Through the Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership, you will learn how to effectively develop and motivate employees, solve problems, and lead and inspire others by example. 

School of Graduate and Professional Studies

Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership


Graduate Admission


Why Pursue a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership?

Do you want to rise as a leader that creates meaningful change in your organization? Are you looking for new ways to frame, approach, and tackle ambiguous problems and make strategic, evidence-based decisions? Do you need to hone your leadership skills so that you can develop, coach, and lead others?

The online Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership teaches students how to effectively develop and motivate employees, solve problems, and lead and inspire others by example. In our program, students learn and apply evidence-based decision making, assessment tools, creative problem solving, and strategic planning.

Our students are aspiring leaders and changemakers who want to lead with confidence. They believe that with effective training, proper guidance, and reflection, they can become a force for good by helping others soar.

In-Demand Leadership Skills

More and more employers are looking for leaders who have the ability to connect with people, form creative solutions, and adapt to difficult and ambiguous situations. They recognize that soft skills and traits, such as creativity, persuasion, collaboration, adaptability, and time management, are vital to a leader’s success.

These skills are interwoven throughout our degree’s curriculum. Students study the principles of creativity, inclusion, talent development, and data analytics, and apply those concepts to real-world situations.

Close Faculty Mentorship

We know that our students want to grow and develop personally and professionally. We offer graduate students the online flexibility they demand with the personal touch they desire. Each student is assigned a faculty-coach who will work with them throughout the program. This coach will meet one-on-one with our students each term, helping them make new connections and grow as leaders.

Our students will see and hear from their professors online, in both video lectures and occasional synchronous sessions with classmates. They will also have the opportunity to connect and engage with faculty, classmates, and other professional leaders in person during our Weekend Leadership Conference.

Degree Features

  • 100% Online Curriculum: Flexible courses designed to fit students’ busy schedules. Learn more about graduate online learning at North Central.
  • Comprehensive Curriculum: A strong curriculum that looks to the future, covering topics such as diversity and inclusion, evidence-based decision making, innovative training and development, and leadership coaching 
  • Weekend Leadership Conference: A professional leadership conference that connects students to campus and exposes them to leadership experts, panel discussions, networking opportunities, and hands-on training experiences

Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership Curriculum

  • Creative and Future-Focused Curriculum: You will learn theories and concepts in organizational leadership and discover how these concepts can be introduced, discussed, and used in industries today. 
  • Ethically Responsible: Our core as an institution is to develop ethical and purposeful citizens and leaders in local, national and global contexts. Ethics is a foundational principle that is integrated into each and every class.
  • Practical Application: Practical experiences are part of the entire program. Through case studies and assignments designed for real-world application, students will apply course concepts throughout the curriculum.

Degree Format

  • The program consists of 12 courses, 36 credit hours.
    • 5 core courses
    • 7 elective courses  
  • All courses are offered in fully online formats and are delivered in 8-week sessions.
  • 2019-20 Academic Calendar (PDF)

Leadership Core Courses

Leadership Core Course Descriptions (PDF)

  • MORG 500: Leadership and Organizational Theory 
  • MORG 525: Diversity and Inclusion 
  • MORG 550: Communication, Group Dynamics and Conflict Resolution 
  • MORG 575: Evidence Based Decision Making 
  • MORG 696: Innovation Project 

Organizational Leadership Courses

Organizational Leadership Course Descriptions (PDF)

  • MHRM 515 - Strategic Human Resource Management
  • MORG 675 - Strategic Leadership and Organizational Design
  • MORG 625 - Assessment, Evaluation and Planning
  • MORG 650 - Innovative Training and Development
  • MORG 600 - High Potential Leadership Coaching
  • 2 electives courses from the following:
    • MFIN 510 - Financial Managemen
    • MBUS 500 - Data Analytics for Managers
    • MBUS 520 - Applied Managerial Marketing
    • MHSM 625 - Recruitment and Selection (MHRM 515 is a prerequisite)
    • MHRM 655 - Workforce Compensation and Benefits (MHRM 515 is prerequisite)
    • MBUS 509 - Entrepreneurship and New Venture Strategy MBUS 509

Organizational Leadership Conference

Developing and honing your leadership skills require constant training and intentional practice. The annual Leadership Conference provides you the space to take the principals of leadership theory that you learned in the virtual classroom and come together with faculty, classmates, and professional leaders to learn how you can place those principals into real practice. The conference is not linked to specific courses, but instead, focuses on your career and personal development and addresses the emerging trends in leadership.

Hands-on, Experiential Learning

The conference connects you with other leaders and gives you an opportunity to develop, implement, and analyze innovative leadership programs. There will be opportunities to work as a team to share takeaways and discuss how these innovative programs can be applied to your own work and career. 

During the two-day event, you will participate in unique and fun training opportunities like arts-based learning to enhance creative problem solving skills or outdoor adventure leadership activities. You will also engage in panel discussions with expert faculty and industry leaders on the issues and challenges that leaders face in today's environment. Some of these panelists may also be available as career planning and leadership development resources, helping you explore how to embrace the future and create meaningful change.

Leadership Conference Topics

Panel discussions will focus on a range of trending and relevant topics in leadership today. Some examples include:

  • Implicit Bias
  • People Analytics
  • Sensemaking
  • Women Leaders on Corporate Boards

Conference Details

  • The Leadership Conference will be held on Friday night and all day Saturday. 
    • Meals are provided for Friday dinner and Saturday breakfast and lunch.
  • You will not be charged tuition/fees for your attendance.
  • There is no limit to the number of conferences that you can attend. You are encouraged to attend each conference.

Organizational Leadership Outlook

An organizational leadership degree will set you on the path to success and help you advance your career in a fast growing industry. Regardless of your position or rank, you will discover how you can lead where you are.

Organizational leaders can make an impact in a variety of work settings:

  • Consulting firms
  • Corporations
  • Government agencies
  • Higher education
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Think tanks

Potential Career Opportunities 

Corporate Recruiting Human Resources Internal and External Management Consulting and Analysis Knowledge Management Leadership Coaching and Development
Learning or Training Departments Organizational Development Performance Improvement Strategic Change and Strategic Planning Talent Management

What Our Alumni Are Saying

"My leadership skills grew exponentially as a result of the Master of Arts in Leadership program. I have been able to take concepts we learned throughout the program and apply them in a real-life setting for my organization. As a result, we have made things more efficient, improved quality control and communication, and boosted morale among our workers."

"Since I received my Master's Degree from North Central College I was able to advance my career by receiving a position as Director of Operations where I currently oversee close to 40 employees and subcontractors. Along with my previous work experience, my degree was a key factor in receiving the position."

Bradley Johns M '16
Director of Operations at Great Western Flooring Co.

"Even though I’d been a leader for over 30 years, I found the Master of Arts in Leadership program to be extremely impactful. I experienced one epiphany after another as I began to connect my real-life experiences with the art and science of leadership models and theory. The curriculum reinforced and empowered me to see my unique leadership style through a clearer lens."

Scott Witte M '16
Director of Horticulture Cantigny Park

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