May 30, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Leadership and Organizational Studies, B.S.

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The baccalaureate degree in Leadership and Organizational Studies (LOS) combines a liberal arts program with the study of how organizations operate and how leadership functions. It emphasizes the critical need to understand and work with people, the dynamics of change, the interdisciplinary nature of organizational operations, and the practical application of theories and leadership concepts. Drawing on faculty from diverse backgrounds, the Leadership and Organizational Studies program is designed to prepare students for work in the nonprofit, public, or private sectors.

This program may be completed face-to-face on our Portland campus, fully online, or through a combination of the two. For more information and to apply, please contact Admissions at

The LOS program also offers an Accelerated Graduate Pathway (AGP) for current USM students in any major. For more information on the AGP, please contact the Office of Admissions. Please note, LOS students in the AGP may only apply LOS 500, 501, 512, and 550 as general electives for their LOS-BS degree.

Program Requirements

Students must meet the USM Core Curriculum requirements for their catalog year of matriculation in addition to the LOS major requirements. The core courses of the LOS major will introduce students to the theory and practice of organizational behavior and leadership with emphasis on communication skills, problem-solving, critical thinking, key quantitative skills, and team functioning. Required and prerequisite courses for the major (49-55 credits) are:

Non-leadership Core Requirements or Prerequisite Courses (6 credits)

Service-Learning Component–choose one of the following (3-6 credits):

Requirements for the Major (28-31 credits)

*All LOS majors must earn a grade of B- or better in LOS 299 LOS 300 , and LOS 350 . No waiver courses or substitutions will be permitted for LOS 299  , LOS 300  or LOS 350 .

Required electives for the Major (12 credits)

LOS majors must take any four LOS electives (LOS courses that are 300-level or higher). LOS Electives are listed below. They can be selected based on student interest or as concentrations, certificates, etc. Please note that not all LOS electives are available online.

In addition to completing these course requirements for the major, baccalaureate degree students must meet the proficiency and residency requirements of the University of Southern Maine, and complete the Core Curriculum and elective courses to accrue a minimum of 120 credit hours of coursework.

Prerequisites for major courses may be met through specific courses, through any one of several programs of prior learning assessment sponsored by USM, or through waiver by the instructor of the course. Before taking 300-level courses in this major, students must have completed a 100-level college writing course or an equivalent with at least a grade of C-.

No more than two courses from outside the major may be used toward completion of the requirements for the major without the permission of the faculty-students may work with their advisor for this permission.

Recommended Course Sequence

We recommend that students start their Leadership Studies coursework with LOS 300 - Organizational Theory   and LOS 350 - Leadership . Both courses must be passed with a B- or higher for LOS majors. Students should work with their advisors to organize the scheduling of the rest of their coursework.

USM Core Requirements

The USM Core Curriculum is a coherent, integrative, and rigorous liberal education that enables our graduates to be world-minded, intentional, life-long learners and captures your general education degree requirements. 

Please Note: Core requirements may be part of your major and/or minor, and Core may have been fulfilled with transfer credit. Please consult your MaineStreet Degree Progress Report (DPR) and review your degree progress with your Advisor.  For additional information, access the USM Core webpage.

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