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Are you considering a career in organizational leadership? If you’re eyeing the captain’s chair in business or want to steer teams toward success, a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership is your launchpad. You’ll develop communication skills sharp as a tack, problem-solving finesse, and emotional intelligence that can sense the mood of a room like weather radar. This isn’t just any run-of-the-mill business degree; it’s an exploration into becoming a mover, shaker, and a visionary within companies and organizations.
By the end of this post, you’ll have mapped out whether stepping into this transformative world of leading teams might just be your next bold move. But first, we’ll take a look at the top schools for an online degree in organizational leadership.
Interested in discovering high-paying career options for organizational leadership grads? You’ll want to check out our post on the Highest Paying Organizational Leaderships Jobs.
The Rise of Online Learning for Aspiring Leaders
Online degree programs have revolutionized education by providing flexible learning options that fit your hectic schedule. Gone are the days when attending college meant sacrificing work or family time. Accredited online programs have stepped up their game, offering top-notch courses tailored for busy bees who need their education on the go. So, whether you’re at home in pajamas or sneaking in a study session during lunch break, these programs let you learn wherever life takes you.
The Top 10 Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Organizational Leadership
1. Fort Hays State University
We’ve ranked Fort Hays State University as having the best online bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership. Fort Hayes features two options for pursuing an online bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership. Students can choose a BA or a BS, depending on their academic and career goals. Both 120-credit programs are fully immersive, allowing students the opportunity for collaboration and hands-on learning. For example, one of the major requirements is identifying an organizational leadership issue or problem and designing and implementing a project in your community. During the program’s final phase, you’ll also complete a practical experience at an organization near you. There are plenty of exciting electives as well, allowing you to customize this program to your interests.
There are multiple start dates each year, and most coursework can be completed independently. The program will prepare you for a broad range of organizational and supervisory positions.
Fort Hays is transfer and military-friendly and offers online students a wealth of resources. These include study-abroad opportunities, clubs, peer support groups, career services, tutoring, and much more.
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Fort Hays’ online programs have received multiple US News & World Report accolades. In addition, the school is one of only six institutions worldwide to receive the United States Distance Learning Association Quality Certification.
2. Colorado State University Global
Colorado State University offers a range of online degree programs through CSU Global, part of the state’s public university system. The school’s online bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership is a 120-credit program with asynchronous coursework so that you can complete your studies at your own pace. The degree can be further tailored to your interests with one of over 20 specializations. A few of these include:
- Project Management
- Human Resources and Organizational Development
- Emergency Management
- Healthcare Management
- Foundations of Accounting
If you already have leadership experience, this degree can give you the credentials you need to advance within your organization. But even if you have no prior management experience, the program will prepare you for management in nearly any organization or industry. You’ll study topics like policy development, strategic decision-making, ethics, organizational behavior, and organizational design and structure.
Once enrolled at CSU, you will be assigned a dedicated Student Success Counselor. Your counselor will act as a single point of communication to guide you through every step of the way through graduation. Plus, they will connect you with all the services and resources you might need for a successful academic journey.
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
CSU Global has the same low tuition rates, whether you’re in Colorado or out of state. And the school locks those low rates in place with a Tuition Guarantee, so your costs will never increase as long as you stay enrolled.
3. University of Southern Maine
The University of Southern Maine features an online bachelor’s degree completion program in Leadership and Organizational Studies. This program is specifically designed for transfer and returning students. You’ll complete the degree through a combination of transfer credits, Leadership and Organizational Studies courses, and prior learning assessment. This way, you can earn credit for knowledge and skills you’ve already acquired through life experience, work, or community service.
You’ll need 30 credit hours of study to earn the degree, which can be completed in as little as two years. Students can attend classes on-campus, online, or a combination of both. You can also opt to earn your bachelor’s and master’s degrees together in about five years through an Accelerated Graduate Pathway.
Considering pursuing your master’s degree in organizational leadership? We’ve got you covered. Check out the 30 Best Online Master’s in Organizational Leadership Programs!
The tuition for in-state students is a low $9,210 per academic year, while e-tuition for out-of-state residents is just $9,990. Additionally, the average out-of-state financial aid offer covers 70% of the costs. (For residents, the average offer covers 100%) Online students have access to superior support, including tutoring, peer mentorship, academic coaching, career advising, and much more.
Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
Students in USM’s bachelor’s completion program in Leadership and Organizational Studies can opt to participate in a leadership study abroad program, where they will delve into critical topics in intercultural leadership, expanding their outlook to become proficient leaders in the global economy.
4. University of West Georgia
The University of West Georgia offers an online BS in Organizational Leadership. It is delivered in partnership with USG eMajor in collaboration with other University System of Georgia schools. The program is ideal for traditional students, working professionals, transfer students, military members, and others seeking an alternative route to earning a degree. The comprehensive course structure offers insights into management, administration, human resources, ethics, and technology within contemporary organizations across public, private, and non-profit sectors.
This interdisciplinary degree can be tailored to your interests and career goals through various electives. Plus, it features two concentrations: Public Service and Social Justice. Courses are accessed through the Georgia Online Virtual Instruction Enterprise Wide (GoVIEW) learning management system. For the Organizational Leadership major, all courses are offered in 8-week sessions.
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Adults pursuing the organizational leadership BS at USG can earn college credit through Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) for college-level knowledge gained from relevant work experiences, professional training, military service, and professional certificate programs. This can significantly shorten the time it takes to earn your degree!
5. Arizona State University
Arizona State University offers an online BA in Organizational Behavior with several start dates per year. This 120-credit program features mostly asynchronous classes, meaning you can go at your own pace. You’ll take 40 classes, giving you a comprehensive overview of the field and the chance to explore topics like behavioral dynamics, project management, resource allocation, and much more. There are several start dates per year and no on-campus requirements.
While you can complete much of your coursework independently, you will still have plenty of opportunities to collaborate with your peers through virtual meetings, discussion boards, and more. Faculty members maintain virtual office hours, giving you one-on-one support. Additionally, all online students are assigned an academic advisor and a success coach to help guide them through their educational journey.
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
ASU offers incredible student support services to help you succeed. Take advantage of tutoring, tech support, career services, 24/7 mental health counseling, and other resources. You can also join a digital community and build connections through one of the school’s many clubs and organizations.
6. University of Cincinnati
The online BA in Organizational Leadership at the University of Cincinnati is one of the most flexible degrees on our list. This 120-credit program features three start dates a year, a generous transfer policy, and asynchronous coursework. No campus visits are required. Students can attend full or part-time, depending on their needs.
This program encourages students to strive for new ideas about leadership in modern organizations. You’ll study topics like workplace diversity, foundations of leadership, social influence and persuasion for leaders, and more. You’ll gain skills in conflict resolution, team building, coaching and mentoring, and many other managerial responsibilities. The degree provides a clear pathway for those who want to become leaders across various organizations. And it prepares students for organizational leadership careers in government, education, for-profit, and non-profit businesses.
The University of Cincinnati ranks in the top tier of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report. The school is also a member of the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI). ISPI is a non-profit association dedicated to improving human and organizational performance. The organization offers resources, networking opportunities, and educational programs to support individuals and organizations in enhancing performance and achieving their goals.
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Upon enrolling at the University of Cincinnati Online, you’ll get comprehensive support from start to graduation: Every student is paired with a dedicated Student Success Coordinator to assist them throughout their educational journey.
7. Southern New Hampshire University
Manchester, New Hampshire
Southern New Hampshire University offers a BS in Business Administration with a concentration in Organizational Leadership. This unique program is geared toward students who want to lead organizations through the ever-evolving business landscape. You’ll learn responsible management approaches and leadership practices, data-based decision-making skills, solutions to achieve organizational objectives, and more.
The degree is highly flexible, with multiple start dates a year and no set class times. Students can complete their assignments whenever it is most convenient. Full and part-time options are available. SNHU has a generous transfer policy that enables you to transfer up to 90 credits for a bachelor’s degree and 45 credits for an associate degree from your prior institutions. This could result in savings of up to 75% on tuition costs. Additionally, you may save time and money by earning college credit for past work experience or by utilizing military discounts and employer tuition assistance, if applicable.
Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
SNHU’s BS in Organizational Leadership is available both online and on-campus. If you want a blended learning experience, the school will work with you to combine both formats.
8. Saint Louis University
Saint Louis, Missouri
Saint Louis University offers a fully online BA in Leadership and Organizational Behavior with three start dates per year. In this highly flexible 120-credit program, you can attend full or part-time, and classes are asynchronous, so you can complete your coursework when it is convenient for you.
This structure is particularly advantageous for working professionals and individuals with prior commitments. Additionally, the program features six accelerated, eight-week terms annually, meaning that those motivated to graduate faster can earn up to 30 credits a year.
Tuition is a bit higher at this private, non-profit school. However, the School for Professional Studies provides many scholarships and awards explicitly tailored for new students. Moreover, SLU accepts transfer credits and provides credit for prior learning through several recognized sources.
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
SLU’s Organizational Leadership BA stands out with its specialized content tailored for the remote and hybrid workforce. This innovative curriculum underscores SLU’s commitment to imparting the latest industry concepts to students.
9. Pennsylvania State University (World Campus)
University Park, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania State University offers two online bachelor’s degrees in organizational leadership. Students can choose either a BA or a BS through Penn State World Campus, depending on their academic goals. The BA features a more humanistic approach by integrating humanities, social sciences, and language coursework. The BS takes a more social-scientific approach and requires additional leadership coursework. Both 123-credit programs feature multiple course options, allowing you to tailor your degree program to your interests.
The curriculum is meticulously designed and built on the latest industry trends to prepare you for a career in organizational leadership. The online programs at Penn State utilize a combination of peer-to-peer interaction and self-study. Classes are asynchronous so that you can work on your weekly assignments 24/7. You’ll also participate in group work, discussions, and other activities to enhance your learning experience. Online students earn the same highly respected degree as on-campus students, and financial aid, scholarships, and military benefits are available.
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Penn State is a pioneer in online learning with significant experience in meeting the needs of distance learners. Classes are taught by faculty with remote teaching experience and are created using technology specifically designed to support distance learning outcomes.
10. University of Massachusetts
UMass Global features a business-focused BA in Organizational Leadership. This flexible 120-credit is fully customizable, and students can choose from two areas of emphasis: supply chain systems or organizational administration. The degree was designed to apply the skills you’ve gained immediately in the workplace.
The comprehensive curriculum includes human resources, organizational behavior, marketing, ethics, economics, finance, team building, accounting, and leadership courses. Students will become innovative leaders who identify issues, analyze opportunities, communicate visions, and lead by example.
There are six session dates per year, and coursework is completed in eight-week sessions. This allows you to master one topic at a time. The courses are a mixture of lectures, group sessions, and other instructor-led activities. The faculty at UMass Global are all working professionals in their respective fields, so you can be assured that what you learn is relevant to today’s workplace.
Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission
Once you’re admitted as a student at UMass Global, you’ll be paired with a dedicated academic advisor. Your advisor will help you develop a personalized education plan based on your schedule, interests, and career goals. From there, they will be your guide all the way through graduation.
Choosing the Right Online Organizational Leadership Program for You
Wondering which online school is the best choice for you? Consider examining these factors when weighing your options:
World-Class Instruction from Renowned Faculty Members
If you’re eyeing a leadership role, it’s not just about what you learn but also who guides your learning journey. The best organizational leadership programs have reputable faculty members who aren’t just teachers but mentors with real-world experience to back up every lesson. These seasoned pros have been in boardrooms and battled through mergers; their stories will become your playbook for success.
Practical Learning and Global Networking
Pursuing an organizational leadership degree online can teach you how to be an ace leader while connecting you with professionals far and wide. Look for programs that allow you to participate in real-time collaborations where tomorrow’s leaders brainstorm solutions for today’s challenges. Imagine teaming up on projects or discussing case studies with someone halfway around the world—this is how leaders set strategic goals in our global economy. It gives ‘thinking outside the box’ a whole new meaning.
Fitting Education Into Your Life
How much flexibility do you need in an online program? Some students prefer to meet in real time with their classmates. Synchronous programs with set class times are more structured and might help you stay on track. For other students, flexibility means logging into class after tucking the kids into bed or reviewing coursework during lunch breaks at work. Asynchronous programs offer self-paced coursework you can work on when it’s convenient for you.
A Curriculum Relevant to You
If you are interested in a particular area of leadership (like healthcare management or human resources, for example), look for programs with specialties or electives that appeal to you. This way, your education is perfectly tailored to your goals.
When choosing a school for a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership, one of the main considerations should be the curriculum’s alignment with your career goals. Look for programs that offer a blend of theoretical and practical learning. The school’s reputation and the faculty’s expertise can significantly impact your learning experience and future career prospects. A highly reputed school with a strong alumni network can provide invaluable networking opportunities, potentially facilitating career advancement. It’s also worth considering the flexibility of the course in terms of online or on-campus learning, especially if you plan to work while studying.Eric Eng, Founder & CEO of Admission Sight
Career Options and Salaries Those with a Bachelors in Organizational Leadership
If you’re considering cashing in on a career that’ll pay off, earning a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership is like finding the golden ticket. We’re not talking peanuts here; graduates stepping into organizational leadership roles often find themselves earning above-average salaries from day one. Just how much green can you expect to see? Let’s talk numbers.
Looking for more information on organizational leadership careers? Businesses worldwide spend $366 billion annually on leadership development, and those with organizational leadership skills are in high demand. Check out our article to discover more of the best organizational leadership jobs.
What Will I Learn in a Bachelor’s Degree Program for Organizational Leadership?
Organizational leadership programs go beyond traditional management tactics. They hone strategic thinking so leaders can set goals that sail past the horizon line. You’ll learn to foster innovation with emotional intelligence while steering clear of icebergs like poor resource management. You’ll become a wizard of team building, mastering every nuance from conflict management to effective communication.
This specialized leadership degree doesn’t just teach you the ropes; it gives you the skills to orchestrate success within any team or organization.
You’ll Learn to Master the Art of Influence
The art of influence isn’t about Jedi mind tricks—it’s about understanding people. When leadership courses show you how to motivate others, they’re really teaching you how to paint visions so compelling that people want to turn them into reality.
You’ll Delve into the World of Strategic Data Utilization
Strategic data utilization involves the purposeful and effective use of data to inform decision-making and drive organizational success. Those with data management skills are highly sought after in today’s workplace.
Strategic data utilization is a key skill for organizational leadership. In the era of big data, leaders must be adept at leveraging analytics to make informed decisions. Understanding how to gather, interpret, and apply data insights allows leaders to formulate effective strategies, optimize processes, and drive organizational success. This skill not only enhances decision-making but also fosters a data-driven culture that promotes efficiency and effectiveness throughout the organization.Jeff Mains, Founder & CEO Champion Leadership Group
You’ll Gain an Understanding of Team Dynamics and Conflict Resolution
Teamwork makes the dream work, but conflict management ensures the dream doesn’t turn into a nightmare. An organizational leadership program arms future leaders with techniques not only for preventing conflicts but also for resolving them when they do pop up.
You’ll Cultivate Problem-Solving Prowess
Your coursework will equip you with sharp problem-solving abilities. This means less time spent scratching heads and more time breaking new ground. These programs also focus heavily on goal-setting strategies. Soon enough, employers will look at your resume and think, “Ah. Here comes our next eagle-eyed strategist.”
You’ll Nurture Critical Thinking and Emotional Intelligence
Leaders set themselves apart by analyzing situations while maintaining cool composure. This blend of IQ meets EQ lets aspiring leaders navigate choppy business waters without turning overboard when challenges arise. In today’s highly competitive job market, these unique abilities can make you stand out among other applicants.
Emotional intelligence refers to the capacity to comprehend and regulate emotions, both on an individual level and within an organizational context. This skill aids in resolving conflicts and enhancing communication, all of which are fundamental to effective leadership. As the workplace becomes increasingly diverse and remote, honing emotional intelligence becomes even more critical. Leaders with a high EI can inspire, motivate, and lead teams through challenges while fostering a positive and inclusive work environment.Jeff Mains, Founder & CEO Champion Leadership Group
You’ll Hone Communication Skills Fit for Commanders
Your communication skills after nabbing one of these degrees? Think HD clarity mixed with charisma levels cranked up full blast. Effective leadership relies heavily on delivering messages smoothly. You’ll learn just how vital clear communication is across all sectors, whether it’s supply chain management or healthcare leadership roles demanding precise coordination.
Our Methodology for the Best Organizational Leadership Bachelor’s Programs
We looked at dozens of accredited colleges and universities that offer online organizational leadership degrees and related programs. To determine our final list of schools, we examined retention rates, graduation rates, student-to-faculty ratios, and undergraduate tuition*. We then used that information to develop our list of the 10 best online programs for a bachelor’s in organizational leadership. In the case of a tie, schools were given a higher ranking if their tuition was lower. Here’s how we broke it down:
- Less than $10,000/year- 3 Points
- $10,001-$20,000/year- 2 Points
- More than $20,000/year- 1 Point
Freshman Retention Rate
- Less than 50%- 1 Point
- More than 50%- 3 Points
- 50% or Greater- 3 Points
- 25%-49%- 2 Points
- Less than 25%- 1 Point
Student to Faculty Ratio
- 15:1 and under- 3 Points
- 16:1 to 20:1- 2 Points
- More than 20:1- 1 Point
*Please note that the listed tuition prices are based on the in-state undergraduate costs per academic year. Tuition for out-of-state and online students may differ, depending on where you live.
Top 10 Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Organizational Leadership
|Student to Faculty Ratio
|Fort Hays State University
|Colorado State University
|University of Southern Maine
|University of West Georgia
|Arizona State University
|University of Cincinnati
|Southern New Hampshire University
|Saint Louis University
|Pennsylvania State University
|University of Massachusetts Global
We would like to thank the following generous contributors who offered their professional insight and experience in the creation of this article: