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Master of Leadership Degree Requirements

Master of Leadership Degree Requirements

30 credit hours, total

Leadership Core Courses: 15 credit hours

The Craft of Leadership

This course constitutes an introduction to the fundamentals of leadership, both its challenges and opportunities. We will study key examples of good and bad leadership.

Storytelling as a Mode of Thinking in Business and in Life

We think using stories. We plan and strategize using stories. We understand ourselves and others using stories. However, stories can also mislead, obscure, and confuse. Stories are not simply entertainment. They provide the substance of our cognitive efforts and our social lives. 

In this course, you will learn how to create powerful stories of different kinds, for various purposes.  Our focus will be on story-telling as a tool in business. This will include its role in marketing, branding, and group dynamics.  Our most fundamental concern, however, will be with how to use stories to think strategically. Thinking strategically requires that you think critically, and so you will also learn how to see through and resist false and distorting narratives.

By the end of this course, you will have begun to master the art of story-telling as a primary mode of thinking in both business and everyday life.

Critical and Strategic Thinking

In this class we will investigate the practices of effective problem-solving, tactical judgment, critical communication and strategic thinking.

Managing Complex Organizations

This course is an employee-centered analysis of organizational value creation through the leadership of human resources. The intersection of organizational theory, behavior, development and change serves as the context in which students are challenged to develop knowledge, skills and ability necessary to plan, evaluate, implement and improve human resource initiatives. Emphasis is placed on critically evaluating multi-dimensional value creation perspectives.

Prerequisite: The Craft of Leadership - LDRS 5320, or Foundations of Management and Strategy - MANA 5F50.

The Effective Leader

This course facilitates the development of interpersonal and team skills leaders need to function effectively. Focus is on the integrated behavioral competencies that organizations value today; self- awareness, communication, collaboration, and relationship- building.  Students will plan and implement new behaviors relevant to individuals who hold leadership positions, as well as those who informally assume leadership roles as they work with others to achieve business goals. 

Capstone Experience: 3 credit hours 

Taken in the last semester of the program, the capstone experience enables students to utilize their leadership studies course work in the exploration of a real-world problem. Projects include interviewing business leaders, assessing leadership and organizational cultures or developing a strategic leadership case-study of a specific company or business scenario.

Students may work individually, or in teams, under the supervision of a professor. Leadership studies capstone approval is required to enroll in this course. Prerequisites include the completion of 24 credit hours of leadership studies courses, including all leadership studies core courses. Students may enroll in the leadership capstone concurrently with another course, with prior approval.

Elective Courses:  12 credit hours 

Elective courses include, but are not limited to the following:

Business & Society

Examine the social, political, legal and regulatory environments that constitute the background in which a for-profit business firm conducts its activities in domestic and global contexts. Corporate social responsibility and the ethical dimensions of decisions that impact stakeholder groups and corporate sustainability in a competitive environment are discussed.

Spiritual Leadership


Social Psychology

Consider the social construction of reality. The cultural context of individual experience is explored with cultural manifestations of psychological life.  Social behaviors are related to the ethological heritage and ideological contexts.  Psychological texts, such as body language, gender displays, fashion advertisements, and media, are viewed as both reflecting social attitudes and revealing influences upon the individual.

Thinking in Time: The Uses of History for Decision Makers


The Presidency

Study the constitutional design and practical operation of the American presidency. The selection of presidents, the rise of the modern presidency, the character of executive power and the nature of democratic leadership will be examined. 


Study the political thought of Abraham Lincoln, along with related material from politicians and others who opposed or supported Lincoln’s understanding of American political principles. Excerpts from the Lincoln-Douglas Debates will be read, along with major Lincoln writings and speeches. Writings of slavery defenders such as John C. Calhoun and additional material showing the range of ideas in the early 19th century, will be studied, but the main focus will be on Lincoln, the problem of slavery and the philosophic basis of the American regime. 


Explore the thought of this seminal thinker of modernity investigated through a reading of the Discourses on Livy. Other works, especially The Prince, are consulted to establish the broader context of Machiavelli’s political teaching. 

Aristotle's Politics

Explore Aristotle's most fundamental work on politics. Aristotle is said to have systematized and made more practical the philosophic speculations of Socrates and Plato. Discussion of the extent to which this is true and why Aristotle’s work remains fundamental to the understanding of political life.

Shakespeare on Leadership


Thomas More

Study the major writings of Thomas More and the important literary accounts of his life. Special attention is given to More’s indebtedness to the classical world and to the Church Fathers, especially in Utopia, The History of Richard III and his humanist writings. 

Liberty & Literature

Human beings may be distinguished as species by their capacity for exercising freedom. Yet the nature of this liberty has been variously defined and by some thinkers dismissed as illusory. Imaginative literature often depicts actions that pose the question whether human beings are free agents and, if so, what is the nature of their liberty, what is its extent, conditions and limits. This course inquires into such issues as they appear in narratives and dramas, ancient, Renaissance, nineteenth century. Typical readings: the Book of Genesis, plays of Aeschylus and Sophocles, Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and Richard II, Milton’s Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained, Hawthorne’s short stories, Melville’s Billy Budd



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