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Businesses must change to survive. Successfully implementing changes in terms of a business's vision, products, and processes requires strong leadership. An online master's in organizational management prepares business leaders to help their teams and companies thrive. Graduates can find careers in various industries, where their business planning, team development, and negotiation skills help organizations develop new markets and overcome economic challenges.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 5% growth in management occupations between 2019 and 2029 — slightly faster than the projected job growth for all occupations. Additionally, the median salary for these occupations is $105,660, which is higher than any other major occupational group. Job candidates with business acumen and organizational management skills can pursue business management careers in fields like healthcare, construction, and finance.
What Are the Best Online Master's in Organizational Management Programs of 2020? Here Are Our Top 10:
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|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|
- How We Rank Schools
At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you will make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering school rankings that are transparent, inclusive, and relevant for online students.
Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our Ranking Methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.
2020 Best Accredited Online Master's in Organizational Management Programs
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|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.
What Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Organizational Management Program?
Courses blend business topics with behavioral and organizational psychology, helping leaders develop the skills needed to assemble and lead effective teams, identify problems, and evaluate performance.
Business leaders seeking a master's in organizational management gain the analytical and decision-making skills needed to address contemporary leadership challenges. Courses blend business topics with behavioral and organizational psychology, helping leaders develop the skills needed to assemble and lead effective teams, identify problems, and evaluate performance.
Earning a master's in organizational management requires students to complete 30-36 credits, which usually takes 1-2 years. Many programs allow learners to tailor their degree to their career interests through concentrations. These tracks typically require 3-4 elective courses and include options like human resources, leading innovation, organizational communication, and strategic leadership.
Schools may offer organizational management degrees as a master of science (MS) or master of arts (MA). MS and MA programs differ from a master of business administration, which emphasizes functional business skills, such as marketing and accounting. MS and MA programs focus more on management and leadership skills that complement technical ability.
Many master's programs require a capstone project, which can take the form of a professional project and portfolio, a research-based thesis, or an internship. A capstone allows learners to demonstrate the knowledge and skills they gained throughout the program.
Admission Requirements for Online Master's in Organizational Management Programs
Although specific requirements vary by school, most applicants need an undergraduate degree from an accredited university with a minimum GPA of 2.5. Some schools may ask for GMAT or GRE results, although many no longer require these scores. Applicants may also be asked to submit a resume, a statement of purpose, and recommendation letters.
To enroll in a master's in organizational management program, you don't generally need an undergraduate degree in business. However, if you lack an academic and professional background in business fundamentals, you may need to take courses in foundational areas like statistics.
Consult our Graduate Admissions Guide for help preparing your application.
Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Programs.
What Courses Will I Take in an Online Master's in Organizational Management Program?
The curriculum for a master's in organizational management program combines business theory with organizational and behavioral psychology. An MS program incorporates a strong focus on research and analytical reasoning, while an MA track builds critical thinking skills and features a more interdisciplinary approach to solving business problems.
- Organizational Management Strategy
This course introduces students to theories related to organizational structure, leadership, and employee motivation. Participants discuss topics like organizational culture, group dynamics, and personal leadership style. Assignments may include group projects that help develop collaborative and leadership skills.
- Organizational Behavior
This course incorporates theories and principles of organizational and social psychology. Students gain insight into how to motivate employees to achieve organizational goals while also evaluating their own organizational behavior. Assignments may include research projects and case studies.
- Business Ethics and Social Responsibility
Students in this course build logical and critical thinking skills while exploring theories of ethical behavior. Key concepts include social contract theory, distributive justice theory, virtue ethics, and duty ethics. Through discussions and reflections, students learn how to make moral judgments and apply moral principles to complex ethical issues.
- Leading Organizational Change
Implementing change within an organization requires careful planning, clear communication, and ongoing evaluation. This course helps students understand how to achieve organizational change and navigate change in their own lives.
- Project Planning and Management
Project management requires clear communication, defined goals, and careful resource management. This course introduces students to the processes and procedures that help deliver projects on time, on scope, and on budget. Classes may prepare students to pursue industry certifications in project management and provide practical experience using project management software.
Find the Tools You Need to Get Started on Your Degree
What Can I Do With an Online Master's in Organizational Management Degree?
Earning an online master's in organizational management prepares graduates for leadership positions in many industries. The degree builds upon prior business experience and equips learners with the skills needed to motivate and empower others.
Many graduates seek positions in business management as training managers, industrial production managers, and top executives. The BLS projects 5% job growth in this field between 2019 and 2029. Offering a median salary of $105,660 as of May 2019, business management positions provide workers with lucrative wages.
Learn more about business management careers, and see where a master's in organizational management can take you.
- Training and Development Manager
Training managers build professional development programs that help employees meet organizational goals. They oversee course content development and training budgets. Training managers often work with multiple departments to determine training needs.
- Sales Manager
Sales managers oversee sales staff, assigning territories and establishing sales goals. They develop training and incentives to motivate sales staff to achieve their goals. These managers also evaluate data to determine customer preferences, forecast profitability, and identify new sales opportunities.
- Medical and Health Services Manager
Healthcare service managers direct the overall operation of medical facilities like hospitals, clinics, and private practices. They manage finances, ensure compliance with regulatory agencies, and direct staffing.
- Industrial Production Manager
These managers maximize a company's operational efficiencies. They determine the best use of the equipment and available workforce to meet production goals and monitor performance and safety goals.
- Top Executive
Top executives lead strategic planning and business growth initiatives for their organization. They oversee financial matters and ensure the company meets revenue goals. These executives also appoint managers to help lead specific business units.
Organizational Management Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers.
Frequently Asked Questions About Master's in Organizational Management Programs
- Is a master's in organizational management worth it?
Earning a master's in organizational management prepares graduates for a variety of leadership positions at businesses, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations. Many of these positions pay high median annual salaries.
- What can I do with a master's in organizational management?
Graduates can find opportunities in almost every business-related industry. This degree also benefits individuals interested in launching their own business. The BLS projects 5% growth in management occupations between 2019 and 2029.
- Is it better to have an MBA or a master's in organizational management?
The curriculum in a master's in organizational leadership program differs significantly from what is found in an MBA program. While an MBA emphasizes technical business skills like financial accounting, an organizational management program focuses more on building soft skills in leadership, team building, and communication.
- How much money can I make with a master's in organizational management?
Management occupations paid a median annual salary of $105,660 as of May 2019. However, multiple factors impact a worker's salary expectations, including their work experience and education. Salaries also vary by industry and location. Medical and health service managers, for example, earn a median salary of $100,980.
- What are the highest-paying jobs I can get with a master's in organizational management?
Chief executives command the highest salaries among business management professionals, earning a median annual salary of $184,460 as of May 2019.