Online, Statewide, and Education Innovation2019-2020

Business and Administration

Organizational Leadership, Master

  • Available Emphasis Areas:
  • Leadership in Criminal Justice Administration - Emphasis
  • Organizational Leadership - Emphasis
  • Project Management - Emphasis

This degree is designed for mid-career professionals who desire a comprehensive understanding of administration and seek to strengthen and update their administration skills.


What Can I Do with a Master of Organizational Leadership?

Are you a mid-career professional? Do you have three or more years of professional work experience? And are you looking to further your career with an advanced degree? Our Master of Organizational Leadership degree program might be perfect for you. This program is designed to help you learn a set of graduate-level skills that will assist you in achieving your professional goals. We offer coursework in administration and in a specialized emphasis area. Through the capstone experience, you can individualize your program through analysis of processes, strategies and tactics focused on your current place of employment, or a related industry.

Career opportunities that might be pursued:
  • Technical writer
  • Land use planner
  • Manager
  • Marketer
  • Small business owner

University Requirements

  • To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. (Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.)

    You must additionally complete:

    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s). This may include a thesis.
    • All graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
    • All work toward the master’s degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program.
    The full policy can be viewed here.



In addition to University Requirements:

  • Core Area (15 units)
  • Emphasis Area (15 units)

Minimum Units for Completion 30
Additional Admission Requirements Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
Some online/blended coursework Required
Progression Plan Link View Program of Study

Purpose Statement

NAU’s Master of Organizational Leadership degree prepares experienced professionals from a variety of business, government, and nongovernmental organizations, for management and leadership responsibilities. 
NAU’s organizational leadership program equips students to solve real-world organizational challenges.  Students learn how to manage and strengthen the components of an organization by analyzing and applying leadership theory; by engaging diverse cultures through effective communication and conflict negotiation; by strategically planning, implementing and evaluating initiatives; and by effectively managing projects to accomplish broader goals.  Students learn how to understand organizational problems, develop effective solutions and lead their implementation.  The capstone course integrates program academic knowledge and leadership skills through an analysis of case studies and emphasis-driven research papers that integrate graduate-level research, analysis and writing.
Our Master in Organizational Leadership will provide you with the opportunity to delve deeply into the knowledge and skills of organizational leadership, or specialize in your personal area of interest. Students interested in a deep development of organizational leadership principles will learn how to manage information systems and human capital, engage in effective decision-making, and lead change initiatives.  Students interested in specializing in their personal area of interest may choose an emphasis in:

  • Project Management, (wherein students will learn to estimate project costs, schedule and control projects, expand their repertoire of project management strategies and methodologies, and apply their project skills to real-world scenarios) or
  • Justice Studies (wherein students explore and analyze current issues influencing the criminal justice field and propose practical, evidence-based solutions).

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Understand and Apply Theory
  • Examine administration, leadership and organizational theories, and knowledge of ethical and effective management.
  • Apply theories to effectively and ethically manage diverse cultures emerging within organizations.
  • Appropriately integrate and apply administrative, leadership and organizational theories to scholarly knowledge from the student’s emphasis area.
2. Communication: Design, write and produce documents meeting professional standards their emphasis area.
3. Research & Program Evaluation
  • Conduct research studies and program evaluations in a manner that meets rigorous methodological standards.
  • Ensure research designs and program evaluations are conducted in a manner that they can produce useful, actionable results. 
  • Apply findings from research and program evaluations to improve organizational effectiveness.
4. Problem Solving: Analyze problems and create solutions using a variety of qualitative and quantitative problem-solving processes, technologies, systems approaches, and innovative/creative thinking.
5. Professional Experience: Demonstrate professional skills applied to practical problems by consistently meeting deadlines, and working both independently and collaboratively in teams.

Organizational Leadership Emphasis Outcomes:
  • Effectively apply the various roles of management information systems toward advancing strategic goals and the operational success of an organization.
  • Critically appraise the impact of managerial practices on human capital resourcing, and develop solutions to employment management issues.
  • Introduce, explore and overcome resistance to change.
  • Implement tools to make decisions in a variety of situations, engage human capital in achieving goals and evaluate the results of decisions.
Project Management Emphasis Outcomes:
  • Forecast time, resource, and budgeting requirements for a project to coordinate the work within a project team and meet project objectives.
  • Analyze how issues of cost and schedule impact project development and implementation.
  • Apply the theoretical and practical aspects of project management to formulate strategies enabling organizations to achieve strategic goals using projects.
Leadership in Criminal Justice Administration Emphasis Outcomes:
  • Apply leadership and criminological theories to develop effective strategies for leading within a criminal justice organization.
  • Assess current ethical issues impacting the criminal justice field and develop practical solutions for addressing such issues.
  • Evaluate current issues impacting the criminal justice field and propose strategies for effectively leading in the current environment.


Additional Admission Requirements
  • Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
    • NAU Graduate Online application is required for all programs. Details on admission requirements are included in the online application.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A"), or the equivalent. 
    • Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.
    • Transcripts
    • For details on graduate admission policies, please visit the Graduate Admissions Policy
    • International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy 

    Individual program admission requirements include:

    • Resume demonstrating 3 years professional work experience. 
    • Personal statement or essay 
Master's Requirements
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.

Campus Availability

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