Best Online Master's in Leadership Programs 2021
Top Consensus Ranked Online Master's in Leadership Degrees

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An Online Master’s in Leadership is a top business management program with the elite professional in mind. This program was not made for the average budget or product manager but for the professionals who desire to set vision and lead people and organizations. Business Schools have specifically designed the Online Master’s in Leadership for working professionals interested in expanding their knowledge and skills in leadership. It was made knowing that elite leaders not only want to learn the necessary knowledge but also continue to hone their leadership skills on a daily basis in their workplace.

Online Master’s in Leadership Programs

While Online Master’s in Leadership programs can be both time-intensive and rigorous, more working professionals benefit from earning an advanced degree in business management. Why is this trend a current reality? Professionals in business who have pursued a master’s degree are more likely to commit efforts towards a position that satisfies their desire for professional development and personal fulfillment. The four leading job satisfaction influencers are pay, pride, purpose, and passion. With an Online Master’s in Leadership, professionals have opportunities of a potential pay increase, feel the pride of accomplishment, commit to their purpose, and pursue their passions by choosing a specialized field like organizational leadership, advanced entrepreneurial leadership, and business innovation. If you are interested in the exciting field of business leadership, here is a consensus ranking of the Best Online Master’s in Leadership.


The 2021 College Consensus ranking of the Best Online Master’s in Leadership degrees is a consensus ranking, which combines data from five leading business school ranking systems in order to get a more comprehensive view of each program’s reputation and prestige. Ranking data was college from ForbesThe Economist, Bloomberg BusinessweekThe Financial Times, and U.S. News and World Report and converted to a score on a 100-point scale. The scores were weighted equally and then averaged to reveal each Online Master’s in Leadership’s Consensus Score. In the event of a tie, the base tuition of the entire master’s degree was used as the ranking factor.


Michigan State University
Eli Broad College of Business

Michigan State University delivers an online Master of Science in Management, Strategy, and Leadership through the Eli Broad College of Business. This incredible program empowers graduate students to combine their professional experiences with business leadership theory and real-world applications. The 20 months to two-year program challenges working managers to hone forward-thinking solutions and refine their unique leadership skills and styles. U.S. News has named this program as one of the top 25 online business degrees. The curriculum is designed to empower distance learners to effectively manage teams, creatively lead organizations, confidently problem-solve, and routinely influence change. The program is offered entirely online. It provides distance learners with access to leverage anytime and anywhere with video-based lectures in interactive classroom environments. Broad’s top-ranked management instructors facilitate all courses to ensure intensive discussions. Working professionals wanting to earn a graduate degree and advance their careers will thrive in this program.

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Penn State
Smeal College of Business

Penn State delivers an online Master’s in Strategic Management and Executive Leadership at the Smeal College of Business. Graduates of this excellent degree can expect to lead organizations at the highest level. This online program focuses on leadership and strategic thinking. It is designed to help business leaders master organizational strategies that influence performance and effectiveness. Penn State’s Master’s in Strategic Management and Executive Leadership helps distance learners develop their abilities to think strategically and learn to embrace the process and language of strategy. Courses include the formulation of effective strategies, understanding the processes of strategy implementation, and how to build a culture and commitment across an organization. This specialized graduate degree can help students transition from functional managers to an organization’s executive leader. Tomorrow’s business influencers will rise above the day-to-day operations by developing strategic thinking skills. Penn State’s online degree in leadership development is of great value.

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University of Texas at Dallas
Naveen Jindal School of Management

The Naveen Jindal School of Management at the University of Texas at Dallas offers an online MS in Leadership and Organizational Development. This incredible program explores essential issues associated with human systems and leadership to conduct planned interventions, utilizing the behavioral science knowledge that increases an organization’s health and overall effectiveness. Graduates of this stellar business degree are competent in demonstrating a solid foundation in organizational and leadership development theory to design interventions at the individual, group, and system levels. The curriculum also trains students to apply best practices from empirical research to issues relevant to changing groups and individuals in organizational cultural contexts to improve effectiveness. This 100% online degree program ensures that business students will acquire knowledge of organizational development and leadership concepts and practices and understand the competencies needed to make contributions to sustainable strategic change in organizations. UT Dallas’ leadership degree is one of the best in the nation.

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Babson College
F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business

An online Master’s in Advanced Entrepreneurial Leadership is featured at Babson College’s F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business. Throughout history, entrepreneurial leaders find ways to make an impact, innovate, and take action in times of uncertainty. Business students can now take charge of their careers and their future with Babson’s excellent business program. Enrolled students can earn their degree while working and apply what they learn in real-time throughout this fully online master’s degree in leadership. Technology continues to change much faster than at any other time in history. To remain relevant, entrepreneurial leaders must be willing to learn, stay nimble, and practice creativity regarding problem-solving. Business students at F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business learn to cultivate their abilities to mobilize others and drive growth and renewal within their organization. Students also learn how to add innovative tools to their skillsets, foster a make-it-happen mindset, and develop emotional intelligence to impact business both today and tomorrow.

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University of San Diego
School of Business

The School of Business at the University of San Diego provides a hybrid Master’s in Global Leadership. Business professionals seeking to continue working their way up the corporate ladder, as well as those wanting to expand the reach of their organization’s global exposure, will discover this remarkable distance degree can help them gain the confidence and skills they need to become the global leaders they were always meant to be. Program designers have constructed this program for working professionals who have some experience under their belt. This degree provides a practical, hands-on experience so distance learners can advance in their careers while making a real impact in the world. Upon completing this global leadership program, graduates will possess strong leadership skills and the connections and perspective they need to become true global innovators. This international leadership master’s degree equips distance learners with valuable experience that can be applied in private business, the public sector, or the military. Leadership opportunities for graduates abound in many industries, from consumer goods and defense to high-tech and financial services.

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University of Houston
C.T. Bauer College of Business

An online MS in Management and Leadership is available at the C.T. Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston. Business students fresh off the graduation stage and those who think their professional positions have become stale will benefit significantly from this program at Bauer. It has proven to provide graduate students with the business acumen and leadership skills they need to expand their career opportunities. Program designers understand that employers in all industries need employees who have excellent decision-making skills, work in a team, communicate, have a strong work ethic, and take the initiative. Bauer’s Master’s in Management and Leadership includes both the business fundamentals and the soft skills of leadership graduate students need to be leaders for any organization in all business fields. This program is entirely online, which means it’s tailor-made for active professionals wanting to keep their day job while advancing their skillsets. This program is a must-see for tomorrow’s successful business leader.

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University of Kansas
School of Business

An online Master’s in Organizational Leadership is offered at the University of Kansas School of Business. The business school offers this dynamic, cutting-edge graduate program that centers on building the foundational leadership skills needed to excel in today’s modern business world. Program architects have designed the program’s curriculum on the fundamental principles of business leadership while drawing on emergent thinking in strategy, leading, ethics, and team building. This 100% online degree incorporates relevant, practical knowledge offered across the central tenets of managing and leading people and organizations. The distance degree consists of 30 credit hours. KU may articulate up to six credit hours for leadership electives taken through the Command and General Staff Officer Course or at another accredited institution. This excellent program utilizes a hybrid curriculum with twelve credits delivered in a classroom setting and another twelve in an online environment. Business students have the option of applying their Master’s in Organizational Leadership coursework toward a KU Master of Business Administration, which can be earned online at their own pace.

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Western Carolina University
College of Business

An online Master of Entrepreneurship in Innovation Leadership and Entrepreneurship is currently available at the College of Business at Western Carolina University. Graduate students aspiring to build or grow their own business or lead organizational change will find this program helpful in minimizing risk and maximizing ROI in their pursuit of innovation. The College of Business program offers two specializations: Entrepreneurship, specifically for those launching or growing an entrepreneurial endeavor, and Innovation Leadership, perfect for those wanting to innovate within an existing organization through intrapreneurship. All students in this 100% online program join a creative and collaborative support community dedicated to helping them operate and develop their enterprise. This fully online and AACSB-accredited program offers the flexibility working professionals need to enhance their entrepreneurial experience on their time while balancing career and personal life. Program candidates with creative ideas are encouraged to speak to one of the business school’s faculty members to see how the concept may benefit from this program.

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Clayton State University
College of Business

The College of Business at Clayton State University offers an online Master of Strategic Leadership Development. Program architects understand that employers seek new hires who possess solid potential for career success in organization management, communication, planning, and building effective relationships. Clayton State is committed to preparing students to become strategic leaders on the local, national, and international levels. This Master of Strategic Leadership Development is designed to equip distance learners with the skills, knowledge, and abilities to lead teams, inspire commitment, navigate challenges, and be inclusive. By addressing some of the ability gaps identified by employers in leadership skills, the MSLD serves to expand the available talent pool regionally and locally. The curriculum includes change management, strategic planning, design thinking, negotiation and conflict resolution, and personal branding. Enrolled students evaluate leadership styles, develop a leadership portfolio, and build a career development strategy focused on leadership in many business environments. This 100% online program is especially attractive to graduate students who majored in non-business areas of study who desire to become strategic leaders within the for-profit, non-profit, or government sectors.

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University of Michigan-Flint
School of Management

The University of Michigan-Flint provides an online MS in Leadership & Organizational Dynamics at the School of Management. Program designers understand that business students didn’t get to their current leadership positions by being idle. Enrolled distance learners can amplify their leadership abilities and go further by analyzing the influences that motivate people and organizations to change while also exploring what causes resistance to change. The program blends online learning with two-weekend on-campus mini-residencies each semester. Business students enjoy the flexibility desired in a graduate program while still engaging in a traditional classroom environment. Most course work is done online, while the two campus sessions give students networking opportunities left to be desired in most online programs. The very interactive classroom experiences feature guest speakers, professor lectures, group discussion/debates, simulations, in-class negotiations, group presentations, and much more. Additional advantages of the program include several opportunities to collaborate with the other graduate students on-campus and the fact that campus sessions are planned out two years in advance, which allow for scheduling ease. Business students seeking a flexible online program will enjoy this degree from UMF.

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Central Michigan University
College of Business Administration

Central Michigan University’s College of Business Administration provides an online Master of Science in Administration with a Leadership Concentration. Its curriculum draws from many fields to give graduate students a broad understanding of what makes firms and organizations run smoothly. Distance learners learn to be effective managers of people and projects. Business students choose from 15 specializations to focus on coursework specific to their career goals. Program designers allow graduate students to become the leaders they aspire to be in their chosen fields with the knowledge and skills employers covet. Through best practices, enhanced strategic planning, and fiscal management, graduate students learn to leverage negotiations, group dynamics, organizational change, communications, conflict management, and cultural diversity to meet organizational objectives efficiently. Courses within this stellar program include Human Relations Skills, Communication and Social/Organizational Change, and Communication in Conflict Management. This 100% online program is one of our most popular and flexible degrees currently available at the school.

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Jacksonville University
Davis College of Business

The Davis College of Business at Jacksonville University currently features an online MS in Organizational Leadership. This excellent business program blends communication, social sciences, and business theory to focus on leadership and management. Distance learners can pursue the Master of Science in Organizational Leadership 100% online. This program is delivered as a solid alternative to a traditional Master of Business Administration. The online MSOL is the perfect fit for individuals desiring the practical skills and knowledge necessary for leading people concerned with large-scale innovation, transformation, and change initiatives within organizations. Davis’ online MS in Organizational Leadership is quantitatively less intense than a traditional MBA as it prepares non-business bachelor’s majors for fruitful careers in sales, management, and human resources. The 30-credit degree provides advantages like the chance to take advanced courses offered in intensive eight-week-long modules. A flexible schedule means distance learners can complete coursework anytime within a five-year timeframe. Graduate students committed to becoming high-quality leaders will want to consider this incredible program.

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Western New England University
College of Business

The College of Business at Western New England University provides an online Master of Science in Organizational Leadership. Working professionals with goals to rise through the ranks in their companies will discover that this MS in Organizational Leadership will prepare them to assume leadership and managerial positions that influence the success of any organization. All companies are in a constant state of change, and emerging leaders may find themselves in the role of impacting those critical transitions. The skills needed to lead change, make decisions, manage team members, and use ethical judgment make managers influential leaders. These skills are discovered and refined in this online Organizational Leadership degree. The flexible 30-credit program features a100% online format. All courses are grounded in graduate students’ leadership realities. What is taught in class one night will apply at work the next day. An expert faculty have designed the curriculum with extensive leadership expertise who raised the school’s highly regarded Leadership Institute. This program is a must for tomorrow’s business leaders.

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Northern Kentucky University
Haile/US Bank College of Business

Northern Kentucky University’s Haile/U.S. Bank College of Business provides an online Master of Business Leadership & Innovation. Today’s business leaders face complex challenges in building and maintaining healthy organizations amid a diverse employee population, dynamic global competition, and rapid technological breakthroughs. This Master of Business Leadership and Innovation program prepares working professionals to meet these current opportunities by developing their skills and knowledge in leadership, innovation, and organizational change. Using the framework of ACT, which stands for action learning, competency-based, and team development, this 24-month, 36-hour cohort program explores the most current practices and theories on leadership and organizational change. Working professionals who complete the program can improve their existing organizations into becoming more effective ones. The program is cohort-based, with a class size of less than 25. A ten-day international trip is included in the program cost. Students will enjoy the hybrid format that provides for classes both online and in person. This excellent degree allows students the chance to dive into interpersonal and leadership skills.

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Quinnipiac University
School of Business

Quinnipiac University’s School of Business provides an online MS in Organizational Leadership. Program designers understand that all too often, the terms “management” and “leadership” are used interchangeably. While elements of each word may exist in the other, authentic leadership in today’s complex marketplace goes well beyond the traditional knowledge and skills needed to manage a team merely. Influential leaders are transformative, inspiring their teams to execute their full potential and define the business strategy. Students in the MSOL program will be able to align their learning experience with goals by choosing career-focused electives. Many of these provide additional credentialing opportunities that further careers. All of the coursework in this program will be completed in a flexible online classroom, where students are encouraged to share ideas with other seasoned leaders and outstanding faculty members. This online MS in Organizational Leadership prepares graduate students with the skills and insights they need to emerge as impactful leaders.

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If you are still unsure about taking the leap into this program, here are just a few questions to consider before pursuing a degree like an online Master of Science in Organizational Leadership, online Master of Strategic Leadership Development, or an online Master of Science in Leadership and Organizational Development.

Can an Online Master’s in Leadership Give Me a Competitive Advantage?

A Online Master’s in Leadership under your belt can separate you from all the other applicants when applying for jobs within a competitive market. Graduate degrees in business from prestigious business schools prepare students for some of the top levels of employment. By proving that you are focused and skilled in leadership with this diploma, you can give potential employers evidence of your reliability and drive. Also, earning an online graduate degree in leadership could be just the ticket to getting ahead and pursuing your dream job. Organizations and firms of all shapes and sizes are consistently looking to invest in solid, proven leaders as a way to ensure their success. While no one thing is a golden ticket into a job, by combining this degree with past experience, this qualification could have a tangible impact on your future opportunities. Overall, completing an advanced business degree, like an Online Master’s in Leadership, can open doors that may have remained closed otherwise.

Will an Online Master’s in Leadership Help Advance My Career?

By earning a degree in leadership, you are making a great move towards advancing your career and increasing opportunities to earn a leadership role within a successful company. Graduates with qualifying experience can find work as C-level executives, for example, serving as a chief operating officer, chief executive officer, or chief financial officer within a company or corporation. Many business students find positions in human resources management and lead some essential administrative functions within an organization. Professionals with an Online Master’s in Leadership can also find work as corporate trainers. This highly sought-after role involves training workers to use new skills and strategies to boost an organization’s performance. As a leader in business, you will have many opportunities to encourage and empower those you lead, which will result in increased overall organizational success.

Will an Online Master’s in Leadership Help Me Become a Better Leader?

Leadership skills are crucial in any lasting career. Being a good leader includes being diligent, mindful of employees and teammates, punctual, and persistent. These skills will help you in all aspects of life as a functioning adult. Online Master’s in Leadership degrees teach students how to resolve conflicts, communicate effectively, and manage many tasks simultaneously. Experience in these business areas is essential for day-to-day functioning and will shape you into a well-rounded candidate for many leadership positions in today’s workplace. Obtaining an Online Master’s in Leadership elevates you to stand out from the pack and has the potential to benefit professionals in their daily living as well.

Deciding to pursue an advanced degree like an Online Master’s in Leadership can prove beneficial for you and your future career plans in many ways. Within this robust distance degree, graduate students learn to integrate valuable leadership knowledge and skills with business expertise. By earning a master’s degree, you will be well on your way to advancing to the next level in your professional field.