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What is an MBA in Leadership?

An online MBA in leadership program creates strong, effective leaders through experiential learning. The degree prepares future business, tech, and healthcare leaders to motivate and inspire others. The MBA in leadership online program is closely related to the MBA in management: students take courses on business strategy, forecasting, and ethics. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects management positions will grow 6% by 2024. Earning a master’s degree in leadership can help distinguish you from other job seekers.

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects management positions will grow 6% by 2024.

While a bachelor’s degree is required for the majority of managerial positions, an online MBA in leadership will help you accelerate your career. Top-level executives with a BA or BS often obtain their MBA during the course of their career.

Comparison of Leadership Master’s Degrees

Leadership master’s degree online programs differ in their focus; some introduce business theory and practice, while the MBA in leadership online degree has a broader curriculum. Each of the programs below prepares graduates for leadership positions, and most can be completed in less than two years.

Degree Description Average Salary (1-4 years experience) Length
Master’s of Management Studies (MMS) The MMS degree introduces students from all academic disciplines to managerial theories and best practices. Graduates learn how to oversee, supervise, and lead an operation. $54,181 Less than 2 Years
Master’s Degree in Organizational Management This degree teaches students how to run a business effectively by emphasizing how organizations work and managerial processes, from daily operations to the establishment of team relationships. The degree is open to students from any industry. $30,000 Less than 2 Years
Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) in Leadership The online MBA in leadership is ideal for those with backgrounds in business. Students learn how to motivate diverse teams, guide organizations through change, and lead entrepreneurial ventures. Leadership MBA online programs build on a business administration core and are not limited by industry. $42,299 2 Years

Students who pursue an online MBA with a leadership concentration will learn a variety of business administrative competencies. While the best online schools for leadership may require different electives and fieldwork, they all develop fundamental leadership skills. The table below lists common courses in leadership MBA online curricula.

Course Competencies Developed Occupational Skill Level
Strategy Development Innovate and effectively manage change and development, such as initiatives, product launches, or new business models. Devise methods to achieve set goals. TITLE: Chief Executive Officer

SALARY: growth of 14%

Team Leadership Recognize necessary leadership skills and qualities, such as abilities to mitigate conflict, inspire, motivate, and empower. TITLE: Executive Director

SALARY: growth of 10%

Budget Management Craft a budget, and use forecasting tools to ensure budgetary issues are properly addressed. This is an important course for any student, regardless of background. TITLE: Vice President, Operations

SALARY: growth of 8%

An online master’s leadership degree leads to career advancement and greater job opportunity. Every enterprise needs a strong, effective leader to navigate negotiations, product launches, and organizational change. Good leaders provide direction and increase businesses’ success.

Chief Executive Officer Median Salary: $165,593
  • Corporation
  • Technology firm
  • Start-up
The CEO is the top executive at a company. Responsibilities vary depending on the organization size, but all CEOs set the company vision and oversee operations, budget, structure, and philosophy. The CEO is accountable for a company’s successes and failures.
Vice President, Operations Median Salary: $148,261
  • Auto maker
  • Sports franchise
A top-ranking executive, the vice president of operations is in charge of a company’s day-to-day operations, ensuring that programs, products, and services stay on schedule and are in line with set goals.
Divisional Vice President Median Salary: $76,543
  • Clothing brand
  • Advertising agency
Primary responsibilities for this supervisory role include hiring and firing team managers, mitigating issues and conflicts within divisions, and delivering quarterly results.
School Location Cost Toggle Logo Tuition % Receiving Financial Aid Student Population School Type Description

Adams State University

Location Alamosa, CO Tuition Tuition $14,760 % Receiving Financial Aid 63% Student Population 3,404 School Type Public
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Albertus Magnus College

Location New Haven, CT Tuition Tuition $40,848 % Receiving Financial Aid 80% Student Population 1,515 School Type Private
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Amberton University

Location Garland, TX Tuition Tuition $9,000 % Receiving Financial Aid Student Population 1,379 School Type Private
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Aurora University

Location Aurora, IL Tuition Tuition $20,340 % Receiving Financial Aid 71% Student Population 5,423 School Type Private
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Averett University

Location Danville, VA Tuition Tuition $29,315 % Receiving Financial Aid 49% Student Population 991 School Type Private
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Baker College

Location Flint, MI Tuition Tuition $34,551 % Receiving Financial Aid 71% Student Population 23,790 School Type Private
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Belhaven University

Location Jackson, MS Tuition Tuition $19,080 % Receiving Financial Aid 68% Student Population 4,450 School Type Private
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Capitol Technology University

Location Laurel, MD Tuition Tuition $32,040 % Receiving Financial Aid 47% Student Population 804 School Type Private
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Champlain College

Location Burlington, VT Tuition Tuition $28,620 % Receiving Financial Aid 63% Student Population 4,006 School Type Private
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Charleston Southern University

Location Charleston, SC Tuition Tuition $20,625 % Receiving Financial Aid 72% Student Population 3,621 School Type Private
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City University of Seattle

Location Seattle, WA Tuition Tuition $32,544 % Receiving Financial Aid 50% Student Population 2,347 School Type Private
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Concordia University - Chicago

Location River Forest, IL Tuition Tuition $26,910 % Receiving Financial Aid 75% Student Population 5,239 School Type Private
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Creighton University

Location Omaha, NE Tuition Tuition $11,700 % Receiving Financial Aid 68% Student Population 8,435 School Type Private
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Excelsior College

Location Albany, NY Tuition Tuition $77,922 % Receiving Financial Aid 8% Student Population 43,123 School Type Private
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Ferris State University

Location Big Rapids, MI Tuition Tuition $28,431 % Receiving Financial Aid 66% Student Population 14,715 School Type Public
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Fort Hays State University

Location Hays, KS Tuition Tuition $13,600 % Receiving Financial Aid 41% Student Population 14,210 School Type Public
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Franklin Pierce University

Location Rindge, NH Tuition Tuition $30,000 % Receiving Financial Aid 89% Student Population 2,273 School Type Private
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Gwynedd Mercy University

Location Gwynedd Valley, PA Tuition Tuition $19,200 % Receiving Financial Aid 75% Student Population 2,582 School Type Private
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John F. Kennedy University

Location Pleasant Hill, CA Tuition Tuition $31,920 % Receiving Financial Aid 93% Student Population 1,111 School Type Private
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Johnson University

Location Knoxville, TN Tuition Tuition $18,000 % Receiving Financial Aid 59% Student Population 1,171 School Type Private
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King University

Location Bristol, TN Tuition Tuition $21,780 % Receiving Financial Aid 69% Student Population 2,920 School Type Private
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Liberty University

Location Lynchburg, VA Tuition Tuition $25,425 % Receiving Financial Aid 66% Student Population 80,494 School Type Private
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Lindenwood University

Location Saint Charles, MO Tuition Tuition $10,260 % Receiving Financial Aid 62% Student Population 11,620 School Type Private
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Marist College

Location Poughkeepsie, NY Tuition Tuition $35,460 % Receiving Financial Aid 56% Student Population 6,474 School Type Private
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Messiah College

Location Mechanicsburg, PA Tuition Tuition $23,220 % Receiving Financial Aid 64% Student Population 3,302 School Type Private
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Missouri State University - Springfield

Location Springfield, MO Tuition Tuition $10,725 % Receiving Financial Aid 50% Student Population 22,273 School Type Public
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New England College

Location Henniker, NH Tuition Tuition $21,120 % Receiving Financial Aid 77% Student Population 2,517 School Type Private
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North Park University

Location Chicago, IL Tuition Tuition $40,680 % Receiving Financial Aid 70% Student Population 3,159 School Type Private
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Northwest Nazarene University

Location Nampa, ID Tuition Tuition $18,480 % Receiving Financial Aid 61% Student Population 2,207 School Type Private
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Ohio Dominican University

Location Columbus, OH Tuition Tuition $21,600 % Receiving Financial Aid 58% Student Population 2,534 School Type Private
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Oklahoma Baptist University

Location Shawnee, OK Tuition Tuition $19,800 % Receiving Financial Aid 51% Student Population 1,986 School Type Private
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Olivet Nazarene University

Location Bourbonnais, IL Tuition Tuition $23,940 % Receiving Financial Aid 72% Student Population 4,892 School Type Private
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Oral Roberts University

Location Tulsa, OK Tuition Tuition $15,181 % Receiving Financial Aid 63% Student Population 3,611 School Type Private
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Ottawa University

Location Ottawa, KS Tuition Tuition $22,320 % Receiving Financial Aid 76% Student Population 664 School Type Private
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Pfeiffer University

Location Misenheimer, NC Tuition Tuition $23,040 % Receiving Financial Aid 75% Student Population 1,624 School Type Private
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Regent University

Location Virginia Beach, VA Tuition Tuition $27,300 % Receiving Financial Aid 76% Student Population 6,950 School Type Private
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Saint Joseph's College of Maine

Location Standish, ME Tuition Tuition $12,540 % Receiving Financial Aid 65% Student Population 2,581 School Type Private
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Saint Joseph's University

Location Philadelphia, PA Tuition Tuition $32,142 % Receiving Financial Aid 49% Student Population 8,625 School Type Private
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Schreiner University

Location Kerrville, TX Tuition Tuition $23,292 % Receiving Financial Aid 83% Student Population 1,230 School Type Private
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Southeastern University

Location Lakeland, FL Tuition Tuition $20,475 % Receiving Financial Aid 60% Student Population 4,538 School Type Private
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Southern New Hampshire University

Location Manchester, NH Tuition Tuition $22,600 % Receiving Financial Aid 67% Student Population 61,285 School Type Private
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Spring Arbor University

Location Spring Arbor, MI Tuition Tuition $35,856 % Receiving Financial Aid 75% Student Population 3,401 School Type Private
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Tabor College

Location Hillsboro, KS Tuition Tuition $18,756 % Receiving Financial Aid 75% Student Population 729 School Type Private
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Texas A & M University - Texarkana

Location Texarkana, TX Tuition Tuition $17,028 % Receiving Financial Aid 46% Student Population 1,848 School Type Public
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The College of Saint Scholastica

Location Duluth, MN Tuition Tuition $21,630 % Receiving Financial Aid 68% Student Population 4,329 School Type Private
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Tiffin University

Location Tiffin, OH Tuition Tuition $25,200 % Receiving Financial Aid 76% Student Population 3,496 School Type Private
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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Location Champaign, IL Tuition Tuition $18,000 % Receiving Financial Aid 39% Student Population 45,842 School Type Public
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University of Mary

Location Bismarck, ND Tuition Tuition $20,520 % Receiving Financial Aid 65% Student Population 2,872 School Type Private
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Western New England University

Location Springfield, MA Tuition Tuition $47,022 % Receiving Financial Aid 75% Student Population 3,912 School Type Private
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Load 39 More Schools

If you’ve decided that an MBA in Leadership is right for you, then it is time to start narrowing down the list of schools you are interested in. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you through this process.

  • Search for schools in your area

    Even though you are looking for online programs, it can be helpful to choose a school within 100 miles of your home. Online students often report that they enjoy being able to visit campus. In addition, schools often partner with local businesses, meaning a school in your area can help you find a job close to home.

  • Compare student outcomes data

    Many schools provide this information on their website; however, if you can’t find it, contact the school and ask for it. This data should include graduation rates, employment rates, and the compensation levels of recent graduates. When viewed side-by-side, this information provides a glimpse at program quality.

  • Estimate the expected costs of your programs

    Prospective students often underestimate the total cost of their program. Multiply the total number of credit hours you will need to graduate by cost per credit hour. Do not forget to include the cost of supplies, internet, and factor in the time you will not spend earning an income. Also compare financial aid options; different schools may offer better financial aid packages or scholarships that can offset the cost of education.

  • Check that classes will fit in with your schedule

    One of the central benefits of online education is flexibility. However, some programs require set meeting times, synchronous workshops, and mandatory campus visits. Be aware of all time commitments, and be sure they fit into your current schedule.

  • Look for partnerships with local businesses

    The main objective of getting your MBA in Leadership is to find a secure job with a healthy salary in a field you enjoy. To that end, attending school that is well connected with local businesses can be a fantastic leg up upon graduation. Many of these partners will offer internships to students that can lead to full-time employment or provide the network and experience you need to get a job elsewhere.

  • Make sure the program is accredited

    Accreditation is the formal review process that ensures a school is offering a reputable program adhering to minimum academic standards. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business is the national agency that accredits for undergraduate, master’s and doctoral programs in business and accounting. By checking a program’s status with the AACSB, you can be confident you are receiving a recognized, quality degree. Employers generally will not hire job candidates who possess a degree from a school that is not accredited, and schools will not accept academic credentials from an unaccredited program.

  • Talk to current students and/or recent alumni

    One of the best resources when it comes to making a final decision on an online MBA in Leadership program is actual students and graduates. They can give you an unbiased, real-world take on how the program has served them, what they have liked, and what they have disliked. Ask an admissions counselor to put you in touch with a current student or recent alumni. Alternatively, use LinkedIn or Facebook to find and reach out to people.

Many organizations designate awards for students who have exhibited exceptional leadership and initiative in their academic and professional careers. There are scholarships, fellowships, and grants available for proven leaders who plan to pursue management careers. Awards range from $500 to full-tuition fellowships, and many are industry-specific, for fields like STEM, healthcare, or high finance. Below are a few notable leadership scholarships.