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Degree Requirements 2019-2020*

Master of Arts in Leadership

Foundational Courses

The study of leadership requires an understanding of 1) a basic body of knowledge in leadership studies, 2) competence in understanding qualitative and quantitative research for the purpose of informing evidence-based practice, and 3) an ability to function and lead in an environment that is diverse and inclusive. To this end, the following three required courses are intended to lay a consistent foundation for the program:

ML 505 – Foundations of Leadership

Learning Outcome: Demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of multiple theories of leadership and their strengths and weaknesses in contexts.

ML 514 – Evaluating Empirical Research

Learning Outcome: Demonstrate skills in assessing the reliability, validity and value of qualitative and quantitative research.

ML 560 – Cultural Competence and Effective Leadership

Learning Outcome: Explain different approaches needed for inclusive leadership in diverse contexts.

Requisite Courses

Choose at least one course from each requisite category: Personal Growth and Interpersonal Dynamics and Organizational and Community Context.

Personal Growth and Interpersonal Dynamics

Courses in this arena focus on individuals’ self-knowledge and well developed interpersonal skills enable a person to successfully work with a wide range of individuals at varying levels of an organization.

Learning Outcomes: Articulate self-knowledge of leadership strengths and weaknesses. Demonstrate interpersonal skills in interactions with peers and instructors that reflect understanding of leader follower dynamics.

  • ML 520 – Self-Identity and Values: Keys to Authentic Leadership
  • ML 538 – Communication Skills for Leadership
  • ML 548 – Coaching and Consulting
  • ML 575 – Constructive Conflict Resolution
  • Or a department-approved substitute

Organizational and Community Context

Leadership involves an ability to understand the nature of, and respond effectively to, the context of organizations as well as the environment that surrounds them in order to operate effectively.

Learning Outcomes: Articulate the key factors of organizational and community contexts and their impact on leadership. Incorporate these contexts in their analysis and evaluation of leaders and leadership.

  • ML 512 – Responsible Leadership for the 21st Century
  • ML 531 – Dynamics of Change
  • ML 535 – Organization Theory and Leadership
  • ML 536 – Facilitating Organizational Change
  • Or a department-approved substitute

Elective Courses

The leadership process involves well developed skills in communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking, as well as increasing students’ self-confidence and risk-taking. Based on their interests and background, students will choose 5 electives courses that focus on their own professional development.

Learning Outcomes: Course specific outcomes that link to MA in Leadership model should be on each syllabus.

  • ML 511 – Creativity and the Problem-Solving Process
  • ML 530 – Ethics in Communication
  • ML 539 – Communicating a Self in the Modern Organization
  • ML 545 – Decision Making and Leadership
  • ML 563 – Leadership in a Global Society
  • ML 565 – Women and Leadership
  • ML 570 – Negotiation: Theory and Practice
  • ML 574 – Strategic Leadership
  • ML 577 – Universal Responsibility and Leadership: A Central American Experience
  • ML 598 – Independent Study
  • ML 599 – Topics

Integrative Course

This seminar provides a culminating learning experience for participants in the program who have completed all other degree requirements.  Students will deepen their understanding of the major leadership theories, advance their critical analysis skills, and synthesize their comprehension of the nature of leadership, how leadership is known, and how leadership manifests itself in practice.

ML 585 – Integrating the Theory and Practice of Responsible Leadership

MBA/MA in Leadership Dual Degree

The dual degree program gives students the benefits of studying business administration and leadership in a coordinated program. This dual degree program leverages Augsburg’s long-standing tradition of graduate leadership training via the Master of Arts (MA) in Leadership with the demand for business education through our Master of Business Administration (MBA) program. This unique credential equips students with the skills to lead and manage an organization, preparing them to thrive in today’s interconnected world.

Admission to the Dual Degree Program

Applicants apply to a home program—either MA in Leadership or MBA. Once a student is admitted to their home program, the student will have an initial advising meeting and is required to meet with an adviser at least once per year. As the student approaches degree completion in their home program, the student will submit an abbreviated application for their second degree. The student must be finished with either the MA in Leadership or the MBA before starting the second program.

Admission for both degree programs will be processed as the applications come in on an ongoing basis. Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited four-year college or university to qualify. Official transcripts from the applicant’s undergraduate degree along with transcripts from any college or graduate work that was completed after graduating are required, as well as a current résumé and two recommendations.

Master of Arts in Leadership Home

Primary Program: MA in Leadership

11 courses

Students take the following leadership courses to complete the Master of Arts in Leadership degree:

  • ML 505 – Foundations of Leadership
  • ML 514 – Evaluating Empirical Research
  • ML 560 – Cultural Competence and Effective Leadership
  • Complete one course from requisite category 1: Personal Growth and Interpersonal Dynamics
    • ML 520 – Self-Identity and Values: Keys to Authentic Leadership
    • ML 538 – Communication Skills for Leadership
    • ML 548 – Coaching and Consulting
    • ML 575 – Constructive Conflict Resolution
  • Complete ML 535 from requisite category 2: Organizational and Community Context
    • ML 535 – Organization Theory and Leadership
  • Elective courses – select five additional Master of Arts in Leadership electives
  • ML 585 – Integrating the Theory and Practice of Responsible Leadership

Secondary Program: Master of Business Administration

8 course required; 2 additional courses optional for a concentration area

Once a Master of Arts in Leadership degree has been granted, the dual degree student may apply to the MBA program. The student will then take these MBA courses to receive their MBA degree:

  • MBA 570 – Quantitative Decision-Making for Managers
  • MBA 520 – Accounting for Business Managers
  • MBA 510 – Applied Managerial Economics
  • MBA 530 – Managerial Finance
  • MBA 595 – Strategic Management
  • MBA 550 – Marketing Management
  • MBA 565 – Managing in a Global Environment
  • MBA 580 – Management Consulting Project

Concentration Areas (optional; choose one concentration and take both courses)

  • Entrepreneurship concentration
    • MBA 596 – Managing Innovation
    • MBA 583 – Entrepreneurship: Execution, Planning and Strategy
  • Finance concentration
    • MBA 535 – International Finance
    • MBA 532 – Investment Theory and Portfolio Management

Master of Business Administration Home

14 courses required

Primary Program: Master of Business Administration

Students take the following courses to complete the Master of Business Administration degree:

  • MBA 592 – Leadership: Ethics, Vision, and Transformation
  • MBA 545 – Organizational Behavior
  • MBA 560 – Communication Issues in Management
  • MBA 540 – Business and Professional Ethics
  • MBA 570 – Quantitative Decision-Making for Managers
  • MBA 520 – Accounting for Business Managers
  • MBA 510 – Applied Managerial Economics
  • MBA 530 – Managerial Finance
  • MBA 595 – Strategic Management
  • MBA 550 – Marketing Management
  • MBA 565 – Managing in a Global Environment
  • MBA 580 – Management Consulting Project
  • Complete one of the following concentrations:
    • Entrepreneurship concentration: MBA 596 and MBA 583
    • Finance concentration: MBA 535 and MBA 532
    • Leadership concentration: Two ML electives

Secondary Program: MA in Leadership

5-7 courses required

Once a Master of Business Administration degree has been granted, the dual degree student may start the MA in Leadership program. The student will then take the ML courses below to receive their Master of Arts in Leadership degree. Note that if the Leadership concentration was completed for the MBA degree, those two courses can be applied toward the MA in Leadership requirements.

  • ML 514 – Evaluating Empirical Research
  • ML 560 – Cultural Competence and Effective Leadership
  • Complete one course from requisite category 1: Personal Growth and Interpersonal Dynamics
    • ML 520 – Self-Identity and Values: Keys to Authentic Leadership
    • ML 538 – Communication Skills for Leadership
    • ML 548 – Coaching and Consulting
    • ML 575 – Constructive Conflict Resolution
  • Complete one course from requisite category 2: Organizational and Community Context
    • ML 512 – Responsible Leadership for the 21st Century
    • ML 531 – Dynamics of Change
    • ML 536 – Facilitating Organizational Change
  • Elective courses – select two Master of Arts in Leadership elective courses
  • ML 585 – Integrating the Theory and Practice of Responsible Leadership

Earning the dual degree during or after the MBA or MA in Leadership program

Currently enrolled MBA or MA in Leadership students, or alumni who wish to return to Augsburg, may add the additional degree to their existing degree by completing the same requirements listed; Director’s approval is required.

Returning students may complete an abbreviated application form after consultation with the MBA or MA-L program director. Upon entering the MBA program, online quantitative skills modules are required in five areas and must be completed before beginning the quantitative courses:

  • Statistics
  • Excel Spreadsheets
  • Accounting
  • Economics
  • Finance

These modules are used as an introduction to, or a review, in order to help enhance the student’s skills and knowledge for the MBA quantitative coursework.

The Graduate Certificate in Leadership Studies

The certificate program is an attractive option for people who want to develop their leadership skills without undertaking a full degree program. A certificate is awarded after completion of three Augsburg MA in Leadership courses in leadership. Students pursuing this option take ML 505 – Foundations of Leadership and two additional electives. All three courses may count toward an MA in Leadership. No more than one course may be double counted in another Augsburg graduate degree program. Students who previously completed the Augsburg MBA degree are exempted from ML 505. The normal application process is used for students who wish to pursue the certificate.

Joint BA in Accounting and Master of Arts in Leadership

A BA in Accounting and an MA in Leadership can be earned in this five-year program designed for students who wish to qualify for CPA certification and obtain a master’s degree. By the end of the fifth year and successful completion of all requirements, the student receives both a BA in Accounting and an MA in Leadership and will have fulfilled the 150-hour requirement to qualify for the CPA certification. The MA in Leadership program offers a large number of courses on a Saturday and weeknight schedule. Refer to the MA in Leadership program schedule for the list of courses each year and to the accounting program coordinator for a detailed academic plan. Students should meet with both the MA in Leadership director and an accounting advisor to create an effective plan for successful completion of the five-year program.

General Requirements for the Accounting/ MA in Leadership Program

Accounting students planning to pursue the five-year degree must apply for admission to the MA in Leadership program at the end of their junior year. The application process includes submission of:

  • Completed application form
  • Two letters of recommendation (one from a professor and one from an employer)
  • Personal statement
  • Example of applicant’s writing in an academic paper
  • GPA of at least 3.30
  • Interview with the Director of the MA in Leadership program

Students must also have faculty endorsement from the Accounting program. Students must complete at least one year of accounting work experience (either a job or internship) by the time they graduate from the MA in Leadership program.


For a complete list of courses and descriptions, see the Course Description Search.

* Degree requirements are somewhat different for those who began the program prior to fall term 2019. Please contact the program director for information about previous requirements.