Most Affordable Online Master’s in Organizational Leadership Degrees

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An effective leader can motivate hundreds and inspire lasting change. If you want to make a global difference, consider a degree in Organizational Leadership.

Organizational leadership is the discipline that studies how humans influence change, development, and progress in the workplace. A master’s degree in Organizational Leadership will teach you the psychology, communication skills, motivational techniques, and other strategies behind the effective management of human capital. If you want to learn how to positively impact your team, business, and self, a degree in Organizational Leadership might be the path for you.

Top 10 Most Affordable Online Master’s in Organizational Leadership Degrees

Rank School Location
1 Western Governors University Salt Lake City, UT
2 Columbia Southern University Orange Beach, AL
3 Cleary University Howell, MI
4 University of Wisconsin-Platteville Platteville, WI
5 Northern Arizona University Flagstaff, AZ
6 Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
7 Piedmont International University Winston Salem, NC
8 Campbellsville University Campbellsville, KY
9 Charleston Southern University Charleston, SC
10 Rosemont College Rosemont, PA

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What kind of organizational leadership master’s should you get?

While it can be difficult to decide what kind of degree you should pursue, affordability is a crucial consideration. An online program can make the difference in some cases, with students ridding themselves of the added, unnecessary expenses of travel and lodging on a college tuition bill.

Our ranking of the most affordable online programs may help narrow this decision down for you, but if you are still having trouble deciding, you may want to consider checking out our list of the Most Affordable Online Colleges for a more comprehensive overview.

How much money do people make with a master’s in organizational leadership?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a degree in Organizational Management is a smart choice. This career is expected to grow by 14 percent by 2026, which is much faster than the national average for all other occupations.

Best yet, these professionals earn high average starting salaries. With a median pay of $52 per hour and over $108,000 per year, organizational leaders can pay back any college debt quickly and easily. Within the next eight years, over 34,500 new jobs are expected to be created.

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

Organizational leaders oversee staff and plan programs to help bolster their company’s employees. They might work to motivate and encourage workers to achieve their goals and to inspire change within an organization.

These professionals are found in all industries, including human resources, training and development, administration, health care, and information technology. The bottom line is that a degree in organizational leadership prepares you to work in a variety of roles and to pursue a variety of career paths, based on your interests and prior work experiences.

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

To be considered for admission to one of these programs, applicants generally must have an undergraduate degree from an accredited university. While some master’s programs do not require a degree in any specific area, some may specify that applicants come prepared with a background in business or management. Other programs also require work experience.

In some cases, standardized test scores, such as the GRE or GMAT, may be required. A GPA of 3.0 or higher, as well as leadership experience and communication skills, are also usually preferred. Keep in mind that, depending on your chosen path after graduation, you may also need to pursue licensing for certifications such as project management.

Best Master's Degrees in Organizational Leadership Badge

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

The best organizational leadership degrees will not only match your individual career goals and schedule preferences but will also meet your budgetary needs. A graduate degree can be expensive – even an online one! – with many schools charging hidden fees.

Our list of the Most Affordable Master’s in Organizational Leadership compiles the schools with the lowest average tuition costs, as well as the highest quality programs so that you can be sure you are getting the best value education for your time and money.

2018 Ranking

See our rankings methodology page.

  1. Western Governors University
    Location

    Salt Lake City, UT

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Western Governors University is a well-known online university that has been offering exceptional online programs for over 20 years. This university provides students the surprising ability to graduate with little to no student debt, allowing them to progress through courses as they master the content – not based on how much seat time they have.

    Program Features

    The curriculum model at Western Governors allows students to complete competency-based credits, instead of attendance-based time. This means that students prepare for upper-level management positions by utilizing the knowledge they have already accrued through professional or educational experience. Required classes include:

    • Managing Organizations and Leading People
    • Managing Human Capital
    • Data-Driven Decision Making
    • Change Management and Innovation

    Notables

    This program is the most affordable option for students seeking a high-quality degree in organizational leadership. The university charges a flat-rate cost of $3,895 per term, regardless of how many credits are attempted. Students work closely with attentive faculty who adapt the curriculum to meet real-world challenges in the field of organizational management, leading to a 98 percent employer satisfaction rating with Western Governor graduates.

  2. Columbia Southern University
    Location

    Orange Beach, AL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The online Master’s in Organizational Leadership at Columbia Southern is one of many flexible distance-learning programs offered at this university. The school provides associate, bachelor, master, and certificate programs in a variety of hands-on fields, including business, criminal justice, and occupational safety. Based in Orange Beach, AL, this university is a private institution dedicated to diversity and affordability in distance learning.

    Program Features

    This program explores a variety of modern issues and new theories, with students gaining proficiency in organizational change, communication skills, motivation tactics, and more. Most students can complete the degree in less than three years. Students will take classes such as:

    • Business Ethics
    • Intercultural Management
    • Crisis Communication Management
    • Psychological Foundations of Leadership
    • Current Issues in Leadership

    Notables

    This degree in Organizational Leadership enables graduates to succeed by establishing a foundation for them to motivate and inspire others. The program’s flexibility is military-friendly, and its affordability simply cannot be beaten. Tuition starts at just $225 per credit-hour, with a variety of scholarship options, grants, and military funding available for those who qualify.

  3. Cleary University
    Location

    Howell, MI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Cleary University is primarily a business school, headquartered in Detroit, MI. This school provides project-based education to nearly 1,000 students, offering a small student-to-faculty ratio that leads directly to student success. The Master of Business Administration in Global Leadership requires 33 credit-hours of study and is designed for individuals seeking to become leaders in organizations that make a global impact.

    Program Features

    This program relies heavily on project-based work to help students become proficient in problem-solving, communication, critical thinking, and the application of global-management and decision-making skills. Although each student’s schedule will vary depending on preferences and timing, a sample schedule might include:

    • Financial and Managerial Accounting
    • Financial Management
    • Management and Organizational Leadership
    • Managerial Economics
    • Strategic Management

    Notables

    The university is home to the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which serves a community of entrepreneurs, major corporations, business owners, and, of course, students. This center provides students with the hands-on education necessary to be successful in actual organizational leadership. With a cumulative program cost of less than $31,000, this program is affordable and can be completed in less than 22 months.

  4. University of Wisconsin-Platteville
    Location

    Platteville, WI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    In southwest Wisconsin, just shy of the Illinois and Iowa borders, rests the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. This exceptional university offers over 40 majors with five online graduate majors. With an average class size of just 25 students, this school knows that the key to quality education in organizational leadership lies in the quality of its teaching staff and student-teacher relationships.

    Program Features

    This program requires students to explore the many ways in which to apply leadership, communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills. It is designed in close partnership with industry partners and faculty professionals. Students will take classes such as:

    • Strategic Thinking and Change
    • Business Analytics
    • Organizational Change Leadership: Theory and Practice
    • Creative Problem Solving
    • Intercultural Change Leadership

    Notables

    The university also offers a certificate program in Organizational Change Leadership, as well as optional areas of emphasis in Project management, Healthcare, Human Resources, and Safety Risk Control. No matter which path you choose, the degree’s price tag cannot be beaten. Rated as one of the best online graduate business degrees in the country by U.S. News & World Report, this program is also affordable, starting at just $675 per credit-hour.

  5. Northern Arizona University
    Location

    Flagstaff, AZ

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    A public university centered on students, service, and research, Northern Arizona is built on a student-first foundation. Class sizes of on-campus and online courses alike are less than 18 students, allowing students to benefit from faculty members who are experts in their fields. Students may pursue an additional emphasis area in their studies, choosing from either Justice Studies or Project Management to enhance their degrees.

    Program Features

    Most online classes are asynchronous, allowing students to take courses at times that are most convenient to them. All online graduate students studying in the organizational leadership program receive access to technical support, tutoring, library resources, and other campus resources, such as counseling. Required classes include:

    • Economic Analysis
    • Accounting for Managers
    • Integrated Introduction to Management and Marketing
    • Principles of Finance and Law for Managers

    Notables

    This program’s affordability is no secret. Recognized by multiple ranking organizations for its rock-bottom prices, this program provides hands-on support and quality education for those with limited budgets. Tuition starts at just $550 per credit-hour, with discounts available depending on the total number of credits pursued.

  6. Michigan State University
    Location

    East Lansing, MI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Michigan State is the country’s pioneer land-grant universities and remains a top research institution today. This university is home to multiple nationally ranked academic programs, and its organizational leadership program is successful in that it is strengthened by hands-on and service-oriented learning activities. According to the Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings, Michigan State is one of the top 80 universities in the world.

    Program Features

    This program was designed by top management researchers employed by the AACSB-accredited College of Business, housed within the university. Students learn how to apply their findings and solutions to the most serious issues that tend to impact organizations. Curriculum is based on research and long-standing theories, instead of the latest trends. A sample schedule might include courses such as:

    • Competitive and Business Strategy
    • Developing Managerial Skills
    • Strategic Decision Making
    • International Management
    • Leadership and Team Management

    Notables

    This 20-month degree is affordable as well as thoughtfully designed. Most students can complete the degree within just two years, allowing working professionals to create their courses around their schedules. Tuition starts at only $1,090 per-credit-hour, with the program featuring a variety of financing options to reduce costs even further.

  7. Piedmont International University
    Location

    Winston Salem, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Recognized as the top online university in the state of North Carolina, Piedmont International prides itself on its high-quality, Bible-centered instruction. Piedmont is an excellent opportunity for students seeking a faith-based organizational leadership degree in a small school environment. The university has a student-to-faculty ratio of just 9:1, with programs taught by full-time, highly credentialed instructors.

    Program Features

    The program integrates real work experiences and research with a well-designed curriculum. It is designed for students seeking a range of employment opportunities, from the workplace to the church. Although each student’s schedule will vary depending on preferences and timing, a sample schedule might include:

    • Introduction to Leadership
    • Theories of Leadership
    • Organizational Theory
    • Ethics in Leadership
    • Team Building

    Notables

    Piedmont’s programs are highly affordable, with 96 percent of all students receiving some form of financial aid. Piedmont is ranked second in the state for its affordability and quality, with tuition starting at just $340 per credit-hour, with very few additional hidden fees and a variety of financial aid and funding options available. Most students can complete their studies within two years.

  8. Campbellsville University
    Location

    Campbellsville, KY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Established in 1906, Campbellsville is a faith-based college that offers certifications, training programs, graduate, undergraduate, and doctoral degrees. Recognized as one of the Best Christian Colleges in the country, as well as a top Military Friendly School by U.S. News & World Report, Campbellsville offers an exceptional online Masters in Organizational Leadership that is designed for busy working professionals.

    Program Features

    This program includes 30 credit hours of study, allowing most students to complete their studies in just a single year. The curriculum consists of in-depth insight into management skills that are highly sought after in the workplace, as well as foundational knowledge of business concepts and information systems. Students will take classes such as:

    • Team Management
    • Managerial Communication
    • Human Resource Management
    • Business Ethics
    • Leadership

    Notables

    Students at Campbellsville are supported by thoughtful, dedicated support staff to help with any academic or technical issues. All classes are taught by professors with decades of business experience. Best yet, this program is within reach of any student, regardless of their finances. With tuition starting at just $479 per credit-hour, Campbellsville also offers a broad range of financing options to help make education affordable and flexible.

  9. Charleston Southern University
    Location

    Charleston, SC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Charleston Southern is a relatively young university of higher education, having been founded in only 1964. Resting on 300 acres in Charleston, South Carolina, this university provides fifteen entirely online programs to dedicated students. Of these online programs, the online Master’s in Organizational Leadership is one of the most popular, featuring a 14:1 student-to-faculty ratio.

    Program Features

    Courses are taught by quality faculty who implement the “Encounter-Engage-Energize” model of faith integration. This model allows each element of organizational leadership development to be incorporated into a holistic, well-rounded perspective. Although each student’s schedule will vary depending on preferences and timing, a sample schedule might include:

    • Advanced Human Resource Management
    • Advanced Organizational Behavior
    • Executive Communications
    • Leadership Development
    • Organizational Change and Transformation

    Notables

    This school is not just affordable, but it’s also military-friendly. U.S. News & World Report ranked Charleston Southern #17 on their list of the Best Online Graduate Business programs for Veterans in the Nation. Starting at just $625 per credit-hour, this degree provides students with distinctive business education without forcing them to break the bank.

  10. Rosemont College
    Location

    Rosemont, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Rosemont is a private liberal-arts college with just under 400 graduate students. Small class sizes and personalized faculty attention are the hallmarks of this institution, which offers ten graduate programs. Students seeking a small, close-knit online Master’s in Organizational Leadership will not be disappointed by selecting Rosemont – all graduate students complete some experiential learning before graduation and are enrolled in classes that, on average, have less than 12 students each.

    Program Features

    This program provides students with the fundamental knowledge necessary to succeed in organizational leadership. Faculty members draw from their own real-world experiences to provide a well-informed, collaborative learning environment. Required classes include:

    • Leadership Fundamentals: Ethical Leadership and Values-Driven Organizations
    • Information Systems Strategy
    • Organizational Psychology and Behavior
    • Power and Politics of Communication
    • Ethics, Integrity and Social Responsibility

    Notables

    With over 92 percent of Rosemont graduates employed or enrolled in graduate school upon graduation, this school features hands-on training that is second-to-none. Rosemont has 9,100 alumni working in service-oriented professions all over the world. As a result, the university is repeatedly at the top of national rankings, having received accolades as a College of Distinction, a Most Affordable Master’s Degree program, and a Best Value School.

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