Best Online Master’s in Organizational Leadership Degrees

An MBA in organizational leadership can equip you to effectively manage and influence individuals, teams, and organizations. Check out these top online programs.
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Updated on September 28, 2023
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Some people are born to run things — they just need the right tools to do it. An online master's degree in organizational leadership can help you unlock your leadership potential.

This degree is an excellent choice if you:

  • Want to pursue management or other top-level roles in your organization or industry, or
  • Are already in a leadership position but want to do a better job leading your team.

A master's in organizational leadership emphasizes personal growth and will take you on a journey of self-discovery: What kind of leader are you? What are your strengths and weaknesses? What are your values and ethics as a leader?

Along the way, you can learn to communicate better, inspire collaboration, motivate a team, and navigate conflict.

According to a recent labor market study by America Succeeds, 91% of management jobs and 86% of business operations jobs are looking for leaders with these very skills. So check out our top online program picks and get started today.

What Are the Best Online Master's in Organizational Leadership Programs? Here Are Our Top 10:

#1 Pepperdine University Malibu, CA
#2 Averett University Danville, VA
#3 Gonzaga University Spokane, WA
#4 Saint Louis University Saint Louis, MO
#5 Crown College Saint Bonifacius, MN
#6 Lincoln Christian University Lincoln, IL
#7 Trine University Fort Wayne, IN
#8 Baker University Baldwin City, KS
#9 University of Northwestern-St Paul Saint Paul, MN
#10 Regis University Denver, CO

Featured Online Master's in Organizational Leadership Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Best Online Master's in Organizational Leadership Programs

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Best Online Master's in Organizational Leadership Programs

  1. Pepperdine University
    Location

    Malibu, CA

    Based in Southern California, Pepperdine University offers students the chance to complete a master's in organizational leadership and learning. The program caters to students entering careers in both the public and private sectors. With courses in critical thinking, data analytics, and visualization, students develop a modern foundation in organizational leadership.

    Participants complete the 32-credit program by taking synchronous and asynchronous online classes. The program also features one in-person weekend session in Los Angeles each term, although learners have the flexibility to participate in this session online. Students may also opt to attend an initial welcome immersion during the first term. Students interested in a terminal degree can apply up to nine credits from this master's program to a program in Pepperdine's doctoral school of education.

    Pepperdine is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission.

    Program Snapshot

    Program Name: Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Learning
    School Status: Private
    Tuition: $1320 per credit
    Credit Requirements: 32 credits
    Program Length: 20 months
    Format: Online
    Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous with in-person options

    Admission Requirements

    GPA: 3.0 or higher preferred
    Standardized Tests: Not required

    Contact the School

    Request more information about this program.

  2. Averett University
    Location

    Danville, VA

    Danville, Virginia-based Averett University offers adults the opportunity to complete a master of business administration leadership concentration entirely online. The university was founded in 1859 and has since evolved to help working adults gain the education they need for career advancement. Students take no more than two courses at a time during each eight-week block.

    Learners cover important marketing and accounting information and receive training in leadership-specific subjects, such as effective decision-making and leading in a global economy. Students also complete a capstone project at the end of the program.

    Averett University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    Program Snapshot

    Program Name: Master of Business Administration - Leadership Concentration
    School Status: Private
    Tuition: $655 per credit
    Credit Requirements: 40 credits
    Program Length: 2 years
    Format: Online
    Instruction Style: Asynchronous

    Admission Requirements

    GPA: 3.0 or higher preferred
    Standardized Tests: Not required

    Contact the School

    Request more information about this program.

  3. Gonzaga University
    Location

    Spokane, WA

    Located in Spokane, Washington, Gonzaga University offers an online master's in organizational leadership. Students can choose one of four concentrations: change leadership, global leadership, servant leadership, or strategic and organizational communication.

    Students take online courses such as foundations of leadership and organizational behavior and theory. The school also requires students to participate in a three-day on-campus immersion course, but all other classes are delivered online. Students must earn 30 credits to complete this degree.

    Gonzaga is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

    Program Snapshot

    Program Name: Master's in Organizational Leadership
    School Status: Private
    Tuition: $980 per credit
    Credit Requirements: 30 credits
    Program Length: 2-2.5 years
    Format: Online with one in-person immersion
    Instruction Style: Asynchronous

    Admission Requirements

    GPA: 3.0 or higher preferred
    Standardized Tests: Not required

    Contact the School

    Request more information about this program.

  4. Saint Louis University
    Location

    Saint Louis, MO

    Based in Missouri, SLU offers professionals the chance to complete a master of arts in leadership and organizational development. Students strengthen their leadership skills through courses and project-based learning, preparing to utilize organizational development theory in a variety of settings.

    The program caters to professionals with several years of work experience. Thirty-three credits of coursework help participants develop the ethical, evidence-based frameworks needed to succeed in leadership roles. Students can also pursue graduate certificates to complement their degree. The program features courses such as organizational dynamics, leading a healthy organization, and future-focused leadership.

    SLU is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

    Program Snapshot

    Program Name: Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership
    School Status: Private
    Tuition: $790 per credit
    Credit Requirements: 33 credits
    Program Length: 2.5-3 years
    Format: Online or hybrid
    Instruction Style: Asynchronous

    Admission Requirements

    GPA: 3.0 or higher preferred
    Standardized Tests: Not required

    Contact the School

    Request more information about this program.

  5. Crown College
    Location

    Saint Bonifacius, MN

    Located in Saint Bonifacius, Minnesota, Crown College offers an online master's in organizational leadership program that is delivered from a Christian perspective. This private college provides a path for students to explore what leadership means through the lens of their faith.

    Students take courses in strategic planning, as well as organizational communication and research. Electives include a wide variety of subjects, including faith-based courses and community development. Learners complete a total of 36 credits, including 18 in their emphasis area, choosing from specializations like higher education, biblical studies, and social science research. Students take one or two courses per eight-week session.

    Crown College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    Program Snapshot

    Program Name: Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership
    School Status: Private
    Tuition: $555 per credit
    Credit Requirements: 36 credits
    Program Length: 1 year
    Format: Online
    Instruction Style: Asynchronous

    Admission Requirements

    GPA: 2.0 minimum
    Standardized Tests: Not required

    Contact the School

    Request more information about this program.

  6. Lincoln Christian University
    Location

    Lincoln, IL

    Illinois-based LCU offers an online master's in organizational leadership. Students in this program prepare to apply a faith-based approach to ethical leadership.

    Learners complete this 30-credit degree by taking one course at a time over 21 months. Classes cover a variety of topic areas, including authentic leadership in organizational contexts, strategic organizational leadership, and legal and ethical issues in organizational leadership. The program ends with a capstone project in which students demonstrate the sum of their knowledge and skills.

    LCU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and nationally accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education.

    Program Snapshot

    Program Name: Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership
    School Status: Private
    Tuition: $466 per credit
    Credit Requirements: 30 credits
    Program Length: 21 months
    Format: Online
    Instruction Style: Asynchronous

    Admission Requirements

    GPA: No minimum requirement
    Standardized Tests: Not required

    Contact the School

    Request more information about this program.

  7. Trine University
    Location

    Fort Wayne, IN

    With a brick and mortar location in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Trine University oversees the Lou Holtz master of science in organizational leadership program. Students can complete this ethics-based degree program online without buying any books, thanks to open educational resources, databases, and other zero-cost resources.

    Students explore leadership foundations through the 30-credit program, taking courses such as leadership ethics, conflict resolution for leaders, and leadership philosophy. The program includes a standalone course on research methods, as well as a capstone project at the end of the program. Classes are delivered in eight-week blocks.

    Trine University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. It is also recognized by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education.

    Program Snapshot

    Program Name: Lou Holtz Master of Science in Organizational Leadership
    School Status: Private
    Tuition: $575 per credit
    Credit Requirements: 30 credits
    Program Length: 1 year
    Format: Online
    Instruction Style: Asynchronous

    Admission Requirements

    GPA: 3.0 minimum
    Standardized Tests: Not required

    Contact the School

    Request more information about this program.

  8. Baker University
    Location

    Baldwin City, KS

    Based in Baldwin City, Kansas, Baker University offers an online master's in organizational leadership. The program focuses on ethical business practices, conflict resolution, and negotiation approaches, preparing students to become socially responsible thinkers and effective communicators. The 36-credit curriculum includes management and leadership courses, such as leadership perspective, leadership and organizational behavior, and leadership fundamentals. The program culminates with a leadership seminar course, in which students design a project that aligns with their future career interests.Baker University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. This organizational leadership program holds specialized accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.Program Snapshot

    Program Name: Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership
    School Status: Private
    Tuition: $618 per credit
    Credit Requirements: 36 credits
    Program Length: 18-22 months
    Format: Online
    Instruction Style: Asynchronous

    Admission Requirements

    GPA: No minimum requirement
    Standardized Tests: Not required

    Contact the School

    Request more information about this program.

  9. University of Northwestern-St Paul
    Location

    Saint Paul, MN

    Minnesota-based UNW offers students an online master of science in organizational leadership program that takes a Christ-centered approach. Students can take all of their courses online or engage in a blended learning experience by taking some in-person classes once a week.

    The 36-credit program includes classes like leading in the knowledge economy, leadership ethics, and human resource leadership. Graduates are prepared to fill leadership roles in a variety of organizations, including churches, nonprofits, and community service organizations. Students complete the program on a flexible timeline, and the program boasts a 14-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.

    UNW is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    Program Snapshot

    Program Name: Master of Science in Organizational Leadership
    School Status: Private
    Tuition: $499 per credit
    Credit Requirements: 36 credits
    Program Length: 18-22 months
    Format: Online or blended
    Instruction Style: Asynchronous

    Admission Requirements

    GPA: 3.0 minimum
    Standardized Tests: Not required

    Contact the School

    Request more information about this program.

  10. Regis University
    Location

    Denver, CO

    Located in Denver, Colorado, Regis University offers students anonline master's in organizational leadership. Distance learners follow the same curriculum as their on-campus peers, so students receive a quality education no matter the delivery format.

    Required courses include business intelligence and analytics, leading change and innovation, and organizational culture and design. Students also complete a strategic corporate social responsibility capstone course. Courses follow an eight-week format, and the program uses a scholar-practitioner model, where faculty do more than teach — they also belong to private and public sector organizations, putting their knowledge into practice.

    Regis University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    Program Snapshot

    Program Name: Master of Science in Organizational Leadership
    School Status: Private
    Tuition: $920 per credit
    Credit Requirements: 30 credits
    Program Length: 1-2 years
    Format: Online
    Instruction Style: Asynchronous

    Admission Requirements

    GPA: No minimum requirement
    Standardized Tests: Not required

    Contact the School

    Request more information about this program.

What Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Organizational Leadership Program?

Some programs offer concentrations like global business, human resources management, healthcare management, nonprofit management, leadership coaching, and social entrepreneurship.

Students who succeed in a master's in organizational leadership program usually exhibit characteristics that make them good leaders, including clear communication and organization. These traits translate well to the most common career paths students take after graduating.

Learners must be self-driven and work well both independently and as part of a team. They tend to operate with honesty and integrity while inspiring others to perform at their best.

Most master's in organizational leadership programs require students to complete 30-36 credits. It typically takes 2-3 years to graduate, although students can pursue accelerated options. In addition to coursework, students may take part in an internship, during which they observe executives, managers, and directors within businesses and organizations.

Some programs offer concentrations like global business, human resources management, healthcare management, nonprofit management, leadership coaching, and social entrepreneurship. Students can choose an organizational leadership track that helps them pursue their specific career goals.

In most cases, learners can complete an online master's in organizational leadership degree while working full time by taking classes online or in the evenings. Some programs offer credit for students' work experience, especially if they already serve in a management role.

Admission Requirements for Online Master's in Organizational Leadership Programs

Most master's in organizational leadership programs require applicants to hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution and submit official transcripts. Students may also need to provide GMAT or GRE scores, along with a resume, personal statement, and recommendation letters. Some programs require incoming students to complete prerequisite courses in subjects like business administration, statistics, and marketing.

Admission requirements vary by program, so make sure to research each school to find more information about its specific processes.

What Courses Will I Take in a Master's in Organizational Leadership Online Program?

Online master's in organizational leadership programs often cover the same core concepts. While the exact title and approach of courses may differ depending on the degree, most students learn about leadership theory, organizational behavior, human resources management, and marketing. Read on for more information about coursework in these programs.

  • Minus

    Organizational Leadership

    This course covers traditional and modern leadership theories, applying them to a variety of situations and challenges in the private and public sectors. Students analyze the behaviors of executives, managers, entrepreneurs, and employees through the lens of these leadership models. They also review case studies and take part in exercises that simulate real-world situations.
  • Minus

    Organizational Sustainability

    Students explore the many ways businesses and organizations foster their long-term viability given the economic, environmental, and social challenges and opportunities that surround them. The course looks at how different types of organizations address social problems, influence social change, and maintain operational sustainability.
  • Minus

    Strategic Human Resource Management

    Students learn about HR functions within organizations, as well as the state and federal laws and regulations that affect HR managers' work. The course examines processes related to recruiting, hiring, training, and developing the best employees to fulfill an organization's goals. Students also explore the biggest challenges facing HR departments.
  • Minus

    Digital Media and Marketing

    This course analyzes the important role digital media, including social media, plays in an organization's marketing strategy. Students examine how marketing professionals create strategies that incorporate digital media and use consumer data to make key decisions and promote goods and services online.
  • Minus

    Diversity and Conflict in the Workplace

    Students learn about how organizations can foster greater diversity while managing common conflicts that arise in the workplace. Learners study the various perspectives people from different backgrounds bring to an organization, including how those perspectives can lead to creative innovation. This course suits students who plan on working in human resources.

What Can I Do With an Online Master's in Organizational Leadership Degree?

An online master's in organizational leadership gives professionals a key advantage as they seek leadership and management positions in both the public and private sectors. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), management professionals earned a median annual salary of $107,360 in 2021.

Businesses and organizations always need talented and knowledgeable people to fill these roles, making a master's degree a sound investment for aspiring leaders.

See where a master's in organizational leadership can take you. Learn more about business management careers here.

Business Executive


An online master's in organizational leadership prepares professionals to move toward roles like chief executive officer, chief operating officer, and chief financial officer. These executives set growth and performance goals and lead teams to meet or exceed those goals. Many industries need talented and driven business executives.

Human Resources Manager


HR managers ensure businesses and organizations make the most of their human capital. They hire, train, and evaluate employees while linking an organization's upper management to the workforce. HR managers also work with executives to engage in strategic planning to ensure organizations efficiently leverage employees' talents.

Management Consultant


Many master's in organizational leadership degree-holders serve as consultants, bringing an outside perspective to businesses and organizations as they improve their processes and engage in strategic planning. Management consultants examine a company's existing structures by collecting and analyzing data. They then report their findings and recommendations to management.

Training and Development Manager


These professionals oversee training and development programs for both new and current employees. They create and implement training programs, regularly assess their effectiveness, and select materials and content that align with the organization's mission and goals. Training and development managers contribute to employee satisfaction and optimize the effectiveness of an organization's workforce.

School Principal


School principals may pursue a master's in organizational leadership to gain the key skills and knowledge they need to manage teachers and staff while meeting the needs of students and families. Principals select and coordinate curricula, oversee a school's day-to-day operations, and ensure school safety. They typically have a bachelor's in education and several years of teaching experience.

Common Questions About Online Master's in Organizational Leadership Programs

How do you develop yourself as an organizational leader?

True organizational leadership is about creating a vision and inspiring others to carry it out. In order to do this effectively, focus on six key strategies:

  • Check

    Self-reflection

    Constantly assess your leadership style, strengths, and weaknesses. Seek feedback and look for areas of opportunity.
  • Check

    Continuous learning

    Deepen your expertise by pursuing a degree in organizational leadership and attending workshops, seminars, and conferences.
  • Check

    Networking and mentorship

    Establish relationships with leaders you admire in your field and leverage their guidance to enhance your own approach.
  • Check

    Authentic communication

    Practice listening with empathy and communicating clearly and transparently in order to foster understanding, build trust, and clarify shared goals.
  • Check

    Collaboration

    Create strong, productive teams by honing your conflict resolution, negotiation, and consensus-building skills.
  • Check

    Embrace a growth mindset

    Take on challenging new assignments or responsibilities that will stretch and strengthen your leadership abilities.

Is an organizational leadership degree worth it?

A master's in organizational leadership can definitely pay off for students who are interested in high-paying management professions.

These programs can help you:

  • Understand the theoretical and practical principles of effective leadership
  • Develop your own leadership style
  • Coach and inspire your colleagues
  • Drive team performance

Earning a degree in organizational leadership is a great way to take charge of your professional development and open up a multitude of career opportunities.

Is an organizational leadership degree the same as a human resource management degree?

Nope. While there is often overlap in courses and topics, the emphasis and career paths with these degrees differ.

An organizational leadership degree provides training on leadership and organizational effectiveness, while a human resources bachelor's degree focuses on the specific skills and knowledge required for managing HR functions.

What is the difference between leadership and management?

Leadership has a broad scope and a long-term outlook that focuses on motivating and guiding people toward a shared purpose or mission. It's about emotional intelligence, people skills, strategic planning, and exerting a positive influence.

Management has a narrower, short-term focus on operational goals. It's about organizing resources, coordinating tasks, and achieving specific goals.

In short: Leaders provide vision and inspiration and managers implement plans and optimize resources.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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