Organizational leadership

Bachelor of arts University of Missouri-St. Louis
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Bachelor of arts

What does it mean to be a leader, especially in today’s world? Across all industries and pursuits, leaders take charge, encourage others, drive results and pioneer innovative ideas. They could be overseeing a hospital’s administrative operations, human resources, a company’s array of departments, information security or a dedicated group of volunteers. Some might think leaders are born. However, you can cultivate the skills and mindset to assume a leadership role in your company or field.

The University of Missouri-St. Louis’s online bachelor of arts in organizational leadership helps you step up. You acknowledge your potential — and your desire to see something larger than you succeed. Geared toward individuals with an associate degree or a minimum of 40 transferable credit hours, this interdisciplinary program helps elevate your career and specialize your knowledge with an emphasis area.

Leadership goes beyond telling others what to do or simply being a visionary. Connections and communication support all efforts and interactions. Considering this, the online bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership helps you fulfill your personal and career goals. Explore the practical and theoretical aspects of management and leadership while strengthening your critical-thinking and communication skills. This combination, coupled with your emphasis area, gives you a leg up in today’s rapidly changing, increasingly diverse and globalized workforce.

Quick facts

Official name

Bachelor of arts in organizational leadership

Campus

University of Missouri-St. Louis

Program type

Bachelor's degree

Academic home

College of Arts & Sciences | Department of Sociology

Delivery mode

100% online

Accreditation

Higher Learning Commission

Credit hours

60

Estimated cost

$23,406.00

*This cost is for illustrative purposes only. Your hours and costs will differ, depending on your transfer hours, your course choices and your academic progress. See more about tuition and financial aid.

Careers

Do you see yourself drawn to leadership roles in group settings? To what do you aspire? UMSL’s online bachelor’s in organizational leadership helps a broad range of professionals not only picture, but reach the next level of their career. 

  • Integrate critical-thinking and decision-making skills with business ethics, management and communication to strategically lead.
  • Cultivate talent and culture by encouraging an inclusive, diverse environment that fosters engagement, welcomes a range of ideas, and supports job satisfaction and productivity.
  • Build driven, creative teams by promoting collaboration and connections across your workforce. 
  • See change as advancement and the future of your company or organization, and lead others toward this purpose through motivation, communication and technology.
  • Strengthen relationships through interpersonal communication skills to support teamwork, open the floor to new ideas and grow your business internally and externally. 

You’re not only perceiving demand for leadership skills — projected employment statistics support the need for qualified management professionals. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 5% growth for management occupations across all industries between 2019 and 2029, with positions frequently requiring a bachelor’s degree.

What can you do with a bachelor’s in organizational leadership?

UMSL’s online bachelor’s in organizational leadership helps professionals, whether starting out or farther along in their careers, earn a crucial credential that advances their skill set. Course work builds off what many students know, making this degree ideal if you currently manage a team, assist with training and development, support organizational change or are an entrepreneur and look beyond to a leadership role. 

Professional standing in a meeting room with colleagues.

Career prospects

Based on your existing experience and your industry, this online degree helps you fulfill the requirements to become an:

  • Operations manager
  • Program manager
  • General manager
  • Communications manager
  • Production manager
  • Human services manager
  • Management consultant
  • Business analyst
  • Finance manager
Burning Glass Technologies. 2021. National median salary and employment growth numbers are based on models that consider advertised job posting salary, Bureau of Labor Statistics data and other proprietary and public sources of information for multiple occupations.
5.44%
employment growth
Burning Glass Technologies. 2021. National median salary numbers and employment growth numbers are based on models that consider advertised job posting salary, Bureau of Labor Statistics data and other proprietary and public sources of information for multiple occupations.
$77,000
median salary

You’re not only perceiving demand for leadership skills — projected employment statistics support the need for qualified management professionals. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 5% growth for management occupations across all industries between 2019 and 2029, with positions frequently requiring a bachelor’s degree.

Organizational leadership emphasis areas

An emphasis area (9 credit hours) lets you focus your skills on a particular industry or role. You’ll customize your degree toward your goals by selecting one of the following emphasis areas:

  • Business management: Gain a more nuanced perspective of management techniques, ethics and organizational behavior to improve training and development, motivate a workforce and encourage teamwork.
  • Community studies: Better understand the sources and sociological effects of societal problems and how they influence globalization, consumerism, relationships and identity.
  • Corporate communication: Learn to persuade and convince others in a professional context and during times of crisis through course work focusing on public relations and communication techniques.
  • Criminal justice: Discover ways you can enact change and set a forward-looking example. Subject matter exposes you to criminal justice and criminology principles in relation to policies, planning, implementation and structure of the U.S. criminal justice system. 
  • Health communication: Explore ways to promote health, create organizational culture and manage crises. Course work highlights interpersonal communication, mass media, public relations and corporate communication in a health care context.
  • Supply chain management: Become familiar with all areas of a supply chain. Courses emphasize manufacturing, services and business analytics in relation to predicting demand, launching new products and managing facilities.
  • Social justice: When you passionately support a mission, see how you can lead others to uplift communities and create change. Subjects delve into the conditions created by societal problems, the structure of the criminal justice system and international communication.
  • Information systems: Information technology and network security influence business operations. Gain the skills to spearhead new information security initiatives and protect a company’s digital assets through courses focusing on the intersection of business and technology.
  • Individualized emphasis: Tailor your knowledge by selecting a minimum of three courses across all emphasis areas. 

Program structure

You’ll refine and expand what you know about leadership with a 30 credit–hour core of required classes. 

The credits you previously earned contribute toward your general education requirements. Within this group of courses, UMSL requires all students to complete three levels of a foreign language.

Core courses take a holistic, multifaceted approach to the competencies needed to become an effective, engaged leader. This knowledge not only helps you advance in your current role, but become a more competitive candidate overall. 

Course work includes

However you choose to personalize your degree, core courses for the online bachelor’s in organizational leadership introduce you to the following:

  • Organizational leadership techniques and methodology
  • Sociological theories behind individual and group behavior
  • Organizational and professional communication concepts
  • Business writing and analysis
  • Technology uses for problem solving and decision making
  • Advanced critical-thinking skills
  • Business ethics and best practices concerning environmental impact and diversity
  • Management and organizational behavior theories

Review the full list of courses for the online bachelor’s in organizational leadership.

Delivery

100% online

Calendar system

Semester

Typical program length

3 years

Typical course load

1-2 classes per semester

Accreditation

The University of Missouri-St. Louis is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States.

Faculty spotlight

My philosophy as a business professional and professor, I bring practical experience to the classroom and transfer my industry knowledge to students by establishing and promoting an effective learning environment based on their diverse interests, abilities, needs and expectations. I’m passionate about students learning and being to apply the techniques that can be implemented to change people and make organizations more effective.

 “Change is inevitable. Change is constant.” -Benjamin Disraeli

I'm the Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator for UMSL's Bachelor of Arts, Organizational Leadership program. In addition, I have been teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in leadership, organizational behavior, ethics, international business, and business management capstone for 10 years. Prior to teaching, I have worked in the pharmaceutical, biotech, and life sciences industry for over 25 years in various management and leadership roles.

Robert Cote
Program Coordinator, Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Organizational Leadership

Learn more about this program

This program is administered by the Department of Sociology