Current Students

Current Students

Plan of Study

Course Schedule - Long Range Planning Tool


Students develop a plan of study to guide their scheduling of courses and other requirements for the master's degree.

Your adviser will assist you in preparing a plan of study that will guide you in your scheduling of courses. Get to know your adviser and feel free to make contact through email, phone, or office appointments.

The first course you will take is Foundations in Training and Development (TRDEV460). This course is considered as a "gateway" course and is a pre-requisite of most courses in the Training and Development curriculum.

Before beginning classes, you should obtain a personal ID card and activate your ACCESS account. They will allow you to use the LionPATH website to enroll in courses online, check your grades, and much more. Make sure you keep your personal information updated in LionPATH.

Independent Study (TRDEV 596)

Independent Study (TRDEV596) provides students the opportunity to obtain recorded credit for academic achievement beyond that recognized through the formal, approved course offerings. To Penn State Harrisburg students, Independent Study has made possible learning experiences of great value, and to the faculty it has given occasion for scholarly explorations and interaction that could scarcely have been achieved otherwise. Independent Study has proved its merit and will continue to be a valuable component of the total educational effort of Penn State Harrisburg. Please note however, that an Independent Study is a course overload for faculty members, so strict limits are placed on the number offered each semester.

General Information about Independent Study Courses

  • An Independent Study course should not be used to give an established catalog course. (If an established course is to be given independently, even if only to one student, it should be given under the official name and number.)

  • It is possible, if the instructor so desires, to have two or more students participate in a cooperative independent study project.

  • A petition for Independent Study may be obtained from your adviser and must be completed and approved before enrolling in an Independent Study course. Jurisdiction for approval of an Independent Study course lies with the Division Head of the Program in which the course resides. Signature of the Jurisdictional Division Head indicates his or her approval of the Independent Study offering within his or her jurisdiction and of the instructor directing it.

  • Signature of the instructor serving as the study director indicates an agreement to be involved in the Independent Study.

  • Signature of the student's assigned adviser indicates approval of the student's participation.

  • This petition for Independent Study must be completed and returned to the Registrar's Office at the time the student registers for the course. Registration cannot be processed without a completed form.

  • Approved petitions for Independent Study will be maintained in the student's file as a record of independent studies. There will be no special form that records the accumulation of Independent Study projects completed by the student.

  • Evaluation of the Independent Study will be reported as a letter grade. Only the instructor who signed the petition for the Independent Study may assign the final grade.

Internship (TRDEV 595) Planning Process

Planning for an internship should begin in the semester prior to that in which the internship takes place. The Internship Planning Process is an opportunity for relationship building between the three parties – Internship Sponsor, Student Intern, and Faculty Adviser. It also ensures that expectations are properly set and documented in the interest of all three parties from the outset.

Note that due to busy schedules it may take several weeks or even a few months to finalize the Internship Plan to the satisfaction of all parties. Waiting until the last minute to begin to work through the planning process will jeopardize the possibility that the internship will occur in the desired semester.

Internships are unique and may require some variations in planning. The intention of this guide is to summarize the general steps that lead up to a solid internship plan.

  1. Identify the Internship Sponsor. This may be done by the student independently, or if the student needs additional support, in collaboration with the student’s adviser.
  2. Student and Sponsor work together to articulate the nature of the work and the deliverables for which the Student Intern will be accountable. (The Faculty Adviser may or may not wish to be involved in these discussions.) Bear in mind that the student needs 240 hours of practical, hands-on work in the field of training and development. So the deliverables might be focused on training work or HR/OD development and change, or some creative combination of the two. The Student Intern may also do some work that is not directly connected to the field. These hours may be quite valuable developmentally even though they do not count toward the 240 hours for the internship per se. So, the Student Intern may actually work more hours than 240 in order to meet the internship requirements. This is not a problem, only something to be aware of both in the planning stages and as the internship unfolds.
  3. The draft deliverables are reviewed by the Faculty Adviser, and if necessary additional discussion are held until the draft deliverables are acceptable in terms of their nature (in terms of their connection to the field of Training and Development), their robustness (the extent to which they will contribute to the learning objectives and overall growth of the Student Intern), and their practicality (especially with regard to the ability of the Student Intern to actually complete them during elapsed time of the Internship interval).
  4. Once the deliverables are agreed by all parties, the Student Internship works with the Internship Sponsor to establish a timeline with major milestones. Note that these milestones should include a mid-point reflection paper that the student will write on his or her experience and learning to date, and a mid-point check-in meeting with all three parties. The timeline should also include a final reflection paper that is submitted by the intern, and a final meeting in which all three parties can reflect on their experiences, in the spirit of an After Action Review, and celebrate the completion of the Internship.
  5. Also, the learning objectives can be established at this time. These are separate from the deliverables to the Internship Sponsor, and address the growth areas for the Student Intern. These are some combination of knowledge, skills, and abilities that will transfer from the internship experience to work scenarios in the student’s future. The learning objectives are behavioral, and are written with action verbs, completing the sentence stem, “At the close of the internship experience, (student name) will be able to…” The number of objectives will vary by Internship but as a general guide there would typically be no less than 3, and likely more.
  6. The final planning meeting is scheduled to document final agreements to all of the elements of the plan in concert – the deliverables, the learning objectives and the timeline. The planning process is complete at that point and, barring unforeseen circumstances, the next time all three parties will reconvene is for the mid-point check-in, and then again at the final check-in celebration.

Capstone Options

Paper Option

Requires the completion of a master's paper and a total of 33 credits (including any required internship). IMPORTANT: The master's paper should be completed at least one semester prior to the semester in which you expect to graduate. For example: if you wish to graduate in May, then your paper should be completed by the preceding December. Submission to the Graduate School must be completed by the first week of March for the Spring semester, October for the Fall semester, and June for the Summer session. Students must adhere to the deadlines listed in the academic calendar for submitting master's papers.

Non-Paper Option

This option does not require a master's paper, but does require Research Designs Applied to Training (TRDEV588) and an extra elective in Training and Development for a total of 36 credits (including any required internship).

Master's Paper

If you have chosen the paper option in your plan of study, you will need to familiarize yourself with the various requirements of the project. You should plan on a year's time to complete the paper. Since the paper's final draft is due very early in the semester, you will need to have the paper in an advanced stage of construction a semester before you expect to submit it. (See the submission calendar for deadlines.)

You first need to decide whether you wish to do a study researching a specific research question(s), design and develop a training production, or do an in-depth literature review on specific Training & Development / Organizational Development topic.

You will need to follow a standard format. The process is outlined below:


  1. Decide on a topic and get approval from your paper adviser.

  2. Become familiar with the paper format requirements by reading this guide carefully

  3. Write the proposal, which consists of:

    1. Chapter 1. Background and justification for study

    2. Chapter 2. Review of the literature

    3. Chapter 3. Design for the study / training solution product

  4. Get approval for proposal from adviser, then schedule meeting of committee. Make sure to provide each member with a copy of your proposal two weeks in advance of the meeting.

  5. Meet with the committee and note any changes requested.

  6. Make changes and continue with study / product development.

  7. Change tense in Chapters 1, 2, & 3 from future to past tense.

  8. Write Chapter 4. Results of the study and statistical analysis / training solution product.

  9. Get approval of paper from adviser, then schedule meeting of committee. Make sure to provide each member with a copy of your finished paper two weeks in advance of the meeting.

  10. Meet with committee to defend paper and make note of any requested changes.

  11. Make changes and get adviser's approval to get signatures.

  12. Pay binding fee at Bursars' office.

  13. Get signatures.

  14. Bring receipt for fee and one signed signatory page for your file to your adviser.

  15. Submit two complete papers on thesis quality paper or thesis on disk for eThesis to the library.

Transfer Credits and Course Substitutions

A maximum of 10 credits of high-quality graduate work done at a regionally accredited U.S. institution or an officially recognized degree-granting international institution may be applied toward the requirements for the master's degree in Training and Development. Approval to apply any transferred credits toward a degree program must be granted by the student's academic adviser and the Graduate School. Transferred academic work must have been completed within five years prior to the date of degree registration at Penn State, must be of at least B quality (grades of B- are not transferable), and must appear on an official graduate transcript. Credits earned toward a previously completed post baccalaureate professional degree program (law, medicine, etc.) are not transferable. However, up to 10 credits can be transferred from a professional degree program if the degree has not been conferred.

A maximum of 15 credits earned as a nondegree graduate student at Penn State may be applied to the Training and Development program, with departmental approval. The credits must have been earned within five years preceding entry into the program. 

Grade-Point Average and Time Limit

A 3.00 (out of 4.00) minimum grade-point average is required to graduate from the program. All course work must be completed within eight years.