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Explore, Prepare, Apply

If the Organizational Studies major sounds like a good fit for you, come talk to us about your educational goals. Find out more below on how to explore, prepare, and apply to the Organizational Studies Program.


  • Explore this website!  Particularly useful are the Curriculum Information and the Prospective Student FAQs
  • Sign up for the OS prospective student email list to get announcements of all informational events for prospective students.
  • Attend an OS Information Night.
  • Make an appointment with the Prospective Student Advisor or a Peer Mentor.
  • Visit us at the Major/Minor Expo or at Festifall.
  • If you are a transfer student applying simultaneously to UM-AA and OS for the same fall term, please contact for specific instructions.



OS recognizes the challenges many students encountered during the Winter 2020 term with respect to the transition to online learning and the dorm move-out in the middle of the term. 

Unmasking Grades
OS will leave the decision to unmask grades for W20 fully in the hands of our applicants. OS will accept "P" grades for prereq courses during the Winter 2020 term only (provided that the P designation took place AFTER the Provost's announcement to transition all grades to P/NRC).  Prerequisites will be considered completed regardless of whether students choose to leave "P" grades on their transcript or unmask them. 

The admissions committee is committed to placing less emphasis on Winter term 2020 grades and will not view the grades of applicants who have chosen to mask their grades.  More emphasis will instead be placed on the overall rigor of the courses chosen.

Your application to OS is one small piece of your consideration concerning whether to mask or unmask your grades.  We urge you to make this decision based on other factors also, such as future internship/job plans, graduate/professional school applications, etc.  

Transferring courses
We know that many students may be considering transferring courses from other institutions to meet OS prereq or major requirements.  LSA has relaxed restrictions on transferring online courses for 2020 Spring or Summer terms (May-Aug), so now any of our prereqs or major courses may be taken online.  It is still important to verify that the course you plan to take elsewhere will transfer as *equivalent* credit (see below).  And remember, Spring or Summer term courses must be taken for a grade (not P/F).

If the course is listed on the equivalency charts as being equivalent to a course at UM (i.e. Psych 100 at Washtenaw Comm College = Psych 111 at UM), then it will meet our requirement for that UM course.  If the course is listed as transferring as departmental credit (PSYCH DEPT), or with an X (Psych 101X), then you must have the course reviewed by sending an email to with your name, an explanation of which requirement you are hoping to fulfill, and a course description for the external course.


  • Three prerequisite courses are required for all applicants:
    • Intro Psychology  (Psych 111, 112, 114, or 115)
    • Intro Sociology  (Soc 100, 102, 195, 300 or 302)
    • Microeconomics  (Econ 101)
  • Prereq courses taken at UM or at another college or university must be taken for a grade (not P/F).  Please see COVID-19 exception above for W20 term only.  Spring and Summer term 2020 courses must be taken for a grade (not P/F).
  • AP/IB credit in Psych and/or Microecon is acceptable to fulfill OS prereqs.  AP Econ credit will appear as ECON 101X for 2 credits on your transcript, and while this is not considered exactly equivalent to Econ 101 at UM, it is acceptable for the OS prereq.  If you plan to take further courses in Econ, however, you must complete Econ 101 at UM or take an exact equivalent transfer course at another college or university. 

  • Exact equivalent transfer credit from another college or university is accepted to fulfill any of the OS prerequisites.  If you plan to complete a prerequisite course at another institution, you should see an OS prospective student advisor and review the UM Transfer Guides (Be especially cautious about online courses, and courses that transfer as DEPT or X credit (for example, PSYCH DEPT or PSYCH 101X).  See notes above.

  • It is preferred that all three prereqs be completed at the time of application, but you are eligible to apply if you have at least two prereqs completed (with grades showing) and are currently enrolled in the third prerequisite at the time of application.

  • There is no minimum grade required in the prerequisites, but admission is very competitive to this academically rigorous program, so it is important to perform your best and to maintain a strong cumulative GPA.  Please see COVID-19 info above.

Other Considerations

  • Interested students should apply during the winter term of their sophomore year. Students may only apply to the OS program once.
  • The Organizational Studies major is designed to be a 2-year program. Due to our curriculum sequencing, it is not possible to complete the program in one year.  Please see an OS prospective student advisor if you have any questions about the OS curriculum sequencing.
  • Admission to the OS program is highly competitive, so it is important to develop a backup plan that will still allow you to meet your educational goals.
  • OS welcomes applications from students who have transferred to UM, but you must be admitted to UM before applying to the OS Program.  If you are a transfer student applying simultaneously to UM-AA and OS for the same fall term, please contact for specific instructions.
  • Note concerning Stats: Many students will take the OS Quant Skills Requirement (Stats) before entering the program.  Please note that if you have credit for AP Stats (Stats 180), it will *not* fulfill our requirement, and unfortunately, you will lose that AP credit when you take Stats 250 or Soc 210.  If you wish to keep your AP credit, you must enroll in Stats 280 Honors Intro Statistics.


To Apply

  • The Fall 2021 OS application is now OPEN (deadline Mon Jan 25, 2021).

  • To VIEW a pdf copy of the Fall 2021 application, click here.  This will not start an application for you, but will allow you to review the application format and questions.  here

  • To start your Fall 2021 OS application, click here (you can save and return as needed).

The application consists of three parts: application form, essay, and resume.

We understand that many students have been uniquely impacted by COVID. If you would like us to be aware of any personal impact of the ongoing pandemic when we review your application, please see the instructions in the essay section of the application form.

You are not required to submit transcripts. The OS Program will obtain your transcripts from UM records. If you have attended another college and the transcript has not been received at UM, please contact us.

You may start an application, save it, and return to it as many times as you like before submitting.  Once you submit, you can no longer make changes to the application.

Application Review

  • Review of applications does not begin until after the January deadline.
  • All applications receive a holistic review by members of a faculty committee.
  • Students will be notified of decisions by email at approximately 5pm the first Friday in March.
  • For more information about the application or the application review process, please visit the Prospective Student FAQs page.