Organizational Leadership, Master

Business and Administration

Online, Statewide, and Education Innovation

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

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

  • 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.

    Read the full policy here.

In addition to University Requirements:

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

Minimum Units for Completion 30
Additional Admission Requirements

Individual program 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 criminal justice professionals are prepared to advance into leadership positions within the criminal justice field and acquire the academic expertise and certification requirements to teach in college-level criminal justice/administration of justice/justice studies programs.

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 in 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:
  • Demonstrate the ability to evaluate and address criminal justice personnel issues at a leadership level according to current policies and procedures.
  • Demonstrate the ability to prepare clear, concise, well-supported and organized written reports according to the needs and guidelines of specific audiences.

Additional Admission Requirements
  • Individual program admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.

  • The NAU graduate online application is required for all programs. Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.

    Admission requirements include the following:

    • Transcripts.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution with a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale ("A" = 4.0), or the equivalent.

    Visit the NAU Graduate Admissions website for additional information about graduate school application deadlines, eligibility for study, and admissions policies.

    Ready to apply? Begin your application now.

    International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy.

  • Please note: conditional admission of students with a 2.5-2.9 GPA will be considered, based on a personal statement that demonstrates skills acquired since undergraduate degree conferral, indicating a strong probability of success in graduate studies.

    • Resume demonstrating 3 years professional work experience. 
    • Personal statement or essay
Master's Requirements
  • This Master’s degree requires 30 units distributed as follows:

    • Core Course Requirements: 12 units
    • Select an Emphasis: 18 units
      • Leadership in Criminal Justice Administration Emphasis
      • Organizational Leadership Emphasis
      • Project Management  Emphasis

    Take the following 30 units: 

    Core Courses (12 units)

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