Programs in Organization and Leadership


The Organization and Leadership (O&L) Program at the School of Education offers a dynamic and unique program that educates people to create and sustain just institutions through active and responsible leadership. Leadership is an essential resource for creating and sustaining organizations, communities and societies. Leadership is understood as a summons to serve the other. The primary goal of the O&L program is to bring before students a continuum of new knowledge and understanding that reflects current theories, research and innovative practices.

Students may pursue the M.A. in Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) or a M.A. or Ed.D. in Organization and Leadership. In addition, courses and field experiences are offered leading to the Preliminary Administrative Services Credential.

Organization and Leadership graduates are prepared to assume leadership positions in a variety of settings. They may also consider consulting or higher education teaching positions.

For more information on the Organization and Leadership programs, please visit:

Educational Philosophy of the O&L Program 
The O&L program collaboratively prepares graduate students who will possess the knowledge, skills, values and vision to transform and change organizations as leaders. We assume that adult learners bring skill sets to the learning environment where collaborative student-centered interactions can take place among faculty and peers. It is through dialog, new knowledge and experiences that new ideas and reform can take place. In the Jesuit tradition of valuing the student learner, faculty seek to provide students with opportunities for self-renewal and growth. 

Master’s Programs
The faculty of the Organization and Leadership department offer two M.A. Programs: Master of Arts in Organization and Leadership and the Master of Arts in Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA).

The Master of Arts in Organization and Leadership gives students the opportunity to focus their study in several areas that represent current dimensions and challenges of leadership: the university, corporations, healthcare, technology, K-12 schooling, and international development. The M.A. in O&L requires the completion of 30 credits: 27 credits of course work and a 3-credit M. A. Thesis/ Field Project, O&L 655.

Requirements includes:
• O&L 614 Introduction to Organization and Leadership
• GEDU 603 Research Methods of Education

Students complete 15 credits in one of the of the following focus areas:
• Higher Education
• Interpretive Development and Organization Policy
• K-12 Instructional Leadership
• 21st Century Leadership

And 6 credits of electives in consultation with their faculty advisor and the O&L 655 M.A. Thesis/Field Project (3 credits).

The Master of Arts in Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) within the Organization and Leadership (O&L) program combines a rigorous academic curriculum with practicum experiences in various areas of student life (e.g., intercultural center, student engagement, residence life) to prepare professionals working in or aspiring toward administrative leadership positions in Higher Education. Important objectives of the HESA concentration are to train professionals who will 1) understand issues of access and equity in higher education and the unique experiences and problems facing underrepresented groups and 2) think critically about the complexities involved in transforming organizations and programs in order to achieve equitable outcomes for all students. Requirements include 24 credits of course work, 3 credits of Practicum and a 3 credit Masters Capstone, ED 667.

Course work includes:
• O&L 744 Academic and Student Affairs
• O&L 614 Introduction to Organization and Leadership
• O&L 741 American Institutions of Higher Education
• O&L 663 Race, Diversity and Higher Education
• O&L 662 Campus Environments and Cultures
• O&L 656 Student Development in College
• O&L 626 Sociocultural Foundations
• O&L 657 Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education or

3 credits in Practicum:
• O&L 645 Practicum in HESA I (1 credit)
• O&L 646 Practicum in HESA II (1 credit)
• O&L 647 Practicum in HESA III (1 credit)

In addition to the above, students are required to complete a Masters Capstone course, O&L 667 Capstone Seminar, for 3 credits.

Doctoral Program
The doctoral program consists of 60 credit hours of study beyond the master’s degree and culminates in the completion of a doctoral dissertation. Students will complete 60 credits of coursework that satisfy the following requirements:

The following Foundation Core courses are required (12 credits):
• GEDU 706 Applied Educational Statistics
• GEDU 708 Research Methods in Education
• One Foundation course selected in consultation with the student’s adviser
• One Advanced Research course selected in consultation with the student’s adviser

Students are required to complete 9 credits of O&L program core courses. Students are required to complete the following 6 credits:
• O&L 750 Organizational Theory: Applications and Implications
• O&L 751 Leadership Theories
Students can then select, with the consultation of their adviser, one of the following:

• O&L 754 School, Community and Society
• O&L 763 Race, Diversity and Higher Education

 Students can choose any doctoral level course within the O&L department to meet the remaining 18 O&L credits. The 12 credits of the elective courses may be drawn from the O&L courses or from other doctoral level courses within the School of Education. Students may elect to use the 12-credit block to design a minor.

The 9 credits associated with the development, research, and writing of a doctoral dissertation are:
• O&L 709 Dissertation Proposal Seminar
• O&L 790 Dissertation Proposal Development
• O&L 791 Dissertation Research and Writing

Students complete the program by successfully defending their dissertation research in Dissertation Research and Writing (O&L 791).

The Organization and Leadership Program Learning Outcomes:

  • The programs brings before students a continuum of new knowledge and understanding that reflects current theories, research, and innovative practices.
  • The program equips students to apply the principles of leadership theory in a broad range of settings to effectively lead individuals and organizations to success.
  • The program equips students to select, implement, and manage appropriate leadership methodologies to meet individual, group, and organizational needs in K-12 through higher education, for-profit, and nonprofit settings.
  • The program equips students to utilize and conduct research to evaluate and improve organizational processes.
  • Create leaders who are able to critically examine organizations in order to promote equitable outcomes.
  • Foster advocacy for social justice with a consciousness around the experiences and challenges facing historically underrepresented groups.
  • Understand and apply research to problems of practice.
  • Develop leaders who are self-reflective of their practice and its implications for social justice and equity.

The Organizational and Leadership Program Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Graduates will have acquired the knowledge, understanding, tools and skills necessary to assume leadership roles in organizations at the local, state, national and international levels.
  • Graduates will have an understanding of research methods and demonstrate competencies to engage in rigorous scholarship.
  • Graduates will be able to relate theory to practice and demonstrate synthesis of advanced knowledge by improving organizations.
  • Graduates will have adopted habits of personal and scholarly reflections that examine professional practice and lead to systemic renewal.