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Best online organizational leadership degrees 2022: Top picks

An organizational leadership degree blends coursework in business, social science, and communication to prepare you to guide and motivate employees.

Organized leadership emphasizes management skills alongside business and communication fundamentals. An organizational leadership degree also trains you to lead people and teams toward organizational goals. 

Organizational managers enjoy working with others to foster talent and improve performance.

Well-rounded organizational leadership graduates may land management positions in business, education, and government settings. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects more than 900,000 new positions in management occupations by 2030, a 9% increase.

To find out more about the best online leadership degrees available, browse our top picks below.

Top 5 online schools for organizational leadership

College

Program stats

How much?

University of Iowa

Iowa City, IA

  • BLS, organizational studies track
  • Acceptance rate: 83%
  • Graduation rate: 72%
  • Emphasizes management skills for business enterprises

Avg. annual net price: $19,145

Application fee: $40

Graceland University

Lamoni, IA

  • BA in Organizational Leadership
  • Acceptance rate: 58%
  • Graduation rate: 61%
  • Affiliated with Community of Christ

Avg. annual net price: $17,650

Application fee: $50

University of Charleston

Charleston, WV

  • Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership
  • Acceptance rate: 50%
  • Graduation rate: 43%
  • Fully online and hybrid options

Avg. annual net price: $22,284

Application fee: $25

St. Louis University

St. Louis, MO

  • BS in Organizational Leadership and Technology
  • Acceptance rate: 58%
  • Graduation rate: 69%
  • Coursework in organizational leadership and computer information systems

Avg. annual net price: $28,188

Application fee: Free

John Brown University

Siloam Spring, AR

  • BS in Organizational Leadership
  • Acceptance rate: 76%
  • Graduation rate: 70%
  • Program emphasizes Christian leadership ideals

Avg. annual net price: $21,963

Application fee: $25

The best online organizational leadership degrees

ZDNet's ranking methodology uses a proprietary formula to assess academic programs. By taking data from federally institutions and insights from industry experts, ZDNet provides an objective look at the best online organizational leadership degrees available.

Unless otherwise indicated, data is drawn from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and College Scorecard.

1. University of Iowa

Iowa City, Iowa

About the program: UI's online bachelor of liberal studies, organizational studies track emphasizes managerial skills applicable to business environments. Students may transfer up to 60 semester hours toward the 120-semester hour degree.

  • Acceptance rate: 83%
  • Graduation rate: 72%
  • Avg. annual net price: $19,145
  • Time to completion: Two to four years
  • SAT range: 1130-1340
  • Minimum GPA: 2.0
  • Enrollment periods per year: Five
  • Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

2. Graceland University

Lamoni, Iowa

About the program: GU's online bachelor of arts in organizational leadership includes 42 credit hours of major coursework alongside its essential education requirements. GU is affiliated with Community of Christ.

  • Acceptance rate: 58%
  • Graduation rate: 61%
  • Avg. annual net price: $17,650
  • Time to completion: Four years
  • SAT range: 930-1130
  • Minimum GPA: 2.5
  • Enrollment periods per year: Six
  • Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

3. University of Charleston

Charleston, West Virginia

About the program: UC's online organizational leadership bachelor's degree includes a concentration in first responder and criminal justice, healthcare leadership, or aviation leadership.

  • Acceptance rate: 50%
  • Graduation rate: 43%
  • Avg. annual net price: $22,284
  • Time to completion: Four years
  • SAT range: 949-1142
  • Minimum GPA: 2.0
  • Enrollment periods per year: Three
  • Course delivery methods: Online, hybrid, cohort-based

4. St. Louis University

St. Louis, Missouri

About the program: SLU's online bachelor of science in organizational leadership and technology combines coursework in computer information systems and organizational leadership and behavior. 

  • Acceptance rate: 58%
  • Graduation rate: 69%
  • Avg. annual net price: $28,188
  • Time to completion: Four years
  • SAT range: 1170-1380
  • Minimum GPA: 2.5
  • Enrollment periods per year: Six
  • Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

5. John Brown University

Siloam Spring, Arkansas

About the program: JBU's online organizational leadership bachelor's degree emphasizes a Christian model of leadership throughout the 120-credit-hour curriculum. 

  • Acceptance rate: 76%
  • Graduation rate: 70%
  • Avg. annual net price: $21,963
  • Time to completion: Four years
  • SAT range: 1060-1260
  • Minimum GPA: 2.0
  • Enrollment periods per year: Six
  • Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

6. Union University

Jackson, Tennessee

About the program: Designed for working adults, Union University's 128-credit online bachelor of science in organizational leadership serves as a degree-completion program. Enrollees should have two years of college credits.

  • Acceptance rate: 53%
  • Graduation rate: 67%
  • Avg. annual net price: $28,249
  • Time to completion: 18 months to two years
  • SAT range: 1060-1280
  • Minimum GPA: 2.0
  • Enrollment periods per year: Three
  • Course delivery methods: Online, cohort-based, synchronous

7. Saint Francis University

Loretto, Pennsylvania

About the program: SFU offers a bachelor of science degree in organizational leadership steeped in Catholic faith and Franciscan values, with an optional concentration in aviation leadership.

  • Acceptance rate: 75%
  • Graduation rate: 61%
  • Avg. annual net price: $28,623
  • Time to completion: Two
  • SAT range: 1030-1250
  • Minimum GPA: 2.0
  • Enrollment periods per year: Six
  • Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

8. Southeastern University

Lakeland, Florida

About the program: SEU, an Assemblies of God-affiliated university, offers a comprehensive bachelor of science in organizational leadership. Students attend SEU's annual National Leadership Forum. 

  • Acceptance rate: 48%
  • Graduation rate: 45%
  • Avg. annual net price: $24,909
  • Time to completion: Four years
  • SAT range: 940-1180
  • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
  • Enrollment periods per year: Six
  • Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

9. University of Central Oklahoma

Edmond, Oklahoma

About the program: As a flexible degree-completion program, UCO's 124-credit online organizational leadership bachelor's degree prepares adult learners for success in corporate, industrial, government, and nonprofit environments.

  • Acceptance rate: 84%
  • Graduation rate: 42%
  • Avg. annual net price: $16,562
  • Time to completion: Two years
  • SAT range: Not publicly available
  • Minimum GPA: 1.7
  • Enrollment periods per year: Three
  • Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

10. University of West Georgia

Carrollton, Georgia

About the program: UWG's online bachelor of science with a major in organizational leadership includes optional concentrations in public service and criminal justice. Students may transfer up to 90 credits of the 120 required.

  • Acceptance rate: 59%
  • Graduation rate: 45%
  • Avg. annual net price: $16,124
  • Time to completion: Four years
  • SAT range: 920-1080
  • Minimum GPA: N/A
  • Enrollment periods per year: Six
  • Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

11. Arizona State University

Scottsdale, Arizona

About the program: ASU's 120-credit online bachelor of arts in organizational leadership includes an internship and coursework in behavioral dynamics, organizational ethics, project management, and more.

  • Acceptance rate: 64%
  • Graduation rate: 54%
  • Avg. annual net price: $13,971
  • Time to completion: Four years
  • SAT range: Not publicly available
  • Minimum GPA: 2.5
  • Enrollment periods per year: Three 
  • Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

12. University of La Verne

La Verne, California

About the program: La Verne's online organizational management bachelor's degree includes an optional concentration in human resources management. Students may transfer up to 88 credits.

  • Acceptance rate: 55%
  • Graduation rate: 68%
  • Avg. annual net price: $25,780
  • Time to completion: 18 months to four years
  • SAT range: 1040-1190
  • Minimum GPA: 2.0
  • Enrollment periods per year: Three
  • Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

13. Duquesne University

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

About the program: Duquesne's 121-credit online organizational leadership bachelor's degree prepares students to lead at organizations of all kinds. Duquesne is the only Spiritan Catholic university in the U.S.

  • Acceptance rate: 74%
  • Graduation rate: 79%
  • Avg. annual net price: $29,309
  • Time to completion: Four years
  • SAT range: 1110-1300
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Enrollment periods per year: Three
  • Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

14. Bethel University

Mishawaka, Indiana

About the program: A member of the Christian College Consortium, Bethel offers an online bachelor of arts in organizational leadership with optional concentrations in Christian ministries and human services.

  • Acceptance rate: 92%
  • Graduation rate: 62%
  • Avg. annual net price: $19,327
  • Time to completion: Two years
  • SAT range: Not publicly available
  • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
  • Enrollment periods per year: Six
  • Course delivery methods: Online, cohort based

15. St. Thomas University

Miami Gardens, Florida

About the program: STU integrates Catholic tradition into its online bachelor of arts in organizational leadership. Minors within the degree include teacher education, criminal justice, and healthcare management. 

  • Acceptance rate: 55%
  • Graduation rate: 51%
  • Avg. annual net price: $18,374
  • Time to completion: Two years
  • SAT range: 890-1090
  • Minimum GPA: 2.0
  • Enrollment periods per year: Six
  • Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

16. Bay Path University

Longmeadow, Massachusetts

About the program: Bay Path's online bachelor's degree in leadership and organizational studies emphasizes effective and ethical leadership for adult women learners.

  • Acceptance rate: 72%
  • Graduation rate: 57%
  • Avg. annual net price: $22,211
  • Time to completion: Two years
  • SAT range: 960-1170
  • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
  • Enrollment periods per year: Six
  • Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

17. Missouri Baptist University

Saint Louis, Missouri

About the program: MBU infuses Baptist faith and ideals into its comprehensive online bachelor's degree in organizational leadership. Enrollees may transfer up to 96 credits toward the required 120.

  • Acceptance rate: 61%
  • Graduation rate: 53%
  • Avg. annual net price: $20,444
  • Time to completion: Two
  • SAT range: 920-1100
  • Minimum GPA: 2.5
  • Enrollment periods per year: Six years
  • Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

18. Mercy College

Dobbs Ferry, New York

About the program: Designed for working adults, Mercy's accelerated online bachelor's degree in organizational management builds leadership skills applicable across industries. Students take only one core course per month.

  • Acceptance rate: 82%
  • Graduation rate: 45%
  • Avg. annual net price: $14,281
  • Time to completion: Two years
  • SAT range: 890-1080
  • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
  • Enrollment periods per year: 12
  • Course delivery methods: Online, partially synchronous

19. Bethel University

McKenzie, Tennessee

About the program: BU combines practical knowledge with biblical foundations to emphasize ethics within its online organizational management bachelor's degree. BU is affiliated with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

  • Acceptance rate: 90%
  • Graduation rate: 47%
  • Avg. annual net price: $15,701
  • Time to completion: Two to four years
  • SAT range: 145-1103
  • Minimum GPA: 2.0
  • Enrollment periods per year: Six 
  • Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

20. Southwestern College

Winfield, Kansas

About the program: Affiliated with the United Methodist Church, SC offers an online strategic leadership bachelor's degree that includes 124 credit hours of comprehensive coursework. 

  • Acceptance rate: 52%
  • Graduation rate: 46%
  • Avg. annual net price: $23,507
  • Time to completion: Two years
  • SAT range: 920-1070
  • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
  • Enrollment periods per year: Eight 
  • Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

21. Bluefield University

Bluefield, Virginia

About the program: The Baptist-affiliated Bluefield University offers a 120-credit online bachelor's degree in organizational leadership that emphasizes teamwork, communication, and a positive attitude. 

  • Acceptance rate: 99%
  • Graduation rate: 43%
  • Avg. annual net price: $23,158
  • Time to completion: Two to four years
  • SAT range: 900-1070
  • Minimum GPA: 2.0
  • Enrollment periods per year: Six 
  • Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

22. California Baptist University

Riverside, California

About the program: Affiliated with the California Southern Baptist Convention, CBU offers a comprehensive online bachelor of arts in organizational leadership that includes 48 credit hours of major coursework. 

  • Acceptance rate: 78%
  • Graduation rate: 62%
  • Avg. annual net price: $24,707
  • Time to completion: Two to four years
  • SAT range: 990-1210
  • Minimum GPA: 2.0
  • Enrollment periods per year: Six 
  • Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

23. Judson University

Elgin, Illinois

About the program: As an Evangelical Christian institution, Judson emphasizes faith alongside business and management fundamentals throughout its online bachelor of arts in organizational leadership degree.

  • Acceptance rate: 39%
  • Graduation rate: 60%
  • Avg. annual net price: $18,737
  • Time to completion: Two to four years
  • SAT range: 880-1100
  • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
  • Enrollment periods per year: Six 
  • Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

24. Brenau University

Gainesville, Georgia

About the program: Brenau's online bachelor of arts in organizational leadership prepares traditional students and adult learners alike to lead within business, government, education, and nonprofit organizations. 

  • Acceptance rate: 58%
  • Graduation rate: 46%
  • Avg. annual net price: $21,745
  • Time to completion: Four years
  • SAT range: 920-1140
  • Minimum GPA: 2.0
  • Enrollment periods per year: Three
  • Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous

25. Bellevue University

Bellevue, Nebraska

About the program: BU's online bachelor of science in organizational leadership includes 40 credit hours of major coursework within its 127-credit-hour curriculum.

  • Acceptance rate: Not publicly available
  • Graduation rate: 46%
  • Avg. annual net price: $15,616
  • Time to completion: Four years
  • SAT range: Not publicly available
  • Minimum GPA: 2.0
  • Enrollment periods per year: Three
  • Course delivery methods: Online, cohort-based, synchronous

What to expect in an online organizational leadership degree program

An online organizational leadership degree integrates lecture courses and practical requirements. Business, management, communication, and social science classes incorporate exams, writing assignments, case studies, and lectures. 

Elective coursework provides opportunities to apply your knowledge through group projects and collaborative activities. Seniors often participate in a comprehensive assessment, a capstone requirement, or both.

Full-time online programs move quickly, while part-time degrees offer a slower pace and lower daily time commitment.

Organizational leadership courses

In most organizational leadership programs, introductory classes in organizational behavior, management principles, and business strategy accompany foundational courses in accounting, human resources, and project management.

Here are a few courses you'll likely encounter.

Organizational behavior

This course introduces and compares organizational behavior theories. You also study challenges of communication; ethical issues; organizational culture, structure, and design; and components of power, leadership, and management.

Principles of management

This class covers managerial functions such as planning, organizing, and leading. Additional topics include negotiating, managerial ethics, and managing in a global environment.

Introduction to human resource management

Introductory coursework in HR management focuses on programs and services offered by HR professionals within organizations. Topics include job analysis and design, workforce planning, compensation and benefits, and performance management.

Foundations of business strategy

Coursework builds analytical-thinking skills so graduates can remain competitive in the business world. Students explore business analytics, industry structure, strategic planning, and ethical and social implications related to business decisions.

Organizational leadership degree levels

Undergraduate programs in organizational management lead to entry- or mid-level roles, while graduate programs may qualify graduates for upper management positions.

Choose the organizational leadership degree level that best fits your education, experience, and professional goals.

Certificate in organizational leadership

Length: One year or less

Cost: $2,000-$10,000

Post-grad careers: Human resource manager, leadership coach, project manager

A graduate certificate in organizational leadership builds upon existing knowledge and skills in anticipation of rising to a management or leadership position. An undergraduate certificate may provide the necessary knowledge for entry-level roles. 

These non-degree credentials emphasize optimizing individual and group performance. The curriculum covers business functions like marketing, accounting, and finance. Additional classes may include organizational behavior, leadership strategy, and sustaining organizational change. 

Associate in organizational leadership

Length: Two years

Cost: $6,000-$20,000

Post-grad careers: Human resource specialist, assistant management, development coordinator

An associate degree in organizational leadership focuses on interpersonal communication, business essentials, and information technology in management. Reading assignments combine with case studies to build problem-solving and analytical skills. 

With an organizational management associate degree, you may find entry-level positions across the workforce. However, many associate degrees in organizational management are designed to serve as transfer degrees covering the first two years of requirements for a bachelor's.

Bachelor's in organizational leadership

Length: Four years

Cost: $12,000-$80,000

Post-grad careers: Operations manager, program coordinator, human resources specialist

Through four years of general education, major, and elective classes, a bachelor's degree in organizational leadership builds comprehensive mastery of the field. 

Classes in leadership concepts, human resources, training and development, and business ethics provide a foundation for elective courses. Through your electives, you may develop a specialty like nonprofit, healthcare, or education management. 

Master's in organizational leadership

Length: Two years

Cost: $8,000-$40,000

Post-grad careers: Business management consultant, health service manager, leadership coach

This degree prepares you to be a leader in the modern economy by developing communication, planning, and leadership skills. Classes include ethical leadership, organizational behavior, and talent development and retention.

You might specialize in change leadership, global leadership, or strategic and organizational communication. An organizational leadership master's may be a stand-alone degree or a specialization option within a master of business administration program

Doctorate in organizational leadership

Length: Three to five years

Cost: $10,000-$100,000

Post-grad careers: Professor, business management consultant, chief operations officer

A doctorate in organizational leadership emphasizes research and builds understanding of leadership in diverse organizational contexts. 

There are two main variations on this degree. A doctorate of business administration with an emphasis on organizational leadership focuses on business settings, while a doctorate of education in organizational leadership concentrates on education environments.

During an organizational leadership doctorate, students take foundational classes in leadership theory and practice, models of organizational leadership, and strategic leadership. Then they prepare for comprehensive exams and choose a dissertation topic.

In conclusion

Earning an organizational leadership degree prepares you to lead people and processes by building communication skills, business knowledge, and managerial acumen. 

The workforce needs leaders, and an organizational leadership degree can help you meet that demand. One of our ranked programs might be your first step.

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