MA in ​Leadership Studies

Transform Yourself, Professionally and Personally

The Master of Arts in Leadership Studies Program at the University of San Diego works to improve your knowledge, skills, and dispositions. Our students want to meet professional goals, become more effective in their existing roles, have better relationships, and give themselves the freedom to take on new challenges with the support of peers and faculty. Our program offers you much more than a credential or professional degree—it gives you a new lens through which to understand the world and yourself.

The Leadership Studies program will help you discover more about your unique strengths through the process of becoming a great leader. Throughout the program, you will learn how to be self-reflective and grow in awareness of your own perceptions, emotions, and habits. You will look critically at workplace dynamics, family dynamics, and the dynamics between systems and groups. Through self-reflection, you can begin to clarify who and what you value. 

What You Can Do (and Become) with a Master's in Leadership Studies? The professional outcomes for a master's degree in leadership studies are contingent on your goals and interests during the program. Flexibility and multidisciplinary learning are part of what make the USD Master’s in Leadership Studies so impactful. The program is designed to be customizable based on experience, interest, and goals.

Explore our full guide to discover how this graduate degree can transform your personal and professional life.

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Our Philosophy

Graphic of 3 Pillars

The MA in Leadership Studies program is guided by the three pillars:

-- Development of an international and global mindset

-- Prioritization of intercultural sensitivity and competence

- Commitment to social justice and advocacy

Guided by these three pillars, students develop a leadership identity and the knowledge and skills to be effective leaders and take life to the next level of excellence.

Why Choose A Degree in Leadership? 

Personal Development MA in Leadership Studies Class of 2018

The University of San Diego's MA in Leadership Studies program helps you to see yourself in the processes of leadership. Students learn how to be self-reflective and grow in awareness of their own perceptions, emotions, and habits. Throughout the program, you will look critically at your workplace dynamics, family dynamics, and the dynamics between systems and groups. Through self-reflection, you will begin to clarify who you are and what you value. You will learn to articulate and define your personal moral code and how you desire to make effective change in the world.

Students also participate in a global experience to support the growth of their cultural competency.

Professional Development

Flexibility and multidisciplinary learning are part of what makes our program so impactful. The program is designed to be customizable based on experience, interest, and goals. With courses offered in the evening, it is also accessible to working professionals! You will gain access to a wide variety of electives both within the Department of Leadership Studies and across other graduate programs at the University of San Diego. Students also complete either a capstone project or a professional portfolio, to highlight their best work and display accomplishments, skills, and potential to current and/or future employers.

Customize Your Degree

Students can customize their coursework in order to specialize in leadership for education, the military, athletics, policy, nonprofits, international business, and more. Students can also pursue formal graduate certificates in Leadership Coaching or Restorative Justice Facilitation and Leadership. Essentially, the program gives you the freedom to chart your own course while offering you the support and guidance of experienced faculty.

A Transformative Experience

Graduate students pursuing the MA in Leadership Studies program have a transformative experience that continues to impact them beyond their time at the University of San Diego.

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