Best Online Master’s in Organizational Leadership

Earning an online master's degree in organizational leadership could lead to increased job opportunities. Here, we outline the top online programs available.

Best Online Master’s in Organizational Leadership

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Professionals with an online master's in organizational leadership can work as human resources managers, benefits managers, and management analysts. Some use the degree to advance their military career. Master's programs in the field feature classes in leading change, strategic human resource management, and responsible corporate leadership.

Many online master's in organizational leadership programs do not require GRE or GMAT scores. However, some require a minimum 2.75 or 3.0 undergraduate GPA. The following sections explore the benefits of earning an organizational leadership master's degree. This guide also covers tuition costs, typical classes, and how to become a training and development manager.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Organizational Leadership

Q. How much does someone with a master's in organizational leadership make?

Training and development managers earn a median salary significantly higher than the median for all occupations. Degree-seekers can research jobs through their school's career center.

Q. What can you do with a major in organizational leadership?

Graduates can become sales and marketing managers, business executives, and project coordinators. Career advisors can help learners choose a career path.

Q. What does someone with a master's in organizational leadership do?

Many graduates work for consulting firms, which help companies alter their operations. Professionals with a background in organizational leadership can also work in human resources and management.

Why Get a Degree in Organizational Leadership?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment for training and development managers to grow 11% from 2020-2030. This figure exceeds the projected growth for all occupations. A positive growth rate indicates a strong job market for recent graduates. Additionally, training and development managers earn a median salary of $115,640 per year.

Working professionals often pursue their master's in organizational leadership online. Asynchronous online programs allow learners to schedule academic requirements around work and family responsibilities. Professionals can immediately apply new knowledge and skills to their current position.

How Much Does an Organizational Leadership Degree Cost?

The cost of earning a master's in organizational leadership online depends on factors including institution type. In-state public schools typically charge the most affordable tuition rates. According to the Education Data Initiative, a master's degree cost an average of $66,340 in 2021. Students typically earn their organizational leadership master's degree in 1-2 years.

Degree-seekers can fund their organizational leadership master's degree through institutional scholarships and grants. These awards may require a separate application. Learners can also receive federal financial aid. Degree-seekers with financial need submit the FAFSA to qualify for federal grants and loans.

Additional Online Student Fees

In addition to tuition, students earning an online master's in organizational leadership should budget for fees. Many schools charge a technology fee to cover online class delivery. Degree-seekers may also need to buy a new laptop or upgrade their internet service. Learners in hybrid programs also pay commuting costs.

Recent graduates often pursue professional certification. The Association for Talent Development (ADT) offers certifications in areas including instructional design and e-learning. As of February 2022, some of these certifications cost more than $3,000. ATD members receive a 10% discount.

How Much Do Organizational Leadership Majors Make?

Training and development managers earn a median salary much higher than the median for all occupations. Professionals can further increase their salary potential by considering positions throughout the country.

Professional, scientific, and technical services companies pay these professionals the highest median salary, $135,780 per year. According to BLS data, training and development managers in New Jersey, New York, and Washington earn the highest average salaries.

Training and development managers need at least a bachelor's degree. However, some employers require applicants to high-paying to hold an organizational leadership master's degree or MBA. Professionals with certifications may also qualify for higher salaries.

Courses in Organizational Leadership

Students in online master's in organizational leadership programs develop negotiation, communication, and decision-making skills. Coursework covers topics including leadership and organizational behavior and theory. Many programs require a final-semester leadership seminar. Degree-seekers may pursue a specialization such as global or servant leadership.

Many organizational leadership master's degrees require the following classes. However, course topics and requirements vary by program. Students should compare prospective programs' curricula and graduate outcomes. Learners can contact an admissions advisor for assistance.

  • The Foundations of Leadership

    This first-semester class introduces organizational leadership fundamentals, such as different theories and communication skills. Students analyze mistakes that poor leaders commonly make in the workplace. Degree-seekers create a personal leadership theory and develop a leadership growth plan to achieve through lifelong learning.
  • Organizational Behavior and Theory

    Effective organizational leaders use a large skill set to lead teams and develop talent. They apply organizational behavior strategies to make decisions. This class covers these strategies and relevant theories. Students prepare to lead teams and create interpersonal relationships with coworkers.
  • Leadership Seminar

    Students in this capstone class work with a professor to create a unique project. Degree-seekers produce work demonstrating their mastery of knowledge and skills. Learners reflect on their online master's in organizational leadership program and plan for their career.

How to Become a Training and Development Manager

Individuals can become training and development managers with a bachelor's in the social sciences, business, or communications. A bachelor's degree qualifies holders for entry-level roles. Professional experience and further education can help individuals receive promotions to management positions. Some employers provide tuition reimbursement programs to help workers earn a master's degree.

Many training and development managers work in the scientific, technical, management, and finance sectors. These professionals may train staff in group and individual sessions, develop budgets, and update training materials. These managers analyze their work's effectiveness through interviews and surveys. Successful managers use advanced collaboration, critical-thinking, and instructional skills.

Best Online Master's in Organizational Leadership 2021

  1. Lincoln Christian University

    Lincoln, IL

    A Christ-centered university located in Lincoln, Illinois, LCU offers an online master of arts in organizational leadership for students aiming to be professional motivators, guides, and coaches.

    LCU's MAOL program delivers all courses online, and students can earn their degrees within 21 months. Students take in-depth courses in organizational leadership development, authentic leadership in organizational contexts, legal and ethical issues in organizational leadership, and interpersonal leadership for organizational leadership. LCU's organizational leadership graduates now work as small-business owners; leaders in churches, communities, and social service agencies; and executives and managers in nonprofit and for-profit organizations.

    Interested applicants must fill out an online application form and submit their official transcripts of records. LCU also requires applicants to complete a written essay and submit an online Christian character reference. Lincoln Christian University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

  2. Crown College

    Saint Bonifacius, MN

    An accredited private college based in Saint Bonifacius, Minnesota, Crown offers an online master of arts in organizational leadership that equips students with skills to manage the challenges of today's business and nonprofit environments.

    This online graduate degree entails 36 credit hours, including intensive courses in strategic planning, organizational communication, theoretical and spiritual foundations of leadership, program planning and evaluation, foundations of organization theory, and ethical leadership. Crown employs highly credentialed faculty members to provide top-notch education to organizational leadership graduate students.

    Students may transfer up to 50% of required credits toward their specific major. All applicants must complete an online application and official transcripts showing an earned baccalaureate degree. Crown College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

  3. University of Northwestern - St. Paul

    Saint Paul, MN

    A liberal arts university located in Saint Paul, Minnesota, UNW offers an online master of organizational leadership (MOL), which students can complete in 18-22 months.

    UNW offers this MOL degree completely online and in a hybrid format. Students complete 42 credits and take courses in managerial leadership, applied economics, data analysis and decision-making, strategic management, and financial accounting. UNW also offers a 15-credit graduate certificate in leadership.

    For transfer students, UNW only accepts coursework with grades of C- or higher from accredited institutions. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA. The University of Northwestern-St. Paul is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

  4. North Central University

    Minneapolis, MN

    A private Christian university based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, NCU offers an online master of arts in strategic leadership for students aiming to gain professional strategic management skills.

    NCU's online strategic leadership degree offers specializations in worship arts leadership, church leadership, and business administration leadership. North Central provides online students with support resources, including academic coaching, individual tutoring sessions, writing and researching support, and workshops in improving study skills and time management.

    Interested applicants must submit an online application for admission and send their official transcripts of records directly to the university's admissions office. North Central also requires prospective students to complete the FAFSA as the first step in their financial aid process. North Central University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

  5. Hannibal - LaGrange University

    Hannibal, MO

    A Christian university based in Hannibal, Missouri, HLGU offers an online master of arts in leadership program, which provides students with innovative and creative leadership styles.

    The leadership master's degree at HLGU is a one-year, cohort-model program, offering a collaborative team-learning experience. With specialization tracks in business management and Christian ministry, students can finish their courses completely online through 10 five-week classes. Students take intensive leadership courses, including organizational leadership, ethical leadership in a biblical worldview, foundations in leadership theory and practice, and completion of the leadership capstone project.

    The school allows students to transfer up to six graduate credits from a regionally accredited institution. HLGU requires applicants to submit all official academic transcripts of records, a statement of purpose, an updated resume, and a completed online application form. HLGU provides applicants with support from university admission counselors. Hannibal-LaGrange University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

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