MS in Leadership

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Our curriculum is crafted to be a vibrant, adaptive suite of courses that mirrors the latest in leadership concepts, strategies, and methodologies suited for today's multifaceted landscape.

Program Details

With a solid foundation in theoretical knowledge and practical application, this program is designed to shape students into adept, conscientious leaders ready to navigate and excel in any setting.

Our program is structured as a cohort, commencing each fall, with completion possible within five semesters through fall, spring, and summer courses. 

On campus, in person. The on-campus classes during fall and spring are held over three non-consecutive weekends (Friday evenings and Saturdays).

Online. Being mindful of work-life balances, summer courses are offered in a synchronous online format. With advisor approval, students may be granted the option of substituting one course that meets the program outcomes. 

Course Schedules


Students start the program by embarking on a journey of self awareness, gaining deep insights into their own value systems and a relationship to their authentic selves. From there, the program offers a lens into collective values that bind groups, highlighting how value alignment can stimulate team cohesion and support organizational effectiveness. The curriculum then extends to a broader scope of communal values, emphasizing their vital role in facilitating impactful, collective change for the greater good. Students will culminate in the leadership skills and strategic tools necessary to engage in effective organization transformation The leadership journey ends with a capstone experience that provides a practical application of leadership transformation while emphasizing community engagement.

Fall One Courses

LEAD 201:  Insightful Leadership: Navigating Self and Others for Optimal Success

  • Focuses on self-awareness in leadership, exploring personality, emotional intelligence, and the Social Change Model of Leadership for personal and team growth.

LEAD 202:  Leadership Foundations: Cornerstones of Influence and Change

  • Provides a comprehensive foundation in personal and organizational leadership, covering key theories, the distinction between management and leadership, and strategic advocacy.

Spring One Courses

LEAD 203:  Organizational Communication and Negotiation

  • Equips students with skills in communication, conflict resolution, negotiation, and political navigation in organizational contexts.

LEAD 204:  Global Ethical Leadership

  • Integrates ethics, diversity, social justice, and global leadership, centering on ethical decision-making and cultural competency in global settings.

Summer One

LEAD 205:  Integrated Data Knowledge: Decision-Making, Visualization & Impactful Reporting

  • Explores data-driven decision-making and visualization, enhances skills in data analysis, ethics, and communication.

LEAD 206:  Strategic Planning and Continuous Improvement for Organizational Excellence

  • Covers strategic planning, systems thinking, and continuous improvement, focusing on data-gathering and real-world application for organizational excellence.

Fall Two Courses

LEAD 207Navigating Leadership Through Strategy and Innovation

  • Prepares students to adapt to future trends, innovate, and implement strategic organizational changes, fostering a culture of innovation.

LEAD 208:  Mastering the Dynamics of Organizational Transformation

  • Centers on change management theories and systems thinking for effective organizational transformation, with an emphasis on ethical considerations.


Spring Two Courses

LEAD 209:  Creating and Orchestrating Impactful Adult Learning

  • Develops skills in designing, developing, and facilitating adult learning experiences, emphasizing assessment, feedback, and ethical practices.

LEAD 210:  Leadership and Community Capstone Experience

  • An integrative capstone that operationalizes academic competencies through community engagement and leadership projects, emphasizing practical application and teamwork.


Student Opportunities

The Leadership Development curriculum offers opportunities for students outside the graduate program.  An undergraduate concentration as well as a dual program option with Pharmacy are outlined.  The Leadership Development Program also offers an international experience for students and alumni.  

3+2 MS in Leadership Program for Undergraduates

Start on your leadership path as an undergraduate student. Continue your transformative journey post undergraduate degree and finish your master's degree in three semesters as a part-time graduate student.   

About the Program

Students having completed 90 credit hours as an undergraduate student can apply to the MS in Leadership.

As an undergraduate student

Students will take 4 graduate level courses - two in the fall and two in the spring - prior to graduating with an undergraduate degree.

As a part-time graduate student

Students will then take 2 courses a semester as a part-time graduate student in the summer, fall, and spring semesters to complete the degree. These courses are offered in a weekend and synchronous online learning environment allowing students to work full-time and finish their degree. 


Valuable networking opportunities. This cohort-model program allows students to network with graduate students who are already in the workforce. This mentorship strengthens the content learned in the classroom.

Blended format. Courses are offered on weekends (Friday evenings and Saturdays) and are complemented by online materials. This flexible scheduling allows students to pursue full-time employment.

Cost effective. Students can start taking courses before they graduate with their undergraduate degree. With only three semesters left as a part-time graduate student, this length offers students a cost-effective master's degree that will increase their employability and career advancement. 

Leadership acuity. The curriculum ensures that program completers are equipped with the strategic tools vital for navigating and leading successful organizational change in a complex and ever-evolving landscape. 

PharmD Students

PharmD students can complete a dual PharmD and MSLD degree by adding only eight graduate courses! 

You will work with professionals from various industries (for-profit, not-for-profit, higher education, and health) and gain valuable leadership competencies.  Pharmacy students interested in teaching may, with the MSLD advisor's approval, substitute some of the leadership requirements for Talent/Training and Development courses such as Performance Consulting and Designing, Developing, and Facilitating Learning.  Visit the PharmD/MSLD website for details.


Course Descriptions

Course descriptions for all courses offered in the MSLD program.  

LEAD 201: Insightful Leadership: Navigating Self and Others for Optimal Success

Self-awareness serves as a cornerstone of successful leadership. Understanding what motivates you to take action, allows you to more effectively make connections between relationships, leadership styles, and career satisfaction. This course will explore a comprehensive range of subjects pertinent to leadership development, and aimed at enabling students to enhance personal and professional relationships, cultivating robust teams, and fostering the growth of others. The curriculum emphasizes practical strategies and theoretical frameworks that can be applied in various professional settings.

LEAD 202: Leadership Foundations: Cornerstones of Influence and Change

This course establishes a comprehensive foundation in both personal and organizational leadership. This course aims to deepen the students' understanding of key leadership theories, distinguishing elements of management from leadership, and the mechanisms of followership, influence, and power. Through a blend of academic theory and practical applications, the course equips students with actionable strategies for advocacy, adult learning, and change leadership. It also incorporates research-based practices aimed at developing future leadership talent, providing students with a well-rounded preparatory experience in the field of leadership studies.

LEAD 203: Organizational Communication and Negotiation

This course delves into the multifaceted realm of organizational communication and negotiation skills. Students are provided with actionable tools and techniques for identifying and effectively managing challenges that are inherent in complex organizational and political structures. The curriculum explores a spectrum of communication challenges and proposes a range of strategic responses. Topics covered include models and styles of conflict resolution, negotiation techniques, the dynamics of organizational politics, influencing processes, and the linguistics of leadership. The course is designed to equip students with the competencies required to maneuver through organizational complexities effectively and ethically.

LEAD 204: Global Ethical Leadership

This course provides an integrated framework that combines ethics, diversity, social justice, and global leadership. Students will engage in critical discussions about ethical decision-making, diversity and inclusion, with added emphases on CSR principles and cultural competency in global settings. Through shared inquiry, the course delves into moral philosophies and their applications to contemporary workplace, environmental, and sociopolitical challenges at both the local and global levels. Students will be encouraged to review and critique professional Codes of Ethics, focusing on developing moral leaders who are sensitive to both domestic and international complexities. The overarching goal is to empower students with the multi-faceted skill set required to lead ethically and effectively in a diverse, globalized world.

LEAD 205: Integrated Data Knowledge: Decision--Making, Visualization & Impactful Reporting

This course is designed to be a holistic exploration of data-driven decision-making, visualization, and reporting. It aims to produce organizational leaders who are not only capable of interpreting both qualitative and quantitative data, but also proficient in visualizing and communicating this data effectively. The course includes a balanced coverage of qualitative and quantitative research methods, equipping students to become critical consumers of data. A special focus is given to data visualization techniques and storytelling skills to enhance the visual communication of key indicators of organizational performance. Ethical and legal considerations related to data management and representation are also addressed. The end goal is to empower students with the knowledge and skills to make well-informed decisions, and to communicate those decisions clearly and ethically through advanced data visualization and reporting techniques.

LEAD 206: Strategic Planning and Continuous Improvement for Organizational Excellence

Laying the foundation for organizational excellence, this course introduces students to the intricacies of strategic planning, systems thinking, and the continuous improvement cycle. Practical data-gathering techniques will be taught for analyzing performance needs and evaluating the impact of various interventions. Students will apply at least two approaches covered in the course to conduct a real-world needs analysis or an evaluation project, thereby gaining hands-on experience in strategic planning and organizational improvement.

LEAD 207: Navigating Leadership Through Strategy and Innovation

This course offers a comprehensive toolkit for shaping future-focused leaders. It equips students with the skills needed to recognize and adapt to future trends, brainstorm innovative solutions, and manage strategy at an organizational level. The course delves into environmental scanning, strategy formulation, and strategy implementation, while emphasizing a culture of innovation that values risk-taking and sees failure as a catalyst for growth. The course aims to develop leaders who are not only strategically sound but also inherently inventive.

LEAD 208: Mastering the Dynamics of Organizational Transformation

This course equips students with the practical knowledge and strategic insights necessary for leading effective organizational change. The course explores key theories of change management and their application in various organizational contexts through a systems thinking approach. It incorporates modules on managing resistance to change, stakeholder engagement, and the ethical considerations associated with organizational transformation. Through interactive case studies, students are encouraged to analyze change initiatives, assess their outcomes, and derive lessons for future implementation. The ultimate objective is to cultivate leaders who are not only aware of the complexities associated with change but are also capable of navigating these complexities to bring about successful organizational transformations.

LEAD 209: Creating and Orchestrating Impactful Adult Learning

This holistic course offers students the tools to design, develop, and facilitate effective learning experiences aimed at adult audiences. The curriculum delves into creating precise instructional objectives, choosing suitable training methodologies, and crafting interactive games and simulations. Moving beyond design and delivery, the course also focuses on assessment and feedback strategies that help check for learner understanding and measure training effectiveness. Additionally, students will learn how to establish clear expectations, accountabilities, and responsibilities affiliated with the learning experience, making them not just facilitators but architects of effective adult learning.

LEAD 210: Leadership and Community Capstone Experience

In culmination of the Master's in Leadership program, this 3-credit course serves as an integrative capstone experience. It provides students with the invaluable opportunity to operationalize their academic competencies in pragmatic settings. Emphasizing community engagement and practical leadership, this course allows students to synthesize and apply key principles from their academic coursework. Through a structured curriculum that incorporates real-world projects and community involvement, students will develop a nuanced understanding of effective leadership while also contributing positively to their communities. This course thereby serves as a conduit for both personal and communal growth, consolidating the program's overarching objectives.

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