In this innovative program, students develop their skills to drive and manage change, working with diverse populations in a wide range of settings, and set themselves apart as effective organizational leaders focused on equity and systemic change. Dietitian/Nutritionist and Organizational specializations are available in HDS.

    Learn More About Human Development Studies

Doctoral Program

  • Community Research and Action

    The Ph.D. degree in Community Research and Action (CRA) prepares action-oriented researchers for academic or policy-related careers in applied community studies with a social justice orientation. If your areas of interest include community psychology, community development, social program evaluation, organizational change, health or mental health policy, prevention, urban change and social policy, and the like, the CRA program offers an intellectual community where your knowledge and field skills will be enhanced.

    Learn More About Community Research and Action

undergrad Andrew Sundaram

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