Complete Guide to Online Organizational Leadership Degrees

By OnlineU Staff | Updated 8/28/2020
Quick Facts
Accreditation: AACSB
Average Tuition: $27,231
Alumni Salary: $45,900

For a business, non-profit, or government agency or department to run smoothly, it needs people at the helm who can set the proper tone for the organization. Majoring in organizational leadership at the postsecondary level gives students the education required to learn how to take manage a team, make ethical decisions, and communicate clearly and effectively. Graduates from an organizational leadership degree program can move on to such careers as marketing managers, human resources recruiters, or account managers.

Prospective students are encouraged to look for online organizational leadership degree programs offered by accredited institutions. Not only is accreditation an indication that a program is of excellent quality, but it is also a requirement for students who plan to apply for federal financial aid. The US Department of Education offers a current database of accredited schools and degree programs.

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Most Popular Accredited Online Schools for Organizational Leadership Bachelor's Degrees

Visitors to our site are most interested in these schools
Rank School Annual Tuition Recommend Rate
# 1 #1 Purdue University Global $14,358 64% (309 reviews)
233 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership (view all)
233 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership
  • BS in Organizational Management
# 2 #2 Southern New Hampshire University Online $9,600 62% (404 reviews)
279 Programs, 2 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership (view all)
279 Programs, 2 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership
  • BS Business Administration - Organizational Leadership
  • BS Operations Management
# 3 #3 The University of Arizona Global Campus Not Provided 68% (665 reviews)
151 Programs, 2 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership (view all)
151 Programs, 2 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership
  • BA/Business Leadership
  • BA/Organizational Management
# 4 #4 Arizona State University $24,413 68% (104 reviews)
253 Programs, 3 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership (view all)
253 Programs, 3 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership
  • BA in Organizational Leadership
  • BA in Organizational Leadership - Project Management
  • BAS in Applied Leadership
# 5 #5 Central Christian College of Kansas $20,450 Add Review
24 Programs, 2 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership (view all)
24 Programs, 2 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership
  • BS in Business in Organizational Leadership
  • BS in Organizational Leadership
# 6 #6 Walden University Not Provided 50% (578 reviews)
612 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership (view all)
612 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership
  • BS in Human Services - Leadership & Administration
# 7 #7 Grand Canyon University $17,800 52% (488 reviews)
280 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership (view all)
280 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership
  • BS in Risk Management
# 8 #8 Liberty University $11,700 58% (298 reviews)
645 Programs, 2 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership (view all)
645 Programs, 2 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership
  • BS: Business Admin: Leadership
  • BS: Christian Leadership & Management
# 9 #9 Colorado State University Global $8,400 61% (92 reviews)
76 Programs, 2 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership (view all)
76 Programs, 2 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership
  • BS - Organizational Leadership
  • BS - Organizational Leadership - Emergency Management
# 10 #10 Capella University $14,540 63% (651 reviews)
184 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership (view all)
184 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership
  • BS in Business - Management and Leadership (ACBSP-accredi...
# 11 #11 Regent University Online $18,620 47% (17 reviews)
385 Programs, 10 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership (view all)
385 Programs, 10 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership
  • B.A. in Leadership Studies
  • B.A.S. in Management and Leadership
  • B.S. in Christian Leadership and Management
  • B.S. in Professional Studies - Leadership Studies
# 12 #12 Waldorf University $8,700 100% (15 reviews)
130 Programs, 12 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership (view all)
130 Programs, 12 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership
  • Bachelor of Applied Science Organizational Leadership
  • Bachelor of Applied Science Organizational Leadership/Div...
  • Bachelor of Science Organizational Leadership
  • Bachelor of Science Organizational Leadership/Diversity a...
# 13 #13 Columbia Southern University $6,600 79% (177 reviews)
81 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership (view all)
81 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership
  • B.S. Organizational Leadership
# 14 #14 South College $17,025 100% (1 review)
67 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership (view all)
67 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership
  • Bachelor of Business Administration - Management & Leader...
# 15 #15 Rasmussen University Online Not Provided 46% (80 reviews)
65 Programs, 2 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership (view all)
65 Programs, 2 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership
  • Criminal Justice Bachelor’s Degree-Completion Program
  • Human Resources and Organizational Leadership Bachelor’s ...
# 16 #16 Campbellsville University $25,400 0% (3 reviews)
107 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership (view all)
107 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership
  • Bachelor of Science in Leadership and Missions
# 17 #17 Rider University $44,460 Add Review
41 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership (view all)
41 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Organiza...
# 18 #18 Saint Francis University $38,170 Add Review
42 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership (view all)
42 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership
  • Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership
# 19 #19 Spring Hill College $40,648 Add Review
33 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership (view all)
33 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership
  • Bachelor of Organizational Leadership
# 20 #20 Ohio University-Main Campus $22,406 75% (4 reviews)
108 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership (view all)
108 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership
  • Bachelor of Applied Human and Consumer Sciences in Human ...
# 21 #21 Maryville University $28,470 41% (32 reviews)
117 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership (view all)
117 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership
  • BA in Organizational Leadership
# 22 #22 University of Southern Indiana $19,856 Add Review
56 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership (view all)
56 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership
  • Bachelor of Professional Studies in Applied Studies - Org...
# 23 #23 Benedictine University $34,290 20% (5 reviews)
41 Programs, 3 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership (view all)
41 Programs, 3 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership
  • BA Organizational Leadership - Human Resources
  • BA Organizational Leadership - Marketing
  • BAOL (Bachelors in Organizational Leadership)
# 24 #24 Antioch University Online $18,857 100% (3 reviews)
31 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership (view all)
31 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership
  • BA in Liberal Studies - Leadership for Service and Change
# 25 #25 Northern Kentucky University $20,256 75% (4 reviews)
83 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership (view all)
83 Programs, 1 Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership
  • BA Organizational Leadership

Overview of Online Organizational Leadership Degrees

Associate degree programs in organizational leadership introduce students to foundational principles of management and communications studies. In addition to general education courses, other topics explored will include human resources management, organizational communication, and organizational behavior. Organizational leadership degrees at the bachelor's level expand on the theories introduced during the associate degree and may require an internship in a relevant field. A bachelor's degree is often the minimum education requirement for leadership positions in smaller organizations.

Master's degree students take classes in leadership theories, decision making, and conflict management. Other courses will likely focus on business ethics, communication skills for leaders, and research methods. Doctoral degree candidates are required to complete a core curriculum, which would include topics such as theory and development of motivation, leading through and beyond change, and organizational leadership and globalization. Other courses will depend on the concentration a student chooses and may focus on leadership topics specific to business, non-profit, or educational settings. Some online doctoral degree programs have mandatory residency requirements that must be completed as part of the program.

Graduate certificate programs in organizational leadership are designed for working professionals. The curriculum typically includes courses in business management, business culture, motivating others, and effective business strategies.

Online Bachelor's Degrees in Organizational Leadership

Organizational leadership deals with management techniques, business models, and human resources. A bachelor's degree in organizational leadership requires four years and 120 credits of coursework. To apply, candidates need a high school diploma or GED, as well as the standards admissions materials.

The organizational leadership curriculum includes courses in human resources, accounting, management theories, leadership theories, and applied statistics. Most organizational leadership bachelor's programs also require a core of general business courses, such as micro- and macroeconomics, statistics, finance, marketing, administration, and information systems. Depending on the program, students may also be required to complete a business internship or capstone course. These requirements focus on integrating all the business skills of the degree so that students can apply them as they would in a real business context.

The skills a student develops during an organizational leadership bachelor's degree program are useful in many areas of business. Graduates can land entry-level management, administration, and human resources positions in businesses or public service organizations. Administration, public relations, and fundraising positions in non-profits are other possible career options. Other graduates take on consultant jobs and work with many different businesses, helping them improve productivity and employee satisfaction. Other organizational leadership graduates start their own businesses.

Accreditation for Online Organizational Leadership Degrees

Accreditation is a designation granted to schools that meet high standards with regard to their degree program curricula, faculty qualifications, research programs, and student resources, and more. Postsecondary schools are accredited by regional or national accrediting agencies, such as the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission. It's wise to choose an accredited online degree program for many reasons. Choosing to enroll in a program at one of these accredited schools helps ensure that you will have access to high-quality instruction; it will also help you meet the eligibility requirements to apply for financial aid or transfer college credit to another institution in the future.

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 US Department of Education. For more information about accreditation, please visit our comprehensive accreditation section.

Types of Organizational Leadership

Organizational leadership requires good technical skills and social skills, making the study of it very interesting. 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:

Authoritarian Leadership: Authoritarian leadership works by providing clear instruction for what the members of a team need to accomplish. In this form of leadership, leaders are differentiated from the subordinates, and labor is distributed directly by the leader. One benefit of authoritarian leadership is that it requires less time to set plans into action, as leaders can easily delegate the tasks that need to be completed. Having said that, authoritarian leadership reduces the incentive for followers to innovate new ideas, reducing the possibility for better forms of operations to arise.

Participative Leadership: As the name suggests, participative leadership allows individuals to have an equal say in how tasks should be performed. A common example of participative leadership is the idea of a democracy. A democracy is where members of a group equally share the responsibility for making decisions. This has been shown to be the most effective form of leadership, since each person’s needs have a better chance of being met. There are detriments to this system, too, including the time and resources taken to discuss options and collect votes or feedback.

Delegative Leadership: Delegative leadership involves the handing down of responsibilities. For example, a company president may not have time to recruit and train new employees, so he or she could pass that responsibility to a departmental manager. That manager may not have time to write up and send out the job descriptions, so he or she might in turn delegate that task to an administrative assistant. This style of leadership can be challenging if roles and responsibilities are not clearly defined and there is a lack of accountability.

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:

Management Consultants: An organizational leadership degree is a great way to start a management consulting career. Oftentimes, companies look for experts to advise them on the different functions of their business, such as company structure, human resources, budgeting and financial planning, and more. Traditionally, management consultants work for a consulting firm and are contracted out, though there is certainly room for entrepreneurs to market their own services without a firm.

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.

Top Executives: 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.

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.

Financial Managers: 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.

This website offers school details to prospective students as an informational resource. The appearance of a school listing on this website should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the school by this site.