Inspiring organizations with exceptional leadership.

The 21st century business landscape requires knowledgeable leaders who are able to meet the demands in today’s fast-paced, global business environment. To truly be a leader requires perspective, vision, creative problem solving, teamwork and the ability to think strategically. At Marian University, we understand your commitment to ethical business practices and strive to help you achieve your personal and professional goals through our Master of Science degree in organizational leadership.

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The Program

The organizational leadership program takes a broad approach to leadership education—instilling in you a deep knowledge of leadership methods and principles of motivation. You’ll develop your essential skills for success by focusing on enhancing organizational performance through integrated studies in quality, communication, management, teamwork and leadership. As a student in the program, you’ll engage in courses that focus on organizational behavior, team management, ethical behavior and leading others toward effective change within an organization. You’ll engage in case studies, small-group discussions and work-related research projects, developing knowledge that can be applied at your current job the very next day. Since the program offers a project-based, team-oriented experience, you’ll develop relevant skills and be able to establish valuable connections and a network of colleagues with your fellow students that can pay off throughout your career.

For more details regarding this program, view Marian’s Academic Bulletin.

30 credits:

Introduction to leadership in contemporary organizations. Examines approaches and lessons applicable to today’s organizational leaders. Relationship between the leaders, teams, and organization are explored. Learners participate in assessment of leader behaviors, use guided reflection on awareness of orientation to leadership and create a personal leadership development plan.

Explores implications of systems theory within organization structures. Addresses strategic visioning, organizational alignment, knowledge management, organizational change, continuous improvement, adaptive systems. Examines leaders personal mastery, power, communication, organizational life cycles, and effectiveness.

Confronts the challenge of developing organizational strategy in a risky environment while reducing and mitigating risk. Examines the complex environment of ethical decision-making that challenge leaders in today’s organizations.

Focuses on cultural, social, economic, and political aspects of creating globally competitive organizations. Addresses leadership, management, international trade agreements, currencies, barriers to international markets, and organizational structures.

Provides an overview of quantitative methods. Descriptive statistics are reviewed as a means of data summary and comparison. Methods of hypothesis testing are explored. Addresses ways to use statistical tools to filter, evaluate, and interpret data.

An interdisciplinary introduction to graduate level research foundations skills for understanding, developing, and producing solutions to individual and organization problems. This course will assist in developing the research skills and critical analysis abilities for use in other core and concentration coursework.

Focuses on the concepts managers need to understand, plan for, and attain positive financial results for the organization. Includes reading and understanding financial statements, operational budgeting, capital budgeting, cash flow analysis, activity based costing, and cost of quality.

Focuses on systems for aligning organizational objectives with the skills, potential, and well-being of employees. Addresses talent management, human resources planning, and strategies for job analysis, recruitment, training and development, performance evaluation, workplace change, regulation and compensation.

Overview of the operation of organizations. Includes topics in operations strategy, supply chain management, workflow, demand management and forecasting, yield management, inventory control, and scheduling. The course is conducted employing examples from both the manufacturing and service sectors.

Using techniques and approaches from previous coursework examine a functioning organization and report findings making analytic comments and recommendations for organizational change. Final report will be provided to the organization and the review committee. Evaluation based on review of the final presentation and project report and peer evaluation.

Business programs at Marian University are accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE) whose mission is to promote and recognize excellence in business education in institutions of higher education worldwide, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, through specialized accreditation of business programs.

Accreditation Standards

Marian adheres to the following principles of business education promoted by IACBE:

Principle 1: Outcomes Assessment. The academic business unit has developed and fully implemented an outcomes assessment process consistent with their mission and broad-based goals.

Principle 2: Strategic Planning. The academic business unit has developed and implemented a strategic planning process that enables continuous improvement and guides it into the future consistent with its mission.

Principle 3: Curriculum. Programs offered are consistent with current, acceptable business practices and the expectations of professionals in the academic and business communities.

Principle 4: Faculty. Appropriate program coverage is provided by highly-qualified faculty with adequate time to devote to teaching, service, and scholarly activity.

Principle 5: Scholarly and Professional Activities. Faculty members are involved in scholarly and professional activities that enhance the depth and scope of their knowledge.

Principle 6: Resources. Financial resources available are sufficient to support a high-quality learning environment.

Principle 7: Internal and External Relationships. The academic business unit has effective working relationships with other functional units within the institution, meaningful linkages to business practitioners and organizations, effective relationships with external organizations, and is accountable to the public.

Principle 8: International Business Education. The academic business unit ensures that students possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities to understand and deal effectively with critical issues in a dynamic global business environment

Principle 9: Educational Innovation. The academic business unit maintains environment that encourages and recognizes innovation and creativity in the education of business students.

Professional Conduct (Standard for Students)

Faculty and Staff in the School of Business expect the highest standards of honest, ethical professional conduct from each of our students. Primary components of professional behavior expected include:

  • respect for others
  • full engagement
  • responsibility and integrity, and
  • commitment to quality


The MS-OL program enhances individuals’ skills and understanding of business and organizations, enabling those seeking a mid- or senior-level position or new business opportunities to strengthen their performance as managers and leaders.

Learning Outcomes

On program completion, students will be able to:

  • Articulate their leadership approach.
  • Develop and apply business strategy as a leader.
  • Respond to systems problems as a manager.
  • Solve practical problems.
  • Engage in organizational assessment and improvement.
  • Make a professional presentation.
  • Prepare a professional business document.
  • Function effectively in group work as a team member and leader.
  • Increase their sense of competence and confidence as a business professional.

Capstone Project

All master’s students have been involved in a capstone team consulting service-learning project. In this experience, the team of graduate students identified and engaged an organization. They completed an assessment of the organization’s situation. The team then identified a challenge facing the organization, which the senior management of the organization (e.g., Executive Director, Chairman of the Board) felt was something to be addressed. The students conducted research, assessment and benchmarking. The consulting team presented both an oral and written consulting report to their customer organization including recommendations for addressing the identified challenge.

Among the organizations with which MS students have consulted over the past few years are:

  • American Red Cross, Southeast Wisconsin
  • Boys & Girls Club of Sheboygan County, WI
  • Day-by-Day Warming Shelter, Oshkosh, WI
  • Evergreen Nursing Home, Oshkosh, WI
  • Fox Valley Warming Shelter, Appleton, WI
  • Free SPIRIT Riders, Fond du Lac, WI
  • Generations: An Intergenerational Center, Plymouth, WI
  • Solutions Center, Fond du Lac, WI
  • STEP Industries, Neenah, WI
  • Volunteer Center of Fond du Lac, WI

Program Impacts

In exit interviews, students graduating from the MS program have reported the following changes or benefits:

  • I gained a lot from the program. Now, I have a higher level of confidence, I see more ways to do things, and I think more critically.
  • My understanding of leadership was broadened in the program.
  • I learned the value of the process and the importance of gathering data and planning.
  • I learned about people – how to get the best from people.
  • As a business owner, I apply the tools we learned to my business.
  • You realize that you can do more. I don’t want to stop learning.
  • I now have the confidence to speak and am becoming part of the leadership team.
  • The final project was challenging. We had to meet deadlines critical to the project. As we worked together, we formed as a team and came together. It was a complex project on which we spent lot of time.We leveraged strengths we learned about our team members. The final project brought it all together.

International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE)

Marian University has received specialized accreditation for its business programs through the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE), located in Olathe, Kansas. The business programs in the following degrees are accredited by the IACBE:

  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) with majors in Accounting, Business Administration, Finance, Health Care Administration, Management, Marketing, Sport & Recreation Management.
  • Bachelor of Science (BS) with major in Information Technology.
  • Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) with majors in General Management, Health Care Administration, Human Resource Management, Marketing, Operations and Supply Chain Management.
  • Master of Science (MS) with concentration in Organizational Leadership.

International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education
11374 Strang Line Road
Lenexa, Kansas 66215, USA
(913) 631-3009

Marian University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

The organizational leadership program will deliver to you the kind of powerful preparation and convenience that is hard to match. Designed to meet the academic and professional needs of working adults looking to advance their careers, we offer our program both on ground and in a 100% online format. Our on-ground program is available at convenient learning centers in Appleton, Fond du Lac, Plymouth and West Allis. You’ll take courses one at a time, one night per week, and you won’t have to sacrifice your current position or give up other important responsibilities.

To receive the Master of Science in Organizational Leadership degree, the candidate must meet the following criteria:

  • Completion of coursework with a minimum GPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 Scale and be in good standing
  • Must apply for candidacy upon completion of the first three courses in the program
  • Submission and approval of the final research project
  • Grades below “C” are not counted toward meeting degree requirements


Renae Beier, MSOL ’13 serves as academic staff in operations and a data analyst at the University of Wisconsin – Madison in the Department of Medicine. Inspired by lifelong learning, Beier chose Marian’s Master of Science in Organizational Leadership program to develop her leadership abilities.

“One of the most valuable lessons I learned in Marian’s MSOL program was how to help others develop their full potential,” said Beier. “Especially in a leadership position, it is my responsibility to help and watch the people I’m leading reach their potential. If they are failing, then I am failing as well. Marian’s program offered me a new perspective on how to serve others, as well as a variety of tools to help progress my career in any leadership role.”



Tara Rhodes, MSOL’13 serves as a project manager for Agnesian HealthCare. With more than twenty years of business experience in the healthcare industry, Rhodes engaged in Marian’s Master of Science in Organizational Leadership program to enhance her knowledge and incorporate lessons learned in class to her day-to-day responsibilities.

“I chose the MSOL program because Marian’s Mission and Core Values are important to me – both Marian and Agnesian HealthCare are founded by the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes,” said Rhodes. “The program was structured around the schedule of working adults and allowed me to achieve my goals while fitting into my work and family schedule.”

Jeffrey Reed, Ph.D
Dean, Master of Science in Organizational Leadership Program Director
Meet the Organizational Leadership Faculty

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For more information, please contact:

Office of Admission

Jeffrey Reed, Ph.D.
Master of Science in Organizational Leadership Program Director

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