Leadership Studies

Our Graduate Programs and Courses

Take your leadership to the next level!

Students in our graduate programs gain hands-on experience applying the best leadership practices recognized in current leadership science. Through our flexible, cutting-edge curriculum, students strengthen their thinking and analytical skills as they synthesize knowledge from the social sciences, communication, and best leadership practice. Our graduates are prepared to lead change, drive innovation, and enhance diversity in organizations and communities with the skills needed for successful careers in a variety of fields, from human resources and business to nonprofits and government.

Graduate Programs

Our Leadership Studies graduate programs respond 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. Explore our graduate programs today, and join us on our mutual journey to a better tomorrow!

Our Master of Arts in Leadership Studies (MLS) helps you approach your leadership roles with a wealth of perspectives on leadership, a toolbox of effective skills, and a commitment to the public good. 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.

For highly motivated undergraduate students who are already looking ahead to graduate school, USM offers a number of Accelerated Graduate Pathways (AGP) that allow you to begin graduate study while completing your bachelor’s degree, saving you time and money—which means you’ll be ready for a career that much sooner, with your bachelor’s and master’s degrees in hand.

Our AGP to the Leadership Studies master’s program allows qualified USM undergraduate students (in any major) to begin taking specific MLS courses during their final year of undergraduate study. These courses will satisfy credit requirements for both the undergraduate and graduate programs, allowing undergraduate students to complete up to 12 graduate-level credits. Additionally, students who meet undergraduate progress standards will have their graduate application fee waived and gain automatic admission to the Leadership Studies master’s program.

All undergraduate majors can enroll in this pathway. This pathway is most beneficial when you declare it as early as possible in your undergraduate studies. Prospective undergraduate students can select this pathway when applying to USM for undergraduate study. Current students can contact their Academic Advisor to declare the AGP to MLS.

Please note:

  • Some majors that require 70 credits or more will extend the normal timeline for this AGP.
  • 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.

Our Leadership Studies graduate programs include Certificates of Graduate Study in Leadership, Creative Leadership and Global Strategy, Organization Development, and Professional Leadership Education. All four certificates provide advanced-level grounding in leadership theory and research with the option to participate either fully online or in a blend of traditional and virtual classroom formats. You can apply the credits earned for any of these certificates toward a Master’s degree in Leadership Studies.

Creative Leadership and Global Strategy, Certificate of Graduate Study (CLGS-CGS)

Leadership, Certificate of Graduate Study (LOS-CGS)

Organization Development, Certificate of Graduate Study (ORG-CGS)

Professional Leadership Education, Certificate of Graduate Study (LEd-CGS)

We launched our Ph.D. in Leadership program in 2020. The primary focus of this doctoral program is to develop thought leaders who are committed to exploring leading-edge issues in innovative ways, combining scholarship, creativity, and self-inquiry. The core knowledge and skills required to explore these issues requires a transdisciplinary understanding of local, regional, national, and global organizational contexts and challenges. Are you ready to start your Ph.D. in Leadership journey?

Graduate Courses

Leadership Studies 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. 

This interdisciplinary program offers with courses that utilize a variety of active and experiential learning methods. Read about all our graduate level courses in the 2022-2023 Graduate Catalog LOS Course Search. Courses are offered in a variety of formats each semester and may be offered on any of the three USM campuses (Lewiston, Portland, or Gorham). Not all formats are offered every semester and campus locations may vary from semester to semester.

See what courses are currently being offered: Course Search by Term/Session, Career, and Leadership & Organ. Studies (LOS)

We also list the Graduate Course Rotation Schedule in a pdf format here.