Warren Bennis, a pioneer in the field of leadership, once famously wrote, "Managers are people who do things right and leaders are people who do the right thing." In today's global economy, companies need employees who can do both. They need managers who will effectively oversee a workforce as well as be forward-thinking enough to identify the priorities needed to achieve success.
The field of leadership management trains future business professionals who want to master both skills. It helps them understand the nuts and bolts of management along with how to innovate within their work.
Leadership management degree programs can take many forms and can be found at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Sometimes, leadership management is offered as a concentration within a bachelor's degree in business or an MBA program. Other schools may have a dedicated degree program in the field. Still others offer online leadership management degrees.
Best Colleges for Leadership Management Degree Programs
If you're looking for the top schools for leadership management, here are ten worth considering. These colleges and universities ranked highest in a methodology that considered degree options, graduation rates, tuition and other factors.
Proving you don't have to go to a specialized business school to get a good business education, Faith International University takes the top spot on this list of best colleges for leadership management degree programs. The school was founded in 1969 as the Faith Evangelical Lutheran Seminary but has since evolved to become an interdenominational institution.
Faith International University has an affordable tuition rate compared to other top colleges for leadership management. It also ties for having the sixth best graduation rate among surveyed institutions.
Nearly 15 percent of the awards granted by FIU in 2015 were in the field of leadership management, giving the school a fifth place ranking for the prominence of its program. Its graduate certificate in leadership contains six courses and has an optional life coaching concentration.
Columbia Southern University can be a good choice for those seeking online degrees for leadership management. The school specializes in delivering its education online, and students will find online leadership management degrees can be earned at both the undergraduate and graduate level.
The bachelor's degree in organizational leadership at CSU is designed to prepare graduates to step into leadership roles at either for-profit or nonprofit organizations. The master's degree in organizational leadership delves deeper into best practices, emerging theories and other topics.
In addition to being notable for its online leadership management degree options, CSU ranked high for affordable tuition. The university's open admissions policy means students won't have to wait to begin their education.
Students in Washington State's Benton and Franklin counties are undoubtedly already familiar with Columbia Basin College. The school enrolls more than 7,000 students from those areas each year for its associate degree, certificate and technical training programs. However, the school deserves wider recognition as it lands in the number three spot on this list of the best colleges for leadership management.
Within its business program, CBC offers both an associate degree and a certificate in innovation. These programs are designed to lead graduates directly into the workforce rather than transfer toward a four-year degree, and the field of innovation is often one pursued by those hoping to become entrepreneurs.
Columbia Basin College ranks high for affordability, flexible learning options and its student support services.
Bethel University in McKenzie, Tennessee ranks fourth among the top schools for leadership management. Founded in 1842, it is one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in the state. Offering nearly 50 courses of study at its main and satellite campuses, Bethel University enrolls approximately 7,600 students each year.
However, students don't have to travel to campus to study at the university. An online leadership management degree program is offered in the form of a bachelor's degree in organization leadership. This is a degree completion program designed for students who have at least 30 hours of previous college credit.
The university ranks second for the prominence of its program. Bethel University is affiliated with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
Known to many simply as CityU, the City University of Seattle prides itself on providing flexible learning options. Students can study online, on its campus or through a blend of the two formats. When it comes to its completion rate, CityU says its students finish at twice the national rate.
Those looking for online leadership management degrees will find a couple options here, although all are at the graduate level. City University of Seattle offers a master's degree in leadership and an MBA with an emphasis in change leadership as well as a Doctor of Business Administration and a Doctor of Education, both in leadership. There are also several other certificates and degrees for those who want to work in a leadership position within the education sector.
City University of Seattle is affiliated with the National University System.
City College operates five campuses in Florida, and its Fort Lauderdale location takes the number six spot on this list of best colleges for leadership management degree programs.
Its bachelor's degree in project management is designed for those who need to take a leadership position in their organization. As a top school for project management in Florida, City College has developed a curriculum focused on equipping students will all the skills needed in designing, implementing and evaluating a project. The program is intended for those who already have an associate degree.
At 10-1, City College - Fort Lauderdale is tied for having the best student-faculty ratio of the institutions in this ranking. The school is also notable for its array of student support services.
Students interested in a small learning environment may want to give Bluefield College a closer look. Located in a Virginia city of the same name, Bluefield College had 539 traditional students enrolled in the fall of 2016.
In addition to its on-campus degree programs for traditional students, there are a number of online programs that may appeal to non-traditional students. When it comes to online degrees for leadership management, Bluefield College Online offers a bachelor's degree in management and leadership.
Bluefield College ranks third for the prominence of its program. The school is a Christian institution affiliated with the Baptist Church. It was founded in 1922.
The Colorado Springs location of National American University is another of the top schools for leadership management. Founded in 1941, NAU began on a single campus in Rapid City, South Dakota. It has since expanded across the country and has a focus on career-driven degree programs.
Offering online and on-campus degree programs, National American University - Colorado Springs offers a number of undergraduate options. Within the field of leadership management, there is a bachelor's degree in organizational leadership. Students may also find the school's Bachelor of Business Administration in entrepreneurship to be of interest.
NAU - Colorado Springs has the sixth best graduation rate among the schools surveyed for these rankings. It has an open admissions policy, 10-1 student-faculty ratio and a number of student support services.
As the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Milwaukee, Samuel Stritch encouraged the Sisters of St. Francis Assisi to build a teacher's college in 1930. The sisters did, and the institution was eventually renamed to honor Stritch. Today, Cardinal Stritch University enrolls nearly 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students.
In addition to a bachelor's degree in management at the undergraduate level, the university has several graduate degrees related to leadership management. Those working in the education sector can earn a master's in educational leadership either online or on-campus. There are also doctoral degrees in leadership for the advancement of learning and service.
Cardinal Stritch University ranks first for the prominence of its program. The school offers career advising, placement services for completers and has an 11-1 student faculty ratio.
With a main campus in Bismarck, North Dakota, University of Mary says it is one of the most affordable private universities in the country. The school was founded on Benedictine principles and is affiliated with the Catholic Church.
Mary, as the school is often known, offers several graduate degrees in the field of leadership management. These programs include an MBA in virtuous leadership, a master's of business in virtuous leadership and a Master of Project Management in virtuous leadership. All three programs are available online or on-campus. The virtuous leadership concentration provides a focus on ethical leadership and is offered in partnership with the Harvard Virtuous Leadership Institute.
University of Mary has additional campuses in Arizona, Montana, Minnesota, Kansas, Rome and Peru.
Leadership Management Degree Programs and Common Career Paths
Degrees in leadership management can be found at either the undergraduate or graduate level. While business professionals may earn a master's degree in the field to further their career, a bachelor's degree is usually sufficient for most entry-level positions.
Career Outlook for Leadership Management Majors
Businesses and other organizations will always have a need for qualified leaders and managers. However, not all positions will see the same growth. Here's a look at the career outlook for some common occupations filled by graduates of leadership management degree programs.
PROJECTED JOB GROWTH(%)
|Social and Community Service Managers||$72,900||156,460||13%|
|Operations Specialties Managers||$134,550||1,996,160||10.1%|
|Training and Development Managers||$123,470||38,510||8.1%|
|Public Relations and Fundraising Managers||$132,630||79,160||7.8%|
|Administrative Services and Facilities Managers||$106,550||307,280||7.3%|
|Human Resources Managers||$129,570||154,800||7.1%|
|General and Operations Managers||$123,030||2,400,280||6.9%|
Financial Aid and Scholarships in Leadership & Management
Both traditional and online leadership degree programs may be eligible for private scholarships and government loans. After applying for government aid, students should first consult the school they plan to attend since many offer their own financial aid packages. Then, they should look for private business scholarships, such as those offered by the Middle Management Association and the Jewish Community Centers Association of North America.
Renewable if recipient maintains a minimum 2.0 GPA and full-time enrollment as a human resource management major.
To be included in these rankings, all schools must meet the following initial criteria for the specific subject being ranked.
- Offer an undergraduate degree (either associate or bachelor’s) in that subject.
- Have awarded at least one degree or certificate in that subject in the most recent year of IPEDS data available.
Based on those criteria, we ranked all 2-year and 4-year schools in IPEDS that reported data for all of the following points. Ratings are calculated on a 10-point scale, using the weights specified.
- In-state undergraduate tuition & fees, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
- Graduation rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
- Accessibility, based on admissions rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
- Institutional spending, based on two equally weighted factors, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
- Instructional and academic support expenses per full-time enrolled student
- Instructional and academic support spending as a percentage of all expenses
- Student-to-faculty ratio, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
- Flexibility, based on the following factors, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
- Percent of students enrolled fully or partly in distance education
- Whether the school offers programs that can be completed entirely in the evenings and on weekends
- Whether the school offers academic and career counseling
- Whether the school offers job placement services for students who complete their programs
- Whether the school offers any alternative tuition plans, such as a payment plan or guaranteed rate
- Size of program, based on how many of the degrees and certificates awarded in 2014-15 were in this particular subject, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
- Related subjects, based on the number of similar topics for programs in relevant CIP codes that are offered at any level, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015