Program Code: MSOL
Master of Science
The Organizational Leadership program challenges students to synthesize contemporary scholarship with insight from Mercyhurst University’s serviceoriented, ethically-based heritage. Enlightened leaders with the capacity to learn and grow through reflection meet the mission of our university to work for positive change in our local as well as the global community. Ronald Heifetz (1994) maintains that a leader’s work in diverse situations is to “influence the community to face its problems.” Beyond communities lies the global world where national boundaries are not observed. The Master of Science in Organizational Leadership degree is designed to meet the leadership development needs in our community and beyond, in both profit and nonprofit organizations, including government, social service, manufacturing, education, and business. The program views leadership as a process and as such emphasizes practical application.
The Master of Science degree in Organizational Leadership is a 30 credit program and is designed to provide a theoretical and practical framework for professionals who currently hold leadership positions or are aspiring to leadership roles in organizations. The program is integrated by five themes or threads that are woven throughout all courses. These threads are the Mercyhurst mission: service, whole person development, leadership knowledge and practice, written and oral communication skills, and ethics.
Additionally, a Graduate Certificate in Organizational Leadership is offered. Credits earned in the Graduate Certificate program may be applied toward a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership.
The Organizational Leadership graduate program inspires and equips people to become exemplary leaders and scholars who exercise leadership in service to others.
Admission decisions are based on the “whole person” concept. Elements of this approach include quality of undergraduate work as evidenced by transcripts, a personal statement, and, when required, a personal interview.
Students who seek admission to graduate education at Mercyhurst must meet the following admissions requirements and submit the following items:
The graduate program in Organizational Leadership operates on a semester calendar. Fall and Spring semesters are each 16 weeks long. Summer session courses are often offered.On campus courses meet one evening per week. Many courses are available online. Students may begin the program in the fall, summer, or spring semesters. Students can register for part-time or full-time study. To obtain a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership, the student must complete 30 graduate hours of study as follows:
Seven core courses including OL 677, Leadership Capstone (21 credits) and three elective courses (9 credits)
Successful leadership is a process that takes time, experience, learning and a behavioral disposition toward working with others. This course examines the field of organizational behavior and leadership by studying theoretical models, practical examples, and experiential exercises.
This course equips students with practical tools to conduct research and information-gathering skills that are a significant part of the organizational life of managers and leaders. The course provides techniques that students can apply in researching many types of questions and problems within the workplace. Research methodologies include but are not limited to historical, qualitative quantitative, and meta-analytical approaches.
This course introduces students to corporate social responsibility and sustainabilityfrom an interdisciplinary and leadership perspective. Students explore relationships among environmental, economic and social responsibilities, apply systems thinkingand sustainability principles to current issues and learn about “best practices”in sustainability from industry leaders and case studies. The course identifieschallenges of leading sustainability efforts and strategies that make sustainabilityrelevant to all stakeholders and examines how values, goals, and communicationaffect an organization’s initiatives. Students complete a comprehensive researchbased or field-based project that promotes participation in sustainability and socialresponsibility issues with the goal of becoming effective social entrepreneurs andsustainability leaders.
In this capstone course, students create a professional ePortfolio that integrates organizational and leadership skills learned throughout the program. The ePortfolio allows students to examine their growth as leaders and serves as a significant portion of assessment within the program. Students complete reflective activities, written and web-based assignments, and peer review of classmates' portfolios. Their ePortfolio showcases skills and knowledge gained in the Organizational Leadership curriculum and compiles work that demonstrates organizational knowledge, leadership skills, and communication competence. The capstone ePortfolio represents a permanent record of the student's work accomplished within the program and is digitally archived in the department
This course provides a context for both theoretical principles and practical issues as they bear on professionals in leadership roles. Philosophical and religious sources and traditions of professional ethics are considered. Special emphasis is placed on ethics in organizations.
This course examines legal and policy issues which arise in the formation andoperation of organizations. Attention is given to issues affecting nonprofitcorporations and associations. The goal of this course is to provide the leader withthe tools to recognize opportunities, meet requirements, and assess risks.
4+1 in Organizational Leadership
Mercyhurst University offers a 4+1 program in which undergraduate students can obtain both a Bachelor’s degree in any major and a Master of Science degree in Organizational Leadership within five (5) years of study. Students enrolled in the 4+1 program can begin earning 12 graduate credits during their junior year and senior years. The fifth year of the program is full-time and begins the summer after graduation. The 4+1 graduate courses cannot be used towards the undergraduate 121 credit minimum. Students in the MSOL program will complete remaining graduate courses between summer, fall, and spring semesters to earn a total of 30 graduate credits. Students interested in the 4+1 program must apply through the Office of Graduate and Continuing Education.