Leadership Studies

BS in Leadership and Organizational Studies

Career Options

Leadership Studies graduates have many career options.  For example, they work as Organizational Development Consultants, Financial Administrators, Academic Advisors, Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives, Product Information Specialists, and Project Directors in organizations as varied as the Financial Authority of Maine, Provident Life Insurance, Hannaford Bros., the U.S. Postal Service, L.L. Bean, Bath Iron Works, the Department of Human Services, and TD BankNorth, to name just a few.

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, leadership and organizational studies is designed to prepare students for work in the nonprofit, public, or private sectors.

This program may be completed face-to-face, fully online, or in a combinaton of the two.  For more information about the fully online option, contact Ashley Collins at acollins@usm.maine.edu. For more information about our other options, contact Janet Etzel at jetzel@usm.maine.edu.

For a list of all undergraduate LOS courses and a rotation schedule, please click here.

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 (57 credits) are:

Prerequisite Courses (4 credits)

  • LAC 112 Microsoft Excel (prerequisite for LOS 304)
  • LOS 250 Organizational Accounting or its equivalent (prerequisite for LOS 304)

Requirements for the major (35 credits)

  • LCC 150 Statistics for Informed Decision Making
  • LCC 370 Toward a Global Ethics
  • LOS 299 Writing in the Major
  • LOS 300* Organizational Theory
  • LOS 301 Group Dynamics
  • LOS 304 Organizational Budgeting
  • LOS 329 Research Methods
  • LOS 350* Leadership
  • LOS 369 Exploring Careers, Exploring Life Roles
  • LOS 413 Job Search Skills for the 21st Century
  • LOS 440 Organizational Change and Development
  • LOS 447 Internship
  • LCC 480 Senior Seminar

*All LOS majors must earn a grade of B- or better in both LOS 300 and LOS 350.

Required electives for the major (18 credits)
LOS majors must take any 6 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.

Human Services Concentration
This concentration requires completion of 6 of the following courses:

  • LOS/SBS 302 Organizational Behavior
  • LOS 322 Leadership in the Public/Nonprofit Sectors
  • LOS 325 State and Local Government
  • SBS 335 Legal Issues in Health and Human Services
  • SBS 338 Health Care Policies
  • LOS 373 Managing Nonprofits
  • SBS 430 Applied Social Policy

Certificate in Lean Leadership

  • LOS 302* Organizational Behavior (offered face-to-face, or online)
  • LOS 308 Lean Systems and Methods
  • LOS 309 Lean Systems/Methods Practicum
  • LOS 440* Organizational Change (offered face-to-face, or online)
  • (*LOS 302, or LOS 440 must be taken before LOS 308)

Other LOS Electives include:

  • LCC 310 Science, Technology, and Society
  • LOS 270 Exploring Leadership on Campus
  • LOS 311 Leadership Through Art
  • LOS 323 The Media and Politics
  • LOS 330 Leadership in Different Cultures
  • LOS 333 Portfolio Development
  • LOS 345 Leadership and Film
  • LOS 351 Exploring Transformational Leadership
  • LOS 352 Exploring Servant Leadership
  • LOS 353 Exploring Authentic Leadership
  • LOS 354 Exploring Chaos & Complexity Leadership
  • LOS 355 Exploring Relational Leadership
  • LOS 356 Exploring Followership
  • LOS 360 Deliberate Creativity and Innovation
  • LOS 361 Entrepreneurship
  • LOS 381 Introduction to Globalization
  • LOS 436 Risk, Public Policy, and Society
  • LOS 470 Leadership Study Abroad

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 with at least a grade of C+, or an equivalent.

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

To learn more about the degree requirements, please view the official 2013-2014 catalog. You can also view the degree check sheet to track your progress.

We recommend that students start their Leadership Studies coursework with LOS 300: Organizational Theory and LOS 350: Leadership.  Students should work with their advisors to organize the scheduling of the rest of their coursework.