Leadership and Organizational Development, M.A.

Saint Louis University’s online leadership and organizational development master’s program, offered through the School for Professional Studies, helps working professionals develop leadership skills to advance their careers.

About the Program

SLU’s Master of Arts in leadership and organizational development teaches you to work effectively as a self-aware, reflective change leader. You will learn to understand and improve organizational dynamics through sound leadership and organizational development practices.

You will strengthen your leadership through assessment, reflections and project-based learning as you explore leadership on personal, interpersonal/group and organizational levels through the lens of organizational development. Designed for working professionals, this program is offered in eight-week terms with online classes. It can be completed in two-and-a-half years if students take one course at a time.

Program Highlights

SLU’s master’s in leadership and organizational development takes an organizational development approach to leadership that relies on systems thinking, behavioral science and applied analytics. Upon graduating from the program, you will be ready to navigate complex organizational systems and apply research to develop yourself, your employees, and your organizations.

SLU was recently ranked  the best online master of organizational leadership degree program by thebestschools.org and one of the most affordable online master's in organizational leadership by bestmastersdegrees.com.

Curriculum and Program Details

SLU’s 36-credit-hour leadership and organizational development program offers courses online in an accelerated eight-week term, making advanced education more accessible for working professionals. Required courses are listed below.

Graduate core courses (three credit hours each):

  • Contemporary Organizational Leadership
  • Ethical, Evidence-Based Decision Making
  • Research Methods Requirement
  • Stats/Analytics Requirement

Leadership development courses (three credit hours each):

  • Organizational Dynamics
  • Leading Organizational Change

2 of the following:

  • Professional Leadership Development
  • Talent Management and Development
  • Team Leadership

Any 3 of the following:

  • Consulting and Facilitation Skills
  • Future-Focused Leadership
  • Leading a Healthy Organization
  • Electives of student’s choice (up to 2 outside program core)

Capstone course (three credit hours):

  • Master’s Research Project
  • Steven L. Winton, Ph.D. - LOD Program Director 
  • Judith Collins, Ph.D.
  • Jennifer Giancola, Ph.D.
  • Matthew J. Grawitch, Ph.D.
  • Richard D. Harvey, Ph.D.
  • Marita Malone, Ph.D.
  • Theodore Malmstrom, Ph.D.

  • Allison Maurer, Ph. D.

  • Srikanth Mudigonda, Ph.D.
  • Anne Offner, Ph.D.
  • Ann Rohrer, Ph.D.
  • Ed Sabin, Ph.D.
Organizations are searching for professionals capable of facilitating strategic change and who are fluent in designing cross-cultural interventions. Upon graduating from the program, you will be ready to navigate complex organizational systems and apply research to develop yourself, your employees and your organizations. Ultimately, through the leadership courses of SLU's online leadership and organizational development master's degree, you will develop a portable set of knowledge and skills that aren't about how to perform your job, but are about how to be a leader in your current job, your future job and all areas of your life.
Scholarships and Financial Aid
Learn about scholarships and financial aid at Student Financial Services. 
Learning Outcomes

1. Evaluate the components of ethical decision-making. 

2. Design an instrument to facilitate evidence-based decision-making. 

3. Create an organizational strategy to enhance group and interpersonal interactions. 

4. Explain their leadership philosophy. 

Applicant Criteria

Most admitted students meet the following criteria:

  • Minimum undergraduate GPA: 3.0
    Note: Applicants who have a GPA that is less than 3.0 will be considered on a case-by-case basis, by considering the strength of the remaining components of their application.
  • Applicant must be employed on at least a part-time basis (20 hours or more per week) and have at least three years of work experience
  • Completed coursework in the following areas: 
      • At least one undergraduate leadership or organizational theory course
      • At least one basic statistics or research methods course
      • At least one psychology course (“General Psychology” accepted)
      • At least one business-related course
  • Basic, working knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint

Students missing any of the prerequisites will be permitted to fulfill them through SLU’s School for Professional Studies prior to acceptance into the leadership and organizational development program.

You’ll need the following items to apply:

Application Requirements

Application form and fee
Three recommendations submitted using the Applicant Evaluation Form.  The form can be submitted through an online system during your application process, by  email to graduate@slu.edu, or mailed to:
Saint Louis University
Graduate Admission
DuBourg Hall, Suite 150
One North Grand Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63103
A 500-word personal statement articulating why a master's degree in leadership and organizational development is needed within your present or expected future career and how SLU's program will help you meet that need.

Requirements for International Students

Application and Assistantship Deadlines

The priority deadline for fall admission is April 1. Students may be admitted until July 1, as space permits. For spring admission, applications are considered on a case-by-case basis until Nov. 1.

Students seeking assistantships should apply by Feb. 1.

Review Process

Applications are reviewed by a committee of School for Professional Studies faculty members.