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Masters in Organizational Leadership Requirements

Masters in Organizational Leadership Requirements

The requirements for admission and completion of a Masters in Organizational Leadership (MOL)vary significantly depending upon the university and more specifically, which department within the university is offering the degree. At Vanderbilt the organizational leadership training comes through a Master of Education degree with Organizational Leadership specialization. At the University of the Rockies in Colorado, the degree is a Master of Arts in Psychology with specialization in Organizational Leadership.

Kaplan University offers a Masters in Management degree with Organizational Development as an area of concentration, as does Walden University. So the core requirements for the degree change somewhat with the changes in academic focus, and in some cases the undergraduate requirements change as well. Many schools offer Organizational Leadership as an option in a MBA program; schools that see this field as a business oriented academic discipline may require an undergraduate degree in business or at least some core course in business, as does Southern New Hampshire University.

General Requirements for the Masters in Organizational Leadership Degree

Most MOL programs are thirty to thirty six credit hour obligations that take from eighteen months to two years to complete. Half of the course load may be core courses with the balance dedicated to electives for those who are taking a specialization track and additional credits allocated to a final capstone project or paper. Organizational theory, organizational communication and organizational ethics are standards for the core courses. If the MOL program is part of an MBA degree, there will be courses in business economics and financial accounting as they impact organizational leadership and structural change. For every organizational change undertaken in a business environment, there should be a corresponding risk analysis that takes productivity and capital costs into account. A MOL degree should provide the tools for that analysis.

Elective Options for the Masters in Organizational Leadership

While some schools offer the MOL as a specialization, others consider it a stand-alone degree and offer areas of concentration under the MOL umbrella. Among the specialization options for MOL programs at prominent universities: Human Resources Management, Information Technology Management, Project Management & Leadership, and Organizational Change or Change Management. These areas of concentration are examples of the MOL being offered as an alternative to the MBA, where similar academic areas of specialization are common.

In most programs nine to twelve credits - three or four classes - will be devoted to the area of specialization. Obviously IT management requires some technology courses not commonly associated with this degree; project management also can be a data-oriented career track. Change management and organizational leadership in a business going through a transitional period requires a set of social skills and leadership techniques that are taught in most MOL programs regardless of an area of specialization. Programs with a global area of concentration or corporate focus may include classes in cultural diversity and organizational management in a multinational environment.

Capstone Projects for the Masters in Organizational Leadership

Some schools require a formal practicum commitment, with the student placed in an internship role appropriate to the degree and to career aspirations. Field work time requirements range from 125 to 150 hours generally, with the school providing placement assistance for those students who have not made their own contacts. More common is the capstone project, which may be a combination of an organizational leadership effort in an off-campus community setting which is then incorporated into a paper or portfolio presented to the faculty.

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