Academic Course Catalogs

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Master of Science in Global Leadership

The Master of Science in Global Leadership (MSGL) is a cohort-based program where students progress together through a 16-month course of study. The 31-unit curriculum integrates content of 14 courses within three main thematic areas:

  • Leadership and ethics;
  • global, geopolitical, environment and cultural environment; and,
  • best business practices and processes.

It is delivered in a flexible, executive education format. Students begin with online studies prior to an intensive session lasting one week during which time students complete most of the classroom work for three courses. This begins a period of independent and team-based studies that include classroom sessions, guest speakers, and a variety of remotely-delivered educational exercises.

The program begins with five weeks of online work to get students engaged in the material of the courses in the first semester, and to familiarize them with the tools, technology and methods of hybrid education. Then students meet for an intensive week of in-class sessions.

Following that initial week-long session, students may choose one of three continuation paths:

  • Attendance at monthly on-campus sessions;
  • Course completion via distance learning methods; and,
  • A combination of the above two options.

At the conclusion of the fourth semester, all students return to the campus for a one week final session. This final week includes participation in a capstone experience, MSGL 509, wherein the students complete a two-day exercise analyzing an international business problem for an actual international corporation.
The MSGL offers many of the courses included in other graduate business programs concentrating on those courses most valuable to mid-level executives working in international corporations. Though some students have somewhat more or less experience, the typical candidate for the MSGL program will have five to eight years of experience as a rising executive and be expected to assume positions of increasing responsibility with time.

The MSGL program includes a two-course sequence designed to prepare students to pass the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification examination. This specific portion of the master’s program is timed to end during the final week of classes. All students completing these two courses will be awarded a Certificate in Project Management from the University of San Diego’s School of Business Administration in addition to the Master of Science in Global Leadership degree.

The MSGL program has been created specifically for a busy working professional whose work demands make attending a full-time, campus-based program difficult. Students who are able to attend class on campus every month are in the same classes and cohort with students who are completing all course requirements online. These resident and distance students work together in teams and use tools and technology that prepare them for today’s international business environment that regularly uses technology to facilitate collaboration and coordination across time zones and international boundaries. Also, the incorporation of distributed education technologies enables students to continue their academic efforts while faced with challenging and changing work schedules.

Admissions Requirements

The first requirement for admission is the demonstration of the ability to successfully complete the program based on prior academic performance. Normally this performance will be demonstrated by a minimum 3.0 GPA (4.0 basis) in the last 60 undergraduate units. Additionally, candidates must be able to demonstrate work and leadership experience in order to best understand and take advantage of the content of the curriculum. At least five years is preferred, three years is the minimum, which can only be waived under exceptional circumstances.

In addition, candidates will be expected to provide:

  • Two letters of recommendation, one by their immediate supervisor (commanding officer for military personnel);
  • A brief statement of purpose discussing reasons for wanting to complete the MSGL program; and,
  • A résumé describing work experience to date
  • Original, sealed undergraduate transcripts (including transfer credits listed on the degree-granting institution transcripts)

Applicants may apply at A personal or phone interview with the program director or assistant director is expected prior to submission of the application.

MSGL Degree Requirements

The following courses are all required. Their order of delivery may vary slightly from cohort to cohort. No substitutions are allowed and no credits may be applied from other courses of study to meet the MSGL requirements. A 3.0 average in MSGL course work is required in order to graduate. The units for each course follow the course title.

MSGL 502 Foundations of Ethical Leadership (2)
MSGL 503 International Comparative Leadership and Management (2)
MSGL 506 Leading Others: Individuals, Teams, and Organizations (3)
MSGL 507 Understanding Organizations (3)
MSGL 509 Integrating Leadership Project (1)
MSGL 510 Global Society (2)
MSGL 512 Global Politics, Policy, and Law (2)
MSGL 513 Understanding International Business (3)
MSGL 523 Finance for Global Business (2)
MSGL 526 International Negotiations (2)
MSGL 527 Strategic Planning and Management (2)
MSGL 531 Marketing for Global Business (2)
MSGL 532 Project Management for Global Business (3)
MSGL 533 Project Leadership for Global Business (2)

Courses and Seminars

MSGL 502 Foundations of Ethical Leadership (2)

This course examines ethical principles and theories, and provides tools and methodologies for ethical decision-making. The course focuses on common ethical issues in international business, but processes to deal with these issues are also applicable to military, government, and international agencies. Topics include traditional ethical theories, theory of capitalism and corporate social responsibility, cultural relativism, character development, stakeholder theory and psychological aspects of moral development. Teaching methods include lecture, evaluation of case studies, and discussions (in class and online) and debate.

MSGL 503 International Comparative Leadership and Management (2)

This course will prepare participants to recognize the differences in cultural value systems and behaviors in the global environment, and how they affect leadership. Practical suggestions on how to succeed as a manager in foreign cultures and as a manager of foreign nationals will be examined. The course compares and contrasts the styles and effectiveness of leadership practices of contemporary and historical leaders. Teaching methods will include lecture, discussion, group exercises and case study.

MSGL 506 Leading Others: Individuals, Teams and Organizations (3)

This course explores multiple leadership models and examines their applicability to diverse global situations. It also trains participants in essential skills for leading individuals, teams and organizations. Topics include power and influence, transactional versus transformational leadership, emotional intelligence, leadership styles, situational contingencies, team facilitation, process analysis and strategic planning. Teaching methods include self-assessment, lecture or discussion, team projects, film analysis, role-plays, process observation, case analysis and experiential exercises.

MSGL 507 Understanding Organizations (3)

This course develops an understanding of fundamental organizational concepts to include basic organization theory, structures of organizations, the learning organization and organizational change techniques. The course begins by establishing knowledge of basic definitions and structures, moves to build an understanding of organizational cultures and concludes by discussing strategies for change — building more effective organizations. Teaching methods include lecture, discussion, exercises, team assignments and various audio and video sources.

MSGL 509 Integrating Leadership Project (1)

This course is the capstone of the global leadership program. Each master’s candidate will participate in an international business simulation that will analyze and seek resolution of a challenge of an actual corporation involved in the global arena. The simulation will serve to exercise skills and knowledge gained during the completion of the entire curriculum, integrate the essence of all courses and serve as a realistic bridge between academic study and practical experience.

MSGL 510 Global Society (2)

This course will focus on the historical, cultural, ethical, leadership and religious traditions of the major countries within each region. Topics include rituals, value systems, interpersonal interactions, customs, attitudes, social organizations, etiquette, protocols and gender relations. Teaching methods include lecture, case studies and discussion.

MSGL 512 Global Politics, Policy and Law (2)

This course examines the complex array of politics, ethics and law in the global environment, the influence of culture on ethics and law, international organizations, and methods for resolving international disputes. Topics include national security issues, international law and policy making, labor and employment issues, strategic alliances, human rights, state sovereignty, intellectual property rights and aspects of foreign commercial and investment activities. Teaching methods include lecture, case studies, discussion and debate.

MSGL 513 Understanding International Business (3)

This course develops an understanding of the global environment in which international business takes place as well as the role and behavior of the international firm as it responds to the environment. The course provides the knowledge, skills and sensitivities that help manage business operations more proactively in the turbulent international environment. Through cases and discussions within a social and ethical framework in the international marketplace, aspects of production, research, marketing and finance — along with their interrelationships — are studied.

MSGL 523 Finance for Global Business (2)

This course in finance and accounting will cover topics in corporate finance such as the time value of money, ratio analysis, capital budgeting and international finance. Additional topics include the structure of basic financial accounting statements, a comparison of cash flow to accounting profit, and the analysis of financial derivatives and their use in currency risk management. Participants will learn some of the financial tools used by professionals and also increase your understanding of the tasks and issues that are relevant to conducting business globally.

MSGL 526 International Negotiations (2)

This course examines the science and art of negotiation. The science will be learned largely through readings and discussions of the readings. The art will be learned through experience gained in simulated negotiations. These negotiations normally are set in a foreign country, exposing the participants to nuances of different cultures. Teaching methods will include lecture, discussion, group exercises and case study.

MSGL 527 Strategic Planning and Management (2)

This course examines strategic planning including the development of appropriate mission statements, international and global environmental analyses, the establishment of objectives, and the development of appropriate strategies and tactics to fulfill the objectives. In a military context, these principles can be applied to situations such as disaster relief, drug interdiction, border security and regional military actions. Teaching methods include lecture, discussion, group exercises aand case studies.


This course examines the key elements of marketing, the opportunities and the challenges of operating in a rapidly changing global marketplace. This course will cover topics such as the cultural environment in which marketers operate information systems and market research, product management and product development, segmentation, positioning, promotion, pricing, and distribution. Lastly, this course will focus on practical decision making within a socially responsible and ethical framework.


This course will provide an integrative view of project management from the perspective of the project life cycle. The focus will be on the five phases of project management related to the successful implementation of projects in the domestic and international environments: initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing. Topics will include: scope definition; task determination; work estimating and scheduling; resource allocation; project monitoring and control; and project closeout. Emphasis in the course is on the nomenclature and skills needed to successfully pass the PMP® certification examination in project management. Teaching methods include lecture, case studies, and experiential exercises.


This course examines the relationships a project manager has with all project stakeholders, especially focusing on the nature and importance of leadership in projects. A strategic approach is taken to successfully managing within the larger organization, forming, leading and forging the project team, and satisfying the customer. Topics include project leadership, forming and forging the project team, responsibilities and authority, staffing projects, project communications, and time management. Teaching methods include lecture, case studies, and experiential exercises.