Earn a MS in Organizational Leadership
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Great leaders have a common trait. They’re driven to be better leaders. Better problem solvers. Better at leading with mission and purpose. More effective at managing conflict and navigating challenging times.
The world needs more great leaders. SNHU's Master of Science (MS) in Organizational Leadership is designed to cultivate them.
Whether you’re in a leadership role now or preparing to step up to one, this fully online program lays the groundwork you’ll need to succeed. You’ll learn to lead through agile management practices. Become adept at setting strategic goals and managing shifts in organizational structure. And gain the expertise to move business forward in times of change.
As organizations in every industry seek to navigate turbulent times, the need for effective leadership continues to grow. Experts in organizational leadership can play a pivotal role in managing change both through their own leadership and by implementing internal leadership development programs. The skills and insights you’ll acquire through the master’s in leadership can help you take on such roles.
Ben Locwin '09 already had an MBA and an established career in the biotechnology and pharmaceuticals field when he enrolled in SNHU's online master's in organizational leadership. His motivation was to “refine my personal leadership brand.”
Locwin saw the degree as “an important credential to show I had invested a significant amount of time in understanding how organizations operate.” He also saw it as a chance to get better at motivating employees to help improve company performance.
With the increased complexities of doing business in a global marketplace, leaders need to be more strategic to keep employees motivated and business running smoothly. A report from Human Resource Executive that came out amid the 2020 global pandemic shows how technology can help.2 While it focuses on times of crisis, its lessons apply to at least two key aspects of managing today’s workforce – remote workers and communications. The MS in Organizational Leadership explores the use of technology in tandem with other strategies to successfully lead teams, business units and organizations.
Workers depend on strong leaders in the best of times. In challenging times, they depend on them even more. “Each business has its own nuance, but they all boil down to the development of products and/or services,” said Locwin, “and those don't happen without people producing them. And people need good leadership they can look up to in times of ambiguity.”
SNHU’s MS in Organizational Leadership will not only help you become the kind of leader people look up to. It will help you know how to move business forward, along with your career.
For students seeking career growth to a specialized focus as a human resources professional, SNHU’s organizational leadership master’s also offers the opportunity to:
Learn how to:
Career growth. New challenges. Better pay. New to management. Or just looking for professional development.
Those are just a few of the reasons students enroll in our master’s in organizational leadership program. Whatever your motivation, you’ll be making a worthwhile investment in your future.
In the face of ever-evolving market forces, organizations industrywide support the development of leadership skills in all their employees.
Sam Mahra ’09G pursued his master’s in leadership to become a better manager and more effective leader. “My organizational leadership degree gave me a better understanding of how to lead an effective organization,” he said. “It also helped me understand how to motivate individuals and apply that to a group setting.”
Mahra, who works in higher education, said many of the roles he’s held required an advanced degree. His MS in Organizational Leadership helped move his career forward.
Like Mahra, Steven Galante '18G picked this degree for its broad real-world application. “Leadership is applicable in all aspects of life,” he said, “and I believed it would provide the skills I needed to move up into more supervisory roles.”
Demand for strong, effective leadership remains steady, especially for those with a master’s degree. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 8% job growth for training and development managers through 2028, with a median annual salary of $113,350 in May 2019.1 Similarly, BLS projects 7% growth for human resources managers and median wages of $116,720 per year. 1 Both rates of job growth are faster than average.
While these roles represent only a fraction of those in demand, they involve responsibilities common to leadership positions across nearly every industry. According to BLS,1 both training and development managers and human resources managers:
What makes an organizational leader different from, say, a department manager?
Organizational leaders understand the business, for one. They also know their roles as “future visionaries and forward-thinkers who lead broad initiatives using integrity and ethics,” said Dr. Linda Ellington, SNHU faculty lead for the master’s and bachelor's in organizational leadership online degree programs.
Organizational leaders help set strategic goals while motivating workers to successfully achieve those goals. They work for a range of organizations, businesses and enterprises, including:
“If your goal is to influence people and impact the organization at the highest level possible, then you want to learn about organizational leadership,” said Deborah Gogliettino, SNHU’s associate dean for human resources.
Gogliettino believes the job and career prospects in organizational leadership are “constant and long-term."
“There is always going to be a need for skilled organizational leaders – today, tomorrow, and afterward,” she said.
Thank you for your interest in Southern New Hampshire University’s Master of Science in Organizational Leadership program.
Leadership skills are vital for all members of an organization, from top-level executives to individual contributors. Organizations of all types need effective leaders and continue to invest in developing and supporting leadership skills.
By pursuing the MS in Organizational Leadership, you'll be making a lifelong investment in your own professional growth. You’ll develop skills in leadership, communication, problem solving and teamwork – fundamental job skills sought after by employers in every industry. You’ll have the opportunity to examine and evaluate business and societal trends through historical, political, economic, financial, social and cultural lenses.
As you move through the program, you’ll be able to make recommendations for optimizing all aspects of an organization, while ensuring an environment of shared values, attitudes and respect for all stakeholders. Finally, you’ll get to devise and recommend change management strategies and applications to real-world problems, as well as develop corporate social responsibility policies and practices for immediate implementation.
SNHU’s master’s in organizational leadership was developed in collaboration with professionals who apply these skills daily within the workplace — some of whom also teach our courses.
If you have questions or need more information, please contact a representative directly at 888.327.SNHU or email@example.com. If you’re ready to move ahead, feel free to apply now.
Jennifer Varney, PhD
Senior Associate Dean, Global Campus Business Programs
With no set class meeting times, you can learn on your schedule and access online course materials 24/7.
Take advantage of some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation, plus financial aid for those who qualify. We also make it easy to transfer to SNHU by accepting up to 12 credits from your previous institution.
Founded in 1932, Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution with over 100,000 graduates across the country. SNHU is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), which advocates for institutional improvement and public assurance of quality.
Recently, Southern New Hampshire University has been nationally recognized for leading the way toward more innovative, affordable and achievable education:
At Southern New Hampshire University, you'll have access to a powerful network of more than 200,000 students, alumni and staff that can help support you long after graduation. Our instructors offer relevant, real-world expertise to help you understand and navigate your industry. Plus, with our growing, nationwide alumni network, you'll have the potential to tap into a number of internship and career opportunities.
96.5% of students would recommend SNHU.3 Discover why SNHU may be right for you.
Part of our mission to expand access to quality, higher education means removing the barriers that may stand between you and your degree. That’s why you can apply at any time and get a decision within days of submitting all required materials — with no GRE or GMAT required.
Master's degree candidates must also submit a personal statement. Students with an undergraduate GPA below 2.75 are eligible for provisional acceptance.
To apply, use the online application.
Simply contact an admission counselor, who can help you explore financial options, answer all your questions, and walk you through the application process, which includes:
Acceptance decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the year for our 5 graduate terms. You can apply at any time and get a decision within days of submitting all required materials.
Whether you aspire to be an HR manager, a nonprofit administrator, a corporate manager or a small business owner, the master’s in organizational leadership was designed with your goals in mind.
“The MS in Organizational Leadership provides an opportunity to examine leadership, change management and corporate social responsibility from a theoretic and practical perspective,” said Dr. Jennifer Varney, senior associate dean of SNHU’s business programs.
SNHU’s program offers a balanced blend of theory and practice. You’ll study theories about motivation, strategy and leadership, and then put them into practice. In the process, you’ll gain all the rewards of developing a valuable new skill set, without the risks of real-world learning experiences.
“We provide a safe sandbox or playground for our students to try simulations and develop confidence in their abilities,” said Dr. Linda Ellington, SNHU faculty lead for organizational leadership.
As a master’s in leadership candidate, you’ll acquire the essential skills and mindsets of organizational leadership, including:
The curriculum for SNHU’s 12-course (36-credit) online master’s in organizational leadership includes:
For those seeking career growth to a specialized focus as a human resources professional, the program also offers the opportunity to:
SNHU’s online master’s degree in leadership features these 6 core courses:
Sam Mahra ’09G identified with topics around responsible corporate leadership. “I truly enjoyed the social science and corporate social responsibility aspects of the program,” Mahra said.
What matters to you? What makes you want to be a better leader? Gain the skills and credentials you need to move your career and your organization forward with SNHU's master's in leadership online.
Total Credits: 36
Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer a 25% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.
Tuition rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually.
$150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)
Organizational leadership is a management approach in which leaders help set strategic goals for the organization while motivating staff to successfully achieve those goals. Think of organizational leadership as having two fundamental components – the organization and the leader.
Organizational leaders understand the business, for one. They also know their roles as “future visionaries and forward-thinkers who lead broad initiatives using integrity and ethics,” said Dr. Linda Ellington, SNHU faculty lead for the organizational leadership master’s and bachelor’s programs.
“If your goal is to influence people and impact the organization at the highest level possible, then you want to learn about organizational leadership,” said Deborah Gogliettino, SNHU’s faculty lead for human resources.
Organizational leaders bring a lot to a business. They help maintain structure. They create clear roles and responsibilities. They foster leadership within their teams. They set the bar for performance and promote organizational best practices. They use their vision and problem-solving skills to tackle short-term and long-term strategic challenges.
Dr. Linda Ellington, SNHU faculty lead for the organizational leadership master’s and bachelor’s programs, describes the importance of organizational leadership this way: “An OL has the ability to look wider and deeper and to bring an advanced skill set to a company’s decision-making and strategic thinking.”
Deborah Gogliettino, SNHU’s faculty lead for human resources, points out that organizational leaders can take the form of everything from an HR manager to a small business owner. Essentially, she said, it all boils down to one fundamental question: “Does this job or position help the organization move forward?”
It’s a great degree! It’s not only practical and versatile. It also builds a skill set every organization needs.
As organizations in every industry try to navigate turbulent times, the need for effective leaders at every level continues to grow. Experts in organizational leadership can play a pivotal role in managing change. They can also help implement internal leadership development programs. The skills and insights you’ll acquire through the master’s in leadership will help you take on these critical roles.
Jeff Warner, SNHU adjunct faculty member and organizational leadership instructor, said, “We live in a world that is constantly changing. A key finding in The Future of Jobs Report 2018 by the World Economic Forum is that technology as a driver of change will displace 75 million current jobs with 133 million new jobs in the next five years.”4
Warner believes it’s essential for everyone in business to re-skill themselves through lifelong learning. “My advice to students is to be curious, listen, observe, keep an open mind and never stop loving to learn something new,” he said.
Those are just a few of the hallmarks of great leaders that the master’s in organizational leadership helps cultivate.
Definitely! The master’s in leadership is a highly versatile degree. It’s also adaptable to your specific areas of interest, whether that’s in human resources, nonprofit administration or another specialty.
Sam Mahra ’09G, says his organizational leadership master’s helped him appreciate the role of leadership in helping organizations be more effective. He came away knowing how to motivate people, particularly in group settings.
What’s more, demand for strong, effective leadership remains steady across every industry, especially for those with a master’s degree. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 8% job growth for training and development managers through 2028, with a median annual salary of $113,350 in May 2019.1 Similarly, BLS projects 7% growth for human resources managers and median wages of $116,720 per year.1 Both rates of job growth are faster than average.
Deborah Gogliettino, SNHU’s associate dean for human resources, believes skilled organizational leaders will always be in demand. “Organizations will always embrace someone who can bring a vision, especially one of growth and sustainability," she said.
Organizational leaders are CEOs, political party leaders, school superintendents, department heads, human resources managers, training and development managers – the list goes on and on.
Whether you work in healthcare, technology, education, construction, manufacturing, retail or any other industry, organizational leaders are vital to an organization’s performance. These are just a few of an organizational leader’s main responsibilities:
The master’s in organizational leadership prepares you for a wide variety of roles, including:
If you’re looking to move up to a management role, this degree can help build a valuable set of skills and knowledge. The same goes for mid-management employees seeking to advance to senior leadership levels.
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.
This program and its concentrations are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Student achievement data can be found on College Navigator.
1Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, on the internet, at:
Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.
2Human Resource Executive, “Tech tools in the age of COVID-19,” on the internet, at https://hrexecutive.com/tech-tools-in-the-age-of-covid-19/ (viewed May 22, 2020).
3According to more than 9,200 SNHU online students in survey responses from the fall of 2019.
4World Economic Forum, “The Future of Jobs Report 2018,” on the internet, at http://reports.weforum.org/future-of-jobs-2018/key-findings/ (viewed May 27, 2020).