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.
What are the best organizational management programs of 2020? Here are our top 10:
|1||Northeastern University||Boston, MA|
|2||George Washington University||Washington, DC|
|3||Lincoln Christian University||Lincoln, IL|
|4||Colorado State University Global Campus||Greenwood Village, CO|
|5||University of Denver||Denver, CO|
|6||Lewis University||Romeoville, IL|
|7||Regis University||Denver, CO|
|8||Concordia University Irvine||Irvine, CA|
|9||Gonzaga University||Spokane, WA|
|10||Trevecca Nazarene University||Nashville, TN|
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.
The Best Online Master's in Organizational Management Programs of 2020
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.
|Boston, MA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 88%||
Northeastern offers more than 40 online certificates and degrees through its College of Professional Studies, including an online master's in leadership with a concentration in organizational communication. The 34-credit curriculum uses an action-learning approach to course design that prepares graduates to apply classroom knowledge to address industry-specific challenges.
Required courses include ethical leadership and leading teams. Concentration coursework covers topics like crisis communication and ethical issues in organizational communication. Students also complete a capstone project.
Northeastern maintains four entry dates each year. Applicants to this leadership program must submit a resume, two recommendation letters, and a 500-word personal statement. The program does not require standardized test scores for admission.
George Washington University
|Washington, DC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 82%||
GW is a private research institution that delivers comprehensive programs across its 14 schools and colleges. Distance learners can pursue the university's fully online master's in organizational leadership and learning. Throughout a 30-credit curriculum, students strengthen the critical thinking and reflection skills necessary to act as ethical leaders.
Students take five required courses in areas like human behavior and learning, developing work groups and teams, and organizational change. Learners use three electives to personalize their curriculum, choosing from courses like consulting skills and meaningful workplaces. Students can also pursue independent research or complete an internship.
Applicants need a regionally accredited bachelor's degree and adequate GMAT or GRE scores. They must submit a current resume, a personal statement, and two recommendation letters.
Lincoln Christian University
|Lincoln, IL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 71%||
Established in 1944 as a Bible institute, LCU now offers a variety of certificates and degrees to over 700 students annually. The university's graduate catalog includes an online master's degree in organizational leadership that emphasizes the strategic decision-making skills needed to oversee nonprofit and for-profit organizations. Students in the program take one course at a time and graduate in about 21 months.
The program's curriculum includes courses like cultural expressions of leadership, legal and ethical issues in the field, and interpersonal communication. Students also learn to transform conflict into productive change. The program culminates in an integrative capstone project.
Prospective students should have a 2.5 minimum GPA. Additional requirements include a personal statement, two character references, and a phone interview.
Colorado State University Global Campus
|Greenwood Village, CO||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 54%||
As a longtime leader in distance education, CSU provides over 45 online certificates and degrees through its Global Campus. CSU-Global's programs include an online master's in organizational leadership, which prepares graduates for management positions in operations and human resources.
The program's curriculum covers core topics like leading diverse teams and business ethics/corporate social responsibility. All students take advanced coursework in a chosen specialization. Specialization options include global management, healthcare administration, and finance. The program offers monthly start dates and accelerated courses.
CSU-Global prefers applicants with a 3.0 GPA or higher. Prospective students who do not meet this threshold may apply for provisional admission, which requires them to submit GMAT or GRE scores, a detailed resume, and a 500-word statement of purpose.
University of Denver
|Denver, CO||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 77%||
DU delivers career-focused online degrees through its College of Continuing and Professional Studies. Distance learners can choose from 20 programs, including a master's in organizational leadership. Students in this program can complete all required coursework online or take some evening classes on campus.
The program requires students to choose one of five concentrations, including supply chain management and human capital in organizations. Learners can also pursue a project management concentration, which develops skills that meet professional standards established by the Project Management Institute.
Applicants need a minimum 2.5 GPA. They must submit a 500-word personal statement, a resume, and two recommendations. This program does not require standardized test scores for admission.
|Romeoville, IL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 64%||
Lewis serves about 6,400 learners through more than 110 programs, including a fully online master's in organizational leadership that learners can earn in under two years. Through a 36-credit curriculum, students learn to apply theories of organizational behavior and change to solve practical problems.
Required courses include conflict management and psychology of motivation. Learners also choose from five concentration options, such as higher education student services and professional/executive coaching. Students may also pursue a concentration in training and development, which covers corporate consulting and adult learning strategies.
To qualify for full admission, applicants need at least three years of work experience and a minimum 3.0 GPA. Prospective students who do not meet these criteria can enroll on a provisional basis subject to their performance in the first semester.
|Denver, CO||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 69%||
Located in Denver, Colorado, Regis powers distance education with the Desire2Learn platform. Graduate students can enroll in the university's online master's in organizational leadership program. In addition to offering accelerated, eight-week courses, the program allows students to complete all courses online or take some evening courses on campus.
Required courses include business intelligence and analytics, leading change and innovation, and communicating with stakeholders. This 30-credit program culminates in a capstone course centered on strategic corporate social responsibility and stewardship. Graduates are prepared to work as nonprofit executives, management consultants, and consumer relations specialists.
Regis offers six start dates each year, and the university uses a holistic student evaluation process that eliminates GPA and standardized testing requirements. Applicants to this organizational leadership program need a regionally accredited bachelor's degree.
Concordia University Irvine
|Irvine, CA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 63%||
CUI serves over 4,200 students, many of whom earn their degrees online through the Blackboard platform. The university's academic catalog includes an online master's in organizational leadership. By completing this 33-credit program, learners gain the skills needed to create high-performing teams and collaborative workplace cultures.
The program's curriculum includes experientially focused assignments that help students engage with instructors and each other. Courses include decision-making and problem-solving, leading change and motivation, and conflict management. Learners personalize their experience with two elective classes. The program culminates in a capstone seminar.
CUI requires applicants to have a regionally accredited bachelor's degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA. Application materials include a professional resume, at least one reference, and a 500-word personal essay.
|Spokane, WA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 86%||
Based in Spokane, Washington, Gonzaga delivers dozens of career-focused academic programs. Graduate students can pursue the university's online master's in organizational leadership, which prepares them for high-ranking positions in fields like healthcare management, labor relations, and corporate training. This 30-credit program requires distance learners to attend one on-campus residency.
The curriculum includes core coursework in organizational behavior theory and leadership ethics. The program offers four concentrations: change leadership, global leadership, servant leadership, and strategic and organizational communication.
Applicants should have a minimum 3.0 GPA. They must also submit a 1,000-word statement of purpose, a resume, and at least one recommendation letter. Gonzaga uses five entry dates each year.
Trevecca Nazarene University
|Nashville, TN||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 55%||
Although Trevecca is based in Nashville, Tennessee, the school reaches learners around the world by hosting more than 20 online programs. Among these offerings is a master's in organizational leadership, which prepares students to bring Christ-centered leadership to their place of employment.
Students move through the program with a cohort of their peers, taking one six-week course at a time. Participants complete their 33-credit degree in 18 months. Core classes include conflict management and resolution, leading in diverse communities, and organizational culture and change. Faculty deliver online classes with the Blackboard learning management system.
Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree earned at an accredited institution and a minimum 2.5 GPA. GMAT/GRE scores are not required and there is no application fee.
Choosing a Program
Will an Online Master's in Organizational Management Program Provide Me With the Skills I Need to Advance My Career?
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.
Will an Online Master's in Organizational Management Program Work With My Schedule?
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.
What Jobs Can I Get With My Master's in Organizational Management?
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.
What Else Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Organizational Management Program?
|Timeline||18 months to 2 years|
|Program Costs||$10,000 to $25,000 in annual tuition|
|Concentrations||Business Administration, International Business, Finance, Economics, Marketing and Advertising, Human Resources, Project Management, Healthcare Management, Nonprofit Management, and Organizational Psychology|
|Accreditation||Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)|
Employment Outlook for Master's in Organizational Management
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%|
|Operations Research Analyst||2.6%|
|Human Resources Specialist||2.7%|
|Market Research Analyst||3.1%|
|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|
|Supply Chain Management||$63,800||$100,000|
|Human Resources Management||$50,100||$83,500|
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|
|Human Resources Manager||$54,694||$64,316||$69,132||$71,513|
|Supply Chain Manager||$64,868||$80,296||$88,464||$89,472|
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.
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)
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.
Financing Your Online Master's in Organizational Management Program
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.