Master of Science in Leadership

This is an archived copy of the 2014-15 Catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

Program Director: Stacie L. L. Morgan

Program Vision and Mission

The Norwich University Master of Science in Leadership (MSL) program is offered to provide relevant educational experience to graduates who positively impact their organizations and communities as leaders or future leaders. Our vision is to develop graduates capable of addressing organizations’ toughest leadership challenges with character, integrity, and distinction.

It is the mission of the Master of Science in Leadership program to deliver a graduate educational experience to adults around the world that teaches them how to leverage human capacity to achieve strategic results. We do this through a blend of academic excellence and rigorous application in our students’ practical worlds using the engaged interaction of our online classroom and faculty.

MSL Program Strategy and the Role of Student Engagement

The Master of Science in Leadership has a strong application/demonstration component that allows students to not only learn about leadership, but to also synthesize course content and demonstrate understanding through both academic assignments and professional practice.

The marketplace and global economy require understanding of strategy and strategic communication for the contemporary leader. Contemporary leaders also must understand how to lead change within their organizations or support change efforts made by others—often in an environment that is continually transitioning. Realities of the global economy have created what is now commonly called the “knowledge-based economy” and the Master of Science in Leadership is structured to provide students with tools, understanding and vision to address the leadership challenges of our time.

The Leadership Development Portfolio (LDP) is a required element of the program and a vehicle by which students assimilate course objectives into their professional role within their organization. The LDP is comprised of student work that demonstrates leadership development consistent with a plan of academic study and professional objectives. Students use the LDP to relate academic content to their professional lives and role within their organization so that they may “live what they learn.”

The core curriculum is designed to integrate major leadership issues relevant to individuals who work in organizations at either a direct leadership level, those positioned to directly lead in the future, or those individuals who aspire to lead. Current demographic trends have seen growth among younger executives and added responsibilities for those who may lack experience leading others. Contemporary workforce dynamics illustrate different values than prior generations and the need for new leaders to study topics such as emotional intelligence, knowledge management and leadership theory.

The MSL program will rely upon the quality of our engagement in our student’s practical lives to differentiate our offerings and strive toward our vision—translating theory into our students’ real-world practices every day, online, and on the fly.

Curriculum Map

Semester 1CreditsSemester 2CreditsSemester 3Credits
OL 510 Leadership Fundamentals6OL 530 Leading Change in Organizations6Select one concentration course6
OL 520 Emotional Intelligence6Select one concentration course6Select one concentration course6
  OL 595 Residency10
 12 12 12
Total Credits: 36

Students are required to attend a one-week, on campus Residency Conference the June following or concurrent with their final course.

Curriculum Requirements

The Master of Science in Leadership program is made up of six, eleven-week seminars of six credits each for a total of 36 credit hours. The seminars must be taken in the order presented and are strategically sequenced to build context and the Leadership Development Portfolio as students move through the program. Students may select the general leadership degree or one of the concentrations.

Required Courses

OL 510Leadership Fundamentals6
OL 520Emotional Intelligence6
OL 530Leading Change in Organizations6
Culminating Academic Requirement
OL 595Residency0
Total Credits18


Students must select and complete one of the following concentrations.

Hospitality Leadership and Management Systems Concentration (18 credits)

The Hospitality Leadership and Management Systems concentration focuses on two areas of study. These two seminars explore innovative leadership strategies and management systems utilized globally within the hospitality industry. Studies in these two seminars provide a graduate MSL student with a solid foundation of hospitality leadership principles and management systems with a focus on organizational sustainability and growth.   In effect, they address three important business questions related to hospitality leadership and management:

  1. What contemporary leadership strategies have been successfully applied within the hospitality industry?
  2. How have management systems been successfully implemented to leverage capacity within the hospitality industry?
  3. What types of assessment instruments have been successfully used to measure and improve organizational performance?
Hospitality Leadership and Management Systems Courses
OL 541Hospitality Leadership Strategies6
OL 551Hospitality Management Systems: Leveraging Capacity in Service Organizations6
OL 561Capstone Studies6
Total Credits18

Human Resources Leadership Concentration (18 credits)

The Human Resources Leadership concentration focuses on two key areas of study:

  1. Human Resource Leadership
  2. Leveraging Human Capacity for Strategic Results

These two seminars will explore key Human Resources Leadership concepts and best practice development related to strategic and operational planning, process management, maximized use of supportive technology and human capital resources.  

  • This Human Resources Leadership concentration has been developed in response to and anticipation of the needs in the marketplace. The MSL program has demonstrated its effectiveness and proven its value through its ongoing success as a viable academic program. The Human Resources Leadership concentration helps meet a global need to broaden the scope of skills needed to better address the strategic and operational management of human capital in an increasingly complex world.  If people are an organization’s greatest asset, than so too is complimentary recognition that a higher level of education and expertise is needed to maximize the utilization of this asset.    
  • The MSL degree from Norwich University gives students a solid foundation in Leadership through the completion of coursework and the IRP. The Human Resources Leadership concentration is a natural and more focused extension of that offering that prepares graduates to be a strong strategic business partner.

The seminars in this concentration give students specialized coursework that will allow them to excel in their chosen careers. Human Resources, as a function, has become much more than the basic people components of hiring, managing and paying them on a local level. The importance of human resources leadership continues to expand, and is frequently considered the foundation for success in every organization that engages people.  

Human Resources Leadership Courses
OL 542 Human Resource Leadership6
OL 552 Leveraging Human Capacity for Strategic Results6
OL 561 Capstone Studies6
Total Credits18

Leading Change Management Consulting Concentration (18 credits)

The Leading Change Management Consulting concentration focuses on three key areas of study:

  • Consulting Models
  • The Role of the Consultant
  • Implementing Change Initiatives

These two seminars will explore consulting models, how to be a change management consultant and how to implement a change initiative.   Studies in these two seminars will provide a MSL student with a solid foundation for being an external or internal consultant.  The seminars will address three important questions for prospective students and employers:

  1. “What models and methodologies have proven successful?”
  2. “What are the tips, tools and techniques for being a successful consultant?”
  3. “What are the keys to implementing a change initiative?”
Leading Change Management Consulting Courses
OL 544 Change Management Consulting6
OL 554 Implementing Organizational Change6
OL 561 Capstone Studies6
Total Credits18

Public Sector/Government/Military Leadership Concentration (18 credits)

The Public Sector/Government/Military Leadership concentration focuses on two key areas of study. These two seminars explore key best practices for public sector/government/military leadership, including the challenges of providing direction to a wide scope of departments and agencies necessary to serve the needs of communities.  The seminars also study how to create and maintain intergovernmental relationships, form partnerships with elected officials, staff, and private sector business. Studies in these two seminars provide a graduate MSL student with a skill set that includes interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary competence, and effective cross-discipline leadership skills.

Public Sector/Government/Military Leadership Courses
OL 543Theories and Innovative Practices of Public Sector/Government/Military Leadership6
OL 553Influence in the Public Sector/Government/Military: Collaborating Across Organizational Lines6
OL 561Capstone Studies6
Total Credits18

Organizational Leadership Concentration (18 credits)

The Organizational Leadership concentration requires that students embark on an independent research project, complete it in three phases, by the end of the sixth (last) course. Students are encouraged to identify a corporate partner to focus on in a case study and with whom to practice the skills gained in the organizational concentration courses. If students are unable to use their own employer, they may select another enterprise. Students will receive instructions for completing each phase of the independent research project in the first week of the three concentration courses.

Organizational Leadership Courses
OL 540Strategic Communication and Information Leadership6
OL 550Strategic Organizational Behavior6
OL 560Strategic Organizational Leadership & Developing a Learning Organization6
Total Credits18


The capstone course is a degree requirement for all students entering the program beginning in March 2015 and selecting any concentration except Organizational Leadership. All students who entered the program prior to March 2015 will be required to complete OL 560, Strategic Organizational Leadership and Developing a Learning Organization, in lieu of the capstone.  

One-Week Residency 

All degree candidates of the Master of Science in Leadership are required to attend a one-week Residency Conference on the Norwich University campus, during which they may attend professional presentations, participate in roundtable discussions with faculty, and present papers. The one-week residency is a degree requirement.

Faculty Member Institution at which highest degree was earned
Darrell Aubrey, PhDUniversity of Phoenix
Brandy Blount, PhDWalden University
Matthew Boyne, MSPepperdine University
James Catone, EdDUniversity of Massachusetts
Lowell Doringo, MSNorwich University
Christopher Eberle, DMUniversity of Phoenix
William Edson, MSNorwich University
Shalaina Harlan-Yuya, EdDGrand Canyon University
Suzanne Hart, MSUniversity of Washington
Paul Katsampes, DPAUniversity of Colorado at Denver
Jill Long, MSTroy State University
Tom Luckett, PhDWalden University
Rex Marks, MSNorwich University
Warren Martin, PhDNorthcentral University
Katherine McQuade, PhDCapella University
Michael Miller, PhDArgosy University
Maureen Nixon, PhDNorth Carolina State University
Thomas Norbutus, PhDRegent University
Sydney Parlour, MSWilfred Laurier University
Audrey Rabas, PhDChicago School of Professional Psychology
William Shirey, PhDRegent University
Janice Spangenburg, PhDRegent University
Vanita Varma, MSNorwich University


OL 510 Leadership Fundamentals 6 Credits

This course focuses on differentiating the conceptual and theoretical aspects and models of leadership and leadership studies in order for students to apply leadership skills and principles to their place of work. The fundamentals of leadership are taught within the context of present and past leaders with an emphasis on how to live out these fundamentals in an ethical manner.

OL 520 Emotional Intelligence 6 Credits

This course provides information about the new way of evaluating intelligence in individuals. This new measure of intelligence is called EQ or emotional intelligence. Students are given the opportunities and tools to evaluate their capacity to think about work through the lens of reflection and introspection as a guide to understanding the behavioral aspects of working together and providing customer service. By examining thinking patterns students will take away new skills in developing intuitive reasoning to enhance professional interpersonal relationships with peers and customers.

OL 530 Leading Change in Organizations 6 Credits

A leader’s ability to understand and follow the change management process in a collaborative manner is a vital skill to master. This seminar focuses on the strategic leadership of change in organizations. Students learn about change from a leadership as well as a management perspective in organizations, national and multinational. This broad-based seminar differentiates the conceptual and theoretical change models in order to assist the student in understanding the best ways to lead and manage change. Students learn the importance of understanding and following the change management process in a collaborative manner. The seminar helps students learn about and practice leadership skills that foster positive changes in people and organizations.

OL 540 Strategic Communication and Information Leadership 6 Credits

Strategic communication is a vital skill in today’s demanding, fast-paced, virtual or global workplaces. This course requires students to identify a personal leadership style, tendencies and preferences as a professional, and how one assimilates and applies information. Experiential learning is a large component of this course as students practice their skills at work and relay their experiences through a Leadership Development Portfolio (LDP).

OL 541 Hospitality Leadership Strategies 6 Credits

This course introduces leadership practices and strategies in the expanding hospitality industry. The core of the course is the study of best practices for hospitality leadership, including the challenges of providing exceptional service with limited resources and changes to the global marketplace. Students study different types of industry best practices, focusing on internal and external stakeholder relationships, and forming strategic directions to ensure success in a chosen type of organization.

OL 543 Theories and Innovative Practices of Public Sector/Government/Military Leadership 6 Credits

This course addresses the dynamic economic, social, and cultural transformations faced by contemporary public sector/government/military leaders as they strengthen agencies for tomorrow’s challenges. Combining the latest leadership theories of public sector/government/military leadership with the most effective lessons from the private sector, students will gain theoretical frameworks and practical tools to effectively improve and enhance their skills to manage complex systems, influence organizational context, engage stakeholders, and shape institutional culture. The topics covered include: history and theories of successful public sector/government/military management; contemporary leadership strategies; and innovative response to public sector challenges in a growing global marketplace.

OL 550 Strategic Organizational Behavior 6 Credits

This seminar focuses on strategic organizational behavior in organizations. Students learn about the importance of strategic alignment in order to enable effective organizational behavior. Systems thinking and organizational behavior provide a framework that the student can use both to analyze and influence the behavior of individuals and groups within the organization. This broad-based seminar analyzes and applies various holistic strategic organizational behavior models in order to assist the student in understanding the best ways to assess and impact the strategic alignment of organizations. Students learn the importance of a leader’s ability to understand and use various organizational behavior and organizational strategy models. The seminar helps students learn about and practice leadership skills that foster strategic alignment and effective behavior in people and organizations.

OL 551 Hospitality Management Systems: Leveraging Capacity in Service Organizations 6 Credits

This seminar focuses on various management systems utilized within the hospitality industry to leverage capacity to expand services via human resources and innovative knowledge management. This course introduces students to hospitality management systems and the strategies used to create an adaptive, dynamic and customer-focused hospitality organization. The course examines management tools and tactics geared to improve customer loyalty, employee satisfaction and revenue management. The core of the course is the study of best practices for hospitality management systems, and the science behind the correct utility of those systems.

OL 553 Influence in the Public Sector/Government/Military: Collaborating Across Organizational Lines 6 Credits

This course addresses challenges faced by public sector/government/military leadership in developing collaborative relationships spanning across agency borders. Managing adaptation to changing environments and successfully dealing with multi-faceted variables using planning and control strategies, students will learn new people management strategies, implementing fundamentals of strategic and performance management, by leading effective change initiatives within an organization, and fostering teamwork by creating a work culture that values collaboration. The topics covered include: creating operational synergy, and managing internal and external stakeholder relationships to promote information sharing and create collaborative partnerships.

OL 560 Strategic Organizational Leadership & Developing a Learning Organization 6 Credits

Students apply principles of Leading Change, Strategic Organizational Behavior and Strategic Leadership to people and organizations to impact performance and ensure future success. This seminar develops an understanding of the implications of strategic alignment and organizational learning to the organization’s success. It differentiates conceptual and theoretical change models to assist students in understanding the best ways to lead change and foster a learning organization while considering individual and group behavior as tied to strategy. The seminar demonstrates how strategic leadership, organizational behavior, and change theories are applied in a collaborative manner and will lead to aligning stakeholder’s interest. Prerequisites: OL530 and OL550 or permission of the program director.

OL 561 Capstone Studies 6 Credits

This course in capstone studies provides students the opportunity to synthesize learning from all previous seminars and to apply the concepts and principles in two ways: the preparation of a written capstone project that offers a practical or theoretical solution to an organizational challenge or issue of contemporary importance and relevance to the work or career goals of each student; and a 1500- word paper suitable for publication in a professional journal. Students will be required to exhibit indepth critical thinking, organizational analysis, and effective writing. Course assignments will maximize the exchange of student suggestions and comments on the various stages of the capstone project, to include but not limited to topic section, thesis, resources and supporting information. Prerequisites: Completion of all prior required core and concentration courses, or permission of the program director.

OL 595 Residency 0 Credits