Organization & Leadership Master's Program

Creating school leaders our children deserve.

Offered In

San Francisco's Main Campus

Leadership is the essential resource for creating and sustaining organizations, communities, and societies. The primary goal of the O&L MA program is to bring before students a continuum of new knowledge and understanding that reflects current theories, research and innovative practices. The Organization and Leadership Master’s program is composed of a diverse and unique faculty that draws upon a common ethic to teach and live leadership through commitment, academic excellence, and innovative practice.

The Master of Arts in Organization and Leadership (O&L) consists of 30 credits. The program gives students the opportunity to work with a diverse and unique faculty and focus their study.

Program Delivery

To meet the needs of working professionals, the program follows a schedule of alternate weekend classes that convene nine times a semester (Friday evenings and all day Saturdays). See our Teaching Weekend schedule.

Course Details

Foundations | 3 credits (required)

  • O&L 614 - Introduction to Organization and Leadership (3)

Research Methodology | 3 credits

  • GEDU 603 - Methodology of Educational Research (3)

O&L Coursework - General or Focus Area | 15 credits

  • O&L 615 - Information Systems in Educational Management (3)
  • O&L 621 - Budget and Finance (3)
  • O&L 622 - Education Law (3)
  • O&L 624 - Human Resources in Educational Management (3)
  • O&L 630 - Educational Leadership (3)
  • O&L 635 - Anthropology of Education (3)
  • O&L 652 - Data Based Decision Making for School Leaders (3)
  • O&L 654 - School, Community and Society (3)
  • O&L 658 - Culture and Work (3)
  • O&L 661 - Organization Development and Learning (3)
  • O&L 670 - Ethical Organization (3)

Electives | 6 credits

Choose 2 elective courses drawn from the following based on program adviser approval:

  • Organization & Leadership courses
  • Special topics courses,
  • Directed studies,
  • Other School of Education department courses,
  • Accepted transfer courses.

Master's Field Project or Thesis | 3 credits

  • O&L 655 - Masters Field Project (3)

Course descriptions are available in the catalog.

Optional Focus Areas

The faculty of the Organization and Leadership Program are pleased to offer the following three focus areas of study. Our programs are designed to train instructional leaders and to address the shortages of credentialed principals, superintendents, directors, and administrative personnel in San Francisco Bay Area schools. The curriculum weaves together current research with direct application to the field with a focus on creating school leaders for social justice. Contact the specific faculty member listed in each area below for additional information about that focus.

K-12 Instructional Leadership and Administrative Services Credential Program

K-12 instructional leadership focuses on the research and practice of leadership development, leadership for social justice, instructional leadership, and program development. Examples of courses include:

  • Data-Based Decision Making for School Leaders
  • School, Community, and Society
  • Human Resources in Educational Management

21st Century Leadership

The 21st Century Leadership focus is an opportunity to address practices and issues of concern to 21st-century leaders and their management of a diverse work force. Students will explore topics that have received attention in recent years, including different leadership styles, organizational change, work teams, global leadership, managing diversity, and ethical leadership. Examples of specific courses include:

  • Leadership Theories
  • Leadership in Urban Context
  • Ethical Organization

Those interested in this focus area are encouraged to contact: Patricia Mitchell, Ph.D. at mitchell@usfca.edu

Higher Education Leadership

Higher education leadership prepares aspiring administrators, leaders, and scholars of higher education to work in college and university settings. This emphasis exposes students to the challenges facing higher education in light of rapidly changing social, political, and demographic contexts. Common themes throughout each class are:

  • issues of access and equity in post-secondary institutions and the experiences and problems facing under-represented groups
  • complexities involved in transforming organizations and programs to achieve equitable outcomes for all students.

Course offerings include the following:

  • Race, Diversity, and Higher Education
  • Campus Environments and Cultures
  • American Institutions of Higher Education

Those interested in this focus area are encouraged to contact: Patricia Mitchell, Ph.D. at mitchell@usfca.edu.

Contact Info

School of Education

Monday–Friday 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

2130 Fulton St.
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 422-5467