Best Online Bachelor’s in Organizational Leadership 2021

| TBS Staff


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An online degree in organizational leadership can help you launch a career in executive leadership, general management, or human resources.

Organizational leadership experts help businesses succeed in nearly every industry. They set company-wide goals, develop businesses' strategic visions, and identify ways to improve efficiency. Earning an organizational leadership degree prepares aspiring professionals for this work by instilling high-level management knowledge and cultivating skills in leadership and communication.

Many companies rely on organizational leadership experts to reimagine work culture in light of COVID-19, making it an adaptable and versatile field. Organizational leaders can often work remotely, depending on their work environments.

This page ranks some of the top programs available for online organizational leadership study. It also details what prospective degree-seekers can expect from their programs, including timelines for completion, learning outcomes, and common curriculum offerings, as well as career prospects and related salary data.

Top 10 Best Online Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership Degree Programs 2021
#1 New York University New York, NY
#2 Arizona State University Tempe, AZ
#3 Brandman University Irvine, CA
#4 Lipscomb University Nashville, TN
#5 Eastern University Saint Davids, PA
#6 Bay Path University Longmeadow, MA
#7 Creighton University Omaha, NE
#8 Duquesne University Pittsburgh, PA
#9 Brenau University Gainesville, GA
#10 Central Christian College of Kansas McPherson, KS

Featured Online Schools

The Best Online Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership Degree Programs

New York University View School Profile New York, NY New York University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

New York University’s BS in leadership and management studies offers several study options, including daytime classes at the NYU Midtown Center, nighttime and evening courses at various locations in New York City, online study, and blended delivery. The 128-credit program develops modern leadership skills and culminates in an internship, allowing students to put their learning into practice. While the online degree takes an average of four years to complete, students have up to eight years to finish it. Students may choose a concentration in human resources management, organizational management and development, or international business and global management. On-campus students have the additional option of concentrating in marketing, advertising, or public relations.

To be admitted to the online organizational leadership degree program, students must have completed two college-level math courses with a grade of C or better. Students may earn credits for prior coursework or life experience. Though most online programs are delivered asynchronously, some classes require specific meeting times. In addition to the standard NYU resources, online students have access to the virtual business library and online student assistance programs. Current students and graduates may also use NYU’s online career advancement programs.

Arizona State University View School Profile Tempe, AZ Arizona State University – ASU Online is regionally accredited by theHigher Learning Commission (HLC).

Theonline bachelor of arts in organizational leadershipat ASU Online prepares students for careers in a variety of industries, including healthcare administration, government, and nonprofit management. Students in this 120-credit program learn cross-cultural and ethical leadership skills. While most of the program is delivered asynchronously, the final year of the program features group study and research. In combination with courses in project leadership, these group sessions give students the opportunity to practice their learned management skills.

The online bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership features six start dates throughout the year. While the average student takes four years to complete the degree, there are two fast-track options available, allowing students to finish in two-and-a-half years or three years. Transfer students can halve the degree completion time through the institution’s transfer credit policy, which makes up to 64 credits eligible for transfer. For admission, incoming freshmen are required to have a 3.0 GPA. ASU offers programs for students who don’t meet the admission requirements, enabling them to improve their grades prior to applying. In addition to the resources available to on-campus students, online students have access to online career advisors and virtual career fairs.

Brandman University View School Profile Irvine, CA Brandman University is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

At Brandman University, there are several ways to earn a BA in organizational leadership. Students have the choice between taking classes in person at one of the 25 campuses located throughout California and Washington, blending online and on-campus study, or taking a fully online degree as part of a cohort. Students can specialize in either supply chain systems, which includes courses in labor relations, organizational information systems, and supply chain management, or organizational administration, which includes courses in human resources, accounting, and marketing. The school also offers a self-paced business administration degree with an emphasis in management and organizational leadership.

This self-paced degree features multiple start dates. Brandman requires students to have completed at least 12 baccalaureate credits with a 2.0 GPA for each course. Those who do not have the necessary credits can take the prerequisites at Brandman University prior to enrolling. This prerequisite catch-up program is called the Brandman Track and is available online. All online students at Brandman have access to online tutors, the virtual library, and specialists to help with each step of the education process.

Lipscomb University View School Profile Nashville, TN Lipscomb University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Established in 1891, Lipscomb University provides a private, Christian-based liberal arts programs. Its online bachelor’s in organizational leadership degree program provides a flexible path for students seeking to enter the field and results in a bachelor of science or a bachelor of professional studies. This 126 credit program includes 24 hours of foundational coursework, 6 hours of upper division electives, and 18 hours in the concentration area. Students engage with online college courses in topics, such as:

  • A Capstone Course
  • Leadership Ethics
  • Organizing and Planning
  • Strategic Planning and Global Skills
  • Talent Development and Coaching

Students earning this organizational leadership degree online may complete their courses in two formats: (1) an eight-week accelerated delivery model (SetPACE) or (2) a six month period of unlimited course access (FlexPACE). Online learners enjoy academic support through accessible faculty, one-on-one coaching, and online library resources.

Eastern University View School Profile Saint Davids, PA Eastern University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Students interested in a BA in organizational leadership from Eastern University have the option of studying at the Falls Center campus in Philadelphia or online. The 121-credits organizational leadership degree focuses on teachings in organizational change, self-management, and team leadership. Online students can complete the entire degree in less than two years. The program offers start dates every seven weeks for even more convenience. Each cohort is small to ensure that the student-to-teacher ratio stays around 15:1.

There are no in-person or live class requirements, but each course does have a completion deadline and weekly projects. Scheduled meetings may be necessary in some cases, specifically for senior-level group projects. Applicants with less than 30 college credits must have a high school diploma or GED. All online students are provided with counseling, writing, and tutoring services. The Office for Talent and Career Development schedules career events, helps students prepare resumes and cover letters, and hosts networking opportunities for students and recent graduates.

Bay Path University View School Profile Longmeadow, MA Bay Path University is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Higher Education (NEASC-CIHE).

The online BA in leadership and organizational studies from Bay Path University is run through the American Women’s College. The all-woman program is available for both full-time and part-time study, with accelerated options that allow students to complete their degree in between one and three-and-a-half years. Each online program offers six start dates throughout the year and each session runs for six weeks. At BPU, leadership is important to every program. In fact, every degree at the institution features a class in women as empowered learners and leaders (WELL). The lessons learned in the WELL class fit in seamlessly with the overall teachings of the 120-credit leadership and organizational studies bachelor’s degree.

Applicants to the organizational leadership degree must have at least 12 transferable college credits. Applicants without prior credits may write an essay demonstrating the ability to perform at an acceptable level. Students may transfer up to 90 credits. While the online leadership and organizational degree program does not require any on-campus components, students in the Massachusetts area who wish to study on campus may take Saturday classes. In addition to standard campus resources, online students have access to the institution’s electronic library and online tutoring services.

Creighton University View School Profile Omaha, NE Creighton University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Creighton University has been delivering higher education based in Christian principles since 1878. CU offers 23 online bachelor’s degrees and graduate degrees, including a BS in leadership. This degree boasts three specialization tracks for students to choose from: nonprofit management, healthcare management, and human capital management. This program provides students with skills in leadership ethics, communication, and diversity. Online students participate in eight-week terms. While most online courses are asynchronous, some teachers ask students to be present at scheduled times. Additionally, Creighton EDGE provides one-on-one tutoring, career assistance, and pre-professional development to online students.

At Creighton University, the minimum age for applicants is typically 23, but younger students that have dependents, are working full-time, and/or are financially independent may still apply. The institution allows students to apply up to 80 hours of transfer credits toward a degree. Students who complete the undergraduate organizational leadership degree online may go on to complete the master’s degree or graduate certificate in leadership. CU also offers an accelerated bachelor’s to master’s program which allows students to apply 12 credits toward both degrees, thereby shortening the completion time.

Duquesne University View School Profile Pittsburgh, PA Duquesne University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

For more than 135 years, Duquesne University has provided higher education to students throughout Pennsylvania. While thousands of students take courses in-person at the 50-acre campus in Pittsburgh each year, Duquesne University has expanded their delivery to include online degree programs, including the BS in organizational leadership. This 120-credit program offers specialized courses in organizational leadership principles, critical thinking and decision making, and communication. Students have the choice of more than 20 organizational leadership electives to choose from. The online organizational leadership degree culminates in a final capstone project, a group presentation that sums up each student’s learning experience.

Each student works through their degree as part of a cohort. Most classes are delivered asynchronously, but some are synchronous, requiring students to be online during specific hours. Furthermore, some of the more interactive classes require students to meet with teachers and fellow students at scheduled times. Resources available to online students include the online writing center, the online library, and an assigned academic advisor. For admission to the organizational leadership BS, students need a 3.0 GPA and a score of 1080 on the SAT. Students transferring in from other colleges are eligible for up to 60 transfer credits.

Brenau University View School Profile Gainesville, GA Brenau University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Founded in 1878 in Gainesville, Georgia, Brenau University has long been an innovator in the educational world. In 1998, the school became one of the earliest adopters of online education. Today, BU provides dozens of online undergraduate and graduate degrees, including the online BA in organizational leadership. To earn this 120-credit degree, students complete 15 organizational leadership courses, including a leadership capstone project. The major teaches students about human resources, communication, group dynamics, and change management.

All online classes at BU, including the bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership, operate on an accelerated seven-week schedule. Each class is capped at 20 students to ensure one-on-one assistance is available. There are no on-campus requirements for any online program, but students are welcome to take classes on one of the campus locations. Transfer students are eligible for up to 65 transfer credits. To apply, transfer students must have a minimum 2.0 GPA and high school students must have a 2.5 GPA. Career advisors assist online students with job searches, interview preparation, and salary negotiations. The school also hosts job fairs and has developed a career library.

Central Christian College of Kansas View School Profile McPherson, KS Central Christian College of Kansas is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Central Christian College of Kansas boasts a strong record of delivering Christ-centered education since 1884. In recent years, the institution has established online learning to deliver degrees fully online, including the BS in organizational leadership. The fully 128-credit online bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership features courses in strategic planning, organizational behavior, and principles of management. Online classes are delivered asynchronously and run for six weeks. With multiple start dates throughout the year, students can begin the program at their earliest convenience.

CCCK charges all students the same flat per credit rate, regardless of residency. The tuition price includes all required books, which are sent to students in electronic form. Online students have access to many resources, including the writing center, student success center, and career services. For freshmen applicants, the admission requirements follow a product scoring system. The system requires students have product score (GPA multiplied by ACT/SAT) of 45. Transfer students are eligible for up to 64 transfer credits if they earned a grade of C- or better.

Anderson University View School Profile Anderson, SC Anderson University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Located in Anderson, South Carolina, Anderson University has been providing a Christian-based college education for more than 100 years. AU’s bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership is available as a full bachelor’s program for students with no college credit or as a degree completion program for students with an associate degree. Students may complete an optional concentration in human resource administration. This concentration includes additional courses in accounting, budgeting, and information technology. Online courses are typically asynchronous, but some classes have scheduled times to meet with teachers and peers.

For admission, students with more than 24 college credits are required to have a minimum 2.0 GPA. High school students must have a 3.0 GPA. Every student that applies to AU is immediately connected with a Journey Coach that assists them on every step of the education process. Online resources include career counseling and assistance, a writing center, and an online library.

Oral Roberts University View School Profile Tulsa, OK Oral Roberts University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Oral Roberts University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

California Baptist University View School Profile Riverside, CA California Baptist University – CBU Online is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

California Baptist University has been providing degrees with Christ-centered principles since 1950. While many students still attend classes on the 160-acre campus in Riverside, California, CBU also offers more than 40 majors and concentrations online. The online BA in organizational leadership is an accelerated degree completion program that focuses on ethics, diversity, and leadership in a global context. The final capstone project prepares students for advanced education or a career in leadership. Students can complete the degree in less than 16 months. For students in California, hybrid program options are available, allowing in-person study at several locations throughout the state.

Before starting the online degree in organizational leadership, students must have completed at least 30 college credits, including six prerequisite credits in English. Though not mandatory, it is recommended that students complete at least 49 credits before entering the senior-level courses in the major. CBU allows up 100 transfer credits, with no more than 30 of those credits being at the senior level. Distance learners at CBU Online can receive 24/7 online tutoring, academic assistance, and online career services. Career advisors help students with resume and cover letter writing, networking, and career search preparation.

Carson-Newman University View School Profile Jefferson City, TN Carson-Newman University is regionally accredited by theSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Founded in 1851 in Jefferson City, Tennessee, Carson-Newman University is steeped in history and tradition. However, the Christian university is also an innovator in education. Over the last few years, C-NU rolled out four online bachelor’s degrees and five online graduate degrees. TheBS in organizational leadershipis ideal for working students looking to complete their degree quickly; the entire program can be completed in 18 months. Core courses include finance, economics, and marketing, as well as leadership in social change. Additionally, students can take electives such as human emotions and leadership, family systems theory, and diversity in the workplace.

For admission into the online organizational leadership degree, students need at least 48 transfer credits with a minimum 2.0 GPA. Of 34 of the 48 transfer credits should be in liberal arts. Students who have not completed the liberal arts requirements can substitute up to 16 credits from other programs. In order to graduate, students must complete at least 36 credits at C-NU. Online students gain access to the student success center, career services, the online library, and the school’s counseling services. Information technology assistance is also available after standard business hours for online students.

La Salle University View School Profile Philadelphia, PA La Salle University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

La Salle University has been educating students in Philadelphia for more than 150 years. The Catholic university now offers online programs such as the business-focused BA in organizational leadership. This program teaches students modern leadership practices such as social media marketing, analytics, and human resources management. The organizational leadership major consists of 12 courses, including a senior capstone project. Each class runs for seven weeks. Distance learners work through the major as a member of a cohort with other students that enrolled at the same time.

In order to earn the online organizational leadership degree, students need to complete 120 credits total, with at least half of the credits in the major acquired from La Salle University. Students must also maintain a 2.0 GPA. Both online and on-campus students at La Salle University are provided with excellent career services. The department has developed several programs, including career preparation and planning and a career recruitment program. For admission into the online BA in organizational leadership, students must have at least a minimum of 30 transferable credits.

Bethel University View School Profile McKenzie, TX Bethel University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Bethel University is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in Tennessee. Located in McKenzie, the university has been delivering education to nearby students for over 175 years. The school has expanded its offerings to include online programs such as the BS in organizational leadership. This 128-credit degree provides students with knowledge in consumer behavior and leadership theory. With electives available in legal environment of business, crisis management, and sales management, students can tailor their degree to their specific career goals. The degree completion program is intended for transfer students with at least 30 prior credits.

Students enroll in the bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership as part of a cohort, taking one five-week course at a time. Most online classes at Bethel are asynchronous, though some classes may be synchronous or have synchronous elements. As part of their tuition, online students receive all textbooks and required course materials, as well as 24/7 online support. Online students also receive career services such as career and internship exploration, resume and interview preparation, and various networking opportunities. There is also an online library.

Fisher College View School Profile Boston, MA Fisher College is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Higher Education (NEASC-CIHE).

Fisher College was founded with the mission of providing immigrants with the chance to earn a quality education. In 1975, the Division of Accelerated and Professional Studies was created with locations throughout the state to help older adults advance their education. This division expanded in 1998 to include online programs. The BS in management with a leadership concentration provides students with a liberal arts foundation, a core education in business management, and a management course. Students complete collaborative projects and management internships during their senior year.

Each course is asynchronous so students can complete assignments and discussions on their own schedule. While there are no on-campus requirements, some teachers may request that students complete exams on campus. An online library, career services, and academic services are available to all online students. Fisher College also accepts transfer credits and prior learning assessments or work experience.

Ohio Christian University View School Profile Circleville, OH Ohio Christian University is regionally accredited by theHigher Learning Commission (HLC).

The bachelor’s degree in business with aconcentration in organizational leadershipat Ohio Christian University is available in several formats, including on-campus, online, and blended. The online organizational leadership degree combines a business degree with courses in organizational leadership, communication, change, and global leadership strategies. The average degree completion time is four years, with students working through the program as part of a cohort. Most courses take between five and six weeks to finish, and the next course begins directly after one is completed.

Each course is delivered asynchronously and there are no residency components, although on-campus classes are available to those who want them. OCU Online classes boast a student-to-faculty ratio of 10:1. Online learners have access to OCUOnline Plus, a program that enables students to pursue for-credit experiential learning opportunities such as internships, academic camps, and studying abroad. Upon acceptance, online students are assigned an academic advisor to help with transfer credits and course registration.

Bluefield College View School Profile Bluefield, VA Bluefield College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Bluefield College first opened its doors to students in 1922 in Bluefield, Virginia. In 1990, the Christ-centered school began offering accelerated degree completion programs. One of the earliest and most popular online programs is the bachelor’s degree in management and leadership. With classes in strategic planning, research, team building, and change management, the 126-credit hour degree prepares students for leadership positions in any industry. BC also boasts many different resources for online students, including access to academic coaching, tutoring, career assistance, and a virtual library.

Faith International University View School Profile Tacoma, WA Note: Faith International University is nationally accredited by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools. . If you have any questions about national accreditation, check out our Guide to Nationally Accredited Colleges: What You Need to Know.

Faith International University was founded in 1969 to deliver education to orthodox Christian students in the Tacoma, Washington area. More recently, the institution introduced online degree programs, including the BA in leadership, to accommodate students from around the country. Students in the Tacoma area are welcome to create a hybrid degree by combining on-campus classes with online study. The 180-credit hour BA in leadership consists of classes in general education, bible and ministry, electives, and leadership. Electives allow students to specialize in an area such as business and management, counseling, or church and nonprofit administration.

All applicants to the online degree in organizational leadership must demonstrate the potential for a career in ministry. This means potential students must show a commitment to orthodox religion and demonstrate the qualities of Christian service. Applicants must have a high school diploma and a GPA of 2.3. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in leadership, students have the option of taking a graduate certificate in the field or advancing to the master’s degree in leadership ministry. Online students have access to all the institution’s resources, including career services, academic assistance, and the Faith online library.

Best Online Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership Degree Program badge

Online Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership Degree Programs Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

What Is an Online Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership Degree?

Earning an organizational leadership degree helps you build the core skills necessary to help businesses set goals, inspire staff, and navigate administrative concerns. Graduates are also empowered to identify and develop their own management and communication styles.

The best candidates for an organizational leadership program are strategic thinkers with clear leadership potential. Most programs begin with fundamental courses in management or business administration.

As learners progress toward graduation, they expand their knowledge base with skills in analytical problem-solving, strategic decision-making, team-building, leadership development, and communication. Some programs require a culminating capstone project to help students integrate these concepts with practical situations.

What Are the Differences Between Organizational Leadership BA and BS Degrees?

Some programs offer options to earn either a bachelor of arts (BA) or bachelor of science (BS) in organizational leadership. Which is best for your career depends on what your professional goals are.

The BA pathway focuses on the more human side of organizational leadership, exploring concepts and theories drawn from the social sciences, language arts, and the humanities. A BS focuses more on data-driven approaches to organizational leadership, exploring how scientific and empirical methods of inquiry can enhance efficiency and overall performance.

Choosing an Online Program

Factors to consider when selecting an organizational leadership degree include your professional responsibilities and other outside commitments, financial aid availability, career potential and earning power, and program flexibility. Use the links below to learn more about how to find a program that meets your needs.

What to Expect From an Organizational Leadership Major

Each school offers its own approach to organizational leadership, but most programs have similar curricula and learning objectives. In general, they offer a working overview of the field, covering popular leadership styles, methods of effective management, and problem-solving strategies. Some institutions offer specializations in areas like business management or public administration.

Organizational Leadership Curriculum

While each program sets a distinct curriculum, organizational leadership degree-seekers will commonly encounter the following courses.

Organizational Leadership Community

A great way to set yourself apart as a potential job candidate is to get involved in the broader community of business and organizational leadership. Start by exploring professional associations in organizational leadership.

Organizations like those below support seasoned professionals and new graduates alike by hosting networking events, recognizing outstanding achievements, and reporting on news in the field. Some focus on more academic questions, while others look at practical applications.

Organizational Leadership Careers

Earning an organizational leadership degree marks you as a versatile and desirable job candidate. Some graduates with this degree pursue work in human resources, while others opt to put their skills to work in management or business administration roles.

Featured Online Schools

Here are some popular career options available to organizational leadership graduates.

Career Mean Annual Wage (2019) Projected Job Growth (2019-2029)
Chief Executives $193,850
Compensation and Benefits Managers $134,210
Public Relations and Fundraising Managers $132,630 ↑↑↑
Human Resources Managers $129,570 ↑↑
Training and Development Managers $123,470 ↑↑
General and Operations Managers $123,030
Medical and Health Services Managers $115,160 ↑↑↑
Administrative Services and Facilities Managers $106,550 ↑↑
Management Analysts $95,560 ↑↑↑
Source: Bureau Labor of Statistics

Key to Projected Job Growth

↑       as fast as average

↑↑    faster than average

↑↑↑ much faster than average

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Organizational Leadership?

Organizational leadership is an approach to management that highlights how leaders can use a two-pronged approach to goal-setting, establishing benchmarks both for the organization as a whole and for individual employees.

What Type of Degree Is Organizational Leadership?

At the undergraduate level, organizational leadership degrees can be either a BA or a BS. Most programs blend theory with practice to develop techniques for solving real-world problems.

Is a Degree in Organizational Leadership Worth It?

Businesses and organizations across nearly every industry rely on organizational leadership experts. Earning this degree qualifies candidates for many leadership roles and prepares them for graduate study.

Why is Organizational Leadership Important?

Organizational leadership helps businesses, nonprofits, and other organizations work more efficiently to maximize their potential. This approach also provides effective strategies for employee development and retention.

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