Oct 24, 2021  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
    
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog

Leadership Studies, M.A.


The Master of Arts degree in Leadership Studies (MLS) seeks students with the passion and dedication to join a new generation of leaders who will confront challenges in an increasingly complex and constantly changing world. MLS graduates have a deep understanding and appreciation of the dynamics of leadership, the convergence of leadership with other human relations, and the role of the individual as a leader in groups, organizations, and society. Through mastery of leadership theory and skills, graduates of the MLS program are prepared to succeed as leaders in their organizations, communities, nations, and the world.

The MLS is an interdisciplinary professional degree program that draws upon the social and behavioral sciences, the humanities, communication, public policy, technology, and STEM to explore and address complex leadership issues and dilemmas. MLS students develop an understanding of the leadership system as a process that includes leaders, followers, and context. In addition, they gain a deep appreciation of the dynamics and responsibilities of leadership.

Consistent with the University’s mission and commitment to citizen engagement and public and community service, this cutting-edge program responds to real world challenges and issues. The curriculum encourages students to embrace differences, behave ethically, model social and environmental responsibility, and uphold a commitment to advancing the common good. Courses challenge students to think critically and examine issues from varied perspectives, anticipate and facilitate positive change, strive for innovative sustainable solutions, and communicate effectively.

The MLS is offered in both a fully asynchronous online format (100% of course activities online and no on-campus requirements) and a blended format (at least 50% of the coursework online with class meetings that can be attended in person on-campus or virtually via web conferencing). Please note that while all required MLS courses are available in both fully asynchronous online and blended formats, some electives may only be offered in one format.

An Accelerated Graduate Pathway (AGP) option is available for current USM undergraduate students in any major. *Please note, current students in the BS in Leadership and Organizational Studies program who elect the AGP option may only apply LOS 500 , LOS 501 , LOS 512 , and LOS 550  as general electives to their undergraduate degree.

Program Requirements


The Master of Leadership Studies requires at least 36 credits of coursework. Students start their coursework with two Foundations of Leadership Studies courses to ground them in the latest thinking in leadership theory and practice.

Cornerstones (6 credits):


Laid upon the Cornerstones of foundational work are Competency courses geared toward developing essential skills sets for leadership effectiveness.

Competencies (9 credits):


The Context courses focus on situations, exploring the forces that environmental factors place on leadership and followership.

Capstone Seminar & Project/Thesis (six or more credits):


At the end of the master’s program, students enroll in the capstone sequence of courses-LOS 610 , LOS 688 , and LOS 689 -that includes collegial (student) as well as faculty critique and support in development of a research project. Students elect either a (a) Thesis option where they select a topic for intensive analysis through the process of original research design and implementation such as analyzing work in new methods or contributing a new theoretical approach that call for further testing or research; or (b) Project option where they design an intensive theory-based, action research, or applied project that explores the role of leadership or followership in developing and/or implementing meaningful change in an organization or community.

Recommended Course Sequence


Though it is not required, students are encouraged to start with one of the Cornerstones (LOS 500  or LOS 501 ) whenever possible.

Typical Student Schedules:


Full-time Student Schedule (taking two classes a semester):


*Electives may be taken from outside of the major (up to six credits) with prior approval from your faculty advisor.

Summer One:

Summer Two:

  • 2 electives* (one fulfilling the second contexts requirement)

 

*Electives may be taken from outside of the major (up to six credits) with prior approval from your faculty advisor.

Part-time Student Schedule (taking one class a semester):


Summer One:

  • elective*
Summer Two:

  • elective* (that fulfills the second contexts requirement)
Spring Three:

  • elective*
Summer Four:

  • elective*

 

*Electives may be taken from outside of the major (up to six credits) with prior approval from your faculty advisor.

Accelerated Pathway Student Schedule:


**LOS undergraduate students in this Accelerated Graduated Pathway may only apply LOS 500 , LOS 501 , LOS 512 , and LOS 550  as general electives for their LOS-BS degree.

Summer One:

Spring Two:

  • *
  • elective*
  •  

    *Electives may be taken from outside of the progam (up to six credits) with prior approval from your faculty advisor.