Leadership Studies | Online

Program Type
Master’s Program (Online)
Master of Arts (MA)
Mode of Study
Hyflex; Online

Tuition & fees

Costs include tuition & fees. Tuition varies based on residency and mode of study. Students who study fully online receive our e-tuition rate. See cost details

Credit hours

36 required credit hours. Most courses are equal to 3 credit hours. Browse course list

Financial aid

Over 150 graduate assistantships available with stipend & tuition assistance, plus scholarship, fellowship & research opportunities. Explore aid


No GRE required. Apply for fall, spring, or summer term. View application process & deadlines

Program highlights

  • Choose your mode of study: Hyflex (a flexible hybrid with a choice to attend class in person or online during each scheduled class time) or opt for a fully online asynchronous learning experience.
  • Save money with affordable tuition: Students who choose the fully online asynchronous mode of study qualify for reduced e-tuition.
  • Earn your degree on your terms: Study full-time and finish in as few as 2 years or study part-time and finish in 4 years.
  • Engage with our innovative curriculum: Strengthen your analytical skills and synthesize knowledge from the social sciences, communication, and leadership best practices.
  • Study with faculty who are scholars and practitioners in the global fields of leadership, organizational studies, organizational behavior, and organizational development.
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Alumni who lead

Our alumni work across the globe in leadership roles in many businesses and organizations, including the American Red Cross, Bank of America, Maine Medical Center, Office of US Senator Angus King, New Balance, Liberty Mutual, WEX, Tilson Technology Management, PetEdge, and LL Bean.

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Program requirements

The Master’s in Leadership Studies 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.

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Dedicated to student success

Our highly experienced faculty have diverse areas of expertise and are deeply invested in the success of our graduate students. They actively participate in and present research at international academic conferences and publish in some of the most prestigious academic journals.

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Graduate student support

Our Office of Graduate Studies connects you with opportunities for professional development, scholarships, and graduate assistantships. They also foster our graduate student community through Peer Mentorship and the Graduate Student Board.

Browse resources
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Scholarship opportunities

Scholarships offer financial aid that doesn’t need to be repaid. We encourage students in graduate degree programs to apply for scholarship opportunities.

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Connect with us

Our monthly Graduate Information Sessions are an excellent way to learn more about the benefits of our program, as well as our admissions and financial process.

Register today

Study abroad

Participate in our optional Leadership Study Abroad programs. You’ll explore key issues in intercultural leadership and broaden your perspective so you can be an effective leader in the global economy.
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Next steps

Our graduate admissions counselors are here to answer your questions about the admissions process, our academic programs, and student support services.

Get info
Meet us

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Admission information: MA in Leadership Studies

Application deadlines

We accept applications on a rolling basis and review them continuously.

Application deadlineFall term startSpring term startSummer term start
FinalAugust 1December 15April 15
International applicantsJune 1October 15Not available

Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college and a competitive GPA. A cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or a “B” average is expected. If your cumulative GPA is not 3.0 or better, the likelihood of your acceptance is greatly diminished. If you would like consideration, please enclose a letter asking for special consideration, providing evidence of an ability to complete graduate studies successfully.

Applicants are required to provide the following materials:

General requirements

  • Application: Online application
  • Application fee:
    • In-state, out-of-state, and Canadian applicants: Free to apply
    • International applicants: Submit US $50 fee to apply
  • Transcripts: Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, excluding the seven campuses of the University of Maine System (UMS transcripts are accessible to USM). A transcript is official when sent directly from the institution.
  • Resume: Submit a resume or CV that outlines professional, volunteer, and community experience.
  • Students whose first language is not English may be required to take one of the following: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Pearson Test of English (PTE) or Duolingo. Applicants must submit official scores as part of the application process. See additional information regarding test scores and requirements.

Additional requirements

  • Essay: A two-part essay containing 1) an Academic Statement and 2) a Personal History Statement according to the following criteria. The Academic Statement should include a description of why you want to study Leadership, why you want to study at the University of Southern Maine, and how our Program can help you achieve your professional goals. The Personal History Statement should convey how a combination of life experiences, idealism, role models, education, and work experiences have influenced your decision to apply. You may also include any educational, familial, cultural, economic, or social experiences and any challenges or opportunities relevant to your academic journey. Both parts of your essay combined may not exceed 1200 words.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Two letters of recommendation which speak to your character, work ethic/professionalism, problem-solving abilities, and potential to be successful in a graduate program. Applicants will be asked to provide the name and email address for each reference when completing the application and the recommendation form will be sent directly to each recommender by the university.

International student instructions

View additional application requirements

English proficiency test scores

View test requirements

Where to send application materials

Get our mailing address and email address