Best Online Master’s in Organizational Management Programs

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The field of organizational management is primarily concerned with coordinating, planning and leading the various departments and divisions that make up a company or organization. In addition to meeting sales and productivity objectives, organizational managers also work to cut unnecessary expenses, maximize efficiency, boost employee morale and otherwise ensure that operations run smoothly and successfully on a day-to-day basis. This holistic approach to management enables executives to take a close look at their workforce to determine their organization’s key strengths and assets, as well as areas of potential improvement.

A master’s degree in organizational management will prepare students to enact meaningful changes in today’s workplaces. The master’s curriculum is designed to build on the foundational knowledge and skills of undergraduate studies while also introducing more advanced theories and approaches to modern business. Many organizational management master’s programs culminate in a capstone experience course, which allows students to use what they have learned to address real-world business problems. Many of these programs also require students to take part in on-site internships, where they can receive supervised training from experienced professionals. Many of today’s students are choosing to earn their master’s in organizational management online, instead of in a classroom. Web-based students adhere to the same rigorous curriculum as their brick-and-mortar counterparts, leading to the same number of job opportunities after graduation. The asynchronous (or self-paced) format of most online organizational management programs is also ideal for students with commitments that may interfere with campus-based learning, such as childcare or part-time employment.

Learn more about what you can do with an online master’s in organizational management and what kind of career opportunities you can look forward to with this comprehensive guide.


A master’s in organizational management is designed for students who wish to advance their careers. The curriculum offers a blend of organizational psychology, traditional management and contemporary business strategy. The coursework will cover topics like organizational behavior and psychology, supply chain logistics, management analysis, finance, project management and human resources. Some master’s programs allow students to focus on niche areas of organizational management; common degree ‘specializations’ in this field include global management, human resources management, organizational leadership and supply chain management. Students who follow specialized tracks are particularly well-positioned to compete for top positions in the job market.


Online master’s in management degree programs offer a flexible, easily accessible alternative to traditional higher learning. Students are able to download course lectures and readings, participate in virtual discussions with other students, submit written assignments, take exams and communicate with their professors ― all from their desktop computer. Current technology also allows them to study away from home using a laptop, tablet, smartphone and other Wi-Fi-compatible devices. For added convenience, online management master’s students can often coordinate internship opportunities at sites that are reasonably close to their current residence.


Organizational management is employed throughout the business world, so master’s degree recipients in this field may pursue wide range of professional roles. Most will enter the corporate sector and take on management jobs in human resources, information technology, supply chain logistics or sales and marketing. The burgeoning ‘project management’ career path is also quite popular with today’s master’s graduates. Additionally, those with an organizational management degree may find work in nonprofit organizations, government agencies, healthcare facilities or higher learning institutions.


Choosing a program is an incredibly personal decision, and only you can properly evaluate whether a target school’s strengths match your educational needs. The following ranked list of schools should serve as a helpful starting point in your search for the best online master’s in organizational management programs in the United States. Our ranking is based on the courses schools offer, available specializations, student outcomes, career support services, and other criteria used to determine academic excellence. If you are considering an online master’s in organizational management, be sure to contact admissions specialists at different colleges and universities to learn more their about specific requirements and offerings.

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Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost % Enrolled Online Location Description
1 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill RANKING SCORE 84.71 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 20% LOCATION Chapel Hill, NC

UNC Chapel Hill is the flagship campus of the University of North Carolina system. UNC Online hosts thousands of classes and hundreds of programs, including a master’s in organizational management. The 45-credit program provides an immersive experience aimed at working professionals. Students have backgrounds in government, the military, academia, nonprofits, and business. Professors use an innovative web-based format that combines asynchronous learning with real-time video conferencing.

UNC’s master of public administration takes students through coursework in American government, organizational theory, professional communication, and human resource management. Distance learners can tailor their studies with five specializations: local government, international relations, nonprofit management, public health, and community development. All students must complete a practicum and produce a portfolio.

The rigorous program accepts only 30% of applicants. Students can earn their degrees in 18 months, and have up to 60 months to complete the program. Applicants should have competitive GRE scores, a bachelor’s degree, and a 3.0 GPA or better.

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2 Northwestern University RANKING SCORE 79.67 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 11% LOCATION Evanston, IL

Northwestern’s organizational management master’s degree gives students a solid foundation in all facets of public management. The school's 39-credit curriculum explores the analytical and administrative sides of the discipline. Students have the opportunity to specialize in data analytics, public health, public policy, public administration, or global policy.

All coursework is available online, largely in an asynchronous format. The curriculum includes nine core classes, three electives in the area of specialization, and a thesis or capstone project. Degree candidates typically take one or two classes per term, but may enroll in as many as four. Most students finish the program in two years.

Northwestern does not require work experience or GRE scores. Applicants must submit undergraduate transcripts, a resume, a writing sample, a statement of purpose, and two letters of recommendation.

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3 University of Southern California RANKING SCORE 76.24 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 25% LOCATION Los Angeles, CA

The online master’s degree in organizational management at USC takes a multidisciplinary approach to public administration. The Price School of Public Policy integrates socio economics, politics, research, and leadership into its management degree. The program begins and ends with residencies. In between, students work through asynchronous courses with the support of cohort coaches and advisers. Graduates are prepared to serve in nonprofits, the government, resource management, health care, and community development agencies.

Students can complete the 41-credit curriculum in two or three years, depending upon the number of courses taken per semester. Distance learners can choose from three areas of specialization: local government management, public policy, and nonprofit management. Certificates in public policy and city/county management are also available. The program culminates in a hands-on capstone course.

USC’s organizational management program has received accreditation from the prestigious Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree, a minimum 3.0 GPA, and an above average score on the GRE.

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4 Johns Hopkins University RANKING SCORE 75.51 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 47% LOCATION Baltimore, MD

Through distance learning, Johns Hopkins delivers a 36-credit master's of science in organizational leadership degree that boasts the same curriculum as the university's on-campus program. Built with collaboration in mind, the program's content emphasizes principles of leadership, management, and public sector administration best practices. To be eligible for admission, applicants must have a bachelor's degree and must be currently employed in a relevant field, such as corrections, public health, or law enforcement.

Johns Hopkins' online master's in organizational management degree, which students typically complete within two years, is designed for working professionals and those with demanding schedules. The university offers courses completely online through an easily navigated course management system, and provides various tools to help students keep track of their assignments. To graduate, students must complete a capstone course that includes individual, group, and class projects. All distance learners at Johns Hopkins pay the same tuition, regardless of their state of residence.

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5 Virginia International University RANKING SCORE 74.75 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 70% LOCATION Fairfax, VA

The online public administration master’s degree at VIU features specializations in information systems, public management, and health care administration. The small, private Fairfax institution created the program for students interested in human resources, finances, and policy in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Distance learners can earn all credits online.

The 36-credit curriculum includes seven core courses in topics such as organizational theory, public policy, and financial reporting. Students then select two electives and three concentration classes. In order to graduate, all students must complete an advanced research project. Degree candidates must maintain a 3.0 GPA while enrolled in the program.

The university accepts applications on a rolling basis. New students may begin on any of six yearly start dates. Prerequisite courses include economics, management, and writing. Students may transfer up to 12 credits from an accredited graduate program. Tuition is the same for on-campus and online learners.

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6 George Washington University RANKING SCORE 72.59 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 30% LOCATION Washington, DC

The online master’s degree in organizational management at GWU focuses on critical thinking, reflection, and self awareness. These skills prepare students to become effective leaders. The curriculum uses practical examples to help students apply their knowledge. Distance learners study the foundations of human behavior, adult learning, group dynamics, and strategic change.

The curriculum is comprised of 21 core credits and nine elective credits. Courses include global leadership, multicultural issues in organizations, organizational change, and work groups and teams in organizations. Students may complete the degree online, on campus, or in a hybrid format. Full-time students can complete the program in two years. Distance learners may pursue an internship to gain practical experience in the field. Most online coursework is asynchronous. Applicants must submit college transcripts, a resume, a statement of purpose, and two letters of recommendation.

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7 Gratz College RANKING SCORE 71.61 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 100% LOCATION Melrose Park, PA

Ideal for professionals working in the nonprofit sector, Gratz's master's of science in nonprofit management degree ensures that students develop key skills in organizational management. This practitioner-oriented program, which can be completed entirely online, emphasizes leadership abilities and helps students discover methods for solving real-world problems relevant to managing nonprofit organizations. Students in Gratz's organizational management master's degree online program choose from a range of available courses, including organizational behavior, nonprofit law, and fundraising. The college offers courses for distance learners in an accelerated format, with each course lasting eight weeks. On average, students earn their master's of science in nonprofit management within two years.

All distance learners at Gratz pay the same tuition rates. The college provides students with access to financial aid, and features more than a dozen fellowships available to administrators working in Jewish organizations. Applicants must provide a resume, all undergraduate and graduate transcripts, a personal statement, and two letters of recommendation with their online application.

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8 Northeastern University Global Network RANKING SCORE 71.58 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 83% LOCATION Boston, MA

Students looking to earn an organizational management master's degree online should consider NU's master's of science in leadership program. Available 100% online, the curriculum combines real-world activities with an "action learning" approach. Because NU boasts partnerships around the world, students hoping to succeed as global leaders find the university's leadership programs well-suited to their needs.

Designed for professionals seeking career advancement, NU's master's of science in leadership program requires applicants to submit a statement of purpose, a resume, two letters of recommendation, undergraduate degree documentation, and a transcript. Students must complete several required courses, and may subsequently choose to concentrate in any one of several areas: health management, human resources, leading & managing technical projects, nonprofit management, organizational communications, project management, or sport and social change. Depending on their chosen concentration, students must complete 45 or 46 quarter credits to earn their degree.

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9 Florida International University RANKING SCORE 69.14 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 37% LOCATION Miami, FL

Florida International University, located in Miami, offers a master’s in organizational management accredited by NASPAA. Students can pursue the 42-credit degree entirely online, but still have the opportunity to complete in-person service internships. Many students have prior learning experience, which enriches classroom discussions and collaborative projects.

The curriculum includes eight core courses and six electives. Most courses follow an asynchronous format. Program participants can customize their curriculum by adding graduate certificates in homeland security, community development, human resource management, international public administration, or public finance and procurement. Distance learners must maintain a 3.0 GPA.

Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree and a 3.25 GPA. Applicants must submit three letters of recommendation, a writing sample, and a current resume. FIU might require some students to submit GRE scores. Distance learners pay the same tuition rate as their on-campus peers.

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10 University of Central Florida RANKING SCORE 67.51 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 40% LOCATION Orlando, FL

UCF, one of the largest institutions of higher learning in the nation, is a leader in internet-based education. The Orlando-based research school offers dozens of degrees, including an online master’s degree in organizational management. The 36-credit program at UCF is unique in that it focuses on nonprofit administration. Students learn to be effective leaders in the public sector. The curriculum emphasizes scholarship, ethics, and community.

The online MPH features classes in grant and contract management, volunteerism, strategic management, and finance. Distance learners must complete 27 credits in the major core, six credits of advanced electives, and a capstone project. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA. Full-time learners can complete the program in two years or less. The university encourages students with no previous work experience to participate in an internship. UCF structures its tuition in three tiers, which depend on residency. The school also hosts an online, dual degree program that pairs the nonprofit management master’s with a traditional MPA.

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11 American University RANKING SCORE 66.44 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 20% LOCATION Washington, DC

AU offers a master’s in public administration and policy that is informed by the school’s expertise in public policy. Distance learners can complete the 36-credit program in two years. Since all courses are available in an asynchronous online format, students can continue to work while enrolled in the program. AU is home to one of the most politically-active student bodies in the nation, giving learners ample opportunities to engage in the community.

AU’s MPA is accredited by NASPAA. Notable courses include leadership in a changing workplace, program evaluation, foundations of policy analysis, managing human capital assets, and organizational analysis. Students typically take two classes per semester. In the final course, students analyze policies and test their administrative skills in a practical setting. Graduates of the university’s School of Public Affairs boast a 94% employment rate. Students gain access to American’s extensive alumni network. Applicants must submit collegiate transcripts and GRE or LSAT scores.

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12 Brandman University RANKING SCORE 65.37 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 72% LOCATION Irvine, CA

Located in Irvine, California, Brandman has provided higher education to students since 1958 and now features distance learning programs. For students seeking to earn a master's of organizational management degree online, the university delivers a 36-credit master's of arts degree in organizational leadership. Designed for midcareer professionals, the program focuses on six learning outcomes: leadership, critical analysis, ethics, systems, collaboration, and change (including change management strategies).

Core courses include organizational research, leadership and team development, and leading organizational change. Students can tailor their learning experience by choosing 12 credits of electives, with the help of an academic advisor, in disciplines such as education, computer science, and health systems administration. Additionally, students must complete a three-credit capstone seminar to graduate with their degree. Graduates leave Brandman's organizational management master's program prepared to serve as innovative leaders in a range of organizations.

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13 Gonzaga University RANKING SCORE 64.37 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 59% LOCATION Spokane, WA

A private, Jesuit institution, Gonzaga provides higher education to nearly 8,000 students annually through more than 75 different academic programs. For students seeking an organizational management master's degree online, Gonzaga offers a master's of arts in organizational leadership that emphasizes skills in leadership, management, and communication. This 30-credit program features two different concentrations: a four-course service leader track, and a hybrid global leader track that includes one- to two-week immersions designed to give students exposure to working at culturally diverse, international, nonprofit institutions.

After typically earning their degree within two years, graduates leave the program well-equipped to take the helm and thrive in a professional management role. To apply, prospective students must submit a college transcript, recommendation letters, and a statement of purpose. Applicants with a college GPA of at least 3.0 are not required to submit an MAT or GRE score.

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14 University of Miami RANKING SCORE 64.37 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 27% LOCATION Coral Gables, FL

UM offers an online master’s in public administration that includes several optional networking opportunities. The 36-credit program follows a two-year curriculum, and students take one course per seven-week term. Learners develop competencies in administration, personnel leadership, strategic planning, ethical decision-making, and digital governance. The school offers all courses online, most of which are available in an asynchronous format. Alumni work in the Department of Homeland Security, the CIA, Blue Cross Blue Shield, the AFL-CIO, and the Rochester Institute of Technology.

The master’s in organizational management features courses in global governance, organizational dynamics, political analysis, and change management. Since the courses follow a particular sequence, each class builds on the last. The program prepares graduates to step into administrative positions as thousands of civil servants retire nationwide. Distance learners can attend an optional online orientation in Miami. Students are eligible for a 45% inaugural scholarship. Applicants must submit GRE scores.

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15 Golden Gate University-San Francisco RANKING SCORE 64.12 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 51% LOCATION San Francisco, CA

GGU’s mission is to educate working adults. Founded in 1901, the Bay Area institution now offers dozens of online degrees to help professionals advance their careers. GGU’s MBA with a concentration in public administration teaches students skills in leadership, problem solving, effective communication, and strategic thinking. The program also includes classes in public policy and nonprofit management.

Distance learners progress through the 54-credit curriculum at their own pace, taking as many classes as they can handle per trimester. Most courses are asynchronous. Students earning GGU’s organizational management master’s degree must complete 33 credits in the MBA core and another 12 in the public administration concentration. The curriculum also includes a capstone course in business planning.

GGU considers undergraduate academic records, work experience, and professional recommendations. Applicants with less than five years of work experience must take the GRE or GMAT. Prerequisites include coursework in writing, business, and math. The university accepts up to six transfer credits.

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16 Regis University RANKING SCORE 63.28 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 65% LOCATION Denver, CO

Regis delivers an online master's of science in organizational leadership degree that gives students an in-depth understanding of top management practices today. Through courses like leading in a new era, business intelligence and analytics, and strategic HR management, students develop the ethical, knowledge-based foundation necessary for effective leadership. To keep the 30-credit program accessible, Regis offers start dates for the program's eight-week terms in January and May. Distance learners at Regis pay the same tuition rate regardless of their state of residence.

Students that enroll in Regis' master's in leadership program can take classes either on campus or online in an asynchronous format. Admission requirements for the program include a resume, an essay, and a minimum 3.0 GPA. With career counseling available, graduates progress to successful careers in human resources, social and community services, and administrative services, among other fields.

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17 University of Illinois at Springfield RANKING SCORE 61.86 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 67% LOCATION Springfield, IL

UIS’s online master’s in organizational management promotes public service and civic engagement. The school encourages students to participate in graduate public service internships, the Illinois legislative staff internship program, or departmental internship programs. Distance learners can augment their curriculum with a graduate certificate in nonprofit management or community planning. Students may also earn a dual degree in public health.

The UIS program is accredited by NASPAA. Most coursework is asynchronous, and there are no required campus visits. Students must pass seven core courses, complete four electives, and earn a B- or better in the three-credit capstone seminar. The program focuses on five areas: public governance, public policy, problem solving, a public service perspective, and communication in diverse environments. Prerequisites include coursework in American government, statistics, and economics. Online students must submit a statement explaining their preference for distance learning.

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18 Azusa Pacific University RANKING SCORE 61.23 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 25% LOCATION Azusa, CA

APU is a Christian institution located near Los Angeles. The school offers more than 100 degrees and certificates, many of them in an online format. The online master’s degree in organizational management emphasizes Christian ethics and personal integrity. Rooted in business principles and modern leadership techniques, the program encourages participants to apply their skills and work experience.

APU uses a comprehensive learning approach, integrating themes and ideas across the entire curriculum rather than in a single course. Distance learners turn their workplaces into laboratories, trying out new theories and strategies to increase productivity. The 33-credit curriculum consists of 11 classes. Courses include research in organizations, managerial ethics, and conflict and negotiation in organizations. Most online coursework is asynchronous. Students typically take one class at a time. Applicants must submit undergraduate transcripts demonstrating a minimum 3.0 GPA.

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19 Excelsior College RANKING SCORE 60.57 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 100% LOCATION Albany, NY

Excelsior, a private school located in Albany, New York, specializes in distance education for adult learners. The school’s master of public administration prepares graduates for positions in state, local, and federal governments, as well as the nonprofit sector. The curriculum examines all facets of public administration, including legislation and policy, strategic thinking, and management of personnel and budgets. Distance learners can complete most coursework asynchronously. Excelsior does not require any on-campus visits.

The 36-credit online master’s degree in organizational management includes eight core classes, three electives, and a three-credit capstone. Students may choose to add a concentration in mediation and arbitration. Notable courses include leveraging technology in the public sector, public management in a political environment, and public communications. The program emphasizes practical application. Excelsior accepts up to 33 transfer credits. Applicants must submit their undergraduate transcripts and an essay. The school does not require GRE scores.

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20 University of Delaware RANKING SCORE 60.04 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 13% LOCATION Newark, DE

The University of Delaware, one of the nation’s oldest institutions of higher learning, opened its doors in 1743 as a private academy. The school’s online master of public administration provides students with the policy knowledge and leadership skills necessary for management roles in nonprofits and governmental institutions. The NASPAA-accredited program emphasizes research and application-based solutions to problems facing public managers.

Students can complete the 36-credit program in three years or less. Most courses are asynchronous, allowing students to work full-time and complete coursework on their own schedule. Classes run in seven-week sessions, with three terms per year. The curriculum examines subjects such as public policy, human resource management, economics, and IT. The online MPA culminates in a capstone experience, during which students work with a local nonprofit or governmental agency to conduct research, data collection, and analysis.

Potential students should have a baccalaureate degree with a 3.0 GPA or higher. Applicants must submit GRE scores, a resume, three letters of recommendation, and a personal statement.

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21 University of Denver RANKING SCORE 59.93 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 26% LOCATION Denver, CO

DU delivers its master's of science in leadership and organizations degree, with a concentration in organizational development, in a 100% online format. Ideal for students who want to serve as a resource for organizations by helping to improve organizational culture, the 48-credit program introduces learners to topics like the philosophy of organizational change, organizational development evaluation and intervention strategies, and different models of organizational development change. In addition to completing a final capstone course or seminar, students can choose concentration courses, such as organizational culture and organizational development impacts or team interventions.

Students applying to DU's master's of science in leadership and organizations program must submit a statement of purpose, a resume, and supplemental materials; the program does not require students to submit GMAT or GRE scores. To be eligible for admission, students must have a bachelor's degree and a minimum 2.5 undergraduate GPA.

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22 DePaul University RANKING SCORE 58.95 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 25% LOCATION Chicago, IL

DePaul, the nation’s largest Catholic university, offers more than three dozen online programs, including undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees, and certificates. The school’s online master of public administration features four concentrations: emergency management, public management, metropolitan and urban affairs, and international public management. All coursework for the two-year program is available online, with no on-campus components. Students progress through coursework as part of a cohort.

Accredited by NAPSAA, the online organizational management master’s degree includes ten core courses and three specialization courses. Core courses include policy design and analysis, fundamentals of human resource management, and applied statistics for public service. All students also complete an integrative action research project. Online courses incorporate asynchronous and synchronous elements. The university encourages distance learners to participate in study abroad opportunities, with classes available in Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, India, or Ireland. The 2016 cohort boasted a 93% employment rate.

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23 The University of West Florida RANKING SCORE 58.59 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 82% LOCATION Pensacola, FL

Graduates of UWF's master's of science in administration program are prepared to pursue leadership-oriented careers in areas like fiscal management, human resources management, and nonprofit management. The program features four available concentrations: acquisition and contract administration, human performance technology, leadership, and public administration. This master's in organizational management boasts rigorous academic requirements; applicants must submit GRE, MAT, or GRE scores in the upper 50th percentile along with three letters of recommendation before the university's admissions committee will conduct a holistic review of their credentials.

For nontraditional students, UWF delivers distance learning programs that include more than 600 online courses offered every semester. Students in the master's of administration program can complete their degree entirely online through instruction from faculty with real-world experience. Distance learners can earn their degree in as few as four semesters, but must complete 12 required core curriculum credits.

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24 Norwich University RANKING SCORE 58.44 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 99% LOCATION Northfield, VT

A military college with options available for civilian students, Norwich is the birthplace of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps. Offering classes both online and on campus, the university delivers an education rooted in confidence, loyalty, and honor. Distance learners benefit from small class sizes and participate in discussions with classmates and faculty on a weekly basis. Because Norwich students take classes one at a time, a busy learner can still earn a master's degree in organizational management at a pace that fits their schedule.

Norwich's master's of science degree in leadership allows students to choose among four specialties: leading change management consulting, human resources leadership, public sector/government/military leadership, and organizational leadership. Students can complete their online master's in leadership in as little as 18 months. Graduates leave Norwich prepared to work in diverse organizations and bridge cultural and generational differences as effective managers.

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25 University of San Francisco RANKING SCORE 58.24 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 15% LOCATION San Francisco, CA

USF, a private Jesuit institution, hosts an online master’s degree in public administration that emphasizes community, ethics, and social justice. The 39-credit, NASPAA-accredited curriculum features 13 core courses. Students can also add a concentration in health services, which will prepare them for careers in health care policy and management.

USF’s fully-online organizational management program focuses on evidence-based practice. Coursework explores topics in organizational behavior, public policy, human resources, information technology, strategic planning, and program implementation. Professors use collaborative activities, focused discussion, and case analysis. Most classes are asynchronous. The 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio ensures all learners receive individualized attention.

USF accepts applications on a rolling basis. New students may begin on any of three start dates per year. The university recommends but does not require the GRE. Applicants must submit a statement of purpose, transcripts, a resume, and two letters of recommendation. Applicants may also complete optional essays discussing their capabilities, scholarship eligibility, or additional information.

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18 months to 2 years
Program Costs
$10,000 to $25,000 in annual tuition
Business Administration, International Business, Finance, Economics, Marketing and Advertising, Human Resources, Project Management, Healthcare Management, Nonprofit Management, and Organizational Psychology
Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)

Job Placement: Master’s in Management

The job outlook is strong for master’s degree recipients in today’s business climate. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that jobs in management will grow by 6% between 2014 and 2024; while this 10-year growth rate is below-average, this expected increase will result in more than 500,000 newly created jobs for management professionals.

Unemployment rates are relatively low for corporate jobs, particularly management-related roles. The following table lists the current unemployment rates for some of the most popular careers for organizational management degree-holders.

Occupation Unemployment Rate (2016)
Medical and Health Services Manager 1.2%
Information Technology Manager 1.9%
Financial Manager 2.0%
Operations Research Analyst 2.6%
Human Resources Specialist 2.7%
Marketing Manager 2.8%
Sales Manager 2.8%
Market Research Analyst 3.1%
Management Analyst 3.2%
Business Operations Manager 3.9%

Source: U.S. News & World Report

The average unemployment rate of all 10 occupations listed is 2.62%; comparatively, the national unemployment rate for all industries is currently set at 4.7%.

Earning a Living

Graduate students who earn master’s degrees in management-oriented fields enjoy higher earning potential than other master’s graduates. How does organizational management stack up against other master’s degree fields in terms of salary expectations? The salary comparison chart below features expected earnings at two key career benchmarks.

MBA Degree Field Median Entry-Level Salary (0-5 Years) Median Mid-Career (10+ Years)
Information Technology Management $71,000 $110,000
Marketing and Management $52,500 $103,000
Project Management $64,600 $100,000
Supply Chain Management $63,800 $100,000
Operations Management $64,400 $95,700
Human Resources Management $50,100 $83,500
Organizational Management $51,900 $79,400
Healthcare Management $59,700 $79,100

Source: 2016-17 PayScale College Salary Report

In addition to master’s degree field of study, another important indicator of salary potential is the employee’s specific job title. Other important factors include certification status, employer size and city/state of employment. The next table looks at 20-year salary growth expectations for five popular careers among organizational management grads.

Occupation Median Annual Salary for Entry-Level Employees (0-5 Years) Median Annual Salary for Mid-Career Employees (5-10 Years) Median Annual Salary for Experienced Employees (10-20 Years) Median Annual Salary for Late-Career Employees (20+ Years)
Organizational Development Manager $75,081 $85,058 $93,026 $92,540
Organizational Development Consultant $68,000 $82,644 $95,889 $99,299
Operations Manager $51,776 $60,922 $67,969 $74,934
Human Resources Manager $54,694 $64,316 $69,132 $71,513
Supply Chain Manager $64,868 $80,296 $88,464 $89,472

Source: PayScale

All five occupations listed reported a career salary growth rate of at least 23%. Organizational development consultants experienced the highest growth rate: a 46% increase in earnings between the entry-level and late-career stages. Operations managers placed second with 44.7% 20-year salary growth, followed by supply chain managers with 37.9% growth.

Career Opportunities

Students who graduate with an master’s in organizational management will be qualified for dozens of top-level positions, although individual eligibility will depend on the candidate’s degree specializations and experience level. Four popular career choices for organizational management degree-holders are outlined below.

Computer and Information Systems Managers: These employees (often called CIS managers or IT managers for short) oversee the tech-based day-to-day operations at companies and organizations. They are primarily responsible for coordinating computer and information systems objectives, and then developing and implementing tools and software programs that can be used to reach these goals.

Human Resources Managers: Human resources (HR) managers supervise their organization’s various administrative activities and projects. They often have a direct hand in the recruitment, screening and hiring of job candidates, as well as providing comprehensive orientation for new employees. They also handle tasks related to compensation and benefits, personnel surveys and workplace conflict mediation.

Training and Development Managers: Training and development managers design courses and continuing education programs to help employees build skills, knowledge and competencies in certain areas. A background in organizational management will prepare these employees to properly assess the strengths and weaknesses of the personnel under their watch and deliver effective training and development modules.

Top Executives: Top executives work at the forefront of modern business. They work with departmental managers and other top-level personnel to develop strategies and objectives for their organization. They also monitor and evaluate different teams to ensure these goals are carried out quickly and efficiently.

Occupation Median Annual Salary Projected Industry Growth (2014-24)
Computer and Information Systems Managers $131,600 15% (+53,700 jobs)
Human Resources Managers $104,440 9% (+10,800 jobs)
Training and Development Managers $102,640 7% (+2,300 jobs)
Top Executives $102,690 6% (+147,000 jobs)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Professional Organizations

Making professional connections and learning about different approaches to organizational management is crucial to your success. Professional organizations offer a great entry point for students who want to learn more about their chosen career path. Below you’ll find three of the country’s most prominent organizations established for organizational management professionals. These organizations host networking events, provide online trainings, maintain active job boards, and offer other services for career-ready college graduates. Resources like these often prove invaluable as you complete your degree requirements and prepare to enter the job market.

  • Institute for Organization Management: The IOM is classified as the ‘professional development program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’. The institute provides a four-year program for rising organization management professionals that consists of four-week courses. Course registration is available online.
  • National Management Association: Headquartered in Ohio, this nonprofit organization currently maintains six regional U.S. chapters. The NMA is home to the certified manager (CM) credential, and members can also take part in professional development courses and contests.
  • Society for Human Resource Management: Considered the world’s largest HR-oriented professional organization, the SHRM boasts 285,000 members in 165 different countries. The website features a vast online resource library, as well as links to continuing education opportunities and an events calendar.

Despite the relative affordability of online programs, most students still need financial assistance. Students should complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to learn more about loans, grants, and other opportunities offered through the U.S. government. Additionally, private grants and scholarships are widely available through nonprofit organizations, companies, and other sources. Check out our collection of resources below to learn more about financial aid options.


Approximately two-thirds of today’s college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.


Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.


Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you’ll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn’t always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.


Online programs can provide an affordable and flexible option for women trying to balance the demands of work, family, and earning their degree. We’ve curated a list of valuable scholarships specifically for women.


Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family’s financial future. We’ve compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.


Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.

Rankings Archive

Best Online Master's in Organizational Leadership of 2017
Rank School Location
1 Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD
2 Gratz College Melrose Park, PA
3 Gonzaga University Spokane, WA
4 The University of West Florida Pensacola, FL
5 Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant, MI
6 Brandman University Irvine, CA
7 Norwich University Northfield, VT
8 Trevecca Nazarene University Nashville, TN
9 Lincoln Christian University Lincoln, IL
10 Northeastern University Global Network Boston, MA
11 North Park University Chicago, IL
12 University of Denver Denver, CO
13 Baker University Baldwin City, KS
14 Regis University Denver, CO
15 Saint Mary's University of Minnesota Winona, MN
16 Concordia University-Chicago River Forest, IL
17 Piedmont International University Winston Salem, NC
18 Duquesne University Pittsburgh, PA
19 Cleary University Ann Arbor, MI
20 Indiana Wesleyan University-Marion Marion, IN
21 Olivet Nazarene University Bourbonnais, IL
22 Western Governors University Salt Lake City, UT
23 Amridge University Montgomery, AL
24 University of Wisconsin-Platteville Platteville, WI
25 Northern Arizona University Flagstaff, AZ