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Master of Science: Leadership Development

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The Masters of Science in Leadership Development (MSLD) is a multidisciplinary program designed to serve the needs of:

  • Emerging and aspiring leaders who wish to better understand their own leadership strengths areas of development or are interested in the development of leadership capacity within their organizations.
  • Professionals interested in furthering their studies at the graduate level in human resource management, human resource development, and student service higher education administration.

The MSLD is a 36-hour program designed to meet the real-life demands of working adults.  The program can be completed on a part time basis in two years.  Students work closely with the program’s faculty inside and outside of the classroom.

The core program includes 24 hours of coursework on 21st century leadership competencies in three areas:

  • PERSONAL MASTERY COMPETENCIES include adaptability, critical thinking and decision making, integrity and ethics, professionalism, and results orientation
  • RELATIONAL COMPETENCIES include developing and coaching others, effective communications, inspiring and involving others, intercultural / global intelligence, and interpersonal relationships
  • STRATEGIC COMPETENCIES includeleading culture change, future/strategic thinking, and business acumen

Click here to see the definitions of the MSLD competencies.

Three emphasis areas are available in human resource management (HRM), human resource development (HRD), and student service higher education professionals.  A fourth multidisciplinary track is available for students interested in a more customized and flexible program including elective coursework in areas such as Counseling, Business / Public Administration, Education, and Mass Communications.

Many students of Drake’s MSLD program are either currently working or aspire to work as organizational leaders, program/project administrators, human resource managers, organizational development consultants, human performance improvement specialists,  trainers, educators, and higher education student personnel administrators.

Students can start the master’s degree as a visiting graduate student and take up to seven credit hours before needing to apply and be formally admitted into the program. Classes are offered in the fall, spring and summer semesters, and students can begin the program at any time.

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  • Applications are reviewed on an on-going basis; therefore, it is requested that all materials be submitted approximately 8 weeks prior to the beginning of the intended start-term.
  • Upon the receipt of transcripts, an advisor will complete a transcript evaluation in order to determine any credit or course substitutions/transfers. 
  • In order to begin the application process, please click the “Apply Now” link above. This link will provide you application requirements. Questions regarding the application process can be forwarded to the Coordinator of Graduate Admission at or 515-271-2552.


For more information about MSLD, contact:

Cris Wildermuth, Ed.D., SPHR
Program Coordinator
Assistant Professor of Education
1-800-44-DRAKE (37253) x4701

Julie Caspar
Assistant Clinical Professor
1-800-44-DRAKE (37253) x3888

Tom Westbrook, Ph.D.
Professor of Education
1-800-44-DRAKE (37253) x3078

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