Best online organizational leadership degrees 2022: Top picks

Best online organizational leadership degrees 2022: Top picks

    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.

    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

    Accreditation: The University of Iowa is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

    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

    Accreditation: Graceland University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). 

    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

    Accreditation: The University of Charleston is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

    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

    Accreditation: St. Louis University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). 

    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

    Accreditation: John Brown University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). 

    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

    Accreditation: Union University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

    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

    Accreditation: Saint Francis University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

    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

    Accreditation: Southeastern University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

    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

    Accreditation: The University of Central Oklahoma is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). 

    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

    Accreditation: The University of West Georgia is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). 

    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

    Accreditation: Arizona State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

    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

    Accreditation: The University of La Verne is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

    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

    Accreditation: Duquesne University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). 

    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

    Accreditation: Bethel University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). 

    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

    Accreditation: St. Thomas University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). 

    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

    Accreditation: Bay Path University is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). 

    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

    Accreditation: Missouri Baptist University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

    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

    Accreditation: Mercy College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). 

    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

    Accreditation: Bethel University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and School Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

    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

    Accreditation: Southwestern College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

    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

    Accreditation: Bluefield College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

    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

    Accreditation: California Baptist University is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

    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

    Accreditation: Judson University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). 

    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

    Accreditation: Brenau University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). 

    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

    Accreditation: Bellevue University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). 

    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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