MS in Leadership Development

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Application Process

‌Creating a balance between work, life, and school can be challenging.  Courses in the MSLD program are offered in a weekend format offering you the flexibility to maintain this balance.  With entry points throughout the year and each course taking three non-consecutive weekends, Drake makes it convenient for you to enroll, attend classes and complete your advanced degree.  Some courses may be taken online offering additional convenience to students.  

Applicants to the Master of Science of Leadership Development must hold a bachelor’s degree.  Additionally, applicants must  have completed the degree with a minimum 2.5 GPA. If you do not meet the minimum GPA criteria, please contact the Coordinator of Graduate Admissions for further assistance.  It is important to note that all application materials support the admissions decision including the statement of interest, resume, professional experience, and recommendations.  Applicants may also be asked to interview.

Students may be eligible to complete six to seven credit hours before being admitted to this program. Please contact the Coordinator of Graduate Admission for more details.

Application materials required for an admission review include:

Application for Admission

Complete and digitally sign our online Application for Admission.

Résumé or Curriculum Vitae

A current professional résumé or curriculum vitae is required. Please include information regarding current and/or past employment history as well as professional development and internships completed.

Statement of Interest

A statement of interest (double-spaced, approximately two pages) is required.  The statement of interest should address the following questions:  

  • What drives you to pursue an advanced degree in leadership development?  
  • What particularly intrigues you or interests you about the MSLD program?  Visit for additional information?  
  • How does your background, experiences, or personal characteristics (for example, values, traits, or motivations) help you be successful as a graduate student?
  • How does the MSLD support your personal and professional goals?  

Letters of Recommendation

Two letters of recommendations are required. When selecting your references, choose individuals such as professors and employers who can attest to your potential for success in a graduate program.

You will enter the names and email contacts for your two references into the online application. Your references will be contacted electronically with directions for submitting their letters of recommendation on your behalf.

Official Transcripts

Official transcripts from every college or university previously attended are required. Any college credit earned, even while in high school or at a community college, must be accounted for before your application can be reviewed.

Official transcripts are prepared and sent by the institution in question and received by Drake University in a sealed envelope or a secured .pdf file.  Transcripts mailed directly to the student, must remain in the sealed envelope to be considered.  

Please have official paper transcripts mailed to the address below:

Drake University School of Education
Attn: Coordinator of Graduate Admission
2507 University Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50311-4505

No Testing Requirement

No standardized test is required to complete the MSLD degree.  

Writing Sample Requirement

The essay requirement is automatically waived if your overall undergraduate GPA is 3.0 or higher.  

A writing sample of 2-3 pages, double spaced, addressing one of the two prompts identified below is required.  There are no right or wrong answers. The purpose of this exercise is to demonstrate your ability to express and support your ideas.  No specific number of sources is required but please clearly cite any sources used.  

Email the essay to the Coordinator of Graduate Admission,  


A common leadership image is that of a visionary and charismatic hero, one who can guide followers to an exciting future.  For example, Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner state:  

Leaders passionately believe that they can make a difference. They envision the future, creating an ideal and unique image of what the organization can become. Through their magnetism and quiet persuasion, leaders enlist others in their dreams. They breathe life into their visions and get people to see exciting possibilities for the future. Kouzes & Posner, 2017, para. 4. 

Do you agree or disagree with this image of a leader? Please justify your answer. 

Source: Kouzes, J., & Posner, B. (2017). The five practices of exemplary leadership model. Retrieved from


Pick a quote related to leadership that means something to you.  Please explain:

  • Why you find that quote particularly appealing or intriguing
  • How the quote relates to your own leadership style or the leadership style you admire in others



Coordinator of Graduate Admission

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