Master of Science in Leadership

Program Coordinator: Rex H. Marks

The Norwich University Master of Science in Leadership (MSL) program provides 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.


The Master of Science in Leadership program delivers a graduate educational experience to adults around the world teaching 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.

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/Plan of Study

Term 1
Leadership Fundamentals6
Term 2
Emotional Intelligence6
Term 3
Leading Change in Organizations6
Term 4
One concentration course
Term 5
One concentration course
Term 6
One concentration course
Residency 10
Total Cr.36

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 are required to maintain a grade of B- or better in all core courses.

Required Courses (18 credits)

OL 510Leadership Fundamentals6
OL 520Emotional Intelligence6
OL 530Leading Change in Organizations6
Culminating Academic Requirement
OL 595Residency0
Total Cr.18


Students must select and complete one of the following 18 credit-hour concentrations.

Human Resources Leadership Concentration (18 credits)

The Human Resources Leadership concentration focuses on two key areas of study: human resources leadership and 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 of the marketplace. The Master of Science in Leadership 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, then so too is complimentary recognition that a higher level of education and expertise is needed to maximize the utilization of this asset.

The Master of Science in Leadership 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 542Human Resources Leadership6
OL 552Leveraging Human Capacity for Strategic Results6
OL 561Capstone Studies6
Total Cr.18

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 544Change Management Consulting6
OL 554Implementing Organizational Change6
OL 561Capstone Studies6
Total Cr.18

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 Cr.18

Organizational Leadership Concentration (18 credits)

The Organization 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 Concentration
OL 540Strategic Communication and Information Leadership6
OL 550Strategic Organizational Behavior6
OL 560Strategic Organizational Leadership & Developing a Learning Organization6
Total Cr.18


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
Rex Marks, MS (Program Director) Norwich University
Darrell Aubrey, PhD University of Phoenix
Matthew Boyne, MS Pepperdine University
Lowell Doringo, MS Norwich University
Christopher Eberle, DM University of Phoenix
Robert Freeborough, PhD Capella University
Shalaina Harlan-Yuya, EdD Grand Canyon University
Jeremy Hodges, PhD Northcentral University
Bruce Lazar, DM University of Phoenix
James Long, MS Troy University
Jill Long, MS Troy State University
Warren Martin, PhD Northcentral University
Lance Raymond, PhD Chicago School of Professional Psychology