Master of Arts in Leadership Studies

*Now accepting applications for Spring, Summer, and Fall 2019

  • The University of San Diego Graduate School Admission Application and $45 application fee
    • Upload the following to submit your online application:
      • Statement of Purpose
      • Resume
      • Copy of Official Transcript
      • Recommenders’ Contact Information
    • Letters of Recommendation and International Transcript Evaluations must be received by the program deadline to complete your application.
  • A copy of your unofficial transcripts from the university where you earned your bachelor’s degree is required at the time of application.

    • Unofficial transcripts from student portals without a registrar’s signature are not acceptable.
    • Students who earned their bachelor's degree from an institution outside the United States must submit a course-by-course degree evaluation conducted by a NACES current member.  
      • Applications for students educated outside the United States will not be considered complete nor can an admissions decision be made until this degree evaluation has been submitted.
    • NOTE: If admitted to the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, you will be required to submit an official sealed transcript from all colleges and universities from which you received credit, including community colleges.
      • Official E-Transcripts are acceptable only if emailed to grads@sandiego.edu.
      • Transcripts from study abroad courses are not required.
  • A minimum of two professional letters of recommendation from professors or employers
  • A current resumé or curriculum vitae
  • A 500-word maximum statement of purpose. Please include a brief narrative describing yourself, your career goals and the importance of graduate study at this point in your life. You may discuss influences on your intellectual development, educational and cultural opportunities (or lack of them) which have been available to you, and the ways in which these experiences have affected you. This should not be a recording of facts already listed on the application; it should give the Admissions Committee a better sense of who you are and why you are applying to graduate school at the University of San Diego. If you are in a graduate program at another university, please explain why you wish to leave.
  • International applicants only:

Admission Requirements

Education Requirements

  • Applicants must complete a bachelor’s degree prior to beginning the program. Applicants may apply prior to completing their bachelor's degree. In this case, please submit your most up-to-date transcripts, and if admitted, submit a second set of official transcripts after your degree is conferred
  • The minimum cumulative grade point average is 3.0 (on a 4.00 scale) in all undergraduate and graduate coursework.
  • This program does not have any specific prerequisite courses.

Experience Requirements

Professional experience is not required, however some leadership experience is helpful.


Application Process

Application Deadline

All application materials, including transcripts, test score reports and letters of recommendation, must be received by the Office of Graduate Admissions by the final deadline in order for your application to be considered. View current deadlines for admission.

Application Status and Decisions

To confirm that application materials have been received or to check the status of your application, please log in to the MySanDiego portal with your applicant login or contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at (619) 260-4524. Admissions decision letters are sent by e-mail and via US Mail.

Submit all application materials online, or to:

Office of Graduate Admissions
University of San Diego
5998 Alcalá Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492
Email: grads@sandiego.edu


For questions about this program or the admissions requirements contact:

Office of Admissions and Outreach
School of Leadership and Education Sciences
University of San Diego
Mother Rosalie Hill Hall 149

Phone: (619) 260-7988
Email: solesadmissions@sandiego.edu

Students entering the University of San Diego and/or declaring a major during 2018-2019, should follow information contained in the printed course catalog (also known as the "catalog of record") published on May 1, 2018. Access the catalog of record at http://catalogs.sandiego.edu.

Program Requirements

Leadership Core15
LEAD 545Survey of Leadership Theories3
LEAD 550Integral Leadership Theory3
LEAD 551Human Relations for Leaders3
LEAD 555Leadership and Ethics3
LEAD 559Leadership and Organizational Change3
Research Requirement3
LEAD 549Research Methods3
Internship (Practical Experience)3
LEAD 598Leadership Internship3
Capstone3
LEAD 589Capstone Seminar (Students will enroll in 1 unit of LEAD 589 in each of their last 3 semesters.)1
Electives 12
Electives are selected in consultation with an advisor from USD's graduate programs.

International Requirement

At SOLES, all masters and doctoral students participate in an international experience designed to support the growth of cultural competency. Our goal is to inform best practices in working with culturally diverse populations locally, nationally and globally.  International experiences are approved by each student's faculty advisor and can be credit based or non-credit based activities. 

Exit Requirement

The program has an exit requirement of a research project.   

Candidates should confer with their advisor during their first year in the program regarding the selection of their exit requirement. Candidates should also refer to the guidelines noted in their Handbook.

Thesis: This option is available for candidates who plan post-master’s or doctoral work. Candidates who select this exit option will register for LEAD 595 Thesis Supervision in place of LEAD 589 Capstone Seminar. Guidelines for thesis work can be found in the Handbook. Candidates must continue to register for at least 1 unit of LEAD 595 each semester until the thesis has been approved.