Online, Statewide, and Education Innovation2021-2022

NAU Yavapai

Interdisciplinary Studies - Strategic Leadership 90-30, Bachelor

Beginning in Fall 2021, the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies in Strategic Leadership 90-30 will also be offered Online.

With NAU’s Strategic Leadership degree, you will build the necessary skills to pursue leadership roles within your organization. Unlike most traditional organizational leadership programs, our degree was designed with the end user in mind. Our program is rooted in best practices from the world’s most admired companies, with books and case studies written by the most respected leaders and mentors in business.  
Our dedicated faculty and detailed coursework will prepare you for managerial and supervisory positions in all areas of business—private or public. 

This program offers stimulating curriculum that will empower you to:

  • Apply highly effective leadership practices to promote a culture of change and innovation
  • Gain insights to think critically
  • Manage high performance teams across multiple settings (i.e., virtual)
  • Develop skills focused on managing human capital
  • Gain confidence in strategic and ethical decision making, and 
  • Advance an organization’s mission and priorities, and promote a thriving work culture  
This innovative program is ideal for:
  • Working professionals looking to advance up through management, and
  • Diverse groups of students looking to drive performance in a managerial or supportive role

The hands-on experience you’ll receive with this degree will translate to a stronger résumé and help you identify career goals.


What Can I Do with a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies in Strategic Leadership 90-30?

With increasing competition, public and private organizations, both large and small, are looking for individuals who not only understand how to manage, but how to lead people to serve customers as well. Students who specialize in Strategic Leadership will possess the perspectives and skills to move within and between different industries, including service business, consulting practices, manufacturing, etc. 
With the right mindset, students will be able to use the SL degree as leverage to make positive improvements and impacts across any organization.  This can include, streamlining operations, continuous improvement, and establishing and implementing a vision and culture that is both inspiring and rewarding to the people and customers.  Ultimately, this will lead to a state most capable of bringing the best results.

Career opportunities that might be pursued:
  • Management
  • Management Consultant
  • Human Resources
  • Project Management
  • Operations

With further education, one of these paths is possible:
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Graduate business degrees

University Requirements

  • To receive a bachelor's degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete at least 120 units of credit that minimally includes a major, the liberal studies requirements, and university requirements as listed below.

    • All of Northern Arizona University's liberal studies, diversity, junior-level writing, and capstone requirements.
    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s).
    • At least 30 units of upper-division courses, which may include transfer work.
    • At least 30 units of coursework taken through Northern Arizona University, of which at least 18 must be upper-division courses (300-level or above). This requirement is not met by credit-by-exam, retro-credits, transfer coursework, etc.
    • A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 on all work attempted at Northern Arizona University.
    The full policy can be viewed here.



In addition to University Requirements:

  • 30 units of Strategic Leadership specialization requirements
  • Completion of Computer Literacy, Communication Skills, and Science or Language Requirements
  • Up to 9 units of specialization prefix courses may be used to satisfy Liberal Studies requirements; these same courses may also be used to satisfy specialization requirements.
  • Elective courses, if needed, to reach an overall total of at least 120 units

Please note that students may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.

Minimum Units for Completion 120
Highest Mathematics Required MAT 114
Foreign Language Optional
Some online/blended coursework Required
Progression Plan Link View Progression Plan

Purpose Statement

The Strategic Leadership program is designed for individuals who are focused on improving their mindset and who aim to be skilled and knowledgeable in the art and practice of setting or supporting the company vision, purpose, and strategy; establishing the culture; and organizing the assets and resources to intentionally carryout the objectives at all levels within the organization.  Students graduating from this program will learn to improve the performance of an organization to help achieve its goals and strategies, both systematically and empirically. 
The SL degree will prepare students for jobs in fields related to supervision and management in a wide variety of applications in the public and private sectors.  This can include government and non-profit organizations; small and privately owned businesses; consulting and financial firms; hospitality/service and manufacturing; and other related businesses.  Goals of the SL program include creating well minded individuals who understand how to implement effective practices of management and leadership that effectively bring about cultural change in an organization. 
The curriculum offers students practical, hands-on experiences in working together and focuses on the activities necessary to improve the management and leadership results that are most effective in creating the best outcomes for individuals, groups and throughout the organization.  This includes teamwork, performance and recognition systems, organization values and culture, and applying highly effective leadership practices used by the most successful executives, and leveraging the connection between business value and leadership.
Students practice the application of course material and will develop the managerial skills and the confidence to integrate new knowledge across multiple environments.  They will understand the importance of developing and maintaining relationships in an organization to achieve company objectives.  They will understand the concept of shared and mutual value in all its forms, including those relating to external entities.  Graduates will stand by a personal methodology for leadership; effectively implement changes to identified root causes in dysfunctional management styles; apply effective communication skills in verbal and written form; have developed an action plan to promote a culture of change and innovation; and organize and supervise a team using high-performance practices. 
The program is a balanced blend of theory and pragmatic approach where students will have learned how to apply leadership concepts in a wide range of diverse situations.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students shall understand the relationship between leadership and organizational culture, and how leadership can be used to modify and manage culture.
  • Students shall learn to work well in diverse and cross-cultural teams across multiple settings, including virtual teams.
  • Students shall understand and be able to effectively apply servant leadership methodologies in working with others.
  • Students shall be able to communicate effectively, in written, oral, and non-verbal forms of expression and present well researched business information professionally.
  • Students shall understand how to apply Principled Negotiation methods that lead to an increase in mutual value among the participants.
  • Students shall understand and be able to identify the components of active and cultural inertia and their adverse effects on organizations.
  • Students shall understand the importance of organizations acting in and creating a professional and ethical environment and the relationship to organizational value.
  • Students will be exposed to and learn to effectively utilize a wide range of proven leadership concepts and tools from experts and practitioners from multiple industries.   
  • Students shall understand how to use numerical information as a basis for leadership decisions. 
  • Students shall understand and be able to apply general business management fundamentals, tools and methodologies in a managerial or supportive role.
  • Students shall demonstrate the depth and breadth of knowledge required to meaningfully participate in local and global societies.


Liberal Studies Requirement
    • Students who have completed the Arizona General Education Curriculum (AGEC) from an Arizona public or tribal community college, the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC), or California State University General Education (CSUGE) from a California public community college are considered to have satisfied NAU’s Liberal Studies Distribution Blocks and Foundation requirements as well as the US Ethnic and Global Diversity requirements.
    • Up to 9 units of specialization prefix courses may be used to satisfy Liberal Studies requirements; these same courses may also be used to satisfy specialization requirements.
Major Requirements
  • This major requires 54 to 55 units distributed as follows:

    • Strategic Leadership Specialization: 30 units
    • Interdisciplinary Studies Requirements: 24 to 25 units
      • Communication Requirement: 6 units
      • Foreign Language or Science Requirement: 18 to 19 units


  • All coursework in the Specialization Areas must be upper-division and from Northern Arizona University. Substitutions and use of credit from other institutions are not allowed in the Specialization.

    Multi-use of coursework is not permitted within the Major Requirements. Major Requirements include Specialization, Communication, Computer Literacy, Language and Science.

Interdisciplinary Studies Requirements
  • Communication Requirements (6 units)

    Select 6 units in the following two categories. 

    • Performance-based courses, select one from the following (3 units)
      • CST 111, CST 311, CST 312, CST 314, CST 315CST 318 (Performance-based courses are defined as having at least 51 percent of the evaluation of the student being based upon oral performance.)
      • Or advisor approved
    • Theory-based courses, select one from the following (3 units)
  • Please note that you cannot use CLEP or locally prepared exams to satisfy this requirement. Transfer credit used to satisfy this requirement must be approved by the program director.

  • Foreign Language or Science Requirement Option (18-19 units)

    Foreign Language Requirement Option (19 units)

    Foreign Language Requirement (16 units)
    You must demonstrate proficiency in a language other than English that is equivalent to four terms of university coursework in the same language. You may satisfy this requirement by taking language courses or by testing out of all or part of it by taking CLEP, or other exams.

    Computer Literacy (3 units)
    This coursework must help you to understand, in general, the technical components of computers and information systems, how to solve problems using information systems technology, word processing, spreadsheet use, database management, graphic information software, website development, graphic design and use of statistical analysis software. Subject to advisor approval.

  • OR

    Science Requirement Option (18 units)
  • Science Requirement, select from the following (12 units):

    • ANT 101, ANT 250
    • GSP 130, GSP 150
    • Courses with Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Sciences, Geology, Mathematics, Nutrition, Physical Science, Physics, Statistics prefixes. Please note that other courses must be approved by the program director.
  • AND

    Computer Literacy (6 units)

    This coursework must help you to understand, in general, the technical components of computers and information systems, how to solve problems using information systems technology, word processing, spreadsheet use, database management, graphic information software, website development, graphic design and use of statistical analysis software. Subject to advisor approval.

    • Select ISM 120 or BBA 293 (3 units)
    • BBA 340 or Advisor Approved coursework including the CIS or CS prefix (3 units)
General Electives
  • Additional coursework is required, if, after you have met the previously described requirements, you have not yet completed a total of 120 units of credit. 

    You may take these remaining courses from any academic areas, using these courses to pursue your specific interests and goals. We encourage you to consult with your advisor to select the courses that will be most advantageous to you. (Please note that you may also use prerequisites or transfer credits as electives if they weren't used to meet major, minor, or liberal studies requirements.)

Additional Information
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.

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