While a master of business administration (MBA) remains one of the most popular degrees for launching and accelerating business careers, earning an online master’s degree in management and leadership opens many of the same doors as a traditional MBA. Graduates studying leadership and management learn about strategic thinking, organizational communication, and the dynamics of organizational change — all of which help businesses and employees streamline their work while increasing an organization’s overall well-being and efficiency. Students in these programs may also learn about topics such as intercultural communication and emotional intelligence at the same time they are developing comptency in core business subjects such as business analytics, accounting, and research methods. Often including a capstone, master’s degrees in mangement and leadership cultivate practical skills as well as the theoretical knowledge professionals need to manage complex projects and resources. Below, you’ll find our ranking of the top master’s programs in management and leadership.
Listed below are the 15 cheapest online master’s degrees in management and leadership. We limit our scope to such programs at accredited institutions. We sourced our tuition information from the U.S. Department of Education’s College Navigator database. Each program is a little different, from the subjects they cover to their program durations, but they also share a few similarities: they are accredited, affordable, and provide an education that could help get you ahead. They are listed from most to least expensive, with public schools organized based on an average of their in-state and out-of-state rates.
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Cheap Online Master’s in Management and Leadership Degree Program Ranking
15. Norwich University Online
Online Master of Science in Leadership
Students can learn to become effective leaders by earning Norwich University’s online master of science in leadership. The program focuses on five key qualities: passion, emotional intelligence, strong ethical convicions, exceptional communication skills, and a strategic outlook. Concentrations for this cheap online master’s in management are available in human resources leadership, organizational leadership, public sector leadership, and change management consulting. Lasting 18 months and consisting of six courses, students study leadership fundamentals, strategic organizational behavior, and developing a learning organization.
14. University of Charleston
Online Master of Science in Strategic Leadership
A master of science in strategic leadership from the University of Charleston provides small classes sizes, outstanding faculty, and professional relationships that make it a valuable and cheap online master’s in management program. Graduates are prepared to purposefully lead others in a variety of organizational settings. Requiring the completion of 36 credits, students take courses in areas such as regraming leadership, organizational theory, and strategic thinking. Concentrations are also available in strategy as practice, healthcare management, crisis leadership, and business management.
13. Indiana University
Online MS in Strategic Management
An online master of science in strategic management from Indiana University delivers the leadership abilities you need to manage businesses and organizations and guide them to success. Offered through the Kelley School of Business, this 30-credit program lasts two years and covers several core manegement topics, including strategic t hinking, operations management, and entrepreneurship. Coursework is also available in areas such as international competitive strategy, strategic management technology, and operations management.
12. Northeastern University
Master of Science Leadership Online
Northeastern offers a truly unique online master’s in leadership through its College of Professional Studies. Available in either full- or part-time formats, this degree lasts 1-2 years and consists of roughly 30 credits, including a leadership capstone. The core curriculum of this cheap online master’s in management covers subjects such as ethical leadership, leading teams, and strategy development. Five concentrations are available in areas such as healthcare strategic management and principles of population-based management.
11. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Online Master of Science in Leadership
Embry-Riddle’s online MS in leadership program trains strong, passionate leaders from different locations and backgrounds. Blending leadership theory and practical tools, this 30-credit program teaches you to communicate powerfully, coach and mentor others, and anticipate the needs of organizations and businesses. To build core competencies in these areas, students take courses in leadership communication, organizational change, and leadership ethics and corporate social responsibility. A graduate leadership capstone is also required to complete this cheap online master’s in management degree.
10. Strayer University
Online Master of Science in Management Leadership
Students at Strayer University can earn a cheap online master’s in management through a concentration in leadership, which gives them the skills to bring about organizational change. Consisting of 12 courses, the program is desigend so that students can help organizations and businesses operate in a diverse, dynamic, and global business environment. Students can take courses in managing organizational change, leadership strategies, and women in leadership. Other concentrations available for the master’s in management include project management and marketing management.
9. CUNY School of Professional Studies
Online Master’s Degree in Business Management and Leadership (M.S.)
Students enrolled in CUNY’s fully online MS in business management and leadership learn to become innovators, decision-makers, and influencers across a number of businesses and organizations. The program focuses on case studies and organizational models that help students understand diversity, consumer trust, and sustainability. Consisting of 30 credits, students can take classes in accounting for business decisions, quantitative decision making, and knowledge and information systems. A capstone also explores topics such as global virtual enterprise and global strategic management.
8. Montreat College
Online Master’s Degree in Management & Leadership
Offered fully online and at Montreat’s Asheville and Charlotte campuses, the master of science in management teaches students to develop critical thinking and strategic planning skills with a Christ-centered worldview. Offered through the School of Adult and Graduate Studies, students in this cheap online master’s in management program can take courses in human capital management, advanced entrepreneurship and the intrapreneurial spirit, and effective communication. For admission, students need to submit an essay that demonstrates management and leadership potential.
Walden offers an online MS in leadership with several specialization options: a general option, executive leadership, integrated communication skills for leaders, leader development, and a self-designed program. Earning a cheap online master’s in management gives you the skills to become a competent and ethical leader. Aside from the core program, students have the option of pursuing a graduate-level certificate or an accelerated path to a doctorate. The general program consists of 30 total semester credits, including an integrative capstone. Core courses cover subjects such as dynamic leadership, initiating and managing change, and managing business partner relationships.
6. Webster University
MA in Management and Leadership Online
Offered entirely online or in a hybrid format, Webster’s master’s in management and leadership can be completed in as little as 18 months. You can customize the degree by focusing on cybersecurity, health administration, project management, or organizational development. Ninety-two percent of graduates found full-time employment, and students can take classes in integrates studies in management, managerial leadership, and basic finance for managers. Graduates will be capable of explaining the important concepts and analytic techniques used in businesses and organizations.
5. Belhaven University
Online Master of Science in Leadership Degree Program
Belhaven’s fully online master of science in leadership consists of 36 credits in areas designed to enhance the careers of business managers and executives. The program is intended to develop student comprehension of social, political, economic, and legal forces that affect decision making within organizations. Belhaven, a Christian institution based in Mississippi, has several executive development learning objectives, including developing “servant leadership” using Christ as a model of service. The curriculum consists of classes in ethical problems in business, leading high performance teams, and the legal environment of business.
4. Azusa Pacific University
Management, M.A. (Online)
Azusa Pacific offers a master’s in leadership program rooted in Christian values, though the program’s interdisciplinary nature makes it an ideal choice for developing practical and theory-driven leadership abilities. Consisting of 36 credits, students in this cheap online master’s in management program focus on three areas of study: executive leadership, leadership development, and sport management. The program is available fully online and is administered either full or part time in separate eight-week terms. Courses are available in organizational behavior, cornerstones of Christian leadership, and research methods and design.
Liberty’s master’s in executive leadership online program strengthens your critical-thinking and problem-solving abilities through scenarios and assignments that are rooted in practical business challenges. This 30-credit, cheap online master’s in management is intended for professionals without a formal business degree and students transitioning from a business-related bachelor’s program. Over the course of two years, students can take classes in nonprofit management, conflict resolution, and corporate responsibility. Graduates can go on to become business development excecutives, business owners, and organizational managers.
2. Concordia University
Masters in Management Online
Offered in a blended or online format, Concordia University’s master’s in leadership and management helps students balance business acumen with social and communication skills. Consisting of 36 credits, students in this cheap online master’s in management can take courses in applied moral and ethical leadership, financial management for leaders, and project and quality management. The master’s is offered through the College of Business and Technology and emphasizes the synthesis of leadership and management with research and reflection.
WGU’s master of science in management and leadership prepares you to take advantage of high-level career opportunities. Offered fully online, this cheap online master’s in management focuses on four areas of core competency: management, leadership, business acumen, and strategy. Eighty-five percent of graduates finish in 9-24 months. Students can take courses in ethical leadership, data-driven decision making, and management communication. Outside of the core areas of learning, students must complete a capstone. Various alumni support options are also available.
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