Master of Science in Organizational Leadership


Program Description

Inspiring Organizations with Exceptional Leadership.

The 21st-century business landscape requires knowledgeable leaders who are able to meet the demands in today’s fast-paced, global business environment. To truly be a leader requires perspective, vision, creative problem solving, teamwork and the ability to think strategically. At Marian University, we understand your commitment to ethical business practices and strive to help you achieve your personal and professional goals through our Master of Science degree in organizational leadership.

The Program

The organizational leadership program takes a broad approach to leadership education—instilling in you a deep knowledge of leadership methods and principles of motivation. You’ll develop your essential skills for success by focusing on enhancing organizational performance through integrated studies in quality, communication, management, teamwork, and leadership. As a student in the program, you’ll engage in courses that focus on organizational behavior, team management, ethical behavior and leading others toward effective change within an organization. You’ll engage in case studies, small-group discussions and work-related research projects, developing knowledge that can be applied at your current job the very next day. Since the program offers a project-based, team-oriented experience, you’ll develop relevant skills and be able to establish valuable connections and a network of colleagues with your fellow students that can pay off throughout your career.

Curriculum (30 Credits):
  • BUS 505 Leadership in Organizations - 3.0 Credits
  • BUS 515 Systems Strategy & Adapt in Leadership - 3.0 Credits
  • BUS 625 Strategy, Risk and Leadership Ethics - 3.0 Credits
  • BUS 635 Globalization/International Perspective - 3.0 Credits
  • BUS 645 Applied Quantitative Methods - 3.0 Credits
  • BUS 647 Research Foundations - 3.0 Credits
  • BUS 655 Managerial Finance and Budgeting - 3.0 Credits
  • BUS 675 Human Resources Strategies - 3.0 Credits
  • BUS 695 Operations Management - 3.0 Credits
  • BUS 701 Capstone Project - 3.0 Credits

Professional Standards

Business programs at Marian University are accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE) whose mission is to promote and recognize excellence in business education in institutions of higher education worldwide, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, through specialized accreditation of business programs.

Accreditation Standards

Marian adheres to the following principles of business education promoted by IACBE:

  • Principle 1: Outcomes Assessment. The academic business unit has developed and fully implemented an outcomes assessment process consistent with its mission and broad-based goals.
  • Principle 2: Strategic Planning. The academic business unit has developed and implemented a strategic planning process that enables continuous improvement and guides it into the future consistent with its mission.
  • Principle 3: Curriculum. Programs offered are consistent with current, acceptable business practices and the expectations of professionals in the academic and business communities.
  • Principle 4: Faculty. Appropriate program coverage is provided by highly-qualified faculty with adequate time to devote to teaching, service, and scholarly activity.
  • Principle 5: Scholarly and Professional Activities. Faculty members are involved in scholarly and professional activities that enhance the depth and scope of their knowledge.
  • Principle 6: Resources. Financial resources available are sufficient to support a high-quality learning environment.
  • Principle 7: Internal and External Relationships. The academic business unit has effective working relationships with other functional units within the institution, meaningful linkages to business practitioners and organizations, effective relationships with external organizations, and is accountable to the public.
  • Principle 8: International Business Education. The academic business unit ensures that students possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities to understand and deal effectively with critical issues in a dynamic global business environment
  • Principle 9: Educational Innovation. The academic business unit maintains an environment that encourages and recognizes innovation and creativity in the education of business students.
Professional Conduct (Standard for Students)

Faculty and Staff in the School of Business expect the highest standards of honest, ethical professional conduct from each of our students. Primary components of professional behavior expected include:

  • Respect for others
  • Full engagement
  • Responsibility and integrity, and
  • Commitment to quality

Mission & Learning Outcomes


The MS-OL program enhances individuals’ skills and understanding of business and organizations, enabling those seeking a mid- or senior-level position or new business opportunities to strengthen their performance as managers and leaders.

Learning Outcomes

On program completion, students will be able to:

  • Articulate their leadership approach.
  • Develop and apply business strategy as a leader.
  • Respond to systems problems as a manager.
  • Solve practical problems.
  • Engage in organizational assessment and improvement.
  • Make a professional presentation.
  • Prepare a professional business document.
  • Function effectively in group work as a team member and leader.
  • Increase their sense of competence and confidence as a business professional.

Program Effectiveness Data

Capstone Project

All master’s students have been involved in a capstone team consulting service-learning project. In this experience, the team of graduate students identified and engaged in an organization. They completed an assessment of the organization’s situation. The team then identified a challenge facing the organization, which the senior management of the organization (e.g., Executive Director, Chairman of the Board) felt was something to be addressed. The students conducted research, assessment and benchmarking. The consulting team presented both an oral and written consulting report to their customer organization including recommendations for addressing the identified challenge.

Among the organizations with which MS students have consulted over the past few years are:

  • American Red Cross, Southeast Wisconsin
  • Boys & Girls Club of Sheboygan County, WI
  • Day-by-Day Warming Shelter, Oshkosh, WI
  • Evergreen Nursing Home, Oshkosh, WI
  • Fox Valley Warming Shelter, Appleton, WI
  • Free SPIRIT Riders, Fond du Lac, WI
  • Generations: An Intergenerational Center, Plymouth, WI
  • Solutions Center, Fond du Lac, WI
  • STEP Industries, Neenah, WI
  • Volunteer Center of Fond du Lac, WI
Program Impacts

In exit interviews, students graduating from the MS program have reported the following changes or benefits:

  • I gained a lot from the program. Now, I have a higher level of confidence, I see more ways to do things, and I think more critically.
  • My understanding of leadership was broadened in the program.
  • I learned the value of the process and the importance of gathering data and planning.
  • I learned about people – how to get the best from people.
  • As a business owner, I apply the tools we learned to my business.
  • You realize that you can do more. I don’t want to stop learning.
  • I now have the confidence to speak and am becoming part of the leadership team.
  • The final project was challenging. We had to meet deadlines critical to the project. As we worked together, we formed as a team and came together. It was a complex project on which we spent a lot of time. We leveraged the strengths we learned about our team members. The final project brought it all together.

Program Accreditation

International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE)

Marian University has received specialized accreditation for its business programs through the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE), located in Olathe, Kansas. The business programs in the following degrees are accredited by the IACBE:

  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) with majors in Accounting, Business Administration, Finance, Health Care Administration, Management, Marketing, Sport & Recreation Management.
  • Bachelor of Science (BS) with a major in Information Technology.
  • Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) with majors in General Management, Health Care Administration, Human Resource Management, Marketing, Operations, and Supply Chain Management.
  • Master of Science (MS) with a concentration in Organizational Leadership.

Admission Progression Criterion

The organizational leadership program will deliver to you the kind of powerful preparation and convenience that is hard to match. Designed to meet the academic and professional needs of working adults looking to advance their careers, we offer our program both on the ground and in a 100% online format. Our on-ground program is available at convenient learning centers in Appleton, Fond du Lac, Plymouth, and West Allis. You’ll take courses one at a time, one night per week, and you won’t have to sacrifice your current position or give up other important responsibilities.

To receive the Master of Science in Organizational Leadership degree, the candidate must meet the following criteria:

  • Completion of coursework with a minimum GPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 Scale and be in good standing
  • Must apply for candidacy upon completion of the first three courses in the program
  • Submission and approval of the final research project
  • Grades below “C” are not counted toward meeting degree requirements

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About the School

Founded as Marian College in 1936 by the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes, Marian University is a co-educational, Catholic University that inspires personal and professional success through an eng ... Read More

Founded as Marian College in 1936 by the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes, Marian University is a co-educational, Catholic University that inspires personal and professional success through an engaging, values-based education. With the average class size of 15 students and a student-to-faculty ratio of 12:1, students at Marian University partake in multiple cooperative, hands-on learning experiences that allow for integrated classroom theory and practical work experience. Marian University students graduate well-prepared to begin exciting careers in their fields or for admission to rigorous graduate and professional programs across the nation. Read less