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Program Description

The MA in Leadership program consists of two years of interdisciplinary study. In each year, students focus on relevant, real world problem-solving projects grounded in a rigorous theoretical understanding of the nature of today’s organizations and the changing role of leadership within them. Comprehensive leadership studies address adult learning, emotional intelligence, communication and conflict, systems thinking, team facilitation and development, organizational change, and action research inquiry.

The MA in Leadership program is specifically designed to attract working professionals. It is structured on the basis of two intensive two-week long on-campus residency periods, followed by distance learning. This allows participants to substantially enhance their educational credentials, while minimizing absences from their workplace.

The MA in Leadership is further distinguished by balancing professional diversity and interdisciplinary study, with the need for sector specific knowledge and problem solving skills. This is accomplished by having a common curriculum for all students in the first year and an independent, work-based problem-solving project in the second year.

Who It’s For 

The MA in Leadership is an applied, competency-based program offering advanced leadership skills for experienced leaders interested in developing more effective organizations and communities. Focusing on factors that contribute to successful problem solving and innovation, this program provides key skills and insights to professionals working in corporate, academic, public sector, and not-for-profit environments. 

Applicants who do not have the formal academic education to qualify for admission may be assessed on the basis of both their formal education and their informal learning, in accordance with the Flexible Admission Policy.

Core Competencies

Professional Competencies:

  • Personal Mastery: Demonstrates reflective practice, values and ethics alignment, and a lifelong commitment to cultivating self-awareness and personal leadership.
  • Learning, Creativity, & Innovation: Attends to one’s own learning and the learning of others while thinking critically and creatively, and generating innovative approaches to complex challenges.
  • Strategic & Collaborative Leadership: Selects leadership approach suited to the context, while effectively communicating with and listening to multiple audiences; facilitating and engaging in teamwork and decision-making; and building authentic relationships toward shared goals.
  • Engaged Inquiry: Integrates self-inquiry and systematic inquiry that leads to learning and evidence-based action for positive change at the personal, organizational, and societal levels.
  • Systems Change: Understands one’s own sphere of influence within a system and demonstrates comprehension and application of systems thinking and complexity theory through action toward systems change.

Academic Competency:

  • Evidence-based Scholarship: Demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate and synthesize multiple sources of information through effective communication in academic settings.


Curriculum content is driven through developing a sophisticated understanding of the following areas:

  • Leadership
  • Systems Thinking and Planning
  • Learning 
  • Organizations and Organizational Change
  • Research and Inquiry
  • Team Building
  • Communication
  • Ethics


Graduates of the MA in Leadership will gain research and consulting skills, and become better communicators and more confident leaders with the ability to:

  • Identify, analyze, and build solutions to organizational challenges
  • Manage positive organizational change
  • Develop effective, high performance teams
  • Manage an organization’s internal and external political environment
  • Communicate effectively with colleagues, clients and other stakeholders
  • Implement change and achieve results

General Studies Leadership Course Opportunities

The School of Leadership Studies currently offers select online learning courses as General Studies opportunities. For more information please visit the General Studies page for leadership.