An MSSL degree focuses on the theories and practices of leadership. The curriculum is similar to the MBA. The major difference is that the MBA requires quantitative courses, such as economics and accounting, whereas the Master of Science in Strategic Leadership emphasizes leadership courses, such as coaching & mentoring, negotiation/deal making. Master of Science in Strategic Leadership students learn skills that are applicable to all industries.
The MSSL at CMU requires a total of 13 courses, equivalent to 39 units.
Gain Competencies in the following
- Build your strategic leadership competencies
- Lead your organization to greater effectiveness and success
- Develop your philosophy of leadership
- Learn methods to analyze and think strategically
Graduates of the MSSL program should be able to:
MSSL PLO #1: Demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of theories, concepts and global perspectives covered in the course works with real world applications of strategic leadership.
MSSL PLO #2: Perform a factual and application oriented literature review applying critical thinking and problem-solving techniques in cases and articles.
MSSL PLO #3: Demonstrate both oral and written communication skills in an organizational and academic manner.
MSSL PLO #4: Develop, analyze and implement leadership expectations of strategic planning based on solid organized data with application.
Required Core Courses & Educational Costs
|Course No.||Title||Credit Hours|
|MIS 6110||Management Information Systems|
Managing information systems has become a task for all levels of managers and all functional areas of the business. In today’s digital firm there is no escaping the opportunities (as well as the challenges) that technology brings.
This course focuses on providing the student with an understanding of the nature of the digital firm and the key issues in organizing and managing the firm. Managers of digital firms need to identify the challenges facing their firms; understand the technologies that will help them meet these challenges; design business processes to take advantage of the technologies; and create management procedures and policies to implement the required changes. (3 credit hours)
|LED 5531||Leadership Theories and Concepts|
This course focuses on building effective, high-performing work teams by assuring that they are outcome focused and integrated into organizational goals.
Explores leadership development, the use of power and influence, leadership values, behavior and traits, situational characteristics, methods of team building, leadership skills and organizational change.
|LED 5541||Leader and the Leadership Process|
This course is designed to serve as a catalyst to the students of leadership’s thinking and dialogue about leaders and the leadership process. Students of leadership should look at themselves within the context of leadership in order to understand the phenomenon and the complexity associated with organizational leadership.
By understanding the leadership process, the student will be able to connect all the key components involved in the process: namely; the leader, the follower, the context, the process, and the outcomes. Since the leadership process is both interactive and dynamic, one component will influence the others and students of leadership need to understand this dynamic in order for them to understand the leadership process. This course prepares the student to become effective leaders by exposing them to a discussion that goes beyond leadership theory. (3 credit hours)
|LED 5545||Leadership in Organizations|
This course is about leadership in organizations. Its primary focus is on managerial leadership as opposed to parliamentary leadership, leadership in social movements, or emergent leadership in informal groups. The course represents a broad survey of theory and research on leadership in formal organizations. The topic of leadership effectiveness is of special interest, and the discussion keeps returning to the question of what makes a person an effective leader.
With the focus on effective leadership in organizations, the course is especially relevant to the student, to the person who is currently a manager, to the person who intends to become a manager in the near future, as well as to the practicing manager who is looking for something more than superficial answers to difficult questions about leadership.
Although this is the primary book for this course, there are supplemental readings identified in this syllabus that is helpful in acquiring a broader academic and professional perspective of leadership in organizations. (3 credit hours)
|BUS 5581||Coaching and Mentoring|
This course offers an introduction to the necessary tools that a leader or manager needs to become an effective coach and/or mentor.
Topics include building trust, showing empathy, active listening, using influence tactics, helping others set goals, monitoring performance, giving feedback, encouraging positive actions, discouraging negative actions, training team members, helping others solve problems, helping difficult people, and developing protégés.
Develop effective coaching and communication skills which are vital in organizations to build rapport among colleagues, create positive instructional change, and enhanced self-esteem. This course emphasizes experiential learning and the skills of effective relating and problem solving needed in today’s management style.
|ORG 6130||Organizational Behavior|
Organization behavior is the study of what people think, feel, and do in and around organizations. This course allows the student to systematically study individual, team, and structural characteristics that influence behavior in organizations. The topics covered in this course enlighten the student on the complex relationships that are present among individuals, groups, organizations, and society.
This course emphasizes a dynamic systems approach to the understanding and facilitation of work relationships through the study of the interaction of individual needs, abilities, and traits with organizational goals, structure, and the long-term creation and addition of value to the individual, the group, and the organization.
This course is a primer for aspiring small business owners. Students will explore step-by-step procedures necessary to set up and manage a small business.
Topics include the development of the business plan, market entry strategies, organization and financing, and critical factors for small business owners and entrepreneurs. The course provides students with the skills to build, work for, invest in, advise or consult to social ventures at any point in their career path.
|HRM 6180||Human Resource Management|
Provides a management-oriented exploration of human resource management, structure, functional applications, and labor management relations.Based upon classical and contemporary theory, this course forms a humanistic and legal analysis of organizations, focusing on the role of human resource management in the creation of organizational strategy. Examines a leader’s responsibility to optimize performance and make decisions based on ethical criteria.
(3 credit hours)
|LED 6851||Conflict Resolution|
This course introduces students to the foundation and theories of conflict management. The course includes an interdisciplinary introduction to conflict, sources of conflict, and conflict theory and integrates an overview of how to deal with interpersonal and inter-group, organizational, community, international, and intercultural conflict. Students will gain critical skills in multi-party and public facilitation and mediation, as well as skills in mediation.
This course examines the central principles of effective conflict management in a wide variety of contexts, especially in the workplace. By using a combination of up-to-date research and examples the students receive a theoretical, as well as a practical foundation in conflict management.
|LED 6900||Negotiation/Deal Making|
This course discusses the nature of negotiations that are difficult to resolve. We examine the nature of impasses—what makes negotiations intractable—and discuss four elements that make negotiations difficult to resolve: the parties, the negotiation setting, the types of issues, and the conflict management process. We explore fundamental mistakes that negotiators make that cause negotiation impasses.
Finally, we discuss strategies that negotiators can use to resolve impasses and get negotiations back on track. Later, we turn to power’s complement, influence—the actual strategies and messages that individuals deploy to bring about desired attitudinal or behavioral change. During negotiations, actors frequently need to convince the other party that they have offered something of value, their offer is reasonable, and they cannot offer more.
Negotiators may also want to alter the other party’s beliefs about the importance of his own objectives and convince him that his concessions are not as valuable as he first believed. Negotiators may portray themselves as likable people who should be treated decently. All these efforts are designed to use information, as well as the qualities of the sender and receiver of that information, to adjust the other party’s positions, perceptions, and opinions; we call this group of tactics influence. (3 credit hours)
|LED 6910||Team and Group Dynamics|
This course provides the student with a step-by-step introduction of the principles and practice of small group communication, and teaches students to develop and apply critical thinking in group problems solving. Group participation is an uplifting and energizing experience.
Students are given the tools to help them move towards this outcome. Research and theory is also presented that gives students an understanding that communication behaviors create the overall group experience, and that working effectively in groups is a practical necessity today. (3 credit hours)
|LED 6920||Change Management|
This course provides new tools and skills for understanding and managing the impact of a rapidly changing environment. Today’s organizations are faced with increasingly complex and dynamic changes.
The vast majority of newly formulated business strategies, no matter how well-crafted or ingenious they are, fail in their implementation. In some cases, they end up as faint, half-hearted replicas of the original plans; in other cases, they simply never materialize altogether. Companies rise and fall not according to their strategic brilliance or cleverness, but according to their ability to execute on their strategic intents.
This course addresses the managerial challenge of strategy implementation, particularly by examining the organizational elements that must be drawn into line to support a strategy, as well as the immense difficulties of changing an organization. Accordingly, the course relies on two overarching frameworks. The first is a model of organizational alignment; the second is a model for managing the change process. The course will emphasize application and practice, primarily by the use of cases. This course equips leaders at every level of the organization to be successful change agents.
|BUS 6190||Strategic Management Capstone |
This course is designed to examine problem analysis and decision making involved in corporate strategy. Students will learn how to develop mission statements, and assess both the external and internal environments in order to determine organizational strengths and weaknesses.
This course will also include analyses of the following: various methods for formulating and implementing strategy, issues with technology and innovation, entrepreneurial ventures and small businesses, not-for-profit organizations, competition, core competencies, and gaining and sustaining a competitive advantage at the corporate level. This MSSL capstone course is broad in scope and integrative of all other required courses.
Prerequisites: The Capstone Project may not be taken until a minimum of 10 of the 13 courses in the Master’s degree program have been successfully completed. The Capstone course may be completed concretely with 12th Master’s course if this course is available in the same session.(3 credit hours)
- Tuition per Unit: $585
- Tuition per 3 Unit Course: $1,755
- Total Program Tuition: $22,815 (39 units)
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GAINFUL EMPLOYMENT STATISTICS
In compliance with the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA) and the Student Assistance General Provisions CMU has published these statistics showing how the University prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation. Click here for those statistics for our Master of Science in Strategic Leadership degree program.