Master of Science in Leadership

Campus Locations Boston, Online, Charlotte
Also available 100% Online Yes
Other Format(s)
Credits Required for Graduation 45
Entry Terms Fall Quarter, Winter Quarter, Spring Quarter, Summer Quarter (excl F1 visa applicants)
Meets International Visa Requirements Yes


Now offered in hybrid format at Northeastern's Charlotte campus.

As today's workforce continues to diversify, leadership tasks and responsibilities have become more complex. The Master of Science in Leadership prepares you to meet these evolving challenges by helping you cultivate a personal leadership philosophy. Leveraging students’ interdisciplinary backgrounds, this master's degree in leadership combines real-world lessons with an action-learning approach that is designed to build and strengthen your leadership capabilities.

Our approach to cultivating strong leaders is proven to work -- not just in the United States but in other countries as well, including emerging democracies where schools are using it to grow their own leadership infrastructures. As a result, we have developed strategic partnerships with the International University in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia, in which they draw on our faculty to share their approach to preparing students to be effective leaders in a global community as well as the curricula they've developed.

Program Objectives

  • Develop and bolster your leadership competencies
  • Explore key leadership areas such as: management, ethics, strategic thinking, and organizational culture
  • Prepare for the challenges and opportunities associated with leading in a global world
  • Exercise leadership skills through action-learning and research projects
  • Improve your ability to lead and work both independently and collaboratively

PMI Accreditation In September of 2009, the Master of Science in Leadership with a concentration in Project Management received accreditation by the Project Management Institute's Global Accreditation Center (GAC), the world's leading association for project management professionals. Accreditation is achieved by meeting the GAC’s rigorous standards, which include an assessment of program objectives and outcomes, a review of onsite and online resources, evaluations of faculty and students, and proof of continuous improvements in the area of project management.

The GAC logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

Please note: Effective August 1, 2011, courses from FIN and ACC may not be applied towards this degree.

Career Outlook

As the global economy continues its recovery, the call for capable leaders is on the rise. Not surprisingly, employers are increasingly evaluating leadership skills as part of the interview process. Professionals who possess strong decision-making, organizational, and people skills will be well positioned to succeed in leadership roles.

Enrollment Data

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Watch the Ethical Projects & Leaders Webinar.


Required Courses (27 q.h.)

Please take courses in order listed below.

LDR 6100 Developing Your Leadership Capability 3 q.h.
LDR 6110 Leading Teams 3 q.h.
LDR 6115 Powerful Communication  3 q.h. 
LDR 6120 Creating Leadership Capacity: Developing Bench Strength 3 q.h.
LDR 6135 The Ethical Leader 3 q.h.
LDR 6140 Developing the Strategic Leader 3 q.h.
LDR 6145 Managing a Diverse Workforce 3 q.h.
LDR 6150 Transforming Organizations  3 q.h. 
LDR 7980 Capstone (recommended as last course in program) 3 q.h.


Elective Courses (3 q.h.)

Complete one of the following courses: 

LDR 6125 Managing Organizational Culture  3 q.h. 
CMN 6060 Negotiation, Mediation, and Facilitation 3 q.h.
CMN 6110 Group Dynamics and Interpersonal Conflict:
Meeting Management
3 q.h.
CMN 6080 Intercultural Communication in the Organization 3 q.h.
COP 6940 Personal and Career Development: Leadership in Practice (enrollment into this course requires participation in the cooperative education program) 3 q.h.
INT 6943 Integrative Experiential Learning 3 q.h.
CMN 6015 Introduction to the Digital Era: The Power of Social Media 3 q.h.


Concentrations (15-16 q.h.)

Health Management Concentration

HMG 6110 The Organization, Administration, Financing, and History of Health Care 3 q.h.
HMG 6130 Health-Care Strategic Management 3 q.h.
HMG 6140 Principles of Population-Based Management 3 q.h.
HMG 6160 Health-Care Information Systems Management 3 q.h.
HMG 6170 Health Law, Politics, and Policy 3 q.h.

Human Resources Concentration

HRM 6005 Creating a High-Performance Organization: Strategic Organizational and HRM Choices 3 q.h.
HRM 6010 Total Compensation 3 q.h.
HRM 6020 Strategic Recruitment, Training, and Performance Management 3 q.h.
HRM 6030 Employee Rights and Employer Obligations 3 q.h.
HRM 6040 High-Performance HR Systems and Development 3 q.h.

Leading & Managing Technical Projects Concentration

PJM 6000 Project Management Practices 3 q.h.
PJM 6205 Leading and Managing Technical Projects 3 q.h.
PJM 6210 Communication Skills for Project Managers 3 q.h.
PJM 6215 Leading Remote Project Teams 3 q.h.
PJM 6220 Planning and Scheduling Technical Projects 3 q.h.

Nonprofit Management Concentration

NPM 6110 Legal and Governance Issues in Nonprofit Organizations 3 q.h.
NPM 6120 Financial Management for Nonprofit Organizations 3 q.h.
NPM 6125 Promoting Nonprofit Organizations 3 q.h.
NPM 6130 Fundraising and Development for Nonprofit Organizations 3 q.h.
NPM 6140 Grant and Report Writing 3 q.h.

Organizational Communications Concentration

CMN 6010 Foundations of Organizational Communication 3 q.h.
CMN 6020 Ethical Issues in Organizational Communication 3 q.h.
CMN 6050 Crisis Communication 3 q.h.
CMN 6090 Organizational Culture, Climate, and Communication 3 q.h.
CMN 6110 Group Dynamics and Interpersonal Conflict: Meeting Management 3 q.h.

Project Management Concentration

PJM 5900 Foundations of Project Management* 4 q.h.
PJM 6000 Project Management Practices 3 q.h.
PJM 6025 Project Scheduling and Cost Planning 3 q.h.
PJM 6015 Project Risk Management 3 q.h.

 Choose two** of the following courses:

PJM 6125 Project Evaluation and Assessment 3 q.h
PJM 6135 Project Quality Management 3 q.h
PJM 6140 Managing Troubled Projects 3 q.h
PJM 6705 Portfolio Management 3 q.h. 

*This course is required for students who do not have at least two years of professional experience working on projects. This course is only intended for those who are not familiar with professional project work. Students with two years or more of professional project experience should not take this course.

**Students who take PJM 5900 are only required to take one course within this section.

Sport and Social Change Concentration

LDR 6410 Leadership and Organization in Sport 3 q.h.
GST 6102 Global Basics: Global Corporate and Social Responsibility 4 q.h.
HSV 6120 Social Inequality, Social Change, and Community Building 3 q.h.
LDR 6360 Dynamics of Change at the Community and Social Level 3 q.h.
LDR 6427 Gender and Diversity in Sport 3 q.h.


Total Quarter Hours: 45-46

Tuition rates, all fees, rules and regulations, courses, and course content are subject to revision by the president and the Board of Trustees at any time.

Please note: Effective August 1, 2011, courses from FIN and ACC may not be applied towards this degree.

Attention: If you enrolled before Winter 2012, contact your student success specialist for your curriculum.

Admissions Requirements

Below are the official Admissions Requirements for this program.

  • Online application
  • Statement of purpose (500-1000 words): identifying your educational goals and expectations from the program; please be aware that the University's academic policy on plagiarism applies to applicant's statement of purpose
  • Professional resume: Current resume that displays job responsibilities, relevant experience, and education history
  • Two letters of recommendation: from individual(s) with either academic or professional knowledge of your capabilities, such as a faculty member, current employer, mentor, or colleague
  • Official undergraduate degree documentation
  • Proof of English language proficiency: ONLY for students for whom English is not their primary language: English language proficiency guidelines

For general admissions information and recommended admissions deadlines, Graduate Admissions.

All requirements must be received prior to review.


Estimated total tuition for this program is $26,730.00.

Tuition for individual courses is based on the number of quarter hours. Most courses are 3-6 quarter hours. See Graduate Tuition Rates for details.

Use our Tuition Calculator below to see if transfer credit or tuition reimbursement from your employer could reduce your total tuition.

Tuition Calculator

Degree Type


Please note: The estimated total tuition is based on tuition rates for Academic Year 2014-15 and does not include any fees or other expenses. Some courses and labs have tuition rates that may increase or decrease total tuition. Tuition and fees are subject to revision by the president and Board of Trustees at any time.

*A maximum of 9 quarter hours of graduate- or doctoral-level credit obtained at another institution may be awarded as Advanced Graduate Credit to the Doctor of Education program.

Student Profile

Who Will Your Classmates Be?

This degree is designed for professionals who wish to advance their careers by assuming greater leadership positions. Those who apply to this program may hold titles including:

  • Supervisor
  • Team leader
  • Manager
  • Director
  • HR generalist
  • Administrative assistant

Applicants for the Master of Science in Leadership program are required to have 1-3 years of relevant experience.

2011-2012 Enrollment and Graduation Rates

  1. Program Enrollment (the number of students actively enrolled in the Master of Science in Leadership): 334
  2. Master of Science in Leadership Degrees Conferred
  • 2010 - 177
  • 2011 - 176
  • 2012 - 112*

*As of August 2012.


Survey Results

End-of-Course Surveys

At the College of Professional Studies, we are always striving to ensure that we are providing the best possible education for our graduate students. We provide an anonymous survey to our students after each class where we solicit their opinions and feedback on the courses they have just completed. Here is what students have told us about our courses in the Master of Science in Leadership in 2010 and 2011.

Statement Average Count
In class I learned to apply course concepts & principles 4.37* 1500
I developed additional skills [that will help me in the workplace] 4.22 1497
This course helped me to analyze & evaluate [the information presented] 4.31 1498
I learned a lot in this course 4.28 1486

These statements were scored on a scale of 1 to 5 where a score of 1 indicates strong disagreement with the statement and 5 indicates strong agreement. These scores indicate that students agreed to strongly agreed with these statements.

*Note the averages include only those with a valid response (1-5). It does not include those rating ‘0’ (not applicable) or those who did not answer their specific question.

Alumni Surveys

In an anonymous October 2011 survey, conducted by Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies, graduates from the Master of Science in Leadership and the Master of Science in Project Management responded to a series of questions about how the overall program helped them in their careers. Please select the following link to review their responses.

2011 Alumni Survey


Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

The MSL program develops leadership competencies at three levels: personal, organizational and societal. By the end of the program, students have an opportunity to demonstrate the following learning outcomes:

  1. Personal
    Students create personalized leadership models, profiles, and plans for developing their leadership capabilities.

  2. Organizational
    Students possess in-depth knowledge and skills in effective team leadership, in strengthening organizational capabilities and culture in order to achieve strategic and operational goals, and in leading change at various levels of an organization.

  3. Societal
    As civic servants and global citizens, students are capable of making morally centered, ethical decisions compatible with their own values, the organization’s expectations, and the needs of the society at large. They are also able to develop diverse and inclusive environments for the benefit of their organizations and society at large and to develop strategic mindsets with the ability for making transformational change at the domestic and global levels.

In line with these learning outcomes, students will develop the following competencies gaining an ability to:

  • Elucidate major theories of leadership, research and reflective methodology, and self-assessment approaches - in order to develop as future leaders, as leaders within teams and organizations, and in the society at large. Students develop personal leadership plans that reflect their leadership strengths, values, and practices.

  • Articulate and defend their own authentic leadership voice - through possessing a comprehensive body of broad, integrative knowledge as well as specialized knowledge and skills that reflect particularities, challenges, trends, and developments in specific and diverse organizational, social, and global contexts. (Understanding)

  • Strengthen intellectual and critical thinking skills - Students disaggregate, adapt, and reformulate original ideas of personal leadership, interpersonal communication, and change management in comprehensive discussions, essays, and projects . They learn the causality of leadership dimensions at the personal and organizational levels of leadership and develop the mindset of reflective, thoughtful leaders. (Analyzing)

  • Design a personalized portfolio of real-life projects - that showcases leadership skills and accomplishments. In their capstone projects, students implement their leadership projects in out-of-class settings, assessing standards for professional performance and continuing development with specific reference to their personal mission, their organization’s expectations, and the needs of the community or society at large. (Implementing)

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Next Term Starts
  • Spring Term
    Apr 6, 2015 (12- and 6-week classes)
    May 18, 2015 (6-week classes)

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