Best Master’s in Organizational Leadership Degrees

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Each of the Best Master’s Degrees in Organizational Leadership Listed will Maximize Your Potential

Maybe your career has stalled and you’re looking for a way to take your next big step. Maybe your career is thriving, but it’s been a few years since college and you can see how much more there is for you to learn.

Whatever the reason, you’ve realized that you need a graduate program that will help you sharpen your management skills, develop your emotional intelligence for working with others, and foster your ability to lead and inspire.

Top 10 Best Master’s in Organizational Leadership Degrees

Rank School Location
1 Northwestern University Evanston, IL
2 George Washington University Washington, DC
3 Manhattan College Riverdale, NY
4 Saint Joseph's University Philadelphia, PA
5 University of Denver Denver, CO
6 Regis University Denver, CO
7 University of Valley Forge Phoenixville, PA
8 The New School New York, NY
9 Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Winona, MN
10 Azusa Pacific University College Glendora, CA

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Read on for everything you need to know about earning your master’s degree in the field of organizational leadership.

What kind of organizational leadership degree should you get?

You’ll have a number of important choices to make as you determine where you’ll earn your master’s degree. For one, you’ll need to decide if you’re going to pursue a specialization.

While many programs offer a broad foundation that’s applicable to all kinds of industries, others focus on a specific area. You may choose to specialize in nonprofit management, entrepreneurship, or another niche within organizational leadership.

Another key decision is whether you’ll earn your degree on campus or online. A traditional degree is ideal for students who value the structure and personal connection of face-to-face classes.

But if flexibility is the most important factor for you, be sure to visit our ranking of the Best Online Master’s in Organizational Leadership.

How much money do people make with an organizational leadership master’s degree?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2017 median pay for Training and Development Managers is $108,250 per year. (That’s $52.05 per hour.) The BLS predicts a faster-than-average growth rate of 10 percent between 2016 and 2026 for these jobs.

The outlook is similarly strong in related fields. Administrative Services Managers, for example, have an annual median pay of $94,020 and a projected growth rate of 10 percent. For Human Resources Managers, the median pay is $110,120 per year, and the anticipated growth rate is 9 percent.

What can you do with a master’s degree in organizational leadership?

Organizational leadership is a dynamic field, and it can open up a number of doors for your career.

Earning a graduate degree can help you increase your contribution to your current organization, or it can help you transition into a new organization that offers better pay and more opportunities for advancement. If you choose a program that emphasizes entrepreneurship, you’ll be well-prepared to launch your own business after graduation.

A master’s degree can also qualify you to pursue doctoral study. This is especially helpful for professionals who want a career with an academic or research focus.

What are the requirements for a master’s degree in organizational leadership?

Entrance requirements vary widely among organizational leadership programs. Some will require GRE or GMAT scores, while others don’t require scores from any graduate exam.

Graduation requirements are just as diverse. For most degree programs, expect to complete a capstone experience that showcases your new skills. This capstone experience might take on a number of forms: You may be required to complete an action research project, a portfolio of class work, or a written or oral comprehensive exam.

What are the best master’s degrees in organizational leadership?

Best Master's Degrees in Organizational Leadership Badge

The criteria for this ranking are based on five factors that we’ve deemed to be most relevant to the largest number of students. Those five key factors are quality, reputation, affordability, value, and satisfaction.

We analyze data from publications such as U.S. News & World Report, the National Center for Educational Statistics, and Payscale. As part of our ranking methodology, we also compile a metadata analysis of student review sites, such as RateMyProfessor and Cappex.

The results of this methodology are below. We’re pleased to present you with a comprehensive, thorough review of the very best master’s degrees in organizational leadership.

Ranking

See our rankings methodology page.

  1. Northwestern University
    Location

    Evanston, IL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    With a scenic 240-acre campus on the shores of Lake Michigan in Evanston, IL, Northwestern University is a national leader in business, education, law, and more. U.S. News & World Report ranks Northwestern at number 11 among the top national universities. As a valuable alternative to MBA programs, the Learning and Organizational Change program at Northwestern focuses not on business and enterprise, but on the people within the enterprise.

    Program Features

    Northwestern’s program leads to a Master of Science in Learning and Organizational Change. Typically, this program has 95 to 120 students enrolled at a time. Graduates of the program will be prepared to work in corporate business, not-for-profit organizations, education, technology, research, and more. Coursework for this degree may include:

    • Advancing Learning and Performance Solutions
    • Creating and Sharing Knowledge
    • Leading With Strategic Thinking
    • Discovering and Designing Innovation

    Notables

    Applicants must have at least three years of post-baccalaureate work experience before entering this program. Full-time students can earn their degree in 18 months. Students who enroll part-time can graduate in three and a half years. Part-time students may live and study in the Chicago area, or they can choose the alternative schedule option, which allows them to earn their degree from anywhere in the US through online coursework.

  2. George Washington University
    Location

    Washington, DC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    George Washington University consists of three campuses: the Foggy Bottom Campus, the Mount Vernon Campus, and the Virginia Science and Technology Campus. The main campus, Foggy Bottom, is located just four blocks from the White House. The university has a student body of over 26,000, representing all 50 states and 130 countries around the world. The Organizational Leadership program at GW focuses on group processes, adult learning, organizational diagnosis, and consulting strategies.

    Program Features

    The Master of Arts in Education and Human Development from GW is available with a concentration in Organizational Leadership and Learning. This program requires 30 credit-hours, including 21 credit-hours in core courses and nine credit-hours in electives. Core coursework for this degree will include:

    • Human Behavior in Organizations
    • Leadership in Organizations
    • Work Groups and Teams in Organizations
    • Assessing the Impact of Organizational Change Using Qualitative and Quantitative Methods

    Notables

    This degree program is available both on campus and online. Students will have the opportunity to take electives such as Globalization, Change, and Learning; Strategic Change; and Design of Adult Learning Interventions. The degree track can be completed in as little as two years. After graduation, alumni of this program may find careers in government agencies, consulting firms, think tanks, and more.

  3. Manhattan College
    Location

    Riverdale, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Founded in 1853, Manhattan College is a Lasallian Catholic institution. The campus is located in The Bronx, just 35 minutes by subway from the heart of Manhattan. The college emphasizes a liberal arts foundation, a strong sense of faith, and a commitment to career-oriented education. Through its six schools, Manhattan offers more than 100 undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs – including an innovative, flexible master’s program in Organizational Leadership.

    Program Features

    The Master of Science in Organizational Leadership is offered through an in-person format, a fully online format, and a hybrid format. This is a cohort-based program, so students will move through the degree path in a designated sequence with the same group of peers. The curriculum features 33 credit-hours, including 27 credit-hours in required coursework. All candidates for the degree will take the following classes:

    • Leadership Communication and Coaching Essentials
    • Leading Across Cultural and Global Boundaries
    • Shaping the Learning Organization
    • Ethics and Spirituality in the Workplace

    Notables

    Applicants to this program must have at least three years of work experience after earning their bachelor’s degree. All on-campus courses are held between 5:00 PM and 9:00 PM to accommodate the schedules of working professionals. In Forbes’ list of the Best Value Colleges, Manhattan was ranked among the top 100 schools in the Northeast.

  4. Saint Joseph's University
    Location

    Philadelphia, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    U.S. News & World Report ranks Saint Joseph’s University among the Best Colleges in the North. Now enrolling over 8,000 students, SJU was established more than 160 years ago and has a rich history as Philadelphia’s Jesuit Catholic university. SJU’s Organization Development and Leadership program fosters a vibrant, interactive learning community of scholar-practitioners.

    Program Features

    The College of Arts and Sciences at SJU presents a Master of Science in Organization Development and Leadership. Three concentrations are available within this program: Adult Learning and Training, Organizational Psychology and Development, and Organization Dynamics and Leadership. All three concentrations require a minimum of 36 credit-hours. Candidates for this degree will have four elective slots, which they can fill with courses such as:

    • Psychology of Executive Coaching
    • Positive Organizational Psychology and Scholarship
    • Career Development Theory and Practice
    • Stress and Crisis Management

    Notables

    The Organization Development and Leadership degree is available both on campus and fully online. Program starts are available in the fall, spring, and summer terms. The average class size in this program is 20 students. Degree candidates may choose to enroll on either a full-time or part-time basis. A limited number of graduate assistantships are available for Organization Development and Leadership students.

  5. University of Denver
    Location

    Denver, CO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Originally established as a Methodist seminary, the University of Denver quickly grew to a comprehensive intellectual center with a global focus. Today, this private university serves more than 11,000 students pursuing over 300 highly regarded academic programs. The Leadership and Organizations program prepares graduates to assess risk, handle crisis, and promote philanthropy in numerous industries and sectors.

    Program Features

    The Master of Science in Leadership and Organizations offers an array of specialization tracks, allowing students to choose the program that best fits their career goals. Concentrations are available in Human Capital in Organizations, Organizational Development, Philanthropic Leadership, Project Management, and Strategic Innovation and Change. All concentrations require 48 credit-hours, to be earned through 12 courses. For the Human Capital in Organizations concentration, the following courses are required:

    • Integrating Personal and Organizational Success
    • Developing Human Capital in Organizations
    • Values Driven Decision Making
    • Strategic Organizational Partnerships

    Notables

    Applicants to this program are not required to submit GRE or GMAT scores. The University of Denver offers graduate certificates in all of the same concentrations available through the master’s degree program (except Project Management). Certificate programs require 24 credit-hours in six courses. Students who earn a certificate may apply their credit-hours toward a master’s degree in the corresponding concentration.

  6. Regis University
    Location

    Denver, CO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    As a Jesuit Catholic institution in the Rocky Mountains, Regis University combines stunning natural beauty, a faith-based philosophy, and top-tier academic quality. In addition to its main campus and Tech Center in Denver, Regis operates campuses in Colorado Springs and Thornton. Regis has earned a spot on U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of the top schools in the West for 22 consecutive years. The acclaimed College of Business and Economics at Regis presents a program dedicated to preparing effective, ethical, and socially responsible leaders.

    Program Features

    Regis offers an intensive, accelerated program leading to a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership. This degree requires 30 credit-hours, including a three-credit capstone course called Leading Responsible Organizations. Additional required courses for the degree include:

    • Business Intelligence and Analytics
    • Leading Change and Innovation
    • Foundations of Organizational Behavior
    • Organizational Culture and Design

    Notables

    Classes for this degree are offered in an accelerated 8-week term. Students can choose to take in-person evening classes or fully online classes. This highly flexible program offers start dates in January, March, May, July, August, and October. Graduates of the program will be qualified to serve as a Human Resources Manager, Training and Development Manager, Administrative Services Manager, and in many other related positions.

  7. University of Valley Forge
    Location

    Phoenixville, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Located in Phoenixville, PA, the University of Valley Forge is part of a global network of colleges and universities affiliated with the Assemblies of God. With a student-to-faculty ratio of 12:1, UVF provides a close-knit, supportive community. UVF offers ten associate’s degrees, more than 40 bachelor’s degrees, and six master’s degrees. One of these graduate programs focuses on team building, organizational psychology, and strategic thinking.

    Program Features

    The Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership at UVF will prepare graduates to effectively meet the challenges of leadership from a biblical perspective. This degree can be completed in as little as 18 months. The curriculum for the degree features 33 credit-hours, including required courses such as:

    • Information and Knowledge Leadership
    • Communications, Marketing, and Community Relation
    • Finance for the Non-Financial Manager
    • Critical Issues for Leading People

    Notables

    Applicants to the Organizational Leadership program must have an undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or above. All classes are based on a 7-week schedule. All candidates for this degree will complete a three-credit capstone paper.

  8. The New School
    Location

    New York, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    With its main campus in New York City, the New School is home to an internationally recognized design school, performing arts college, and liberal arts college. This unique institution allows artists, designers, and scholars to come together to learn, collaborate, and create positive change. The renowned Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy offers graduate programs in Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management, Nonprofit Management, and Organizational Change Management.

    Program Features

    Students will graduate from the Master of Science in Organizational Change Management program with a portfolio that showcases their skills in innovative thinking and their commitment to civic responsibility. The degree requires 42 credit-hours. Twelve of these credit-hours will be earned in electives. The remaining 30 credit-hours will be earned in required courses such as:

    • Economics for Management and Public Policy
    • Managing the Client-Consultant Relationship
    • Laboratory in Group Facilitation, Intervention, and Process
    • Organizational Change Interventions: Theory, Design, and Implementation

    Notables

    This degree program is intended for candidates who have at least three years of full-time organizational work experience. Students may choose to enroll on either a full-time or part-time basis. Full-time students can complete this program in two years. Graduates have found jobs at globally influential companies and organizations such as Accenture, Google, American Express Foundation, Reuters, the United Nations, and many more.

  9. Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
    Location

    Winona, MN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is a Lasallian Catholic institution with campuses in Winona, Rochester, Twin Cities, and numerous other locations around the state. The university enrolls roughly 5,900 undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral students. One of Saint Mary’s esteemed graduate programs prepares students to serve as strategic, innovative leaders in public, private, and nonprofit organizations.

    Program Features

    The curriculum for the Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership is organized into six clusters: The Learning Leader, the Connected Leader, the Global Leader, the Organizational Leader, the Change Leader, and the Adaptive Leader. Each of these clusters builds on the previous one, forming a cohesive program of study. Students will earn six credit-hours in each cluster for a total of 36 credit-hours. The required coursework for this degree includes:

    • Critical Thinking and Research
    • Collaboration and Teambuilding
    • Economic and Political Contexts
    • Strategy and Innovation

    Notables

    This program is available at both the Twin Cities campus and the Rochester campus. Students may also earn the degree entirely online, or through a hybrid (blended) program. Saint Mary’s offers graduate programs in a number of related fields. Options include an MA in Human Resource Management, an MA in Human Development, and an MS in Project Management.

  10. Azusa Pacific University College
    Location

    Glendora, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    As an evangelical Christian university, Azusa Pacific University College is a leader in academic excellence and a member institution of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. U.S. News & World Report routinely ranks University College among America’s Best Colleges. The main campus is located 26 miles northeast of Los Angeles, while six regional campuses are located across Southern California. The Leadership and Organizational Studies program allows students to utilize their current workplace as a laboratory in which to apply their learning.

    Program Features

    Azusa Pacific University College offers a 33-credit-hour program leading to a Master of Arts in Leadership and Organizational Studies. Degree candidates will take each class one at a time and complete two classes each semester. These required classes – 11 in total – will include the following:

    • Information Systems for Managers
    • Organizational Behavior and Analysis
    • Leadership and Managerial Ethics
    • Conflict and Negotiation in Organizations

    Notables

    Students can pursue this degree through a number of locations, including the main Azusa campus and other sites in Victorville (the High Desert campus), San Bernardino (Inland Empire campus), Los Angeles, Murrieta, Orange County, and San Diego. The degree is also available 100 percent online. The cost per credit-hour for this program is $600, for a total estimated degree cost of $19,800.

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