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M.A. in Organizational Leadership

Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership

The Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership is designed to meet the needs of diverse students for professional training that is based upon knowledge from business, economics, communication, organizational functioning, leadership principles, political science, psychology and research.

Ask any CEO what they need to make their operations successful. It’s talented individuals who can effectively lead and manage different aspects of the organization. Look online at the many surveys of top career fields to pursue. Managers with a solid combination of technical and professional skills consistently top the lists.

The Organizational Leadership program at WKU prepares you for a career in a wide variety of professions. OL students enhance their college studies and technical backgrounds by developing the applied leadership, managerial, and professional skills that are in great demand. The program is practical and applied, not theoretical.

The program provides unique opportunities for students to apply what they are learning. Students focus on influencing people, while managing processes, products, and services. Employers value the leadership skills, decision-making, and operational knowledge that graduates possess.

Additionally, this degree lets you select your elective courses based on your personal interests and professional goals. Students develop their own program that allows them to advance in their chosen career field, which allows enough flexibility for you to focus on an area of specialization and earn a graduate certificate while moving toward a master’s degree.

Electives outside pre-approved curriculum may be utilized within the degree program with prior approval of faculty advisor.

The minimum requirements for acceptance are as follows:

  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  • 2.75 GPA (on a 4.0 Scale)
    • Conditional admission is considered on a case by case basis for those not meeting this requirement.
    • This admission process will be based on a holistic evaluation of the candidate’s body of academic and professional experiences.
    • Candidates who apply for an alternative admission must submit a resume and any other credentials that verify their professional experiences.
    • Students admitted under the alternative admission requirements are conditionally admitted and must achieve a 3.0 GPA in the first 6 credits of graduate courses. 
  • Application and Fee
  • Official copy of Transcript(s)
  • The GRE or GMAT IS NOT required for admission into this program.

Application Process

1. Apply for admission

  • Visit the WKU Online Admission Page for more information.
    • A Step By Step Guide for completing the application process: Application Tutorial
    • There is a $65 application fee.
  • Complete the WKU Domestic and International Graduate Application
    • Under Planned Course of Study Section, Choose:
      • Category of Study >>> Masters
      • Planned Course of Study >>> Organizational Leadership (0467)

2. Submit Required Materials:

    • Request at least one official transcript showing the completed degree from accredited institutions other than WKU.
    • The transcript must be forwarded from the college or university registrar electronically or directly to the Graduate School. 
    • Send your official transcripts from each college attended to Graduate Admissions. 
      • You may request electronic transcripts through the National Student Clearinghouse. This speeds up the admissions process considerably. If your school is not listed with the Clearinghouse, please contact them directly to see if they have another process in place for electronic submissions or request that an official copy be sent by mail.
  • For additional information on university admission requirements please visit the Graduate School Admission Page.

Deadlines for Admission Applications & Transcripts

  • Fall Semester: Rolling Admission
  • Spring Semester: Rolling Admission

Required Core Courses (9 hours)

  • LEAD 500: Effective Leadership Studies
  • LEAD 525: Leadership Ethics
  • LEAD 600: Capstone in Leadership Studies

Selected Core Courses (9 Hours)

In addition to courses outlines above, students must complete 3 elective courses. Online courses may be selected from the list below:

  • Research: Select 1 of the following courses (3 Hours):
    • LEAD 560: Applied Research Methods in Organizational Leadership
    • EDFN 500: Research Methods
    • SOCL 513: Methods of Social Research
  • Global/Team: Select 2 of the following courses (6 Hours):
    • LEAD 540: Leading Teams
    • LEAD 550: Leadership in Global Contexts
    • PS 520: Elements of Public Administrations (6)

Elective Courses (12 hours)

In addition to courses outlined above, students must complete 4 elective courses in combination with transferred hours relating to leadership.

  • Choose any 4 graduate courses (4XXG, 5XX or above) from areas such as Business, Communication, Political Science, Architectural Manufacturing Services, Student Affairs, and Psychology to fulfill elective requirements.

Please note the following as you plan your program of study:

  • Additional course options are available on campus. Please click HERE to see the full schedule of classes.
  • Students can also choose to enroll in a graduate certificate program and use up to 12 hours of courses to fulfill their elective requirements with advisor approval. 
  • A list of available graduate certificates can be found HERE.
  • Students may transfer up to 12 hours from another graduate program or institution to fulfill program requirements (if courses meet transfer requirements and advisor approval).

Financial Aid: Eligibility Requirements and the Application Process

Financial Aid includes grants, scholarships and loans for educational purposes. To qualify for federal student aid you must meet certain requirements. General eligibility requirements can be reviewed on the Federal Student Aid website at studentaid.ed.gov/eligibility/basic-criteria. Here are a few basics to keep in mind:

  • Your eligibility is determined through an application process. So, your first step is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Even if you doubt your eligibility, apply. Approximately 90% of those who apply qualify for some form of aid. A step-by-step guide through the application process can be found at wku.edu/financialaid/applying/how-to-apply.php.
  • Distance learning courses are treated the same as face-to-face courses. If your application is approved, you may elect to take web, on demand or face-to-face courses.  Distance courses through On Demand require same semester completion and an On Demand Agreement.
  • You must be classified as a degree-seeking student to qualify. Degree seeking normally refers to an  associate, baccalaureate or master degree. However, some stand-alone certificates are also eligible.
  • Certificate Program Eligibility:  As a general rule, if you are seeking an undergraduate certificate (certificate only; no degree), the program must require at least 16 credit hours, 15 weeks of instruction and be clearly tied to a profession. If you are seeking a graduate certificate (certificate only; no degree), the program must require at least 8 credit hours, 10 weeks of instruction and be clearly tied to a profession. For additional information on certificate eligibility, please email fa.help@wku.edu. Certificates may also be earned in conjunction with degrees at the associate, baccalaureate and master levels. Degree seeking students at the associate, bachelor and master levels will be awarded financial aid based on the primary degree listed.
  • You must be registered at least half-time to receive aid (6 credit hours for undergrad students; 4.5 credit hours for grad students).
  • You must meet federal and state regulations regarding Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) to remain eligible. The complete SAP Policy is available at wku.edu/financialaid/sap.php.
  • The WKU School Code for the FAFSA application is 002002.

Veterans and Active Military

WKU is a military friendly school. Veterans and active military are required to file additional forms for military tuition assistance. The Office of Veterans Affairs unit that helps ensure all appropriate information is on file. For additional information visit wku.edu/veteran/ or email va.questions@wku.edu

Helpful Resources

Academic Department

Program Advisor: Fallon Willoughby
(270) 745-5137
Email: fallon.willoughby@wku.edu
Website: wku.edu/leadership/undergraduate/bachelors.php

WKU Online

Email: learn.online@wku.edu
Phone: (270) 745-5173
Toll-Free: (888) 4WKUWEB / (888) 495-8932
Website: wku.edu/online 

The Graduate School

Email: graduate.school@wku.edu
Phone: (270) 745-2446
Website: wku.edu/graduate 

For more information about the program, fill out the form below.


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 Last Modified 7/27/18