#1 Capella University
Capella University is a private university offering an online Bachelor of Science in Business - Management and Leadership that requires 180 credit hours. Students can complete this online program in approximately four years while studying full time. The acceptance rate at Capella is 100%, with 21% of students reaching their degrees.
At Capella, students use a combination of Canvas, Yellowdig, and Blackboard for their remote courses, which are entirely online. The FlexPath learning format allows students to study independently, while the GuidedPath features more structure and faculty guidance. This program teaches management techniques, strategic planning skills, leadership theory, and technical applications. Required classes include Virtual Team Collaboration, Leadership in Organizations, and Strategic Planning and Implementation. A business capstone project is also required. Graduates with this online degree may explore roles as office managers, account managers, and human resources managers.
#2 Bellevue University
Bellevue University (BU) is a private institution with an online Bachelor of Science in Leadership requiring 127 credit hours. Students studying full time will likely complete the degree in approximately four years. BU accepts all its applicants, while 51% of students graduate with degrees.
BU uses the CyberActive Online Classroom to deliver its online coursework. This software allows students to study entirely online and on a schedule that meets their needs. The core curriculum features foundations in leadership studies, including the principles, models, theories, and research that guides effective management. Required classes include Leadership Ethics, Global Leadership, and Contemporary Issues in Leadership.
BU also offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Leadership and Management that teaches some of the same leadership skills but with a greater emphasis on collaboration and team-building. Both program graduates can pursue careers as sales team leaders, project managers, and human resources managers.
#3 Colorado State University Global
Colorado State University Global (CSU Global) is a public university that offers an online Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership. Concentrations are available in Emergency Management, Healthcare Management, and Operations Management and Supervision, among other areas. This online degree in organizational leadership requires 120 credit hours, and generally students can complete it in four years while studying full time. CSU Global accepts 96% of applicants, while 46% of students graduate with degrees.
CSU Global students use Canvas as the primary learning platform for their coursework, which they can complete 100% online and asynchronously. The core curriculum explores team dynamics, conflict resolution, and legal issues while allowing students to develop skills in communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving. Among the required credits are classes such as Applying Leadership Principles, Leading Teams in Organizations, and Communications Strategies for Leaders. There's also an optional course that includes a practical field experience. Jobs for graduates may be available as facilities managers, human resources managers, and fundraising managers.
#4 Thomas Edison State University
Thomas Edison State University (TESU) is a public university that hosts an online Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership. Graduation requirements state that students must complete 120 credit hours, which can be done in approximately four years on a full-time schedule. TESU's acceptance rate is 100%, with 45% of students graduating.
Online students at TESU use Moodle to complete their coursework online in an asynchronous format. The curriculum focuses on developing applied organizational leadership skills by observing organizational behavior, communication practices, and the principles that guide successful managers. Required courses include Leadership in Global Environment, Leaders in History, and Advanced Organizational Management. Students are also required to complete a three-credit leadership practicum.
TESU also offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with concentrations in Operations Management and General Management, each requiring 120 credits. Graduates may work as office, project, and client services managers.
#5 Charter Oak State College
Charter Oak State College is a public institution with an online Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership requiring a minimum of 120 credit hours. The completion time for this degree is approximately four years for full-time students. Charter Oak State has an open admissions policy that accepts all students for enrollment, and 57% of students earn degrees.
At Charter Oak State, students use Blackboard as their learning management system, where courses are delivered entirely online in an asynchronous format. The core curriculum for this program teaches students the skills needed to understand team motivation and behavior and how to think creatively to solve complex organizational problems. Here are some examples of required courses: Leadership Practices, Organizational Theory, and Organizational Communication. Students must also complete a capstone project.
Charter Oak State also offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Organizational Management, emphasizing business fundamentals, such as finance, accounting, and marketing. Career opportunities for either degree include sales managers and management analysts.
#6 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Worldwide
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Worldwide (ERAU) is a private university that offers an online Bachelor of Science in Technical Management - Leadership. This online degree requires 120 credit hours, which students generally complete in around four years while studying full time. ERAU accepts 70% of applicants, while 35% of students graduate with degrees.
ERAU uses Canvas and EagleVision for their coursework, which is completed 100% online and asynchronously. This core curriculum teaches students how to develop and manage data-led teams, while the major focuses on developing soft skills in communication, coaching, and equity. Among the required major credits are classes such as Critical Thinking for Leadership, Contemporary Leadership Theories, and Driving Change in Organizations. Graduate career opportunities for compliance managers, database administrators, and computer and information systems managers may be available.
#7 University of Charleston
The University of Charleston (UC) is a private institution with an online Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership requiring the completion of 120 credit hours. Typically, these online students graduate in approximately four years while studying full time. UC accepts 70% of applicants, with 42% of students graduating.
All online courses at UC are delivered through the eLearn learning management system. This software allows students to study entirely online through synchronous and asynchronous formats. This degree uses a cohort learning model and practical applications to build critical thinking, collaboration, and accountability skills. Among the primary requirements are classes such as Collaborative Leadership, Organizational Behavior, and Principles and Issues of Human Resources. Additionally, students must complete a capstone project. Graduates may be hired as sales, project, and human resources managers.
#8 University of Massachusetts Global
The University of Massachusetts Global (UMass Global) is a private university offering an online Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Leadership that requires 126 credit hours. Students studying on a full-time schedule can complete this program in four years. The acceptance rate at UMass Global is 93% and the graduation rate is 59%.
Students at UMass Global use the Blackboard learning management system to access their core online courses, which are entirely remote and asynchronous. The curriculum combines business subjects — such as marketing, human resources, and finance — with skill development in analysis, communication, and team management. Required courses include Organizational Behavior, Leadership Skills Development Lab, and Team Building, as well as a capstone project. UMass Global also offers a Bachelor of Business Administration with concentrations in Organizational Leadership and Management and Organizational Leadership. Graduates may earn career opportunities as management analysts, operations managers, and business analysts.
#9 National University
National University (NU) is a private university offering an online Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership that requires 180 quarter units. Students can complete this program in approximately four years while studying full time. The acceptance rate at NU is 55%, with 36% of students reaching their degrees.
At NU, students use Blackboard for its remote courses, which can be completed entirely online. Coursework is delivered in a combination of synchronous and asynchronous formats. This online degree program explores leadership applications and theory to develop students' understanding of fundamental leadership challenges, such as conflict resolution and team building. Required classes include Adaptive Leadership in Change, Classic Studies of Leadership, and Research for Leaders. A capstone project is also required. Graduates may explore roles as human resource managers, marketing managers, and management consultants.
#10 Bay Path University
Bay Path University is a private institution within The American Women's College (TAWC). It offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Leadership and Organizational Studies requiring 120 credit hours. Students studying full time will likely complete the degree in approximately three-and-a-half years. Bay Path accepts 75% of its applicants, while 61% of students graduate.
Bay Path uses Canvas to deliver its online coursework. This software allows students to finish their degrees online in an asynchronous format. The core curriculum focuses on developing growth through building self-confidence, career strategizing, and personal growth resources. The major explores soft skills and industry-related classes — such as Business in Society, Communicating in Leadership, and Leadership and Organizational Studies — culminating in a team-based leadership project. Potential career paths include human resources managers, marketing managers, and sales managers.
What Is a Bachelor's Degree in Organizational Leadership?
Large organizations tend to have numerous departments and a multitude of working parts, yet they all need to work cohesively toward the same common goal. This often necessitates hiring qualified professionals who can help define and lead others toward a company's mission. Ultimately, that's where organizational leadership degrees come into play.
Not only do students in organizational leadership programs learn how individual thoughts impact the way people work, but they also learn to be an effective leader that inspires others to do their best as part of a team.
A bachelor's in business and organizational leadership is a four-year degree that can help you fill this important role within some of the largest companies across the world. An online degree in this field can prepare you to oversee and lead groups of individuals while implementing dynamic workplace strategies and overcoming various obstacles.
Is Organizational Leadership a Social Science?
Organizational leadership degrees have origins in the social sciences, and the curriculum created for these programs often reflects that. For example, organizational leadership degree programs typically include a social science research sequence that helps students understand the connections between individual workplace behaviors and how they affect organizational missions and goals.
That said, organizational leadership degrees come with a management aspect you won't find within the study of other social sciences, such as sociology, psychology, political science, and economics. Not only do students in organizational leadership programs learn how individual thoughts impact the way people work, but they also learn to be an effective leader that inspires others to do their best as part of a team.
What Is the Difference Between Business Administration and Organizational Leadership?
Where organizational leadership degrees teach students about the connections between human psychology, social sciences, and leadership, business administration degrees focus more on the inner workings of running a business.
For example, students who pursue a degree in business administration study topics like accounting, human resources, marketing, and project management. They also learn all about business challenges, such as supply chain management, and all while honing their critical thinking, decision-making, and communication skills.
That said, business administration degrees and organizational leadership degrees both prepare students to enter similar occupations upon graduation. For example, both degree programs have the potential to lead to the following careers:
- Administrative services manager
- Construction manager
- General and operations manager
- Industrial production manager
- Sales manager
- Social and community service manager
Can You Get an Organizational Leadership Degree Online?
You can absolutely pursue an organizational degree online, and that's true whether you want to earn a bachelor's in business and organizational leadership or a graduate degree in this field. Once you begin searching for degrees you can pursue virtually, you'll quickly find that many of the best colleges and universities throughout the U.S. offer fully online courses and degree programs you can pursue at home and around your schedule.
Some online organizational leadership programs that are offered as part of a business degree receive programmatic accreditation from agencies, such as the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) or the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Both AACSB and ACBSP are recognized by the Council for Higher Learning Accreditation. The accreditation of individual degree programs or schools can be verified by checking a database provided by CHEA or the U.S. Department of Education.
Common Courses for an Organizational Leadership Major
Organizational leadership degrees help students refine their leadership skills while learning the basics of business and management. As a result, courses tend to focus on helping individuals grow their confidence as well as their conflict resolution and problem-solving skills.
With this in mind, here are some of the most common courses you'll find within an organizational leadership curriculum:
What Can I Do With an Organizational Leadership Degree?
Students who major in organizational leadership focus on positive interactions and strategies for allowing the strengths of each individual on a team to be put to good use. Here are three types of leadership studied in the field of organizational leadership today:
Types of Organizational Leadership
Careers in Organizational Leadership
An advanced degree in organizational leadership prepares students for management roles in a variety of fields. All large companies and organizations require the services of multiple managers for different departments. Here are a few careers that are available to graduates of organizational leadership degree programs:
Earning an organizational leadership degree is an excellent way to begin a career as a management analyst. These company leaders gather information about problems that need to be solved within an organization, and they research various mitigation strategies and solutions that can help put these issues to rest. Management analysts also research financial data and company operations in order to craft business strategies that can help streamline procedures for maximum efficiency. This career is also in high demand, with an expected increase of new job openings that's well above the national average.
Human Resources Managers
The coursework required during an organizational leadership program teaches students about conflict resolution, negotiation, and hiring the best employees, so graduates will be in a prime position to work in the human resources field at any level.Most positions in human resource management require a bachelor's degree in a field like organizational leadership or human resources, yet applicants also need several years of experience as well. Either way, median annual wages for human resources managers are excellent across the board, with job growth expected to be higher than the national average for all occupations.
If you've always imagined yourself making important decisions for a large corporation from the comfort of your massive office, you probably have a top executive position in mind. Years of experience are often required, along with an advanced degree like a master's in organizational leadership. Competition for these roles is stiff, so a well-rounded work and educational background, along with proven interpersonal and negotiation skills, are beneficial.While job growth is expected to be average for top executives through 2030, pay for this career is exceptional.
Computer and Information Systems Managers
With the overwhelming majority of large businesses and corporations utilizing the latest technology, a computer and information systems manager is vital. A highly technological background is needed, along with an advanced degree in business or organizational leadership. Many organizational leadership degree programs offer specialties in information systems, gearing students for this occupation. Students who pursue this career path will also likely be rewarded financially, and job growth is expected to be higher than average for this field, with the addition of 52,700 new jobs during this decade.
Financial managers have an important job, as they must oversee budgets, taxes, general accounting procedures, payroll, and the other employees that work in their department. This role generally requires a CPA certificate as well as an advanced degree. Organizational leadership master's degrees often offer concentrations in finance management, making it a great fit for those looking to climb the ranks in their finance department or score a new career in another setting. That said, financial managers typically need a bachelor's degree and at least five years of workplace experience to move into this role. However, the number of openings in this role are expected to surge, adding 118,200 new positions from 2020 to 2030.
Is a Bachelor's Degree in Organizational Leadership Worth It?
A bachelor's degree in organizational leadership can definitely be worth it, but you should think over the potential pros and cons before you choose this field of study. Also take some time to compare the other online degrees, and how they might help you reach your career goals.
Here are some potential advantages and disadvantages that come with leadership degrees:
Many careers in leadership pay considerably higher-than-average wages, including jobs in management roles. If you want to earn more than most in your chosen career, organizational leadership degrees can help make it happen.
Organizational leadership degrees apply to a wide range of industries. Since leadership skills translate to many different business environments, you can move positions and try new industries until you find the right fit.
Many leadership positions only require a four-year degree. While you can earn a master's degree in organizational leadership, many jobs in this field only require a bachelor's degree. This means you can spend more time working and earning money and fewer years in school.
Not everyone enjoys being in a leadership position. While you may think you want a leadership role, many prefer to do their work on the sidelines. While management positions offer higher pay, they can come with more responsibilities and a lot more stress.
Many management roles do not require a leadership degree. Also, it's important to note that you can climb the corporate ladder without a degree in leadership. In some cases, a bachelor's degree in a more specialized field could be even better for your career.
Learning leadership skills online can be a challenge. While virtual learning can be incredibly convenient and rewarding, it can be difficult to hone leadership skills when you're not in a physical classroom or interacting in person with your peers.
Next Steps: Planning Your Future
While a bachelor's degree in organizational leadership can help you qualify for any number of rewarding career opportunities, you'll also find master's degree programs in this field of study. You can even find online MBA in organizational leadership degrees, which combine the study of leadership and business administration in a single graduate program.
That said, the best online master's in organizational leadership won't necessarily lead to a different set of career paths than a four-year degree will. In fact, both undergraduate and graduate degrees in organizational leadership open the door to similar job opportunities.
However, a master's degree in organizational leadership does show an even higher level of education and devotion to leadership as a career path. Graduate degrees also look good on a resume, and they can make applicants stand out when competing against their peers for management positions.
How Much Can You Make With a Master's in Organizational Leadership?
A graduate degree in organizational leadership positions you to earn a higher salary than you might otherwise earn with a bachelor's degree in the same role. As an example, management analysts earned a median annual salary of $93,000 as of May 2021, yet figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that the top 10% of earners brought in an average salary of $163,760 that year.
The same applies for computer and information systems managers, who earned a median annual salary of $159,010, as of May 2021. According to BLS data, the top 25% of managers in this field earned an average salary of $198,750 that year.
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