Best Online Master’s in Organizational Leadership 2021

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An organizational leadership degree prepares graduates for top-level positions in nonprofits, large corporations, and government agencies. A well-designed master’s in organizational leadership program covers how to set strategic goals for a company and motivate workers toward actions meeting those goals.

Several U.S. institutions offer a master’s in organizational leadership degree online. Like most postgraduate programs, a master’s in organizational leadership requires a bachelor’s in a field related to organizational leadership. Most programs also require a minimum GPA and prior professional experience.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 5% growth rate for management-related jobs, a rate faster than the combined average of all other occupations. The BLS reports a median salary of $105,660 for management occupations, the highest among major occupational groups included in the survey.

What Are the Goals of an Organizational Leadership Degree?

Students can pursue an organizational leadership degree online or on campus at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. Some programs offer a specialization in areas including nonprofit management, public administration, criminal justice, and project management. Courses typically cover topics such as strategic human resource management, responsible corporate leadership, and human behavior within organizations.

A master’s in organizational leadership program develops enrollees’ skills for meeting challenge. Students take courses that improve their listening and communication skills, sharpen their ability to prioritize and think critically, and strengthen their relationship- and team-building abilities.

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FAQs About Online Master’s in Organizational Leadership

true Q. What is organizational leadership?

Organizational leadership encompasses a management approach where leaders motivate employees to carry out the tasks required to meet a strategic goal.

true Q. Why is organizational leadership important?

Organizational leadership plays a key role in increasing productivity, improving market performance, and engendering employee loyalty.

true Q. What can you do with an organizational leadership degree?

Organizational leadership degree-holders qualify for positions including principals, healthcare administrators, human resources managers, and CEOs.

Q. What is the difference between organizational leadership and organizational management?

Organizational management focuses on day-to-day business concerns such as budgeting, staffing, and problem-solving. Organizational leadership focuses on long-term strategic goals and aligning people with those goals.

Why Get an Organizational Leadership Degree?

Individuals pursue a master’s in organizational leadership for a variety of personal and professional reasons. A master’s in the dynamic and challenging field of organizational leadership yields several benefits, including the five below.

Employers, especially at large organizations, often prefer master’s degree-holders for top-level positions. They know master’s-trained candidates possess the knowledge, skills, and discipline needed for modern leadership challenges.

Data from the BLS shows that professionals with postgraduate degrees earn significantly higher salaries than those with a bachelor’s or associate degree.

Pursuing a master’s in organizational leadership keeps students at the forefront of the expanding body of knowledge in the field, including new research findings and innovative practical applications.

A master’s in organizational leadership distinguishes the holder as a trained and knowledgeable professional. Employers, colleagues, and clients often rely on their skills to make timely and relevant decisions toward shared goals.

Although some doctoral programs accept applicants with a master’s degree in another area, most prefer applicants with a master’s in the field itself.

What Are the Requirements for an Organizational Leadership Degree?

Specific admission requirements for master’s in organizational leadership programs vary among schools. Most institutions require test scores and a regionally accredited bachelor’s degree. Schools often prefer applicants with an undergraduate degree in organizational leadership. Some institutions consider applicants with a bachelor’s in a related field such as business or psychology. Applicants may need to show meaningful work history in organizational leadership or a related professional area.

Schools typically require candidates for a master’s in organizational leadership degree to complete a culminating experience. Most programs require a thesis, while others require a comprehensive exam or capstone project. Graduation requirements for an online master’s in organizational leadership often mirror those of an on-campus program.

What is Accreditation and Why Does it Matter?

Career and Salary Outlook for Organizational Leadership

Virtually every large, forward-thinking corporation or organization can benefit from the skills of an employee or consultant with a master’s in organizational leadership. Strategic goals and organizational requirements often vary among industries. A well-designed master’s in organizational leadership program prepares graduates to apply their skills and knowledge in diverse professional arenas.

The specific responsibilities of administrative service managers depend on the organization’s size and the products or services they offer. Generally speaking, administrative services managers supervise staff and monitor and maintain facility safety and security. They also review procedures and policies to ensure compliance with industry regulations. In large universities, a postsecondary education administrator oversees a specific operational area such as admissions or student services. In smaller colleges, they often coordinate the activities of several departments. Postsecondary education administrators may also oversee student athletics or faculty research, and engage in promotional work for the school.
Career Median Annual Salary Projected Growth Rate (2019-2029)
Administrative Services Manager $96,940 6%
Postsecondary Education Administrator $95,410 4%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Scholarships for Organizational Leadership Students

Organizational leadership students often qualify for financial aid programs designated for enrollees pursuing a related field of study. As organizational leadership continues to grow as a unique academic field of study, more funders will offer financial aid options specifically for students in the field.

Dr. Harold Kerzner Scholarship Fund

Who Can Apply: The Project Management Institute (PMI) Educational Foundation administers this program. Qualifying undergraduate and graduate students pursue degrees in project management or a related field such as organizational leadership. PMI awards four scholarships each year and welcomes international applicants. Full-time and part-time enrollees can apply.

Amount: $7,500

Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Women enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program in business, finance, operations management, or a similar field can apply for this scholarship. Applicants must reside in a Zonta district and demonstrate outstanding academic performance. The program welcomes applications from women residing outside the U.S. who meet the scholarship requirements.

Amount: $2,000 for local district recipients; $8,000 for international recipients

Siebel Scholarships

Who Can Apply: The program seeks applications from graduate students entering the final year of their studies in business, computer science, bioengineering, or energy science. Applicants with a history of strong leadership abilities and excellent academic performance can also apply. The program gives preference to applicants enrolled at one of their university partners.

Amount: $35,000

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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