Professionals thinking about returning to school to earn an online master’s degree in organizational management and leadership will be happy to hear that there are a wealth of options available to them. However, the large number of schools with graduate programs in leadership might not fit the bill for everyone. Some are not fully accredited, some are not very affordable, and others simply don’t offer a high grade of education.
The good news is that there are definitely some great choices out there. If you’re not convinced, hopefully our list below will do the trick! Here you can see descriptions of 19 cheap online master’s degree programs in organizational and management and leadership – in fact, the very cheapest among those offered at accredited institutions, according to data institutions provide to the U.S. Department of Education as reflected in the College Navigator database. Although some are more expensive than others (they range from about $6,000 to $14,000 a year, with the more expensive programs listed first) and they all take a little bit different approach to management education, you will be glad to hear that they all offer great academics and a price tag that will fit most budgets.
Note: This article may contain sponsored links. These are designed to help you connect with programs easily.
Ranking the Top Cheap Master’s in Organizational Management and Leadership Online Degree Programs
19. Saint Joseph’s University
Online Master’s in Organizational Development and Leadership
Saint Joseph’s University understands that leadership is more than a theory – it is a real process of self-discovery, coupled with motivation and inspiration. The university has channeled this unique approach to the subject into an online master’s degree in organizational management and leadership. The curriculum provides students with the maximum opportunities for interaction through a dynamic online system. Learners complete group assignments and team building exercises, and are required to attend a four week residency program in “Change Leadership” on the SJU campus. It may be the most expensive school on our list, but Saint Joseph’s is nonetheless a great investment: Kiplinger’s Personal Finance named it one of the best private colleges in 2014, and PayScale placed the school on it’s list of top regional business schools for ROI.
18. University of the Incarnate Word
Online MS in Organizational Development & Leadership
The University of the Incarnate Word’s accredited online master’s degree in organizational management and leadership is a great choice for anyone serious about furthering their career. Students enhance their understanding of basic leadership practices while also building practical analytical and problem solving skills. The courses are organized into a format that is convenient for adult professionals, with six sessions of 8-week long courses. Online learners can take just two classes at a time and still complete their degree in the traditional time frame. In addition to other rankings, UIW currently holds a top place on U.S News’ list of the best colleges in the West.
17. Lewis University
Online Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership
In order to contribute effectively to the organizational management of a business, professionals must possess both strong leadership and motivational capabilities. The online master’s degree in organizational management and leadership at Lewis University accomplishes just those goals. The curriculum consists of 37 credit hours in such topics as leadership studies, social responsibility, and conflict management. Students also get to choose from one of five specially-designed concentrations: Higher Education, Not-for-Profit Management, Organizational and Leadership Coaching, Training and Development, or Organizational Management. U.S. News rates Lewis as having one of the best programs in the Midwest.
16. Our Lady of the Lake University
Online Master of Science in Organizational Leadership
Our Lady of the Lake’s master’s degree in organizational leadership can provide a great boost to baccalaureate graduates looking to take their career to the next level. The interdisciplinary program is “firmly rooted in ethics” and takes an interdisciplinary and multicultural approach to the theory and practice of leadership. Students take all courses for the master’s degree in organizational management and leadership online, supported by a robust network of resources and engaging faculty. The diverse program is useful for students interested in anything from healthcare management to education to the military. According to College Prowler, more than 90% of students consider the professors knowledgeable, while 71% say the administration makes the financial aid application process easy.
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This affordable online master’s degree in organizational management and leadership consists of 36 credit hours organized into seven-week long sessions. Colorado Christian University also provides students with the unique opportunity to to attend a 3-day national leadership conference on its campus in Colorado Springs. Although this feature requires travel, it is a great experience for students who want to hone their leadership skills and network with industry professionals. College Prowler survey participants reveal that 90% of students would choose CCU again, and nearly 75% found the career center very helpful.
14. University of Wisconsin at Platteville
Online Master of Science in Organizational Change Leadership
Students who are truly seeking a university with a great return on investment should consider the University of Wisconsin for their graduate degree needs. The school’s online master’s degree in organizational management and leadership has been rated a “Best Buy” by GetEducated.com, and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The program is also extremely flexible, featuring 100% online courses and a pace that allows students to take up to seven years to complete the program. Core courses cover all the basics of leadership and business, including organizational behavior and communication, theory and practice, research, strategic thinking, and motivating change.
Tuition: $7,640/yr (In-state) $16,771/yr (Out-of-state)
13. Regis University
Online MSOL Organizational Leadership & Management
Regis University’s top online master’s degree in organizational management and leadership is available in an accelerated format for those looking to kick their career into high gear. Not only does Regis have a great business program, but the entire college was named a “top tier” Western school by U.S. News in 2014. The department describes itself as “intensive,” and requires applicants to hold both a bachelor’s degree and at least two years of related work experience. The program also allows students to choose a specialization area or even to pursue a dual degree. Students must also complete an integrated Capstone Course in order to demonstrate their aptitude and comprehension of the degree material.
12. Brandman University
Online MA, Organizational Leadership
Brandman University, part of the Chapman University system, offers a graduate program in leadership that focuses on critical analysis, change management, collaboration, and ethics. The interdisciplinary nature of this online master’s degree in organizational management and leadership allows students to take elective classes in psychology, criminal justice, education, human resources, and even healthcare administration. Students can choose to take all courses online or can attend classes at one of the university’s West Coast locations. A school truly committed to quality distance education, it was recently placed on U.S. News’ “Honor Roll of Online Options.”
11. Thomas Edison State College
Online Master of Science in Management with a Focus in Organizational Leadership
Organizational Leadership is an important area of focus within Thomas Edison State College’s graduate degree in management program. 24 credits focus on general principles of management, and then learners enrolled in the accredited online master’s degree in organizational management and leadership concentration take specialty classes in “Contemporary Issues in Leadership,” “Global Management,” “Leading Change in Complex Organizations,” and more. TESC has long been lauded as a leader in distance education, and was given the National University Technology Network “Distance Education Innovation Award” in 2011 for the development of its unique FlashTrack course delivery system.
10. Mount Vernon Nazarene University
Online MBA: Organizational Leadership
This university’s online master’s degree in organizational management and leadership is delivered as part of an extensive MBA program. In addition to organizational management, MBA students at Mount Vernon Nazarene University may also seek a speciality degree in Finance, Human Resources, or Healthcare Administration. Targeted to current business professionals, the curriculum allows current industry employees to hone their knowledge while learning how to be influential and effective leaders. Many graduates of the program have successfully entered the increasingly competitive workforce and found rewarding jobs as project, staff, and operations managers. Experts from the college review website FindTheBest give MVNU a 91/100 “Smart Rating” for its affordability, academic excellence, and admissions selectivity.
9. National University
Online Master of Science in Organizational Leadership
This affordable online master’s degree in organizational management and leadership from National University provides a rigorous curriculum to those who are up for the challenge. The program accepts a diverse group of students in order to encourage individuals to gain the skills needed to succeed in an international business environment. The unique program focuses on topics as varied as information technology and service to others, melding the practical with the relational. Classes include “Ethics and Classic Theories,” “Leadership in the 21st Century,” and “Conflict and Power Dynamics,” and includes an optional specialization in Community Development. Among other recognitions, NU has been praised for awarding a higher than average number of graduate degrees to minority students.
8. Azusa Pacific University
Online Leadership and Organizational Studies, M.A.
This 22 month long graduate program caters to working adults who already have some work experience under their belt. Students can conveniently take all courses in this master’s degree in organizational management and leadership online, which allows them to apply their newly learned skills to their current job as they move through the program. In fact, Azusa Pacific encourages learners to use their company as a “laboratory for class projects,” combining theoretical knowledge with hands-on practice. The school has committed itself to creating quality curricula, and since 1964 has earned nearly 20 separate general and program-specific accreditations, including one from the prestigious International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education.
7. California Baptist University
Online Masters in Organizational Leadership
California Baptist University’s online master’s degree in organizational management and leadership is designed specifically to help individuals climb the career ladder. The school holds rankings from U.S. News for both its MBA and general business grad programs, making it one of the best online master’s degrees in organizational management and leadership out there. Students benefit from advanced training in decision making, conflict resolution, organizational change, human resource management, and leading multicultural organizations. The program is also broad enough to be beneficial to professionals in diverse career fields, including education, administration, sports, retail, philanthropy, and politics.
6. Concordia University Wisconsin
Organizational Leadership and Administration (OLA) – Online Master of Science Program
Concordia University at Wisconsin takes a unique approach to organizational leadership, emphasizing a Christian viewpoint in all classes. The department asserts that spiritual principles blended with management training help “empower today’s minds for tomorrow’s world.” The 39-credit online master’s degree in organizational management and leadership can be customized through numerous concentration options, such as Risk Management, Corporate Communication, Public Administration, Environmental Studies, Marketing, Healthcare Administration, Management Information Systems, Human Resource Management, or International Business. A General Management concentration is also available. The vast majority of students who completed surveys on College Prowler reported being very satisfied with CUW and the knowledgeable professors there.
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Colorado State University’s Global Campus offers a top online master’s degree in organizational management and leadership that can give professionals the boost they need to make it into executive management. Graduates of the program find work in human resources, benefits administration, executive management, industrial and operational supervision, and more. In addition to exploring the theoretical aspects of leadership, CSU online students also practice decision-making and communication, and even study psychology. Many consider CSU a premier provider of distance education, and TheBestColleges.org ranked it 6th on its 2015 list of top online colleges.
4. Crown College
Online, Christian-Focused Organizational Leadership, M.A.
This Christian-focused degree program calls itself “significantly different,” training business leaders to be models of Christian ethics in the wider corporate world. The cheap online master’s degree in organizational management and leadership is available for just $8,000 a year. What’s more, 98% of students receive some type of scholarship or financial help, making it an especially affordable choice. Religious students also appreciate that the school was named one of the “Top Online Christian Colleges” in 2013. The curriculum covers strategic planning, research, organizational communication, and the spiritual roots of effective leadership.
3. Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
Online Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership
Professionals who have their sights set on a serious pay raise should consider Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, a school committed to helping students open doors. The online master’s degree in organizational management and leadership is only 20 months long, but crams five semesters of meaningful classes into that time. The curriculum is based on five adjectives that SMU says describes an effective leader: strategic, global, adaptive, connected, and learning. Forbes rates the university in its top 500 schools nationally, and also includes SMU on its list of top schools in the Midwest.
2. Lincoln Christian University
Online MA in Organizational Leadership
Lincoln Christian University offers one of the most affordable online master’s degrees in organizational management and leadership. At just over $7,000 a year and with a program that takes approximately a year and a half to complete, students can acquire this top graduate degree for less than the cost of a year of undergraduate school at many universities! Classes are offered entirely online in 7-week long modules. By taking courses back-to-back, online learners move through the degree efficiently, getting to know 12-15 students in their cohort as they go. The small setting for classes also allows LCU students to get more attention from faculty and understand the material more comprehensively. In the “Best and Worst” section on College Prowler, LCU is recognized happy students and extreme affordability.
1. Columbia Southern University
Online Master of Science in Organizational Leadership
Columbia Southern University is an online college that often attracts students for its incredibly affordable tuition. In addition to being low-cost, CSU is also a great choice for veterans and was named a top military school by Military Advanced Education magazine. The M.S. program at this university consists of 37-credit hours of relevant classes, covering such topics as strategies for success, training and development, intercultural management, managing project teams, methods for analysis, and crisis communication. In addition, elective classes allow students to explore employment law, human resource management, and advanced marketing. This online master’s degree in organizational management and leadership also allows students to dive further into an area of particular interest through an applied research project.
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About the Author:
Iris Stone began her writing career when she started working as a freelance writer and researcher in 2011. Her freelance business soon took off and she now owns and operates a writing and editing firm that works with clients all across the country. Despite the time it takes to run a business she still does much of the writing herself, and her work has included a variety of content related to education policy, colleges and universities, academic programs, and graduates’ careers. Her interests actually span far beyond writing, and she is currently studying to be a physicist! Check out her Google+ Profile.