What is an MBA in Leadership?

An online MBA in leadership program creates strong, effective leaders through experiential learning. The degree prepares future business, tech, and healthcare leaders to motivate and inspire others. The MBA in leadership online program is closely related to the MBA in management: students take courses on business strategy, forecasting, and ethics. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects management positions will grow 8% by 2026. Earning a master’s degree in leadership can help distinguish you from other job seekers.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects management positions will grow 8% by 2026.

While a bachelor’s degree is required for the majority of managerial positions, an online MBA in leadership will help you accelerate your career. Top-level executives with a BA or BS often obtain their MBA during the course of their career.

Comparison of Leadership Master’s Degrees

Leadership master’s degree online programs differ in their focus; some introduce business theory and practice, while the MBA in leadership online degree has a broader curriculum. Each of the programs below prepares graduates for leadership positions, and most can be completed in less than two years.

Degree Description Average Salary (1-4 years experience) Length
Master’s of Management Studies (MMS) The MMS degree introduces students from all academic disciplines to managerial theories and best practices. Graduates learn how to oversee, supervise, and lead an operation. $54,181 Less than 2 Years
Master’s Degree in Organizational Management This degree teaches students how to run a business effectively by emphasizing how organizations work and managerial processes, from daily operations to the establishment of team relationships. The degree is open to students from any industry. $30,000 Less than 2 Years
Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) in Leadership The online MBA in leadership is ideal for those with backgrounds in business. Students learn how to motivate diverse teams, guide organizations through change, and lead entrepreneurial ventures. Leadership MBA online programs build on a business administration core and are not limited by industry. $42,299 2 Years

Students who pursue an online MBA with a leadership concentration will learn a variety of business administrative competencies. While the best online schools for leadership may require different electives and fieldwork, they all develop fundamental leadership skills. The table below lists common courses in leadership MBA online curricula.

Course Competencies Developed Occupational Skill Level
Strategy Development Innovate and effectively manage change and development, such as initiatives, product launches, or new business models. Devise methods to achieve set goals. TITLE: Chief Executive Officer
SALARY: growth of 14%
Team Leadership Recognize necessary leadership skills and qualities, such as abilities to mitigate conflict, inspire, motivate, and empower. TITLE: Executive Director
SALARY: growth of 10%
Budget Management Craft a budget, and use forecasting tools to ensure budgetary issues are properly addressed. This is an important course for any student, regardless of background. TITLE: Vice President, Operations
SALARY: growth of 8%

An online master’s leadership degree leads to career advancement and greater job opportunity. Every enterprise needs a strong, effective leader to navigate negotiations, product launches, and organizational change. Good leaders provide direction and increase businesses’ success.

Chief Executive Officer Median Salary: $165,593
  • Corporation
  • Technology firm
  • Start-up
The CEO is the top executive at a company. Responsibilities vary depending on the organization size, but all CEOs set the company vision and oversee operations, budget, structure, and philosophy. The CEO is accountable for a company’s successes and failures.
Vice President, Operations Median Salary: $148,261
  • Auto maker
  • Sports franchise
A top-ranking executive, the vice president of operations is in charge of a company’s day-to-day operations, ensuring that programs, products, and services stay on schedule and are in line with set goals.
Divisional Vice President Median Salary: $76,543
  • Clothing brand
  • Advertising agency
Primary responsibilities for this supervisory role include hiring and firing team managers, mitigating issues and conflicts within divisions, and delivering quarterly results.
Rank School Location Cost Toggle Logo Tuition % Receiving Financial Aid Student Population School Type Description

Adams State University

Location Alamosa, CO Tuition Tuition $15,120 % Receiving Financial Aid 63% Student Population 3,404 School Type Public

Located in Alamosa, Colorado, Adams State University offers an MBA with an emphasis on leadership completely online. MBA candidates can complete the 36-credit program in as little as two years. Required core courses include training in leadership skills, managerial economics, and accounting. The program's leadership emphasis consists of three leadership courses plus a capstone course. The leadership capstone requires students to apply their business knowledge to creating a strategic game plan.

MBA applicants must possess either a business or non-business bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and a 3.0 GPA in their most recent 30 hours of coursework. Adams State holds accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission.


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Albertus Magnus College

Location New Haven, CT Tuition Tuition $40,848 % Receiving Financial Aid 80% Student Population 1,515 School Type Private

Albertus Magnus MBA candidates may select an advanced specialization in leadership consisting of three leadership courses, which equal nine credits, within the 48-credit master's program. The school offers all MBA courses in either a blended or online format, enabling students to choose each time they register. Online courses include two online sessions per week and asynchronous weekly assignments. Blended classes require one on-campus session and one online assignment each week.

To graduate, MBA students must maintain a 3.0 GPA and complete a business plan. The MBA program holds accreditation by the State of Connecticut Board of Higher Education and the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education.


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Amberton University

Location Garland, TX Tuition Tuition $9,540 % Receiving Financial Aid Student Population 1,379 School Type Private

Amberton University, located in Frisco, Texas, offers an MBA in strategic leadership that requires 36 credits of coursework, 24 of which students must take at Amberton. The school provides both classroom and distance learning options. Applicants who do not hold a bachelor's degree in business must complete 12 hours of prerequisites when seeking an MBA leadership online degree. Leadership courses emphasize research-based practices and developing ethical leadership skills. Students explore topics such as conflict resolution and managing organizational change.

Amberton expects MBA students to maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA. The university holds accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


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Averett University

Location Danville, VA Tuition Tuition $25,625 % Receiving Financial Aid 49% Student Population 991 School Type Private

Averett University offers an MBA with a concentration in leadership online and on campus. While the program remains ideal for working professionals, Averett does not require applicants to show work experience. This program takes students sequentially through seven-week courses, one at a time, leading to accelerated completion. Specialized leadership courses include training in effective decision-making and leading in a global economy.

Averett's MBA programs require students to complete a 41-credit core curriculum. The leadership program culminates in a capstone project in which students research issues or develop a case study related to their workplace. Averett holds accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


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Baker College

Location Flint, MI Tuition Tuition $26,410 % Receiving Financial Aid 71% Student Population 23,790 School Type Private

Located in Flint, Michigan, Baker College offers an online MBA in leadership studies through its center for graduate studies. The 36-hour program includes four leadership courses that delve into topics such as leadership styles, current leadership issues, and group dynamics. Students must meet specific assignment deadlines when taking Baker's online courses, however, learners can access many resources online.

Baker offers graduate school applicants a streamlined application process and the opportunity to transfer up to 12 credits. Baker's business programs hold accreditation by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education.


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Belhaven University

Location Jackson, MS Tuition Tuition $19,440 % Receiving Financial Aid 68% Student Population 4,450 School Type Private

Bellhaven University's online MBA with leadership concentration offers eight-week classes with specific start and end dates. Each class includes a project team assignment designed to develop problem-solving and teamwork skills. The degree requires 42 credits of coursework, including nine credits of leadership electives.

Bellhaven, a Christian college located in Jackson, Mississippi, holds accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. MBA applicants must demonstrate a 2.8 GPA or above for their undergraduate studies and completion of college algebra or a higher math class. Applicants may transfer up to six graduate credits.


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Capitol Technology University

Location Laurel, MD Tuition Tuition $21,060 % Receiving Financial Aid 47% Student Population 804 School Type Private

Capitol Technology University, located in Maryland near Washington, D.C., prepares graduates for high-tech jobs in engineering, computer science, and business. Capitol offers online master's programs with accelerated eight-week and 16-week classes, including an expedited program for associate degree holders.

Capitol's MBA program emphasizes the use of technology and offers a specialization in leadership. The program requires 39 hours of coursework (36 for those with a bachelor's in business), including nine credits of electives. Capitol is accredited by the Middle States Commission and authorized by Maryland to confer MBA degrees.


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Champlain College

Location Burlington, VT Tuition Tuition $28,620 % Receiving Financial Aid 63% Student Population 4,006 School Type Private

Champlain College's MBA with a certificate in organizational leadership is available 100% online. Ideal for working professionals, the program encourages participants to apply what they learn in their courses directly to the workplace. Students earn a graduate certificate in leadership before finishing the entire MBA, which they can complete in as as little as a year through accelerated seven- and eight-week classes. Champlain's MBA requires 36 credits for applicants who meet the prerequisites. The online MBA organizational leadership program includes a field-based capstone project.

Champlain's admissions process considers both academic background and work history. Located in Burlington, Vermont, Champlain is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.


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Charleston Southern University

Location Charleston, SC Tuition Tuition $20,625 % Receiving Financial Aid 72% Student Population 3,621 School Type Private

Charleston Southern University's 33-credit MBA offers a nine-credit emphasis in leadership. Students choose from online, hybrid, or on-campus evening classes. Online courses do not require students to log in at certain times, but instructors set specific assignment deadlines. The program concludes with a capstone course on strategic planning and analysis and an exit assessment course. Students can complete the program in two years, provided they meet all prerequisites.

A Christian university set in Charleston, South Carolina, Charleston Southern holds institutional accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and programmatic accreditation by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education.


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City University of Seattle

Location Seattle, WA Tuition Tuition $33,024 % Receiving Financial Aid 50% Student Population 2,347 School Type Private

The City University of Seattle offers an online MBA with an emphasis in change leadership. CityU operates on a quarter system, and the MBA requires 48 quarter credits (51 for students who need a foundations course). Of these credits, 36 come from business core courses covering topics such as communications, law, marketing, and accounting. The remaining 12 credits consist of leadership emphasis courses that include an internship option.

CityU requires MBA applicants to hold a bachelor's degree. The school offers flexible online as well as onsite course options, including intensive weekend classes. CityU holds regional accreditation by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.


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Concordia University - Chicago

Location River Forest, IL Tuition Tuition $24,840 % Receiving Financial Aid 75% Student Population 5,239 School Type Private

Concordia University-Chicago offers flexible MBA options, including a one-year online format and a two-year evening and online program. Students may take courses in an accelerated format or work at their own pace. As they complete courses, students compile an electronic portfolio highlighting their accomplishments. Concordia-Chicago offers an MBA specialization in leadership change management consisting of four eight-week electives that students may enroll in any time after taking at least four core courses.

All Concordia-Chicago graduate programs are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and approved by the Illinois State Board of Education.


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Creighton University

Location Omaha, NE Tuition Tuition $36,300 % Receiving Financial Aid 68% Student Population 8,435 School Type Private

A Jesuit school in Omaha, Nebraska, Creighton University offers an MBA program that remains ideal for working professionals. Students can complete the 33-credit program in just over two years by enrolling in courses online, on campus, or both. Those with an undergraduate degree in business can take a more advanced path, tailoring course selections to meet their needs. Students may pursue a nine-hour concentration in leadership by taking all their electives in this area. Creighton also offers a 15-credit online interdisciplinary graduate certificate in organizational leadership.

MBA applicants must hold a bachelor's degree. Undergraduate coursework should include a statistics course. Students must maintain a 3.0 minimum GPA.


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Excelsior College

Location Albany, NY Tuition Tuition $23,220 % Receiving Financial Aid 8% Student Population 43,123 School Type Private

Excelsior College, located in Albany, New York, offers an online MBA in leadership designed for working adults. The program requires 36-48 credits, depending on prior learning. Excelsior waives foundational requirements in economics, organizational behavior, and statistics for those with relevant undergraduate coursework. Students may earn up to 24 credits through course waivers or by transferring credits or passing credit-bearing exams. Excelsior offers online courses every eight weeks. Leadership courses emphasize change management and strategic problem solving.

Excelsior holds institutional accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and specialized accreditation for its business programs through the International Accreditation Council for Business Education.


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Ferris State University

Location Big Rapids, MI Tuition Tuition $27,072 % Receiving Financial Aid 66% Student Population 14,715 School Type Public

The Ferris State University online MBA program requires 30 credits of core courses plus a nine-credit concentration. Ferris offers less expensive, non-credit courses to help students meet the foundations requirements so they can begin core courses. An MBA thesis, which includes faculty mentorship, culminates core courses. Students may begin their concentration in lean systems and leadership after completing core courses.

Applicants need a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited school with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Ferris requires a GRE or GMAT score but waives this requirement in certain cases. The school also allows students to take two courses before submitting a GRE or GMAT score.


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Florida International University

Location Miami, FL Tuition Tuition $42,000 % Receiving Financial Aid 46% Student Population 49,782 School Type Public

Students can complete Florida International University's fully online MBA program in 18, 21, or 33 months, depending on the number of courses they select each quarter. FIU offers five start dates each year and a three-day campus residency to provide networking opportunities. The program requires 12 core courses and two specialization courses, totaling 42 quarter credits. Concentration areas emphasize leadership. Enrolled students must also complete three professional development seminars during the first quarter.

FIU offers online informational sessions to prospective students and electronic tutoring and advising to online students. Its business school is accredited by the Association to Advance Schools of Business.


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Fort Hays State University

Location Hays, KS Tuition Tuition $12,527 % Receiving Financial Aid 41% Student Population 15,100 School Type Public

Fort Hays State University's online MBA program requires 34 credits, plus 12 credits in foundations coursework for those without an undergraduate business degree. Students begin the program with a one-credit graduate success lab that orients them to FHSU online learning. Core business courses include topics such as marketing, economics, and research methods. A nine-hour concentration in leadership studies emphasizes group dynamics and organizational change.

Located in Hays, Kansas, FHSU holds accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission. Nearly 7,000 of its 15,000 students are virtual college students. Online courses at Fort Hays State University include streaming videos and online discussion boards.


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Franklin Pierce University

Location Rindge, NH Tuition Tuition $25,545 % Receiving Financial Aid 89% Student Population 2,273 School Type Private

With graduate school locations in New Hampshire and Arizona, Franklin Pierce University offers an online MBA in leadership. Students may enroll part-time or full-time, four times per year. The program consists of nine required courses and four electives. Required course topics include financial, marketing, and operations management as well as organizational behavior and research methods.

Franklin Pierce is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, and its business programs hold specialized accreditation by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education. Applicants should hold a bachelor's degree with a 2.8 GPA or above and demonstrate competency in accounting, statistics, and computer skills.


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Gwynedd Mercy University

Location Gwynedd Valley, PA Tuition Tuition $19,200 % Receiving Financial Aid 75% Student Population 2,582 School Type Private

Gwynedd Mercy University's 30-credit online MBA in strategic management and leadership includes seven core courses and three specialization courses. Core course topics include ethical decision making and strategic management; and concentration courses include exploration of global management and organizational theory. The program concludes with a capstone business plan that requires students to apply coursework to real-world issues.

Gwynedd Mercy, a Catholic university near Philadelphia, is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The school's MBA program is ideal for full-time working professionals to take accelerated seven-week classes one at a time. Applicants without undergraduate business coursework may take six one-credit foundations courses to prepare for MBA coursework.


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Johnson University

Location Knoxville, TN Tuition Tuition $19,800 % Receiving Financial Aid 59% Student Population 1,171 School Type Private

Johnson University in Knoxville, Tennessee, offers a fully online MBA with a leadership concentration that emphasizes Christian values. The degree requires completion of 36 credit hours, including 12 concentration hours. Online courses offered during fall, spring, and summer terms include core courses providing training in ethics and decision-making. Two leadership courses focus on topics such as team building, communication, and organizational leadership.

To finish the MBA program, students must complete a capstone project or research thesis that requires synthesis of acquired skills and knowledge. Johnson is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


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Liberty University

Location Lynchburg, VA Tuition Tuition $20,340 % Receiving Financial Aid 66% Student Population 80,494 School Type Private

Liberty University's 45-hour online MBA in leadership includes 33 hours of core business courses and 12 hours in leadership. Liberty's eight-week classes start eight times each year and do not require students to log in at specific times. The school's 16 MBA specializations, including leadership, enable students to concentrate on their interest area. Liberty allows students to transfer up to 50% of the required credits. MBA students complete the program in an average of two years. Liberty's online MBA is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.


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Lindenwood University

Location Saint Charles, MO Tuition Tuition $26,520 % Receiving Financial Aid 62% Student Population 11,620 School Type Private

Lindenwood University's online MBA with a leadership emphasis requires 39 credits plus up to 15 credits of foundations coursework, depending on the applicant's undergraduate background. Applicants may satisfy foundations requirements through credits earned at Lindenwood or another regionally accredited university, or through the passage of diagnostic exams.

This MBA program includes core business courses in accounting, law, statistics, and marketing; four leadership classes on leadership theory and practice; and a capstone course. Lindenwood offers eight-week online courses five times each year. Founded in 1827, Lindenwood has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1921.


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Marist College

Location Poughkeepsie, NY Tuition Tuition $28,800 % Receiving Financial Aid 56% Student Population 6,474 School Type Private

Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York, offers a 100% online MBA with a concentration in ethical leadership that does not require an undergraduate degree in business. Accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, Marist's MBA programs put special emphasis on big data and business analytics. Marist designed its 36-credit program for working professionals to complete in as little as two years through a combination of 15- and eight-week asynchronous classes offered each semester. Courses rarely require students to log in at specific times. Core courses include strategic and operations management; and four leadership concentration courses explore ethical decision-making in business.


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Messiah College

Location Mechanicsburg, PA Tuition Tuition $23,220 % Receiving Financial Aid 64% Student Population 3,302 School Type Private

Messiah College is a private, Christian college located in central Pennsylvania accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. The school offers a 36-credit MBA in strategic leadership that students can complete in two years through eight- and six-week online courses. Core courses include topics such as decision-making with data, marketing strategy, and leadership best practices. The program culminates with a management capstone course that includes a field experience supervised by a faculty member.

Applicants must possess a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Those without a bachelor's in business may fulfill prerequisites through low-cost, non-credit-bearing online courses.


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New England College

Location Henniker, NH Tuition Tuition $23,800 % Receiving Financial Aid 77% Student Population 2,517 School Type Private

New England College offers a 40-credit MBA in strategic leadership online and on campus that students can complete in 20 months. NEC requires applicants to hold a bachelor's degree in business. The program consists of seven four-credit core courses and three four-credit leadership courses.

Core courses feature topics such as organizational change, strategic planning, and strategic marketing, and include a culminating capstone project. Leadership classes teach conflict resolution; relationship and communications skills; and project management. Located in Henniker, New Hampshire, NEC is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.


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North Park University

Location Chicago, IL Tuition Tuition $41,400 % Receiving Financial Aid 70% Student Population 3,159 School Type Private

Located in Chicago, Illinois, North Park University offers a 36-hour online MBA with a leadership certificate. North Park's program requires 13 core courses and five electives, all two-credit semester classes. Students can complete the program in as little as 21 months, although most do so in 30.

Core courses train business leaders in social responsibility; micro and macro economics; and the use of data and statistics. The leadership certificate consists of five courses on ethical leadership, diversity, negotiation, talent development, and change leadership. A unique capstone project requires student teams to compete in a computer-based management simulation.


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Ohio Dominican University

Location Columbus, OH Tuition Tuition $21,600 % Receiving Financial Aid 58% Student Population 2,534 School Type Private

Ohio Dominican University offers a 36-credit online MBA with a leadership concentration that can be completed in as little as 16 months. Students without undergraduate business coursework can meet foundations requirements through four one-credit courses before starting core requirements. During core courses, students complete a management skills portfolio and capstone learning experience. The leadership concentration includes two classes that address topics such as negotiation strategies, project management, and change management.

Old Dominican offers eight-week classes five times per year and provides online students access to the same resources as on-campus students. Online students may video chat with other students and faculty and post to online discussion boards.


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Ohio University

Location Athens, OH Tuition Tuition $35,980 % Receiving Financial Aid 57% Student Population 29,157 School Type Public

Ohio University offers a 35-credit online MBA that students complete in six semesters by taking two seven-week classes per semester, one at a time. The program includes eight three-credit core courses on topics such as strategic marketing, management, and leadership plus a two-credit applied business experience consisting of a team-based, competitive simulation. The executive management concentration includes courses in prescriptive analytics, change management, and ethics.

Applicants must possess a regionally accredited bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA and 2-5 years of professional experience. Ohio does not require applicants to submit GMAT scores or accept transfer credits. The school requires MBA candidates to attend a one-weekend professional development workshop.


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Olivet Nazarene University

Location Bourbonnais, IL Tuition Tuition $24,400 % Receiving Financial Aid 72% Student Population 4,892 School Type Private

MBA candidates can complete Olivet Nazarene University's 36-credit online MBA program in 18 or 24 months by taking 12 eight-week courses. Students join a cohort based on which program length they select. Olivet Nazarene allows students to transfer no more than six credits and may require those without a business background to complete low-cost tutorial courses.

The program consists of seven core courses and three courses in the leadership concentration that explore the impact of leaders on organizational change. A capstone experience requires students to complete a global business experience, research-based project, business plan, or published article.


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Oral Roberts University

Location Tulsa, OK Tuition Tuition $28,294 % Receiving Financial Aid 63% Student Population 3,611 School Type Private

A Christian school located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Oral Roberts University offers an online leadership MBA built on a cohort model to encourage networking and support. The degree requires 35.5 hours (43.5 hours for those without an undergraduate business background). Those needing to meet foundations requirements can complete one-credit leveling modules added to core courses.

Applicants do not need to submit test scores, however they need a minister's recommendation and an undergraduate 3.0 GPA. Oral Roberts is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and its business school is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.


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Ottawa University

Location Ottawa, KS Tuition Tuition $22,860 % Receiving Financial Aid 76% Student Population 664 School Type Private

Founded in 1865 in Ottawa, Kansas, Ottawa University offers a 36-credit online MBA with a leadership development concentration. The program consists of eight core business courses on topics including organizational behavior and professional ethics; and four leadership courses exploring issues such as servant leadership and emotional intelligence. A capstone course requires participants to develop a business administration case study.

Applicants to this Christian school who do not meet prerequisite requirements must take undergraduate courses in accounting and economics or complete an MBA math course. Ottawa is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


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Pfeiffer University

Location Misenheimer, NC Tuition Tuition $23,580 % Receiving Financial Aid 75% Student Population 1,624 School Type Private

With several locations in North Carolina, Pfeiffer University offers a 36-semester hour online MBA in leadership that students can complete in two years or less. Nine core courses include topics such as marketing, law, and organizational behavior. The leadership concentration consists of three courses in effective leadership, conflict resolution, and change management.

Pfeiffer admits MBA candidates who do not meet undergraduate prerequisites in accounting, economics, and math through coursework or applied knowledge conditionally and offers flexible options to satisfy these requirements. Pfeiffer is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission, and its MBA programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.


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Regent University

Location Virginia Beach, VA Tuition Tuition $27,300 % Receiving Financial Aid 76% Student Population 6,950 School Type Private

Regent University offers a 42-credit MBA in leadership online or on its Virginia Beach, Virginia, campus, or both. Taught from a Christian perspective, Regent's eight-week courses start eight times each year and include 10 core courses and four courses from the master's in organizational leadership program.

Core courses include a business-planning course in which students design a plan for a new venture or propose a new project or product line for an existing company. All classes from an MBA organizational leadership online program include projects that MBA candidates can add to their portfolio. Regent's MBA program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.


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Saint Joseph's College of Maine

Location Standish, ME Tuition Tuition $21,588 % Receiving Financial Aid 65% Student Population 2,581 School Type Private

A Catholic, liberal arts college in Standish, Maine, St. Joseph's College offers an online leadership MBA that emphasizes ethical leadership. The program requires MBA candidates with at least two years of work experience to complete 42 credits, or up to 60 credits for those without experience. Applicants may transfer up to two courses.

Ten-week asynchronous courses begin five times per year, and a fast-track option enables students to complete the program in as little as 18 months. After any preparatory courses needed, students progress through four course levels of 3-4 classes each (leadership framework, role of relationships, sustainability, and strategic leadership).


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Saint Joseph's University

Location Philadelphia, PA Tuition Tuition $33,759 % Receiving Financial Aid 49% Student Population 8,625 School Type Private

Located in Philadelphia, St. Joseph's University offers an MBA online, on campus, or both. SJU's online accelerated eight-week classes typically require a live online meeting one evening per week. MBA candidates with an undergraduate background in business may complete the 53-credit program in as little as a year of full-time study through exemption from 20 credits of foundations requirements.

SJU's program consists of six foundations courses, a gateway course on business ethics, five core courses, three electives for the concentration in leading, and a culminating capstone course in global business strategy. SJU's part-time MBA candidates average 5-10 years of work experience.


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Schreiner University

Location Kerrville, TX Tuition Tuition $22,752 % Receiving Financial Aid 83% Student Population 1,230 School Type Private

Schreiner University's 36-credit online MBA in ethical leadership consists of 12 seven-week courses. Classes start six times each year (twice per semester) and include advanced training in accounting, statistics, marketing, team building, business law, and organizational behavior. MBA candidates participate as part of a cohort to allow for group projects and networking.

Applicants with an undergraduate business degree may apply for direct admission. Those without a degree may apply for provisional entrance and complete foundations courses. Schreiner University is located in Kerrville, Texas, and is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


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Southeastern University

Location Lakeland, FL Tuition Tuition $20,475 % Receiving Financial Aid 60% Student Population 4,538 School Type Private

As a private, Christian college, Southeastern University seeks to train business leaders from a Christian perspective. It offers a 1-2 year, 39-credit MBA with an executive leadership track fully online or in a flex format, both online and on campus. The program's 15-credit executive leadership track includes courses in human resource management and business strategy.

Applicants must hold a regionally accredited bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA or above and submit a GMAT score of 470 or above (or equivalent GRE score) or 2-3 years of professional experience. SEU requires students without an undergraduate business background to take foundations courses in economics, accounting, and statistics.


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Southern New Hampshire University

Location Manchester, NH Tuition Tuition $22,572 % Receiving Financial Aid 67% Student Population 61,285 School Type Private

Southern New Hampshire University's MBA in leadership is one of more than 20 concentrations that students can complete in as little as 15 months by taking two courses per 10-week term. MBA candidates may enroll in courses online or take them on SNHU's Manchester, New Hampshire, campus.

This 36-credit MBA program includes nine core courses on topics such as accounting, marketing, and use of data for decision-making. Three leadership concentration courses include training in strategic management. MBA candidates without undergraduate business coursework may need to take foundations courses. SNHU offers a 25% discount to U.S. military and spouses of those on active duty.


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Spring Arbor University

Location Spring Arbor, MI Tuition Tuition $24,840 % Receiving Financial Aid 75% Student Population 3,401 School Type Private

With a main campus in Spring Arbor, Michigan, Spring Arbor University offers a 100% online MBA with an executive leadership concentration. Students selecting an accelerated path can complete the program in as little as one year. Part-time students can finish in as few as 18 months, taking one course at a time. Leadership concentration courses explore strategic planning, leadership, and management as well as organizational behavior.

SAU seeks to train Christian business leaders. Half of its students are online learners. Applicants do not need to submit GMAT or GRE scores. SAU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


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Tabor College

Location Hillsboro, KS Tuition Tuition $23,716 % Receiving Financial Aid 75% Student Population 729 School Type Private

Tabor College, a Christian school with locations in Hillsboro and Wichita, Kansas, offers a 36-credit MBA in leadership completely online. Intensive, eight-week classes enable students to finish the program in as little as two years. Courses feature small class sizes and emphasize leadership and ethics. Course topics include organizational behavior, human resource management, and strategic management. The program culminates in a capstone seminar.

Applicants may apply at any time and do not need to submit standardized test scores. Accepted candidates may transfer up to two graduate courses. Tabor College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


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Tiffin University

Location Tiffin, OH Tuition Tuition $25,200 % Receiving Financial Aid 76% Student Population 3,496 School Type Private

Located in Tiffin, Ohio, Tiffin University offers a 32-36-credit MBA with a concentration in leadership and change. Students with an undergraduate business degree can choose an accelerated, full-time path and finish in 14 months or take courses part-time and finish in two or more years. Seven-week online classes begin six times each year (twice per semester), providing flexible start dates. Courses explore conflict resolution, negotiation strategies, group dynamics, and leading organizational change.

Tiffin accepts transfer credits and does not charge application fees. Tiffin is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and its MBA program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.


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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Location Champaign, IL Tuition Tuition $21,844 % Receiving Financial Aid 39% Student Population 45,842 School Type Public

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers an online MBA program that seeks to combine mastery of both business and leadership skills. Illinois MBA candidates complete six of seven available specialization areas (four core areas and three focus areas). Students complete all four core areas, including strategic leadership and management. Students then select two of the three focus specializations (innovation, digital media, and globalization) that provide advanced leadership training in these areas.

Each specialization includes several courses and culminates in a peer-reviewed experiential capstone project. Illinois online MBA students hail from almost every U.S. state and more than 50 countries, creating a diverse, international student body.


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University of Mary

Location Bismarck, ND Tuition Tuition $15,000 % Receiving Financial Aid 65% Student Population 2,872 School Type Private

A Catholic school based in North Dakota, University of Mary offers a hybrid online MBA program that students can complete in as few as 18 months through accelerated online courses. Evening classes at satellite campuses also start every five weeks, providing additional flexibility. MBA candidates can select a concentration in virtuous leadership offered in partnership with the Havard Virtuous Leadership Institute.

Infused with Benedictine values, Mary's MBA program requires 12 core courses, three leadership electives, including a four-day leadership immersion experience, and a business capstone project. Mary is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and its business programs are accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education.


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Western New England University

Location Springfield, MA Tuition Tuition $29,644 % Receiving Financial Aid 75% Student Population 3,912 School Type Private

Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, Western New England University offers a fully online 36-credit MBA program with optional evening on-campus sessions. Each class meets once per week for 11 weeks, with five sessions online and six offered both online and on campus. Students who take two classes per term can finish in 18 months. The university offers four nine-credit concentrations, including leadership. Nine core requirements include courses in leadership, organizational behavior, and strategic management.

Western New England admits applicants without undergraduate business degrees provisionally until they meet prerequisites in accounting, finance, and statistics. The school is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.


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Goshen College

Location Goshen, IN Tuition Tuition $27,324 % Receiving Financial Aid 60% Student Population 870 School Type Private

Located in Goshen, Indiana, near the Michigan border, Goshen College offers an online MBA in leadership for the common good known as the Collaborative MBA. Students complete the 36-credit program in five semesters (21 months). MBA candidates at this Mennonite school join cohorts of students from Goshen and three other partner schools.

To build community, Goshen's MBA requires weekly video conferencing and two residencies (a four-day orientation at one of the partner schools and a second, week-long program in Costa Rica). Courses include topics such as global sustainability and strategic leadership in a multicultural world.


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University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Location Lafayette, LA Tuition Tuition $12,771 % Receiving Financial Aid 31% Student Population 17,519 School Type Public

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette offers an accelerated online MBA in sales leadership that students can complete in 15 months. This 33-credit program consists of 11 courses (seven core and four leadership concentration courses). Core courses emphasize the use of technology and data, while leadership classes focus on relationship-building strategies. Courses start twice each semester.

UL Lafayette reduces program costs by participating in the open educational resources initiative and eliminating book costs. The university waives its GMAT requirement for applicants with a 3.0 undergraduate GPA (or 2.75 GPA with three or more years of work experience).


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Bentley University

Location Waltham, MA Tuition Tuition $53,340 % Receiving Financial Aid 50% Student Population 5,506 School Type Private

Bentley University MBA candidates can complete their degree in as few as 18 months through an accelerated online format. Bentley also offers full-time and part-time options that take two or more years to finish. Students may choose to take online or evening classes at Bentley's Waltham, Massachusetts, campus.

The accelerated online program includes five foundation courses that are waived depending on each applicant's background, six required core courses, and four elective courses in the leadership concentration. Students select from a wide range of course options when choosing their electives, including courses on global leadership. Students may also elect to participate in a global business travel experience.


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University of Massachusetts - Boston

Location Boston, MA Tuition Tuition $23,892 % Receiving Financial Aid 55% Student Population 16,847 School Type Public

The University of Massachusetts - Boston offers a 36-credit MBA with flexible online and on-campus evening course options. The program requires 10 core classes and two electives after all prerequisites have been met or waived. Students set their own pace by enrolling in 1-5 courses per semester.

UMass Boston MBA candidates may select a concentration in leadership and change from among 15 available specializations, provided they take two additional electives within the concentration. Concentration courses include two required courses in 21st century leadership and diversity as well as two electives. The program culminates in a capstone course in strategic management.


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If you’ve decided that an MBA in Leadership is right for you, then it is time to start narrowing down the list of schools you are interested in. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you through this process.

  • Search for schools in your area

    Even though you are looking for online programs, it can be helpful to choose a school within 100 miles of your home. Online students often report that they enjoy being able to visit campus. In addition, schools often partner with local businesses, meaning a school in your area can help you find a job close to home.

  • Compare student outcomes data

    Many schools provide this information on their website; however, if you can’t find it, contact the school and ask for it. This data should include graduation rates, employment rates, and the compensation levels of recent graduates. When viewed side-by-side, this information provides a glimpse at program quality.

  • Estimate the expected costs of your programs

    Prospective students often underestimate the total cost of their program. Multiply the total number of credit hours you will need to graduate by cost per credit hour. Do not forget to include the cost of supplies, internet, and factor in the time you will not spend earning an income. Also compare financial aid options; different schools may offer better financial aid packages or scholarships that can offset the cost of education.

  • Check that classes will fit in with your schedule

    One of the central benefits of online education is flexibility. However, some programs require set meeting times, synchronous workshops, and mandatory campus visits. Be aware of all time commitments, and be sure they fit into your current schedule.

  • Look for partnerships with local businesses

    The main objective of getting your MBA in Leadership is to find a secure job with a healthy salary in a field you enjoy. To that end, attending school that is well connected with local businesses can be a fantastic leg up upon graduation. Many of these partners will offer internships to students that can lead to full-time employment or provide the network and experience you need to get a job elsewhere.

  • Make sure the program is accredited

    Accreditation is the formal review process that ensures a school is offering a reputable program adhering to minimum academic standards. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business is the national agency that accredits for undergraduate, master’s and doctoral programs in business and accounting. By checking a program’s status with the AACSB, you can be confident you are receiving a recognized, quality degree. Employers generally will not hire job candidates who possess a degree from a school that is not accredited, and schools will not accept academic credentials from an unaccredited program.

  • Talk to current students and/or recent alumni

    One of the best resources when it comes to making a final decision on an online MBA in Leadership program is actual students and graduates. They can give you an unbiased, real-world take on how the program has served them, what they have liked, and what they have disliked. Ask an admissions counselor to put you in touch with a current student or recent alumni. Alternatively, use LinkedIn or Facebook to find and reach out to people.

Search Programs by Concentration

Many organizations designate awards for students who have exhibited exceptional leadership and initiative in their academic and professional careers. There are scholarships, fellowships, and grants available for proven leaders who plan to pursue management careers. Awards range from $500 to full-tuition fellowships, and many are industry-specific, for fields like STEM, healthcare, or high finance. Below are a few notable leadership scholarships.