The Master of Leadership Development is a one-year, 36-credit hour graduate program. All students must complete the following required courses and choose from three focus areas: not-for-profit leadership, organizational leadership or sports leadership.

Required Courses

15 credit hours required. All courses listed.

MLD 501 The Individual in Context
Online | 3 Credits
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Explores the influence of social and cultural context on individuals and organizations. Examines the role of context in the development of the self and encourages students to be mindful of cultural and societal influences when leading and collaborating with people of diverse backgrounds. Emphasizes the importance of critical thinking and critical analysis of research.

Online 3 Credits
MLD 502 Culture, Creativity, and Leadership
Online | 3 Credits
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Explores the interaction of culture, creativity, and the arts with leadership. Students will examine creative leaders throughout history from a wide variety of cultures and organizational settings. Students will explore their own creativity and its potential impact on their ability to “think outside the box” and enhance their unique leadership style.

Online 3 Credits
MLD 503 Leadership Identity
Online | 3 Credits
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This course offers students a comprehensive, integrative, and practical focus on leadership by promoting an understanding of the multifaceted nature of leadership. It provides the foundation for understanding the processes in leadership and it presents the recent views. It focuses on the role of leaders in understanding and managing the reciprocal processes of organizational culture and change; it is intended to help students understand how the process of leadership and our images and expectations of effective leaders change with organizational, social, and cultural evolutions. Ultimately, this course focuses on the practical business of leading groups and organizations, by presenting the challenges of leading teams and organizations through change and the approaches, methods and tools available for developing leaders.

Online 3 Credits
MLD 504 Ethical Decision-Making
Online | 3 Credits
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Examines the process of ethical decision-making. Through the examination of sources and issues, students develop an awareness of ethical questions, a language with which to frame and confront those questions, and methodologies to examine their import, possibilities, and challenges. Also, addresses differences between legal and ethical issues that affect decision-making.

Online 3 Credits
MLD 505 Critical Analysis of Research
Online | 3 Credits
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This course equips students to conduct the types of research and information-gathering projects that are a significant part of the organizational life of most managers and leaders. The course provides techniques and skills that students can apply in researching many types of questions and problems. It provides an introduction to the fundamentals of social and behavioral research; this course provides a conceptual framework for the students to understand the conceptual foundations underlying effective research design. Students will begin to understand how research methods are predicated upon the theoretical frameworks and research questions or hypotheses derived from a comprehensive review pertinent literature in relevant disciplines. Students will learn how to evaluate existing research using a variety of theoretical and methodological perspectives. As a result of developing a greater understanding of research methods, students will demonstrate the ability to develop research proposals potentially linked to their master thesis.

Online 3 Credits
Focus Area: Not-for-Profit Leadership

The Not-for-Profit Leadership focus area is intended to help you enhance your leadership skills in any not-for-profit organization. You will learn how to work as an integral part of the organization by building relationships with business partners, providing motivation for success and helping the organization reach its highest potential. A strong framework of ethics and critical thinking skills put you a step ahead of the rest.

Through this focus area, you will be able to:

  • Understand not-for-profit organizations and how to work within them to maximize success in fulfilling the organization’s mission.
  • Provide visionary leadership to support strategic planning that balances continuity and change.
  • Facilitate the exchange of ideas, goods and services in an ethical manner to satisfy the needs of diverse stakeholders.

Required Courses

21 credit hours required. All courses listed.

NFP 551 Proposal and Grant Writing
Online | 3 Credits
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Introduces skills for writing winning grant proposals with emphasis on the selection of appropriate grant-making organizations, the use of partnership strategies, efficient program design in a community context, and collaborative proposal preparation.

Online 3 Credits
NFP 552 Working with Stakeholders
Online | 3 Credits
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This course will help students understand the scope and impact of the nonprofit sector. Students will identify key stakeholders and analyze strategies or maximum engagement. The roles of public policy, philanthropy, governance, civic engagement, and human resources will be addressed. Students will be prepared to anticipate, respond, and lead in changing environments.

Online 3 Credits
NFP 553 Data Visualization & Inspirational Persuasion
Online | 3 Credits
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Examines the impact of information technology on communication, organizational culture, ethics, and decision-making. Focuses on the use of technology to manage organizational process, and introduces technology that supports communication, collaboration, marketing, and fundraising. Teaches strategies to identify needs and acquire appropriate resources on a limited budget. Able to process, analyze and visualize data using cloud-based analytics. Evaluates patterns and trends to communicate key concepts by creating visualizations, including infographics, slicer-driven dashboards, and interactive reports.

Online 3 Credits
NFP 554 Financial Planning for Not-for-Profit Organizations
Online | 3 Credits
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Discusses budget processes that involve the NFP board. Emphasizes integration of resource planning and management, analysis of program objectives in relation to budget, and communication of financial and compliance information to relevant groups. Includes overview of NFP accounting, including ratio analysis.

Online 3 Credits
NFP 555 Vision and Strategic Planning
Online | 3 Credits
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This course will focus on the strategic frameworks that will articulate organizational priorities in the ever-changing nonprofit sector. Students will examine the impact of establishing clear mission priorities and moving from vision to action. Infrastructure assessment, including impact and financial sustainability, will be incorporated.

Online 3 Credits
NFP 599 NFP Leadership Project
Online | 6 Credits
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Capstone course incorporates various perspectives of the Integrative Core and the Focus Area. Requires a real-life project that is approved by the Project Advisor. Example projects for this Focus Area include: a grant proposal for an NFP organization, a strategic plan that includes a marketing and financial plan, and a board or volunteer retreat plan with specific goals outlined.

Online 6 Credits
Focus Area: Organizational Leadership

The Organizational Leadership focus area is your tool to leading and managing in the for-profit business arena. It is also the key to success in an increasingly global and diverse society. Not only will you be getting the grounding in business and leadership that you need, but you will learn how to implement that knowledge in an ethical way and use critical thinking to work through challenges in the workplace.

Through this focus area, you will be able to:

  • Understand organizational systems and how to work within them to maximize success in fulfilling the organization’s mission.
  • Manage financial information with ethical accountability.
  • Use conflict resolution and negotiation skills to promote a productive environment.
  • Provide visionary leadership to support strategic planning that balances continuity and change.

Required Courses

21 credit hours required. All courses listed.

OL 551 People and Change
Online | 3 Credits
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This course is designed to introduce students to the field of Human Resource Management (HRM). Rather than assuming that the student wants to become a professional in human resources, the course will examine HRM from the perspective of a manager who wishes to effectively interact with and utilize the human resource. There will be an emphasis on leadership in topics such as job design, succession planning, managing diversity, and ethics/social responsibility. The thrust of the course will be on developing an understanding of HRM practices and assessment of their effectiveness.

Online 3 Credits
OL 552 Balancing Customer and Organizational Needs
Online | 3 Credits
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Examines recent marketing developments and studies selected facets of marketing management in the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. The course uses a critical thinking orientation to guide decision making in marketing planning. Emphasis is also placed on achieving organizational objectives via the marketing concept of discovering and fulfilling human needs.

Online 3 Credits
OL 553 Financial Management
Online | 3 Credits
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Explores management of financial resources to achieve the goals of the organization. Provides grounding in accounting, finance, and legal issues to identify key indicators of organizational health. Introduces concepts of ratio analysis, budgeting, benchmarking and interpreting reports to develop action plans.

Online 3 Credits
OL 554 Data Visualization & Inspirational Persuasion
Online | 3 Credits
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Examines the impact of information technology on communication, organizational culture, ethics, and decision-making. Focuses on use of technology to manage organizational processes, including evolving technologies. Able to process, analyze and visualize data using cloud-based analytics. Evaluates patterns and trends to communicate key concepts by creating visualizations, including infographics, slicer-driven dashboards, and interactive reports.

Online 3 Credits
OL 555 Vision and Strategic Planning
Online | 3 Credits
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Emphasizes the development of an organizational vision and strategic plan that supports the mission and balances continuity and change. Highlights the developmental stages that organizations experience as part of the systems change process. Reinforces the importance of connecting strategic planning with ongoing operational functions of the organization. Using a corporate strategic management model, students will act as leaders and use the concepts and tools to analyze situations (opportunities and problems) from a cross-functional and integrative perspective, make decisions that enhance the competitiveness of the entire organization, and manage the implementation process, in order to achieve the desired strategy. All these three stages will be done in the context of existing organizations.

Online 3 Credits
OL 599 Organizational Leadership Project
Online | 6 Credits
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Capstone course incorporates various perspectives of the Integrative Core and the Focus Area. Requires a real-life project that is approved by the Project Advisor. Example projects for this Focus Area include: a proposal for a new program, facility or activity, a strategic plan that includes a marketing and financial plan, or a professional development plan for employees.

Online 6 Credits
Focus Area: Sports Leadership

The Sports Leadership focus area enhances your leadership skills for any sports-related career. Covering both the essentials of facility management and coaching, you will develop the skills and knowledge to lead positions in a variety of fields including sports marketing, information, wellness and fitness, and professional or intercollegiate sports teams.

Through this focus area, you will learn:

  • Principles of budgeting, finance, and data analysis as it applies to the sports industry.
  • Principles of consumer engagement and the application of appropriate digital media including how to identify your target (both fans and donors) audience, determine the appropriate channel, and strengthen a consumer base using branding, storytelling, social media integration, and other public image strategies.
  • Ethical and legal issues in the sports industry.
  • The role of information technology on communication, organizational culture, ethics, and decision-making.
  • The strategic frameworks that will articulate organizational priorities in the ever-changing nonprofit sector.

Required Courses

21 credit hours. All courses listed.

SL 551 Sports Business Analytics
Online | 3 Credits
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This course incorporates principles of budgeting, finance, and data analysis as it applies to the sports industry. In includes techniques for capital budgeting, benchmarking, ways to implement sound “good steward” policies, and ways to communicate both good and bad trends as well as potential solutions. The goal is to provide students with hands-on experience and relevant current research to prepare them for real-time challenges faced by their organization.

Online 3 Credits
SL 552 Consumer Engagement & Digital Media
Online | 3 Credits
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This course will focus on principles of consumer engagement and the application of appropriate digital media including how to identify your target (both fans and donors) audience, determine the appropriate channel, and strengthen a consumer base using branding, storytelling, social media integration, and other public image strategies. Students will learn to analyze and apply the concepts and practices of athletic communication using their organization as action research.

Online 3 Credits
SL 556 Sports Law, Contracts & Effective Negotiating
Online | 3 Credits
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This course will provide an analysis of legal principles and ethical issues faced in the sports field. Best practices for the following issues will be discussed: insurance, contracts, Title IX, licensing, third party contracts, copyright and intellectual property, branding, equity, and risk management. It will also include potential ethical models to promote all stakeholders in a decision-making process.

Online 3 Credits
SL 553 Data Visualization & Inspirational Persuasion
Online | 3 Credits
Show Course Description

Examines the impact of information technology on communication, organizational culture, ethics, and decision-making. Focuses on the use of technology to manage organizational process, and introduces technology that supports communication, collaboration, marketing, and fundraising. Teaches strategies to identify needs and acquire appropriate resources on a limited budget. Able to process, analyze and visualize data using cloud-based analytics. Evaluates patterns and trends to communicate key concepts by creating visualizations, including infographics, slicer-driven dashboards, and interactive reports.

Online 3 Credits
SL 555 Vision and Strategic Planning
Online | 3 Credits
Show Course Description

This course will focus on the strategic frameworks that will articulate organizational priorities in the ever-changing nonprofit sector. Students will examine the impact of establishing clear mission priorities and moving from vision to action. Infrastructure assessment, including impact and financial sustainability, will be incorporated.

Online 3 Credits
SL 599 Sports Leadership Project
Online | 3 Credits
Show Course Description

Capstone course incorporates various perspectives of the Integrative Core and the Focus Area. Requires a real-life project that is approved by the Project Advisor. Example projects for this Focus Area include: a proposal for a new program, facility or activity; a strategic plan that includes a marketing and financial plan; or an analytics process that moves the organization forward.

Online 3 Credits

Information about Course Requirements
We do our best to keep this information updated, but students should always check the graduate catalog under which they started to insure meeting graduation requirements. For the most current course requirements, please review the latest graduate college catalog. Always consult your program director when registering for courses or when you have questions about course requirements.