Online MBA Programs in Organizational Leadership

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An online master’s in business administration (MBA) can be a great asset to professionals interested in helping and inspiring employees and guiding companies toward success. Compassion, the desire to help others, and effective communication are all required for a leadership position in business, and an MBA in organizational leadership can help professionals obtain one.

An MBA with a focus on organizational leadership can position graduates for jobs as training and development managers, school principals, school and career counselors, instructional coordinators, postsecondary education administrators, human resources managers, administrative service managers, sales managers, management analysts, and even top executives. These positions often attract candidates due to their high-level responsibilities and high salaries. Training and development managers, for instance, can expect a median salary of $115,640 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2021).

Requiring a commitment of 18 months to two years, MBAs in organizational leadership are two-pronged. On the one hand, they take an analytical approach to management and focus on areas such as finance, accounting, marketing, and statistics. Designed for students who plan to move into executive or managerial positions, the primary objective is to provide a comprehensive understanding of business operations.

On the other hand, they also can involve coursework focused on the human component of business, from communication techniques and leadership theory to multicultural workplace dynamics and team development. The goal of such a program is to emphasize personal and creative approaches to management that will help others reach their full potential.

MBAs in organizational leadership can be completed both through an on-campus or online experience—of a mixture of both, called hybrid or blended programs. This guide will specifically explore the advantages and features of a distance-based MBA program in organizational leadership, profile three outstanding faculty members from schools offering these programs, and outline the admissions requirements for this type of degree.

Featured Organizational Leadership Programs
Norwich University MBA - Organizational Leadership View Full Profile
Ohio University Online MBA - Executive Management View Full Profile
Southern New Hampshire University Online MBA In Leadership View Full Profile
Pepperdine University Online MBA - Leadership and Managing Organizational Change View Full Profile
Queens University MBA - Executive Coaching View Full Profile
University of Saint Mary MBA Leadership and Organizational Health Concentration View Full Profile
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Featured Online MBA in Organizational Leadership Programs

Benedictine University offers a dual MBA and master’s of science (MS) degree in management and organizational behavior, which combines quantitative business skills with an in-depth understanding of human behavior and group interaction. The benefit of earning both degrees at once is that students can do so in a shorter amount of time than it would take them to complete the programs separately. Students will learn both hard and soft skills required by business leaders, from accounting and marketing to building effective teams and resolving conflict.

The majority of this 96-credit program is conducted online; however, one weekend course is required on campus. Courses include career and human resource planning, methods of organizational research, and strategy structure and decision-making. The GMAT and prior work experience are not necessary for admission; however, a GPA of 3.0 is required.

Location: Lisle, Illinois
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA)
Format: Online with one on-campus weekend
Tuition: $625 per credit
Program length: Four years

Pepperdine University was named one of the best online MBA programs by the U.S. News & World Report, and the Graziadio School of Business Management has received recognition from the Princeton Review for its equal opportunity efforts and from Forbes for its entrepreneurial focus.

This 52-credit MBA program can be customized according to students’ career trajectories. They can pick from four concentrations: marketing, finance, general management, and leadership and organizational change. The latter track teaches students how to manage and lead diverse teams and facilitate positive change within a dynamic organization. Students will take five courses in this specialization including advanced principles of organizations and leadership, organizational dynamics and managing change, leadership theory and practice, creativity and innovation for leadership, and global business intensive.

In addition to the online portion, two weekend campus residencies are required, including an initial personal and leadership development workshop course. The program requires a minimum of two years’ work experience for entry, and a GMAT waiver is available for qualified applicants.

Location: Malibu, California
Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International)
Format: Online with two weekend campus residencies
Tuition: $1,870 per credit
Program length: Two years

SNHU offers a 36-credit online MBA program with a focus on leadership where students will learn the same skills as they would in a traditional MBA program as well as additional education dedicated to helping students lead organizational change, efficiently manage people, and successfully launch new ventures.

Concentration courses in this track include communication for leadership, driving change, and psychology of leadership, while traditional core courses include mathematics and statistics for business, business law, operations and technology, and ethics, corporate culture and social responsibility.

GMAT scores and work experience is not a requirement for application; however, students must have at least a 2.7 GPA. Upon completion, students can find positions in executive leadership, marketing management, global management, consulting, and human resource management.

Location: Manchester, New Hampshire
Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
Format: Online
Tuition: $627 per credit
Program length: 15 months with two courses per term

The University of Saint Mary offers an MBA with a leadership and organizational health concentration with the purpose of equipping students with the skills needed to navigate the social and political issues within large organizations, manage multiple teams, and resolve business conflicts in the workforce. Students will take nine core courses and three electives that align with their concentration. For the track mentioned above, courses include leadership and organizational health, strategic leadership and team building, and strategic communication and human performance support systems.

A GPA of 2.75 or greater is required to enter the program; however, GMAT scores and work experience are not. This 100 percent online 36-credit program has six start dates: January, March, April, May, July, and October.

Location: Leavenworth, Kansas
Accreditation: International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE)
Format: Online
Tuition: $625 per credit
Program length: One year

Norwich University’s 36-credit online MBA program comprises six 11-week courses. Students can enroll in the general MBA track or concentrate in project management, construction management, energy management, finance, supply chain management and logistics, or organizational leadership.

In the corporate leadership track, students will learn analytical and problem-solving skills and theories that will help them lead large organizations. The three specialized courses include leading change in organizations, strategic organizational behavior, and strategic corporate leadership and developing a learning organization. Additional courses in the program include strategic resources management, managerial finance, international business management, project management techniques, and supply chain management strategy.

A one-week residency is required to complete the program. To be accepted into the program, students must have two years of work experience and a GPA of 2.75 or higher. No GMAT is required.

Location: Northfield, Vermont
Accreditation: ACBSP
Format: Online with one on-campus residency
Tuition: $808 per credit
Program length: 18 to 24 months

Ohio University’s online MBA program is broken down into core courses, and concentration courses as students can choose to concentrate in finance, healthcare, executive management, or business analytics. The three classes students will take in the executive management track are prescriptive analytics, leadership and change management, and ethics in the global environment.

Notably, the U.S. News & World Report has recognized Ohio University with multiple accolades as one of the best business schools, best education schools, and best national universities.

The majority of this 35-credit program is conducted online; however, a one-weekend on-campus workshop is required. Two to five years of professional work experience is required for entry into the program. Students must have a 3.0 GPA or higher. No GMAT is required.

Location: Athens, Ohio
Accreditation: AACSB International
Format: Online
Tuition: $1,028 for Ohio residents and $1,047 per credit for non-Ohio residents
Program length: Two years

This 36-credit online MBA program is designed for mid-career professionals interested in moving up in the management ranks and requires that students have at least five years of professional work experience. Students can customize their program according to their goals; the school offers two concentrations in marketing or strategic leadership and provides students with the possibility to create their own customized concentration through electives.

Students will take required core courses that focus on globalization, analytics, technology and communication, and those in the strategic leadership program will take three electives: advanced human resources management and labor relations, leadership dynamics, and international business culture.

Location: Rock Hill, South Carolina
Accreditation: AACSB International
Format: Online
Tuition: $780 per credit
Program length: Two years

Brandman University offers an MBA with an emphasis in organizational leadership for students wishing to create positive and sustainable change within an organization.

Students enrolled in the program will take foundational classes in financial reporting and analysis, marketing management, and corporate responsibility, among others, as well as four organizational leadership-specific courses: the foundations of organizational leadership; democracy, ethics, and leadership; human resources, and self, systems, and leadership. Students take between 24 and 36 core credits depending on their interest and level of experience and 12 credits in electives or their chosen emphasis.

Location: Irvine, California
Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
Format: Online or hybrid
Tuition: $670 per credit
Program length: One to two years

Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School offers a part-time, flexible MBA program that combines traditional didactic coursework with project-based courses. Students interested in organizational leadership have the option to specialize in public and private leadership.

In addition to the option to specialize, each flexible MBA student must complete a residency with on-campus requirements. Johns Hopkins offers a three-day on-campus “Leadership in Organizations” residency where students are taught to leverage organizational behavior to lead at the individual, group, and organizational levels.

Students have the ability to take this program mostly online, as a hybrid program, or as a full-time on-campus course of study. Coursework in the 54-credit program includes ethics and leadership in organizations, operations management, and managing in a diverse and global world.

As of June 2021, Johns Hopkins was waiving GRE/GMAT requirements for part-time applicants.

Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
Format: Online, on-site, hybrid
Tuition: $1,650 per credit
Program length: 2.5 years

Gwynedd Mercy University (GMercyU) offers an accelerated online MBA in strategic management and leadership that prepares graduates to lead with ethics and be a harbinger of corporate social responsibility. Coursework in the 30-credit program include ethical decision-making and corporate social responsibility, managing business operations, global management, and managing human capital.

In order to foster close professional and personal relationships, GMercyU operates under a cohort model, where students flow through the program with the same small group of people also looking to become forces of positive social change in the business world. GMercyU does not require GMAT/GRE scores to apply.

Location: Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
Format: Online, on-campus
Tuition: $640 per credit
Program length: Two years

The Kania School of Management at The Jesuit University of Scranton offers a 36 credit hour online MBA program designed to fit into the lives of working professionals. One of eight MBA specializations, the operations management specialization prepares students for organizational leadership focused around quality and efficiency connected to the big picture. Coursework in the program includes responsibility, sustainability and justice, data mining, production planning and control, and business forecasting models. While the University of Scranton does not require the GMAT or GRE to apply, applicants must have at least three years of professional or supervisory experience.

Location: Scranton, Pennsylvania
Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
Format: Online, on-campus
Tuition: $965 per credit
Program length: Two to three years

The school of business and management at Azusa pacific offers a master of business management (MBM) that is looking to train organizational leaders who put people over profit. Like an MBA but without the financial emphasis, the MBM at Asuza helps graduates to lead positive organizational change within a culture of teamwork. Areas of study within the MBM for those interested in organizational leadership include organizational development and change, and organizational science.

Coursework in the 39-credit program includes ethical leadership, organizational development and chance, high-performance people management, and organizational performance improvement. No GRE/GMAT scores are required to apply to Asuza Pacific.

Location: Azusa, California
Accreditation: International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE)
Format: Online, on-campus
Tuition: $672 per credit
Program length: 15 to 24 months

Champlain College offers a 100 percent online 36-credit online MBA designed to graduate agile, reflective, strength-leveraging, systems-thinking organizational leaders.

Champlain offers seven embedded graduate certificates. The positive organizational development specialization enables those interested in organizational leadership to take a first-of-its-kind course of study into creating positive changes in business.

Champlain also offers a leadership specialization designed to bring different people and perspectives together around a common purpose. Coursework in the programs include self as a values-driven leader; group dynamics, communication, and negation; leading for transformation through relationships, and the art of question and inquiry-based change. No GRE or GMAT scores are required to apply.

Location: Burlington, Vermont
Accreditation: International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE)
Format: Online
Tuition: $795 per credit
Program length: 15 to 24 months

Professors to Know from Schools with Online MBAs in Organizational Leadership

  • Marlene A. Biseda, PhD Pepperdine University

    Dr. Marlene Biseda is an assistant professor of strategy and teaches courses on strategic management, organizational change, and the productivity of knowledge workers in new organizational forms at Pepperdine University. She has worked in many sectors, including aerospace, education, healthcare, professional services, and telecommunications at Fortune 100 corporations, governmental agencies, and non-profit organizations.

    Dr. Biseda worked for 25 years at IBM across sales and marketing, technical, and general management positions. She earned her undergraduate degree from Duquesne University; her master's from the University of California, Santa Barbara; her MBA from the University of Pittsburgh; and her doctorate from Claremont Graduate University.

  • Dr. Edward Creppy, PhD Benedictine University

    Dr. Edward Creppy is an adjunct professor at Benedictine University and teaches managerial economics in the MBA program. He has more than 18 years of experience teaching, as well as 18 years of experience outside of academia. He has worked for the Population Council, NAFTA, and the World Bank.

    Dr. Creppy prides himself on fostering a friendly and open atmosphere for his students, providing positive reinforcement throughout the learning process. Dr. Creppy obtained his bachelor's degree in accounting from the City University of New York; his master's in finance from St. John’s University; and his master's and doctorate in economics from American University. He is currently in the process of completing a master's in adult education and development.

  • Mark Harvey, PhD University of Saint Mary

    Dr. Mark Harvey is the director of graduate and undergraduate programs at the University of Saint Mary and teaches courses for the business department in international political economy, international business, legal and ethical issues, and leadership. He brings more than 20 years of experience in teaching and administration, working at campuses in the U.S. and the U.K. Every year, he works with the U.S. Army on foreign policy simulations at the Command and General Staff College in Leavenworth, Kansas.

    Dr. Harvey has a bachelor's degree from Washburn University; a master's from the University of Missouri, Kansas City; a master's from the University of Wales, Swansea; and a doctorate from the University of Kansas.

Admission Requirements for Online MBA Programs in Organizational Leadership

Based on the programs outlined above, there are several recurring application requirements to earn admissions to an online MBA program in organizational leadership. Some of those requirements include:

  • The completion of specific prerequisite courses if a student does not have the proper professional or academic background
  • Professional work experience; usually two years but up to five
  • A competitive GPA from an accredited undergraduate program, generally in a field that focuses on business, management, and human resources
  • GMAT scores, which may be waived under certain conditions (such as extensive work experience, or covid-catalyzed testing limitations)
  • A personal statement of goals and objectives
  • Essays
  • Transcripts
  • Letters of recommendation
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Becca Brewer is building a better future on a thriving earth by fostering healing, human wholeness, and next-world building through storytelling help, one-on-one self-awareness workshops, and customized team-alignment sessions. She offers these services at a rate of $0.00 to anyone interested (contact her at rkbrewer@gmail.com for more information). Previously to her journey as an adventurer for a just, meaningful, and regenerative world, Becca was a formally trained sexuality educator with a master of education.