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Master of Science in Leadership (MSL)

Enhance your leadership capability and gain the skills to plan for and direct change within your organization through Pfeiffer's Master of Science in Leadership (MSL) program. This advanced behavioral science program is ideal for professionals working in health care, public administration, education, public safety, and other organizations.

  • Learn cutting-edge research techniques and practices in advanced organizational behavior science to create high-performance work teams and lead organizational change.
  • Gain the leadership and interpersonal skills to direct and develop human resources, including conflict resolution, group dynamics, and diversity management.
  • You'll learn in small classes with students from diverse backgrounds.
  • With classes offered at our convenient Charlotte and Triangle campuses as well as online, this program is ideal for working professionals.
  • You can earn your MSL in as little as eighteen months.
  • In addition to our affordable tuition, financial aid is available for those who qualify.
  • Our concentration in International Management gives you the advantage in today's global economy. After studying the impact of culture in global settings, you'll be prepared to successfully lead your organization in international business environments.
  • Our joint degree programs bring together key elements from Pfeiffer's other programs and provide more options. You can earn your MSL with a Master of Business Administration or a Master of Health Administration.

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Master of Science in Leadership - Course Descriptions

MSL 702  - Organizational Behavior   (3 SH)
Organizational structure and theory, work redesign, perception and attribution, learning, motivation, groups, conflict, power, influence, leadership, and decision-making. Organizational behavior within complex work organizations.

MSL 710 -  Effective Leadership   (3 SH)
This course will examine current and significant issues in organizational leadership. Instruction focuses on existing theories and practical applications with emphasis given to new and emerging topics in the field. Prerequisite: MBA 701 and MSL 702.

MSL 712 -  Ethical Behavior and Employment Law   (3 SH)
The study of employment law is important because of the impact it has on businesses, management, and employees. This course, Ethical Behavior and Employment Law will focus on: (1) the parameters of the relationship between employer and employee and independent contractor, (2) the procedures for selecting and testing employees, (3) the Civil Rights Act, affirmative action and the various forms of discrimination found in employment, (4) the government regulation of the workplace with regard to unions, collective bargaining, minimum and maximum hours, safety, health, compensation, for injuries and pension/benefits. Prerequisites: MBA 701 and MSL 702.

MSL 715 -  Critical Thinking for Continuous Improvement   (3 SH)
Organizational management decision making theories and techniques. Topics presented include factors and conditions that influence decision making in the workplace, the process of rationale decision making, stimulating creativity, and total quality management approaches. Emphasis is given to employee empowerment in the problem solving process and the development of critical thinking skills. Prerequisite: MBA 701 and MSL 702.

MSL 720 -  Managing a Diverse Workforce   (3 SH)
This course focuses on one of the most controversial issues facing the workplace today: building a diverse workplace. It explores diversity, race and gender as well as other areas. Topics include: ageism, religious diversity, EEOC laws, family tracks vs. corporate ladder climbing, and other issues that will draw from current events in the workplace. Focus will be not only on the topic but also on possible solutions and tips for corporations to develop diversity in the workplace. Prerequisite: MSL 710.

MSL 725 -  Ethical Issues in Organizations (3 SH)
The study of ethical behavior is important because of the impact it has on businesses, management, and employees. This course focuses on (1) the reintroduction of the impact of ethics on business operations, (2) the development of an ethical model appropriate for all organizations, (3) how ethical behavior impacts the interactions of organizations as they produce products or services, (4) an understanding of how international cultural-ethical perceptions differ and the impact of those differences on successful management of international operations. Prerequisite: MSL 710.

MSL 730 -  Human Resource Management (3 SH)
This course provides students with an overview of current knowledge and techniques used in managing human resources in organizations. Topics covered include: Employment Law role of HR manager in developing job analysis, job description, job design, HR planning, recruiting, selecting, training, developing, performance appraisal, compensation, benefits, and international HR mangement. Prerequisite: MBA 701 and MSL 702.

MSL 731 - Human Resource Development   (3 SH)
Techniques and practical application of training processes within the organizational context with a focus on building a learning organization. Topics may include planning, development, curriculum design, and evaluation techniques. Prerequisite: MSL 710.

MSL 735 -  International Human Resource Management (3 SH)
This course will focus on the theories and practices necessary to gain the knowledge and skill to effectively manage an organization's human resources in the global economy of the 21st century. It will focus on human behavior across cultures, international human resource management and building high performance organizations/teams. Prerequisite: MSL 685 or permission of the program director.

MSL - 752 Global Management (3 SH)
Globalization is clearly here to stay and is having a profound effect on the survival and
profitability of organizations. The focus of this course will be to provide managers/
leaders operating in an international setting with an enhanced understanding and
appreciation for the cultural differences and challenges facing managers in a global
organizational environment. It will also provide the knowledge and skill for managers/
leaders to increase their effectiveness in carrying out their managerial responsibilities.
Prerequisite: MSL 710.

MSL - 712 Ethical Behavior and Employment Law (3 SH)
The study of employment law is important because of the impact it has on businesses,
management, and employees. This course, Ethical Behavior and Employment Law will
focus on: (1) the parameters of the relationship between employer and employee and
independent contractor, (2) the procedures for selecting and testing employees, (3) the Civil
Rights Act, affirmative action and the various forms of discrimination found in employment,
(4) the government regulation of the workplace with regard to unions, collective bargaining,
minimum and maximum wage hours, safety, health, compensation, for injuries and pension/
benefits.

MSL - 710 Organizational Leadership (3 SH)
This course will examine current and significant issues in organizational leadership.
Instruction focuses on existing theories and practical applications with emphasis given to
new and emerging topics in the field. Prerequisite: MBA 701 and MSL 702.

MSL - 715 Critical Thinking for Continuous Improvement (3 SH)
Organizational management decision making theories and techniques. Topics presented
include factors and conditions that influence decision making in the workplace, the process
of rationale decision making, stimulating creativity, and total quality managment approaches.
Emphasis is given to employee empowerment in the problem solving process and the
development of critical thinking skills. Prerequisite: MBA 701 and MSL 702.

MSL - 720 Managing a Diverse Workforce (3 SH)
This course focuses on one of the most controversial issues facing the workplace today:
building a diverse workplace. It explores diversity, race and gender as well as other areas.
Topics include: ageism, religious diversity, EEOC laws, family tracks vs. corporate ladder
climbing, and other issues that will draw from current events in the workplace. Focus will
be not only on the topic but also on possible solutions and tips for corporations to develop
diversity in the workplace.

MSL - 725 Ethical Issues in Organizations (3 SH)
The study of ethical behavior is important because of the impact it has on businesses,
management, and employees. This course focuses on (1) the reintroduction of the impact
of ethics on business operations, (2) the development of an ethical model appropriate for
all organizations, (3) how ethical behavior impacts the interactions of organizations as they
produce products or services, (4) an understanding of how international cultural-ethical
perceptions differ and the impact of those differences on successful management of
international operations. Prerequisite: MBA 701.

MSL - 730 Human Resource Management (3 SH)
This course provides students with an overview of current knowledge and techniques used
in managing human resources in organizations. Topics covered include: Employment Law,
role of HR manager in developing job analysis, job description, job design, HR planning,
recruiting, selecting, training, developing, performance appraisal, compensation, benefits,
and international HR mangement. Prerequisite: MBA 701 and MSL 702.

MSL - 731 Human Resource Development   (3 SH)
Techniques and practical application of training processes within the organizational
context with a focus on building a learning organization. Topics may include planning,
development, curriculum design, and evaluation techniques. Prerequisite: MSL 702.

MSL - 735 International Human Resource Management   (3 SH)
This course will focus on the theories and practices necessary to gain the knowledge and
skill to effectively manage an organization's human resources in the global economy of the
21st century. It will focus on human behavior across cultures, international human resource
management and building high performance organizations/teams. Prerequisite: MSL 730
or permission of the program director. Prerequisite: MSL 710.

MSL 740 -  Negotiations and Conflict Resolution   (3 SH)
Exploring the process, tactics and techniques of bargaining and negotiation. The course concentrates on interpersonal dynamics and the process of interpersonal and inter-group conflict resolution. Prerequisite: MBA 701 and MSL 702.

MSL 750 - Organizational Change Management   (3 SH)
This course provides students with theoretical and conceptual foundations to effectively and efficiently direct change in an organization. Topics include change strategies for transformational change in the workplace, dealing with resistance to change, developing management buy-in for change projects, and how to ensure change projects are maintained. Emphasis is given on providing the student with the tools and skills needed to become an effective change agent. Students will be able to diagnose problems in organizations requiring change, as well as develop the ability to design, implement, and monitor a change strategy within an organization. Prerequisites: MSL 701, MSL 710.

MSL 751 -  Strategies for Building High Performance Teams and Organizations (3 SH)
Building knowledge and skill to manage change strategies within organizations with a focus on: resolving interpersonal issues, assessing organizations, with an emphasis on building high performance organizations and teams. Prerequisite: MSL 750.

MSL 752 -  Global Management (3 SH)
Globalization is clearly here to stay and is having a profound effect on the survival and profitability of organizations. The focus of this course will be to provide managers/leaders operating in an international setting with an enhanced understanding and appreciation for the cultural differences and challenges facing managers in a global organizational environment. It will also provide the knowledge and skill for managers/leaders to increase their effectiveness in carrying out their managerial responsibilities.Prerequisite: MSL 710.

MSL 790 -  Applied Field Practicum in Leadership and Organizational Change   (3 SH)
A faculty-supervised independent study offered in cooperation with the student's employer or another organization. The student or student team will be required to demonstrate knowledge and skills and to apply them to the resolution of an organizational problem or to the design, implementation, and measurement of a performance enhancing project. Students have three (3) semesters to complete this course. Prerequisites: MSL 750 and Permission of the Program Director.

MSL 799 -  Strategic Leadership   (3 SH)
This course will explore the key concepts involved in strategic leadership/management as well as the underlying theories in marketing and finance needed to master strategy. In addition to covering strategic theory, students will practice strategic thinking using case studies and/or a course project. Prerequisites: MBA 602 and MSL 681.

Master of Science in Leadership - Curriculum

Core Requirements

  • MBA 701 Organizational Communications
  • MSL 702 Organizational Behavior
  • MSL 710 Effective Leadership
  • MSL 712 Ethical Issues in Employment Law
  • MSL 730 Human Resource Management
  • MSL 740 Negotiations and Conflict Resolution
  • MSL 750 Organizational Change Management
  • MSL 790 Applied Field Project in Organizational Leadership
  • MSL 799 Strategic Leadership

General electives:

  • Nine semester hours from MSL courses.

Master of Science in Leadership - Joint Degree Programs

MBA MSLthumbnailMBA/MSL

The joint degree Master of Business Administration/Master of Science in Leadership program is specifically designed to integrate key elements from both existing programs to provide a degree option for students. This joint degree program leads to the awarding of one master's degree with study in two related disciplines. The primary focus of most existing MBA programs is to provide the student with an overall understanding of the key functional areas of an organization with a heavy emphasis on systems and quantitative approaches. As such, most MBA programs do not provide the student with an adequate understanding of the human behavior-leadership side of an organization. On the other hand, students focusing on the behavioral-leadership side of an organization can benefit from an enhanced understanding and appreciation of the key functional areas of organizations. This joint degree program is designed to provide the student with the best of both worlds, i.e., a solid background in the key functional areas of an organization, coupled with a major focus on effective leadership and change management knowledge and skill.

 

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mhamsl imageMHA/MSL

The joint degree Master of Health Administration/Master of Science in Leadership program incorporates an efficient combination of the most significant aspects of the single degree Master of Health Administration and Master of Science in Leadership programs. The course of study culminates with neither the Master of Health Administration nor the Master of Science in Leadership; rather, the MHA/MSL is an intensive single degree program. The program is intended primarily for clinicians and healthcare managers whose career paths require advanced competencies in qualitative and quantitative aspects of management. In addition to providing functional knowledge in the key managerial, finance, legal and ethical areas of the healthcare enterprise, it will provide the latest knowledge and skills necessary to effectively manage others and to successfully implement change initiatives. In so doing, the individual will be better prepared for leadership in the rapidly changing and extraordinarily complex health service environment of the 21st Century.

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