Earning an MBA in organizational leadership enables students to boost their career potential with strong leadership skills and an expanded network of business-minded peers. With a projected job growth rate of 6%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects the field of organizational leadership to expand steadily over the next several years.
Self-motivated students often enjoy the flexibility of distance learning. Online MBA students can take classes in an asynchronous self-paced format or in real time with synchronous web conferences and discussion boards. Read on to learn more about online MBA degrees in organizational leadership and why you might want to pursue this degree.
Here are the 10 Best Online MBA Programs in Organizational Leadership:
- Johns Hopkins University - Baltimore, MD
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - Chapel Hill, NC
- Gwynedd Mercy University - Gwynedd Valley, PA
- University of Scranton - Scranton, PA
- Azusa Pacific University - Azusa, CA
- Champlain College - Burlington, VT
- DeSales University - Center Valley, PA
- Mount Vernon Nazarene University - Mount Vernon, OH
- Spring Arbor University - Spring Arbor, MI
- University of Illinois - Springfield - Springfield, IL
Top Online MBA Programs in Organizational Leadership for 2020
|Rank||School||Location||Cost||Toggle||Logo||Tuition||% Receiving Financial Aid||Student Population||School Type||Description|
Johns Hopkins University
|Location Baltimore , MD||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 68||Student Population 26,152||Tuition $76,140||School Type Private||
The top online MBA at Johns Hopkins offers six concentrations, including one in leading organizations. The degree consists of 54 credits, which students typically complete part time in less than three years.
Students who pursue the leading organizations concentration take courses such as effective teaming, power and politics, and managing in a diverse global world. Each course lasts eight weeks and distance learners can study at their own pace.
Additionally, online students must travel to Johns Hopkins' Baltimore-based campus for three residences for courses in business communication, leadership, and negotiations. These in-person experiences consist of 2-3 days of educational activities. Learners may also opt to participate in experiential courses, which take them all over the world to participate in field projects, consulting projects, and global immersion programs.
Johns Hopkins MBA students need at least two years of work experience before they enroll in the program, and applicants should submit GRE or GMAT scores. The university reports that 58% of learners gained salary increases while pursuing their MBAs, while the average base salary after graduation reached nearly $119,000.
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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
|Location Chapel Hill , NC||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 67||Student Population 30,011||Tuition $125,550||School Type Public||
Based in Chapel Hill, UNC offers an MBA that students can complete mostly online, with the exception of a few in-person summits. The degree offers a concentration in strategy and consulting, which covers topics related to organizational leadership.
Students complete most of the 64-credit degree online, with distance learners who take two courses at a time graduating in two years. MBA candidates can also pursue an accelerated track and finish as soon as 18 months, while part-time students might take three years to complete the program.
When they begin the program, distance learners take an online orientation course and a synchronous group training session. They may also opt to attend an on-campus orientation. The courses themselves include live-streaming lectures, allowing online students to interact in real time with their professors and peers.
All distance learners must also complete at least two in-person summits. UNC offers these on its Chapel Hill campus and at international locations like South Africa and Poland.
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Gwynedd Mercy University
|Location Gwynedd Valley , PA||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 100||Student Population 3,056||Tuition $19,200||School Type Private||
The online MBA at Pennsylvania-based GMercyU allows working professionals to complete the 30-credit degree on their own time. Designed for people with full-time jobs, this degree follows a seven-week course schedule at an accelerated pace. The program offers several possible concentrations, including strategic leadership and management. This specialization equips students with the executive-level knowledge they need for organizational leadership.
The curriculum for this top online MBA consists of 10 courses, including seven core courses and three concentration courses. Specifically, strategic leadership and management students take organizational theory and design, global management, and managing human capital. The last step of the program involves a capstone. During this course, learners develop a business plan that covers the theory they've studied throughout the program.
Applicants should possess a 3.0 undergraduate GPA in order to apply, although the university also considers candidates with a 2.7 GPA who put in an application request. Incoming students without a business or management bachelor's degree need to complete a six-credit foundational course at the beginning of the program.
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University of Scranton
|Location Scranton , PA||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 97||Student Population 5,286||Tuition $34,740||School Type Private||
Students enrolled in Scranton's online MBA program who want to learn about organizational leadership can pursue the operations management concentration. This specialization focuses on how to effectively coordinate employees, information, and resources across various organizational levels.
The full program consists of 36 credits, which students can complete in two years. The operations management concentration allows distance learners to choose from courses like supply chain management, project change and management, business forecasting models, and production planning and control. Students must also complete a business planning capstone in order to graduate.
The degree does not involve any on-campus requirements or residencies. Still, distance learners can take advantage of online MBA career resources such as an employer directory and an online mock interview tool.
Incoming students need at least three years of work experience in business to apply. Because of this requirement, applicants do not need to submit GRE or GMAT scores. Applicants must also possess a 3.0 minimum GPA.
Azusa Pacific University
|Location Azusa , CA||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 98||Student Population 10,095||Tuition $25,818||School Type Private||
California-based APU offers a top online MBA in organizational development and change. The degree focuses on effective leadership of business organizations through times of transition and change.
The curriculum consists of 39-40 credits. In addition to foundational courses, students enroll in courses such as consulting for organizations, employee development, and instructional design and training methods. Online learners also participate in a field experience trip, which allows them to observe management practices at real-world companies. Locations vary each year, but field experience trips may take place within the U.S. or at an international destination.
Courses last eight weeks, and students can take one or two courses at a time. Each course meets once a week for about four hours, and learners dedicate about 6-10 hours to schoolwork on their own time. Distance learners can complete the program in 1-5 years, although most take about 2.5 years to graduate.
|Location Burlington , VT||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 99||Student Population 4,531||Tuition $28,620||School Type Private||
Located in Burlington, Vermont, Champlain offers a 36-credit online MBA with a concentration in organizational development. The program emphasizes two main business philosophies within the field of organizational leadership: appreciative inquiry and positive organizational development.
Required coursework for this MBA in organizational leadership includes foundations of positive organizational change, inquiry-based change in organizations, advanced applications of appreciative inquiry, and strength-based assessment and analysis methods.
Students can enroll full or part time, committing 15-20 hours per week to coursework. Courses last eight weeks each, and Champlain offers six of these distance learning terms throughout the year.
Incoming students who do not possess a bachelor's degree in business or management must take an additional two courses in managing organizational risk and accounting for managers. Degree-seekers in this category must complete 42 credits in total.
|Location Center Valley , PA||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 100||Student Population 3,438||Tuition $31,860||School Type Private||
A private, Catholic institution based in Center Valley, Pennsylvania, DeSales administers an MBA in management that covers topics in organizational leadership.
Students take 13 courses, including concentration courses such as organizational analysis and design and managerial decision-making. All distance learners must pass an integrative capstone course in policy and strategy with a minimum B grade. Courses may include both asynchronous and synchronous components, meaning that students may need to log on at specific times for certain lectures or class discussions.
Distance learners may choose to supplement their degrees with graduate certificates in areas like financial planning or data analytics. They can also pursue a dual degree, adding a graduate degree in nursing to their studies.
Incoming students can only enroll in this program if they completed foundational undergraduate business coursework. Applicants who do not hold a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA must also submit GMAT scores.
Mount Vernon Nazarene University
|Location Mount Vernon , OH||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 95||Student Population 2,243||Tuition $17,928||School Type Private||
At Ohio-based MVNU, students can enroll in a 36-credit online MBA in organizational management. This program focuses on critical thinking and theory about how to lead organizations and supervise staff through major transitions.
The degree requires nine core courses and three concentration courses including strategic programming in HR management, operations management, and change management. The school also maintains a Christian affiliation that prioritizes foundational courses such as ethical leadership.
Courses last six weeks, and students who enroll full time can graduate in less than 19 months. Incoming students can also transfer up to six credits, allowing them to finish the program more quickly.
Prospective students should submit their undergraduate transcripts. However, MVNU does not set a minimum GPA requirement, nor does the university require applicants to submit GRE or GMAT scores.
Spring Arbor University
|Location Spring Arbor , MI||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 100||Student Population 3,436||Tuition $25,812||School Type Private||
The online MBA program at SAU offers several concentrations, including a specialization in organizational consulting. Students enrolled in this focus area learn how to assess and research personnel and organizational problems at business organizations. They also learn to develop resolutions to these problems. The degree consists of 36 credits, and students can graduate in 18 months.
Concentration courses include workplace learning and professional development, strategic leadership, and organizational consulting. Degree-seekers also complete a capstone in which they work as consultants for a real-world client. For the capstone, students identify a problem within the organization and present a proposed solution to improve the business' organizational performance.
Interested individuals can apply if they maintained a 3.0 minimum GPA during the last two years of their undergraduate coursework. They must also submit two reference letters.
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University of Illinois - Springfield
|Location Springfield , IL||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 97||Student Population 4,575||Tuition $11,844||School Type Public||
Although the online MBA at UIS does not offer concentrations, the degree does allow students to pursue graduate certificates with no extra coursework. The graduate certificate in business process management emphasizes analysis and design of organizational processes within business organizations.
Distance learners take 12 courses, including eight foundational courses and four elective courses that they can apply toward graduate certificates. For the business process management certificate, these courses include management information systems, business process modeling and IT governance, and business process management and process mining.
Students can complete the program entirely online, and may also opt to participate in on-campus courses or the graduate public service internship program. These internships take place in either Springfield or Chicago.
To apply to this degree, prospective students should possess a minimum 2.5 undergraduate GPA and submit GMAT scores. Applicants with several years of work experience can bypass the GMAT requirement.
Cairn University - Langhorne
|Location Langhorne , PA||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 100||Student Population 1,143||Tuition $29,778||School Type Private||
Distance learners who pursue an online MBA at Cairn can choose to concentrate in either organizational development or organizational culture. These specializations focus on structural flow and changes in business environments.
Degree-seekers take one or two courses at a time. Students can complete the 42 required credits of coursework in about 20 months. Additionally, Cairn allows enrollees to transfer up to six credits if they possess a business or management work background. In order to graduate, distance learners also complete a capstone. They work in teams to develop an innovative plan to boost the growth of a business organization.
Individuals can apply if they earned a minimum 2.5 undergraduate GPA. Cairn maintains a Christian affiliation, so in addition to submitting two references and a statement of purpose, applicants should also write a spiritual statement.
Upper Iowa University
|Location Fayette , IA||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 99||Student Population 4,392||Tuition $21,060||School Type Private||
Located in Fayette, Iowa, UIU students can enroll in a 36-credit online MBA with an organizational development concentration. The curriculum for this emphasis area focuses on corporate culture, organizational structure, and leading change at business organizations.
Distance learners within this concentration take courses including training and development, organizational development, organizational culture, organization diagnosis and intervention, and team building techniques.
The program does not include any on-campus requirements, and courses last eight weeks or five weeks during the summer. Many students graduate in two years; incoming learners who transfer up to 12 credits may graduate even sooner.
In order to successfully complete the program, students must earn a 3.0 GPA and complete a research capstone course. Although learners work on their assignments online at their own pace, the school also requires students to participate in frequent remote teamwork projects.
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|Location Wichita , KS||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 99||Student Population 1,926||Tuition $20,430||School Type Private||
Located in Wichita, Kansas, Friends offers an online MBA specifically designed for working professionals. The program allows degree-seekers to choose from several concentrations including change management, which trains students in organizational development tools and techniques.
The curriculum requires 30 credits of coursework and students can graduate in as few as 15 months. The change management concentration includes courses like dynamics of effective process consulting and coaching, design thinking and innovations for sustainability, and systems thinking.
The program requires no campus visits for distance learners. However, online students may participate in in-person career preparation events such as negotiation workshops, interview days, and individual career counseling.
Individuals can apply if they earned a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75. Applicants do not need to submit GMAT scores. Most successful applicants possess professional work experience.
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Southeastern Oklahoma State University
|Location Durant , OK||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 94||Student Population 4,542||Tuition $11,880||School Type Public||
The MBA curriculum includes 10 core courses that all students take, such as behavioral management, strategic management, and principle-centered leadership and ethics. General business students also take courses in applied business projects and new venture management. Distance learners pursuing the management concentration take management information systems, and competitive advantage and strategy as elective courses.
All students must complete 36 credits of coursework. Each course lasts seven weeks, and distance learners can graduate within one year. Incoming students who lack an academic background in business or management must complete additional foundational courses in topics like finance and economics.
Applicants should possess at least three years of work experience unless they earned a minimum 3.0 GPA during their bachelor's degree.
|Location West Point , GA||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 92||Student Population 2,248||Tuition $21,630||School Type Private||
Georgia-based Point offers an online MBA featuring one area of concentration: business transformation. The degree prioritizes leadership skills in times of major organizational change at businesses. Distance learners enroll in courses like business innovation and creativity, strategic management and leadership, and change management and organizational culture.
The curriculum emphasizes the Lean Six Sigma approach to business, which involves streamlining business operations to improve efficiency and working conditions. Learners also complete a transformation capstone project over the course of two semesters.
The full program requires 42 credits of coursework, which students generally finish in a little over two years. Distance learners can create their own timeline, taking as many or as few classes as they want each term. Incoming students may also transfer up to 14 credits. Courses follow an asynchronous learning structure, enabling web-based students to log on and complete coursework at their convenience.View School Profile
How We Rank Online MBA Programs
Want to know how we create our rankings? We assess schools based on academic quality, affordability, online flexibility, and student success.
Quality (30% of total score)
|A low student-to-faculty ratio, a wide breadth of specialized MBA programs, and a high retention rate of students returning after their first year are all indicators of a quality university.|
Affordability (10% of total score)
|The amount of financial aid offered factors into a school's net price; this, paired with a low loan default rate, indicates that students may find a school's tuition within their budget.|
Online Flexibility (20% of total score)
|Scores for online flexibility focus on schools that have a high percentage of fully online students, but consideration is also given to schools that enroll partially online students using hybrid programs.|
Student Success (40% of total score)
|Both strong hallmarks of student success, we look for programs with high graduation rates whose students go on to have higher-than-average median earnings.|
What Is an MBA in Organizational Leadership?
Online MBA in organizational leadership programs explore the ever-changing global business landscape. Students examine topics such as organizational effectiveness, cross-functional collaboration, corporate social responsibility, organizational behavior, and project management. The top online MBA programs offer opportunities for learners to fine-tune their leadership and decision-making skills.
MBA in organizational leadership programs prepare students for high-level positions in operations management, training and development, and project management. Graduates often pursue professional roles in sales, marketing, consulting, human resources, and training. These jobs often have promising employment prospects. For instance, over the next few years, the BLS projects an increase of more than 3,100 jobs in training and development management.
Why Should You Get an Online MBA in Organizational Leadership?
With competencies in varied areas such as corporate training and human resources, professionals with an MBA in organizational leadership hold transferable skills applicable to management roles in almost any industry. These positions enjoy high earning potential. PayScale reports the average yearly salary for organizational development managers is $88,000, and the BLS reports median annual earnings for training and development managers is $111,340. An online MBA in organizational leadership can help graduates gain a competitive edge when searching for a job.
Working professionals often choose to pursue an advanced degree such as an MBA in organizational leadership through online coursework. With the flexibility to take classes at their own convenience, distance learners can balance their school workload with their personal and professional lives. Pursuing an online MBA also offers opportunities for online students to take courses through out-of-state schools.
What Can You Do With an MBA in Organizational Leadership?
- Organizational Development Manager
Organizational development managers strive to improve the internal functions of a business. They work closely with top executives and upper management to examine current and potential policies with the goal of improving company performance. Some organizational development managers work full time for businesses, while others work on a contract for extended periods of time as consultants.
These managers typically hold many years of work experience and an advanced degree in organizational leadership or training and development. PayScale reports the average annual income for organizational development managers is $88,000.
- Training and Development Manager
Training and development managers oversee employee training programs. They work with training and development specialists, instructional designers, and instructors to assess employee needs and develop and implement training programs. Managers' responsibilities include creating budgets, selecting training materials, and evaluating program efficacy.
These high-level professionals typically have many years of experience and strong communication and decision-making skills. According to the BLS, training and development managers earn a median annual salary of $111,340.
- Performance Manager
Performance managers analyze workforce needs and expectations to ensure high levels of productivity. They work closely with human resources managers and operations managers to develop workers' skills and provide coaching. They analyze employee relationships, develop employee wellness programs, and make necessary procedural changes to improve business outcomes.
Performance managers need strong interpersonal and communication skills. PayScale reports the average yearly income for performance managers is $66,000.
- Organizational Development Consultant
Organizational development consultants assess problems and develop solutions to improve organizational performance, efficiency, and general business outcomes. As consultants, they typically work independently. Some organizational development consultants work for one business at a time, while others work with multiple clients simultaneously.
Professionals in this role typically boast many years of experience working in the business landscape, as well as strong problem-solving skills. Operational development consultants earn an average annual salary of $83,000, according to PayScale.
- Management Analyst
Management analysts work with top business executives to reduce company costs and increase revenues. They collect data, conduct research, identify problems, recommend modifications for existing systems, and develop new systems. Management analysts often hold specialized expertise in industries such as healthcare or technology. They also typically possess many years of experience in the business sector.
Management analysts need extremely strong critical thinking, organization, presentation, and problem-solving skills. Management analysts often work as independent consultants. The BLS reports the median yearly salary for management analysts is $83,610.
Online MBA in Organizational Leadership Curriculum
All online MBA in organizational leadership programs set their own unique coursework requirements. However, degrees of this nature typically include classes in project management, operational leadership, and corporate finance. Since curricula and class descriptions vary by school, prospective students should check with each program of interest for more information.
Leadership courses examine the skills and qualities of highly effective leaders across industries. Topics cover contemporary leadership, diversity and inclusion, law and ethics, and organizational strategy. Students discuss theories and real-world examples.
Project management courses explore the stages of a project from beginning to end. Topics include scope, scheduling, budgets, procurement, risk analysis, and workforce development. Students hone their project management skills by developing their own budgets and schedules.
Financial management courses teach students how to analyze financial data to make decisions that improve business outcomes. Topics include financial planning, asset evaluation, capital budgeting methods, breakeven analysis, and working capital management.
See More Top MBA Programs
How to Choose the Right Online MBA in Organizational Leadership Program
Business-savvy individuals who aim to move up the career ladder often pursue higher education. Aspiring leaders enjoy many graduate-level business education options, including master's in management studies programs, master's in organizational management programs, and Master of Business Administration in organizational leadership programs. With a master's degree in organizational leadership, graduates prepare to take on management and leadership positions in a variety of industries.
When researching business schools and programs, prospective students should consider several factors. For example, tuition rates and available financial aid options often rank high on the list of important considerations. Distance learners can pursue student loans, scholarships, and work-study programs. Students should also consider specific coursework offerings and extracurricular graduation requirements such as internships, externships, master's projects, and thesis papers.
Another key consideration is flexibility. For instance, students should investigate programs of interest to determine scheduling options such as full-time, part-time, accelerated, and self-paced. Are distance learners required to visit campus? If so, prospective students might want to think about a school's location and accessibility.
Finally, prospective students should always look into a school's accreditation status and never enroll in a school that's not accredited by a reputable accrediting agency.
Scholarships for Organizational Leadership MBA Programs
The cost of higher education presents a major consideration for prospective graduate students. Fortunately, students can apply for many scholarships, including those tailored toward distance learners seeking to earn an MBA in organizational leadership. Students typically apply for as many scholarships as possible. The list below outlines a few scholarship possibilities suitable for students pursuing an online MBA in organizational leadership.
Mary Elizabeth Lockwood Beneventi MBA Scholarship
Who Can Apply: The Daughters of the American Revolution awards the Mary Elizabeth Lockwood Beneventi MBA Scholarship to full-time graduate students. Applicants must attend an accredited college or university and major in business administration.
Amount: $2,000Apply for Scholarship
RFDF MBA Preparation Fellowships
Who Can Apply: A nonprofit organization, the Rising Farmworker Dream Fund aims to improve the lives of U.S. farmworkers through awarding scholarships to students pursuing an MBA. Sons and daughters of farmers may apply.
Amount: $250-$10,000Apply for Scholarship
Who Can Apply: AfterCollege awards scholarships to graduate students pursuing a business degree. Applicants must hold a minimum GPA of 3.0 and a membership in AfterCollege.
Amount: VariesApply for Scholarship
National Society of Hispanic MBAs Scholarship
Who Can Apply: The National Society of Hispanic MBAs scholarship program serves Hispanic students pursuing a master's degree in management or business. Applicants must hold membership in NSHMBA.
Amount: $2,500-$10,000Apply for Scholarship
Jane M. Klausman (JMK) Women in Business Scholarship
Who Can Apply: The Zonta International Foundation offers the JMK Women in Business Scholarship to promote gender equality. Women pursuing a graduate degree in business may apply.
Amount: $2,000Apply for Scholarship
Professional Organizations for Organizational Leadership
Graduate students should consider joining professional organizations. With networking and learning opportunities available through events, conferences, and workshops, professional associations offer great resources for graduate students. Student members typically receive access to job boards, relevant research, and professional literature. The list below features a few organizations serving business and organizational leadership professionals.
- National Society of Hispanic MBAsThis society supports and advocates for Hispanic business professionals. NSHMBA offers member benefits such as professional development opportunities, a job board, a career center, networking events, conferences, and special member discounts.
- American Management AssociationA nonprofit educational membership organization, AMA offers training courses, seminars, conferences, and publications. The organization addresses all aspects of business, including management, finance, accounting, and leadership.
- Sales and Marketing Executives InternationalA global nonprofit membership organization, SMEI offers sales and marketing certification programs and professional development courses. Members benefit from a career center and networking events.
- National Black MBA AssociationNBMBAA dedicates its work to enriching the lives of black youths and professionals. The association provides members with educational, professional development, and networking opportunities.
- Business Professionals of AmericaA member group of student leaders across the country, BPA supports learners pursuing careers in business management and related fields. Member benefits include certification programs, leadership opportunities, and scholarship programs.