Master of Science in Strategic Leadership

The Master of Science in Strategic Leadership program guides students to develop their philosophy of leadership, the methods to analyze and think strategically, and the opportunity to master concepts and techniques related to organizational leadership.

Why CMU?

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
  • Negotiation
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Coaching

Course Descriptions

Provides an understanding of the nature of the digital firm and its key issues in organization and management. This course will prepare students to face the challenges involved in managing a firm, understand problem solving technologies, design business processes, and create management policies in order to implement change.
(3 credit hours)

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.
(3 credit hours)

By understanding the leadership process, the student will be able to connect the key components of leadership including: the leader, the follower, the context, the process and the outcomes. This course goes beyond leadership theory by introducing the interactive and dynamic process of leadership, with one component influencing the others.
(3 credit hours)

Explores a wide range of leadership topics including: managerial and parliamentary leadership, leadership in social movements, and emergent leadership in informal groups. The topic of leadership effectiveness is of special interest, and the discussion continuously returns to the question of what makes a person an effective leader. This course is especially relevant to managers who are looking to expand their leadership skills.
(3 credit hours)

Examines topics such as: 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. This course emphasizes experiential learning in today’s management style.
(3 credit hours)

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 of work relationships through the study of individual needs and abilities in reference to organizational goals and structure.
(3 credit hours)

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.
(3 credit hours)

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)

Includes an interdisciplinary introduction to conflict theory by integrating an overview of interpersonal and inter-group, organizational, community, international, and intercultural conflict. 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 and practical foundation in conflict management.
(3 credit hours)

This course addresses the four elements that make negotiations difficult to resolve: the parties, the negotiation setting, the types of issues, and the conflict management process. Explores the fundamental mistakes of negotiation, and strategies used to resolve impasses in order to get negotiations back on track. Topics also include: analyzing the qualities of the sender in the midst of negotiation, adjusting to the other party’s position, influence and other tactics.
(3 credit hours)

Provides a step-by-step introduction of the principles and practices of small group communication. Students will achieve an understanding of communication behaviors within a group setting, with the ultimate goal being effective, collaborative work.
(3 credit hours)

This course provides new tools for understanding and managing the impact of a rapidly changing environment. Addresses the managerial challenge of strategy implementation, the organizational elements that must be drawn to support a strategy, as well as the immense difficulties of changing an organization. Accordingly, the course relies on two overarching frameworks: The first being a model of organizational alignment; the second being a model for managing the change process. By the end of this course, students will have learned to be successful change agents at every level of the organization.
(3 credit hours)

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 capstone course is broad in scope and integrative of all other required courses.
(3 credit hours)

Required Core Courses

Course No.TitleCredit Hours
MIS 6110Management Information Systems3
LED 5531Leadership Theories and Concepts3
LED 5541Leader and the Leadership Process3
LED 5545Leadership in Organizations3
BUS 5581Coaching and Mentoring3
ORG 6130Organizational Behavior3
ENT 6431Entrepreneurship3
HRM 6180Human Resource Management3
LED 6851Conflict Resolution3
LED 6900Negotiation/Deal Making3
LED 6910Team & Group Dynamics3
LED 6920Change Management3
BUS 6190Strategic Management Capstone3

Master of Science in Strategic Leadership

Education Costs

  • Tuition per Unit: $450
  • Tuition per 3 Unit Course: $1,350
  • Total Program Tuition: $17,550(39 units)
Laura Simones

Laura Simones,
Admissions Assistant

(858) 653-3000


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