2024 Best Online Organizational Leadership Degrees [Bachelor’s Guide]

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If you want to take charge of your career and set yourself up for success, then you might consider an organizational leadership degree. This field of study can help equip you with the leadership skills that are necessary for managing teams and running organizations.

Best Online Organizational Leadership Degrees

Managers are needed in nearly all organizations, so the abilities you could gain through this program could prepare you for a wide variety of career opportunities.

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You might want to start thinking about how degrees in organizational leadership could help you accomplish your professional goals.

Online Bachelor’s in Organizational Leadership Degrees

Woman taking Online Bachelor's in Organizational Leadership

There’s a natural element to being a leader, but leadership is also a quality that can be cultivated. In a college program for organizational leadership, you can hone your abilities and learn practical strategies for leading people and organizations.

It can be very beneficial to study organizational management, as nearly all groups need strong leaders. By gaining a college education on the topic, you could become a competitive candidate for leadership roles. You could have the tools needed to guide decisions, empower teams, plan finances, and distribute workloads.

In this program, you can expect to learn about:

  • Business law
  • Change management
  • Communication principles
  • Decision-making
  • Leadership theories
  • Project management
  • Social responsibility
  • Team dynamics
  • Workplace diversity

Some organizational leadership degrees are standalone programs, such as BS in Organizational Leadership online degrees.

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In other words, organizational leadership is listed as your specific major. You’ll take business classes, but the majority of your coursework will focus on the topic of leadership. In other cases, organizational leadership is tied to a business program.

For example, leadership may be a concentration option within the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree. With that arrangement, you’d take a core set of business courses as well as a few specialization courses focused on leadership topics.

An internship could be an enriching addition to your college program. You could work alongside experienced professionals and gain practical knowledge about what it’s like to be a business leader. Some schools give credit for supervised internships.

The employment possibilities with this degree are quite varied. Many management roles could be suitable for someone with a background in organizational leadership. Graduates might work in a department like marketing, fundraising, or finance, or they could even function as a general manager.

Common Online Organizational Leadership Bachelor’s Concentrations

Marketing Managers conducting data analytics

Organizational leadership has many applications. If you have a specific career goal in mind, you might want to take specialized classes that can prepare you to excel in that area. That’s why some colleges offer concentration options for this bachelor’s degree.

Common concentrations include:

  • Business Management. In this track, you might prepare for organizational management by focusing on essential business concepts such as accounting, marketing, and information technology.
  • Change Leadership. You could study to develop the ability to skillfully guide organizations through times of development or transition.
  • Data Analytics. Businesses are gaining more and more insights from data these days, so this specialization will teach you how to collect, organize, and interpret data.
  • Healthcare Leadership. To prepare you for work in hospitals or other healthcare systems, you may take classes about insurance, health policy, quality assurance, and medical terminology.
  • Project Management. This concentration will help equip you with skills in budgeting, scheduling, and personnel selection so that you can see projects through from beginning to end.

The concentration lineup varies from one college to another, so you may want to compare a few different schools to see what options are available.

Organizational Leadership and Development Careers & Salaries

Organizational Leadership Bachelors Careers & Salaries

A college education in organizational leadership could help prepare you for management positions in a variety of companies or other organizations.

Graduates often become managers of particular departments. Examples include marketing, public relations, or fundraising departments. Other departments that could benefit from managerial staff with organizational leadership training include employee training, industrial production, administrative services, finance, or facilities management.

These positions might be found within corporate businesses, educational organizations, scientific or technical organizations, or the information sector. That’s only a small selection of the possibilities, though. Nearly all organizations need managers of some sort.

While a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership could help qualify you for many of these types of management roles, professional experience may be required as well. You might work your way to management positions by starting in lower-level roles and then receiving promotions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, management jobs pay a median annual salary of $102,450.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Marketing Managers $135,030
Sales Managers $127,490
Human Resources Managers $126,230
Training and Development Managers $120,130
Public Relations and Fundraising Managers $119,860
Industrial Production Managers $103,150
Medical and Health Services Managers $101,340
Administrative Services and Facilities Managers $99,290
General and Operations Managers $97,970
Management Analysts $93,000

Organizational leadership studies could also qualify you for broader management roles. For example, a general or operations manager oversees many aspects of a company’s activities. In large organizations, experienced professionals might move to the very top as chief executives.

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Particular organizations require specific types of managers. For example, healthcare organizations hire health and medical services managers. Community nonprofits and social service agencies could benefit from leaders with a background in social work or public administration. Depending on your experience and the elective courses you take in college, you might do well in one of those roles.

Not all organizational leadership jobs involve being a manager. Instead, you might consider work as a management analyst. A management analyst can also be called a management consultant. They can provide insights into ways that companies could improve their management practices and business operations.

Bachelor of Organizational Leadership Curriculum & Courses

People taking Bachelor of Organizational Leadership, in group study

You will need to earn about 120 credit hours before graduating from a bachelor degree in organizational leadership program.

Example courses include:

  • Business and Society: During this class, you may explore how individual businesses relate to communities and the government and consider the responsibilities and opportunities inherent to those relationships.
  • Business Fundamentals: In some programs, instead of taking a wide variety of foundational business classes, you’ll have one introductory course that surveys all the main subfields of business administration.
  • Business Management: You’ll learn the principles of management that can help you be a strong, effective leader who makes well-founded decisions.
  • Change Leadership: This class can help equip you to spearhead initiatives and lead organizations through times of transition.
  • Introduction to Organizational Leadership: This course will offer a broad overview of this field and prepare you for more advanced studies.
  • Law and Ethics in Business: You’ll study important regulations that govern business activities and employment, and you might also take time to consider what’s involved in being an ethical leader.
  • Leading Projects: You can take a project management class to learn how to oversee all sorts of large projects, including research studies, machinery installations, or company restructurings.
  • Organizational Communication: One of a leader’s key responsibilities is to communicate with others, so this course can help you do that well.
  • Quality Control: There might be a college class that prepares you to help organizations produce their best results through effective staffing, meaningful training, and efficient manufacturing.
  • Research in Organizational Leadership: You may spend time looking at the latest research in this field, discussing how leadership research is conducted, and thinking about how to apply study findings.

Your curriculum may be largely influenced by your concentration or the electives you choose.

How to Choose an Online Degree in Organizational Leadership Program

Three friends choosing Organizational Leadership Program online

Organizational leadership is a fairly common major, so you may have many schools to choose from. It’s helpful to consider the following factors as you decide where to apply:

  • Class format. An online college may hold live classes or teach the material through lessons that you can access 24/7. There may be a mix of in-person sessions and virtual classes.
  • Cost. You may want to check into the per-credit-hour cost and also the amount of financial aid that’s available to you at each school.
  • Internships. Your college may have connections to companies with robust internship programs in which you can gain firsthand experience in organizational leadership.
  • Regional accreditation. It’s strategic to make regional accreditation one of your top priorities when picking a university.
  • Specializations. At some schools, you might be able to choose a degree concentration like healthcare leadership or business analytics.
  • Student services. You might want to select a college that offers free virtual tutoring, mental health services, social events for online students, or other support services.
  • Transfer options. Some organizational leadership programs are designed for working professionals who have already taken many college classes. Others expect you to earn most of the required credits through your current school.

For information on course calendars, transfer credits, student services, and more, you can consult the admissions department of the school you’re considering.

Admissions Requirements

Man preparing requirements for Organizational Leadership Bachelors

Getting into college may require including the following elements in your application packet:

  • Application form with biographical information and your degree plan
  • High school transcripts and proof of completion
  • Letters from professional or academic references
  • Test scores from the ACT or SAT (not needed for all bachelor’s programs)

Some programs are designed especially for working adults who have already completed some college coursework. In that case, you can submit college transcripts that reflect a certain number of transferable credits.

Online Organizational Leadership Degrees Accreditation

University offering Online Organizational Leadership

For your studies in organizational leadership, it’s recommended that you choose a regionally accredited college. Those institutions have the best reputation because they’ve been verified as credible schools by official accrediting organizations.

Colleges often look favorably on classes taken at other regionally accredited schools, so you might be able to transfer your credits from one accredited school to another. An accredited degree may also be necessary for grad school applications.

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Studies at a regionally accredited college are a helpful addition to resumes, too. An employer may have more faith in degrees from accredited schools than unaccredited ones.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Online Organizational Leadership Financial Aid

When you have your sights set on a degree in organizational leadership, paying for college may feel like an obstacle. Fortunately, there are financial aid programs that can often help you with tuition payments.

One of the primary sources of college support is government aid. Both the federal and state governments run student aid programs. You may qualify for grant money as well as low-interest loans. To learn about your eligibility, you can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

To supplement your government assistance, your college may provide tuition discounts through institutional scholarship programs. You may qualify for a school scholarship for your first year of your studies or the duration of your enrollment. You could explore private scholarship opportunities too.

In addition, some employers help their workers with school costs. You can check with your human resources department to see if your company offers a tuition reimbursement program.

Organizational Leadership Professional Organizations

National Association of Sales Professionals members having a meeting

Joining an industry association can be a strategic way to sharpen your leadership abilities and learn from others in your field.

Some of the top groups for organizational management and leadership professionals include:

Your group may offer an assortment of in-person and virtual networking meetings or training sessions. Other potential benefits of joining a leadership organization include resource libraries, newsletters, and journals as well as industry advocacy and professional discounts.

What Is an Organizational Leadership Degree?

An organizational leadership degree is a college program that prepares students to hold leadership and management roles in businesses and other groups. At the bachelor’s degree level, this program includes approximately 4 years of study in general education, business principles, and leadership training.

The course topics in an organizational leadership degree program might include foundations of leadership, change management, business ethics, and workplace dynamics. Some students complete internships before graduation as well. This can be a beneficial degree option for anyone interested in a management career.

What Can You Do with an Organizational Leadership Degree?

Marketing Manager discussing with the team

Organizational leadership studies often lead to management roles. For example, some graduates may become facilities managers, finance managers, promotions managers, or  general managers.

Many different organizations hire such managers. Examples include corporations, retail companies, and education institutions. The managerial roles you qualify for might also relate to your college concentration. For example, after studying healthcare organizational leadership, a graduate might pursue work as a medical services manager.

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You might start in a low-level management role and work your way toward positions with increasing responsibility. For instance, the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that becoming a chief executive usually requires many years of experience in management roles.

Another move that many graduates make is to continue their educations and earn either an on campus or an online masters in organizational leadership, which may make them more attractive for leadership positions in organizations.

Is Organizational Leadership a Good Degree?

Yes, organizational leadership is a good degree for many undergraduate students. With a degree in this field, companies might consider you for a management role. Management positions often come with above-average salaries.

In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that management is one of the best fields when it comes to earning potential. The median annual income for managers is $102,450. Experienced managers sometimes earn more than $208,000 each year. Plus, in a management role, you can help organizations be successful. By putting your skills into practice, you can contribute to the mission of a company you believe in.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Bachelors in Organizational Leadership Online Degree?

Woman pursuing her Organizational Leadership Degree online

You can usually complete a bachelor’s degree in about 4 years if you enroll full-time. Online programs sometimes use accelerated terms that speed up the process a bit. For example, some online students are able to graduate in 3 or 3.5 years.

At select schools, the organizational leadership online program is designed for degree completion. In other words, if you already have a significant number of college credits or an associate degree, this program can provide a quick avenue to earning a bachelor’s degree.

In that case, depending on your number of transferable credits, you might be able to finish the organizational leadership classes in just 15 to 20 months.

How Much Money Can You Make with a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Leadership?

Operations Manager and marketing team in a meeting

Organizational leadership studies could help prepare you for a career in management. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, management is the job category with the highest median annual salary. The median salary for managers is $102,450 per year.

Your potential earnings may depend greatly on what sort of manager you become. For example, administrative services and facilities managers usually earn between $59,210 and $167,450. Starting sales managers often make around $61,090, but those at the top bring home more than $208,000 per year.

What’s the Difference Between a Business Management vs. Organizational Leadership Degree?

There are quite a few different business degrees with names that sound similar. For example, you may wonder if it would be better to study business management or organizational leadership.

Business Management Organizational Leadership
  • Includes a wide array of business courses
  • Designed for those with little business experience
  • May cover topics like business accounting and management information systems
  • Focuses on topics related to leadership and management
  • Designed for those with professional experience in the business world
  • May cover topics like theories of leadership and team dynamics

If you want a strong business core plus organizational leadership classes, you might think about getting a business administration degree with a concentration in organizational leadership.

Is a Bachelor in Organizational Leadership Degree Worth It?

HR Manager and specialists in a meeting at the office

Yes, a bachelor in organizational leadership degree is worth it for many professionals. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in management are increasing at a 9% rate over the next ten years. Earning this degree could help you gain the professional qualifications and leadership skill sets for these roles.

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Studying organizational leadership can also equip you with versatile skills that are useful in many industries. Leadership abilities are needed in every sector. Depending on your specialization, you might contribute to the mission of healthcare facilities, retail establishments, educational organizations, tech companies, financial institutions, or public agencies.

Universities Offering Online Bachelors in Organizational Leadership Degree Program

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.

Abilene Christian University

Abilene Christian University

Abilene Christian University offers an online program for a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership. The program is centered on vocational formation and a unique Christian perspective on the world of business. The curriculum combines key concepts like management theory, communication, analytical reasoning, and strategy. Students can typically complete the program’s 120 required credits in 4 years of full-time study.

Abilene Christian University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Anderson University

Anderson University

Anderson University offers a Bachelor of Organizational Leadership. The program aims to instill leadership skills that are rooted in Christian principles, interpersonal communication, and positive employee relations. This 120 credit program uses a 7 week class format. This accelerated model, combined with the flexibility of online learning, is intended to support the scheduling needs of working professionals.

Anderson University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Fresno Pacific University

Fresno Pacific University

The Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration program at Fresno Pacific University offers a concentration in Organizational Leadership. The curriculum is built on the key principles of participation, presentation, practice, and performance. Classes can be attended online and in-person. On average, students can finish their major-specific credits in 18 months after completing their general education requirements.

Fresno Pacific University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

Indiana Wesleyan University

Indiana Wesleyan University

Indiana Wesleyan University offers a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership. Potential careers for graduates include diverse roles in human resources, retail, manufacturing, sales, and health services sectors. This program is housed 100% online. After completing general education requirements, students can typically complete their program-specific requirements in 24 months of full-time attendance.

Indiana Wesleyan University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of Arizona

University of Arizona

At the University of Arizona, the Bachelor of Applied Science program offers a concentration in Organizational Leadership. Courses cover key topics, such as leadership psychology, mentoring, diversity in the workplace, business ethics, and entrepreneurship. The program requires the completion of 120 credit hours. All classes are held in a flexible online format.

The University of Arizona is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of Central Oklahoma

University of Oklahoma

The University of Central Oklahoma offers a fully online program for a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership. The program aims to graduate competent, compassionate leaders ready to serve in a variety of sectors. The curriculum consists of 124 credit hours of courses. Learning objectives include competencies in workplace communication, data analysis, financial management, and ethical leadership.

The University of Central Oklahoma is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of Cincinnati

University of Cincinnati

The University of Cincinnati offers a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Leadership. This program may be an excellent fit for students who are passionate about guiding their organizations to success. This program utilizes a 100% online learning model. Most students can complete the 120 required credits in 4 years of full-time attendance.

UC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of Louisville

University of Louisville

The University of Louisville offers a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership and Learning. Students can choose between concentrations in Digital Leadership, Diversity and Inclusion, Human Resource Development, Childhood Education, and more. This online program is designed to provide working professionals with needed flexibility in class scheduling and delivery.

The University of Louisville is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of Toledo

University of Toledo

At the University of Toledo, the Bachelor of Business Administration program offers a concentration in Organizational Leadership and Management. The curriculum focuses on four key areas: leading and managing change, leadership skills, emotional intelligence, and conflict resolution. This program utilizes a fully online learning format. On average, students can complete their studies in 4 years of full-time attendance.

The University of Toledo is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of West Georgia

University of West Georgia

The University of West Georgia offers a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership. This interdisciplinary program is designed to provide leadership training for individuals in numerous fields. All classes are attended online. Students can also potentially receive credit for past professional and educational leadership experience in settings such as the military, community outreach, or training.

The University of West Georgia is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Getting Your Organizational Leadership Bachelor’s Degree Online

Man taking an Online Organizational Leadership Degree

If you want to develop professional skill sets that help businesses succeed, then you might consider going to college for an organizational leadership degree.

As you pursue an organizational leadership major, you can build your knowledge of business, communication, diversity, change, project management, and quality assurance. An online degree program may also fit into your busy life. With online classes, you might be able to do your studies in the evenings or on the weekends. This flexibility could be the key to achieving your goal of earning a college degree.

You can start checking out organizational leadership degrees from accredited online schools today.

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Jordan Meeks
Jordan is pursuing a Ph.D. in Public Policy and earned her Master of Business Administration in Strategic Management and her Bachelor's in Business Administration. Jordan's research focuses on adults returning to college and online degree programs.