Best Master’s In Organizational Leadership Degrees 2021

Innovative professionals use organizational leadership principles to motivate team members and drive systemic change.

Updated September 26, 2022

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Best Master’s In Organizational Leadership Degrees 2021

Are you ready to find your fit?

Innovative professionals use organizational leadership principles to motivate team members and drive systemic change. An organizational leadership degree can help job seekers stand out as creative problem-solvers and ethical, empathetic team leaders.

Graduates can assume a variety of managerial roles offering competitive salaries and strong job growth. A master's degree in organizational leadership provides a strong background for human resource managers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these professionals earn a median annual salary of $116,720, with projected job growth of 6% between 2019-2029.

Training and development managers earn a median yearly wage of $113,350 and can expect 7% job growth over the same period. Professionals with an organizational leadership background also find employment as management analysts, sales managers, and top executives in diverse industries.

Our guide spotlights some of the country's top organizational leadership master's degree programs, along with information about requirements, professional organizations, and scholarships.

FAQ on Organizational Leadership Degrees

Is a degree in organizational leadership worth it?

Attending an organizational leadership program can unlock career mobility and enhance professional skills. This provides important benefits for many graduates, especially current or aspiring managers.

What is organizational leadership and why is it important?

Organizational leadership emphasizes collaboration, adaptability, and emotional intelligence in a flexible, holistic paradigm. The field offers fresh approaches to complex challenges facing contemporary businesses and nonprofits.

What can I do with a leadership degree?

An organizational leadership degree prepares graduates for managerial and executive positions in many industries. It also equips them for independent careers in consulting or coaching.

What is the difference between leadership and organizational leadership?

Leadership refers generally to influencing and motivating others towards a goal. Organizational leadership embraces specific values and strategies designed to foster leadership capabilities throughout an organization.

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What Are the Goals of an Organizational Leadership Degree?

A multidisciplinary management approach, organizational leadership draws on influences from business, social psychology, and learning theory. Organizational leadership degree programs integrate coursework from these and other disciplines. 

Courses in leadership theory and business operations teach students to analyze organizational challenges, define company values, and set strategic goals. Through studying communication, conflict resolution, and organizational culture and design, they foster inclusive workplaces. 

Organizational leadership programs feature concentrations such as human resources, training and development, or diversity and inclusion. Many schools offer a stand-alone organizational leadership master's degree. Others present the subject as a specialization within business or education master's programs.

Why Get an Organizational Leadership Degree?

An organizational leadership degree offers many benefits for professionals seeking to enhance their management skills and pursue a career aligning with personal values.

Increased Salary
According to the BLS, earning a master's increases earning potential across most industustries, particularly those attracting organizational leadership graduates.
Values-Driven Field
Organizational leadership emphasizes diversity and inclusion, empathy, and ethics. It provides tools to effect positive transformation and foster empowering organizational cultures.
Career Advancement
Many employers prefer to hire master's-educated managerial candidates. A master's degree in organizational leadership can help graduates advance within their workplaces or launch careers in new industries.
Interdisciplinary Education
Uniting business competencies and social science insights, organizational leadership degree programs may appeal to students seeking a more integrative approach than a typical MBA.
Customizable Degree
Many organizational leadership degree programs allow students to tailor their degree toward specific career goals or industries. These include healthcare, education, or the nonprofit sector.

What Are the Requirements for an Organizational Leadership Degree?

Organizational leadership master's degree programs accept applicants with diverse undergraduate backgrounds. Typical application materials include resumes, recommendations, transcripts, and essays or personal statements. Some programs require a minimum GPA. Students may need to submit test scores, though admissions committees may waive them for applicants with strong grades. 

Graduation requirements vary by program. Students should expect to complete 30-36 credit hours. They will likely study leadership theory, ethics, and strategic planning. Courses also cover organizational behavior, research methods, and business communication. 

Many programs culminate with a capstone project, synthesizing knowledge and skills developed throughout the program. Capstone courses can involve experiential learning in a real-world organization, or they may focus on research. Completing a master's degree in organizational leadership typically requires about two years of full-time study. Accelerated programs may graduate students in 18 months or less.

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Best Master's in Organizational Leadership Degrees 


 

See our rankings methodology page.

#1 Best Master’s In Organizational Leadership Degrees 2021

University of North Dakota

  • Grand Forks, ND
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students seeking increased professional responsibilities can earn their master's degree in teaching and leadership at University of North Dakota. Located in Grand Forks, North Dakota, the public institution serves degree-seekers of all types thanks to its many enrollment options. During the program, learners build on their undergraduate knowledge to gain an advanced understanding of organizational leadership.

Institutional resources and support services provide guidance to master's candidates throughout their degree. Financial aid advisors connect students with resources to pay for graduate school, while academic advisors recommend course selections. Master's degree-seekers also take advantage of networking and training events hosted by the university.

University of North Dakota at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 62

Total Online Master's Programs: 28

Admission Rate: 81%

Graduation Rate: 61%

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17-to-1

Graduate Tuition In State: $10,534

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $18,434

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $45,400

Average Tuition
In-state
$8,212
Out-of-state
$14,371
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
81%
Students Enrolled
13,581
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
45% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#2 Best Master’s In Organizational Leadership Degrees 2021

Nova Southeastern University

  • Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Nova Southeastern University offers a master's in organizational leadership for students seeking career advancement. This Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based private school serves degree candidates of all types, with online enrollment options to accommodate working professionals. During the program, learners take their knowledge to the next level thanks to accessible graduate courses.

The school's resources and support services provide guidance to master's candidates throughout their degree. Financial aid advisors connect students with resources to pay for graduate school, while academic advisors recommend course selections. Master's degree-seekers also attend networking and training events hosted by the university.

Nova Southeastern University at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 93

Total Online Master's Programs: 46

Admission Rate: 80%

Graduation Rate: 58%

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17-to-1

Graduate Tuition In State: $19,665

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $19,665

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $47,800

Average Tuition
In-state
$31,150
Out-of-state
$31,150
Retention Rate
81%
Admission Rate
80%
Students Enrolled
20,576
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
45% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#3 Best Master’s In Organizational Leadership Degrees 2021

Southern New Hampshire University

  • Manchester, NH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Southern New Hampshire University enrolls learners in 33 master's programs, including a master's in organizational leadership program. The MBA program helps graduate students gain specialized training to reach their career goals. Flexible enrollment options appeal to busy enrollees balancing school with work or other responsibilities.

During the program, learners take challenging courses that strengthen theoretical and practical organizational leadership knowledge. Students often complete internships and other experiential learning opportunities to build career-ready skills. Learners select electives and concentrations to specialize their organizational leadership education in a specific area.

Southern New Hampshire University at a Glance:

Location: Manchester, New Hampshire

School Type: Private

Admission Rate: 88%

Graduate Tuition In State: $18,810

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $18,810

Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 77%

Average Tuition
In-state
$30,756
Out-of-state
$30,756
Retention Rate
65%
Admission Rate
88%
Students Enrolled
113,514
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
94% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education

#4 Best Master’s In Organizational Leadership Degrees 2021

Arizona State University

  • Phoenix, AZ
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students interested in advancing their career can earn their master's in organizational leadership at Arizona State University. From its campus in Phoenix, Arizona, the public institution offers several enrollment options, including online programs designed for working professionals. During the organizational leadership MS program, learners take advanced courses in organizational leadership that build on their prior training.

University resources and support services help master's candidates participate fully in campus life and meet graduation requirements. For example, career counselors host job fairs and offer resume workshops for specific industries. The university also offers library services and networking events for graduate degree-seekers.

Arizona State University-Downtown Phoenix at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 25

Total Online Master's Programs: 1

Admission Rate: 82%

Graduation Rate: 58%

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 13-to-1

Graduate Tuition In State: $11,720

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $26,160

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $42,200

Average Tuition
In-state
$10,710
Out-of-state
$28,800
Retention Rate
85%
Admission Rate
82%
Students Enrolled
11,420
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
57% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#5 Best Master’s In Organizational Leadership Degrees 2021

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

  • Chicago, IL
  • 4 years
  • Campus

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology stands out for its six master's programs, which include an organizational leadership program. The master of arts incorporates career-focused training to help students advance their professional opportunities. Working professionals benefit from the school's flexible enrollment options, which make it easier to schedule classes around other responsibilities.

The master's curriculum encourages a comprehensive understanding of organizational leadership through both theoretical and practical knowledge. Students build valuable professional connections during internships and other hands-on learning opportunities. Learners choose concentrations and electives to gain specialized skills in a specific area of organizational leadership.

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at a Glance:

Location: Chicago, Illinois

School Type: Private

Graduate Tuition In State: $20,610

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $20,610

Average Tuition
In-state
$10,992
Out-of-state
$10,992
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,307
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
10% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

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