Online Master of Science
Organizational Leadership

All-in price:
View Tuition Details
Application due date for January 9, 2023 term:
January 6
Estimated time to completion:
16 months
All-in price:
View Tuition Details
Application due date for January 9, 2023 term:
January 6
Estimated time to completion:
16 months

Want to become a change agent in an ever-changing global economy?

ACE’s M.S. in Organizational Leadership helps current and aspiring leaders learn to promote positive change, make data-informed decisions, lead by example, and solve complex problems with sustainable solutions. Using real-world case studies that bring leadership philosophies to life, you will learn to improve organizational performance, strengthen your leadership, and have the tools to advance your career and succeed. In short, you’ll train to be the kind of leader that other leaders seek.


in the nation for most master's degrees conferred in education overall.*

Thinking of starting your journey?

Connect with an ACE enrollment counselor who can help you get started.

How you'll get there.

  1. Your first 5-week course explores leadership theories, frameworks, and philosophies. Other courses cover leading virtual business operations, organizational change management, ethical leadership, human resources management, strategic planning, business communication, and financial management.
  2. You will customize your program by choosing a 3-course focus of study from one of the following options: Business Performance Management, Data Analytics, Diversity & Inclusion, or Sustainability. You may also create a General Track by choosing any three courses from the above options that best suit your needs.
  3. At the end of the program, you can apply the credits you’ve earned toward ACE’s MBA in Social Impact or one of our Ed.D. programs.

What you can expect along the way.

  • Leading by Example This innovative program is itself a demonstration of the kind of leadership we teach and practice. You’ll learn to work within an asynchronous online environment with diverse classmates and instructors who are all practitioners in the field. You’ll experience instructional technology that includes gamification and simulations. You’ll see how ACE advocates for and advances a socially responsible corporate mission.
  • Competitive Pricing We’re committed to keeping education affordable. An online degree from ACE makes good business sense, with a total cost (including fees) of $9,500**. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for a graduate with a master’s degree in business is at least $20,000 greater than the median annual wage for a graduate with a bachelor’s degree in business, which can deliver a strong return on your ACE investment. Most students pay out-of-pocket each course, or we have payment options available if you need them.
  • Choose Where to Make an Impact Customize your program with a focus of study that aligns with your goals. Choose from Business Performance Management, Data Analytics, Diversity & Inclusion, or Sustainability, in addition to the General Track.
  • Support Every Step of the Way The virtual classroom means we can provide convenient, accessible ways to get support 24/7. As an ACE student, you’ll have a Student Success Coach from enrollment to graduation. Your coach will answer questions, offer support, and help point you in the right direction along your journey. Every ACE student also has free access to 7.5 hours of tutoring a month through as well as many other resources to have a meaningful student experience.
  • No Textbooks to Buy ACE makes it easy to get the information you need without buying textbooks. Our robust online library provides access to your class readings, Harvard Business Cases, journals, periodicals, and other resources — all included in the total cost. Like everything we do, there’s built-in support, too. Our librarian is available through live chat, email, text, or phone to help you in your research and assist in obtaining non-digital documents you may need for an assignment.
  • Credits that Take You Even Further After you complete the MS in Organizational Leadership, you can earn an MBA in Social Impact in less time. You may also apply credits earned in this program toward an Ed.D. at ACE.

What it costs

Our tuition and fees have nothing to hide. The total cost you see is your all-in price, without hidden fees, add-ons, and even textbooks. See if you can say the same about other institutions. Go ahead — we’ll wait.

Total Tuition

34 semester credits
x $235 per credit



$50 Application Fee

$1,360 Technology & Library Fee
($40 per credit)

$100 Program Conferral Fee


Total Program Cost1


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Partnerships save you more.

ACE has more than 1,750 education partners that provide a discounted rate and other partner benefits.

Learn about ACE partnerships.

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A degree you can count on.

American College of Education is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission— a federally-recognized accrediting agency. The College’s accreditation includes approval to offer degree programs, in education, healthcare, nursing and business and leadership through distance education via the Internet. Accreditation ensures that an institution’s academic program meets or exceeds acceptable levels of quality and is the most recognized accreditation status for higher education entities. To receive and maintain HLC accreditation and affiliation approval, we must continuously undergo routine peer review cycles and provide proof that our programs meet or exceed HLC accreditation criteria and expectations of quality.

Multiple Degree Pathways

After you complete your M.S. in Organizational Leadership, you can earn a second degree in less time due to the overlap in required courses. If you’re interested in earning an MBA in Social Impact, visit our Multiple Degree Pathways page.


M.S. in Organizational Leadership

Explore the classes you'll take to fulfill this program's 34 semester credit requirement. For more information, a complete list of requirements, and course options, see the College Catalog.

Choose your focus of study.

Nine of your semester credits will specialize in a focus area of your choice. View the College Catalog for full descriptions.  You also have the option of customizing this program by selecting a General Track and choosing the zero courses that best fit your needs.

  • Business Performance Management
  • Data Analytics
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Sustainability

Core Courses  (25 semester credits)

3 semester credits
Students will evaluate and compare different leadership theories, frameworks, and philosophies. Students will also reflect upon their own leadership experiences through the perspectives of those theories. This course places emphasis on bridging theory to practice for leadership development and how to be an effective leader in a variety of settings. As growing leaders, students will learn about making data-informed decisions and how these decisions influence future results or actions.
3 semester credits
Organizational behavior and change can improve organizations. Various organizational culture, toxic leadership, and organizational psychology will be reviewed to develop potential solutions or frameworks. This course focuses on decisionmaking processes and perspectives of various stakeholders promote organizational behavior change.
3 semester credits
This course emphasizes human resource management strategies in various business settings. Employee engagement positively affects corporate social performance. Designed to assist leaders in gaining knowledge and experience of legal and ethical standards, this course also provides opportunities for students to explore aspects of benefits and payroll administration, employment law, and labor relations. Exploring the changing role of human resources, strategies for communicating critical information are examined including ways to conduct job and compensation analyses, job enrichment, developing human potential, and resolving conflicts along with other workplace issues.
3 semester credits
The course focus is on theory, research, and practices related to ethical administration. Students will compare-and-contrast ethical decision making and implications for policy.
3 semester credits
Leaders drive innovation and strategy. In this course, students will learn to accomplish this by designing, developing, and implementing models of strategic planning and assessment tools to solve issues business leaders face. This course focuses on the overall performance of an organization by identifying, clarifying, and aligning specific leadership and management behaviors to the organization's mission, goals, and values. Strategic plans will be developed to ensure that an organization is effectively and efficiently meeting the needs of stakeholders within and outside of the organization while meeting its goals and sustaining its values. 
3 semester credits
Students will examine key elements of the business communication process, including verbal, non-verbal, and written dimensions. Emphasis on the importance of listening. The entire process will be viewed from both personal and interpersonal viewpoints. 
3 semester credits
Managers and leaders require various virtual tools and technology to increase performance, engage employees, and boost productivity in virtual organizations. Students will acquire skills and gain knowledge of how to become a virtual team leader by examining concepts of leading multicultural teams and effective management in a virtual environment. Further, this course will explore the role of leadership in managing change and responding to organizational crises.  
3 semester credits
The main goal of this course is to develop a foundation of financial management concepts and tools from a managerial perspective. This core understanding will help students to apply how corporations make important investments and financing decisions. The course also further lays the foundation for more complex financial management topics such as describing the corporation and its operating environment to help managers understand how the finances of a company work and how they will need to interface with finance. 
1 semester credit
This course is a culmination of concepts and techniques gained in previous courses while developing problem-solving and decision-making skills as a business leader. Students will demonstrate their expertise by building a final culminating project. The Capstone Experience is designed for students to demonstrate and document the impact of their knowledge of organizational leadership and competencies gained throughout. 

Focus of Study

Customize this degree by choosing a three - course Focus of Study to fulfill the remaining nine semester credits.

Business Performance Management 

3 semester credits
Students will investigate operating problems and issues relevant to financial management, such as with forecasting, profit maximization, international financial markets, and financial risk assessment. This course applies budgetary principles to impact funding, impact investing, and valuations. By preparing financial statements and analyzing the shifts in cash flow, students consider multiple theoretical approaches to effectively manage revenue sources, expenditures, and budgets. Emphasis is placed on the socially responsible budget process including the support of sustainability, technology resources, and applications as it relates to reporting the management and oversight of funds and financial services.
3 semester credits
Understanding macro and micro economics is critical for business leaders. In this course, students learn how economic issues and strategies are implemented in the business environment, as well as how economic problems are solved. Economic theory is applied to the decision-making process through the application of econometrics. Students apply theories to topics such as supply and demand, human capital, finance, and technology. In this course, social impact economics emphasizes the integration of positive social effects, social investments, philanthropy, and developing solutions to public issues to make the market more efficient.
3 semester credits
Leaders rely on data to make decisions; thus, understanding business analytics is critical. In this course, students apply business decision-making techniques. Decision-making is focused on areas such as; descriptive statistics, probability, distributions, sampling inference, regression and correlation, multivariate analysis, times series and index numbers. This course will emphasize on the derivation of these numbers using computer-based tools, the concentration is on interpretation and use of the results to determine integration in the business environment.

Data Analytics  

3 semester credits
In a world where information is readily available at anyone's fingertips, students will apply business decision-making through a variety of data analytics, measures, and tools. Applications consist of probability and statistics, reasoning, modeling and estimation, making inferences and predictions resulting from data.
3 semester credits
This course is designed to employ marketing research through both qualitative and quantitative methods. Students will investigate a problem and design research to make evidence-based decisions. The course focuses on developing questionnaires, sampling techniques, data collection, data analysis, and digital intelligence to yield meaningful information.
3 semester credits
Data analytics can, and should, be used to drive strategic decisions in organizations. In this course, students learn how to go beyond making inferences and assessing results from data. They learn how to use data analytics in strategy development through environmental scans, market conditions, assessing cause and effect, and competitive positioning. Analyzing and developing the strategy includes mindfulness of co-aligning the bigger picture to other areas such as accounting, economics, marketing, and management.

Diversity & Inclusion  

3 semester credits
This course is designed to promote diversity of thought and bring value to these differences. Students will identify ways to harness diversity in the workplace to propel an organization forward with innovative ideas. Inclusivity, overcoming challenges, and communication strategies are also explored.
3 semester credits
Leading inclusively is critical in today's work environment. In this course, students will examine ways to manage, empower, and lead others in an inclusive manner. Emphasis is placed on developing an organizational culture embracing diversity, as well as leveraging team contributions.
3 semester credits
Like it or not, everyone has biases that shape their worldview. Students will raise awareness of both known and unknown bias. The way biases are formed will also be identified to create strategies to recognize bias and reduce the likelihood of new biases from being developed.


3 semester credits
This course focuses on the concept of entrepreneurship, from starting, maintaining, or running a business focusing on social impact. The key skills require strategic thinking, innovation, and leadership. This course emphasizes how to lead social innovation within organizations. Students identify theories on social change and build a framework on how to manage effective social movements within organizations, such as building and maintaining businesses as a force for good. Benefit Corporations are a major emphasis in the course, as students examine the major tenets of certifying as a B-Corporation.  
3 semester credits
This course focuses on the tenents of employees, community, suppliers, and customers within Benefit Corporations. Fair, equitable, and good treatment of people are important parts of developing and sustaining community partnerships. Students connect the concepts of social impact to the code of ethics, transparency, accountability, and leadership. Some topics include building partnerships, vendor selection to include sourcing and supplier evaluation process, enhancing organizational policies, and creating value for a variety of stakeholders.  
3 semester credits
The tenant of environment and governance are other areas of focus for qualifying as a Benefit Corporation covered in this course. This course also emphasizes the importance of sustainability practices within organizations. Students connect the concepts of sustainability to the business strategy, regulations, and leadership. Some topics include environmental sustainability, financial sustainability, green purchasing, energy efficiency, and how to create opportunities for a business.  

General Track (9 semester credits)

Any zero of courses from the courses above.

Admission Requirements

M.S. in Organizational Leadership

ACE General Admission Requirements

  • Complete and submit all application components including the admission application, including the enrollment agreement, and payment agreement.
  • Submit the nonrefundable application fee.*
  • Provide official transcripts from an institution that is accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education indicating successful completion of the level of education required for entry to the program.**

*The application fee is valid for one year from date of submission.
**Additional evidence may be required to fulfill state requirements, including but not limited to verification of professional experience, test scores, or an interview.

Program Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor's or Highest Post Baccalaureate degree earned
  • Minimum grade point average 2.50 on a 4.00 scale for full admission
  • Minimum grade point average 2.00 on a 4.00 scale for provisional admission 

*Source: ACE college systems, Office of Institutional Analytics, 2020 Graduate Exit Survey

**According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for a graduate with a master's degree in business is at least $20,000 greater than the median annual wage for a graduate with a bachelor's degree in business. Getting a masters degree at ACE can deliver a strong return on your investment.

1This is an estimated value of the cost for tuition and fees. Amounts may vary depending on number of transfer credits applied to the selected program hours, the pace and satisfactory completion of the selected program credit hours, the receipt of, or eligibility for, institutional or non-institutional scholarship and/or grant amounts, and adjustments to tuition or fees as described in the Catalog Right to Modify Tuition section.

State of California Student Tuition Recovery Fund (STRF)

It is a state of California requirement that a student who pays his or her tuition is required to pay a state-imposed assessment two dollars and fifty cents ($2.50) per one thousand dollars ($1,000) of institutional charges, rounded to the nearest thousand dollars, for the California Student Tuition Recovery Fund. For more information and to see if you must pay the state-imposed assessment for Student Tuition Recovery Fund (STRF) click here.

For information on international transcript requirements, see the Admissions Information section of the College Catalog.

For English as a second language applicant information, see the Admissions Information section of the College Catalog.

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