Master’s in Organizational Management Degrees

Organizational Management Degree Programs

Nonprofit organizations and government agencies must have guidelines in place in order to stay on track and reach goals they have set. Management positions fulfill these obligations, leading a team on certain projects or delivering information to higher-level employees to determine if these goals are still feasible. While there are a handful of organizational management programs within the public administration sector, students can also consider the popular Master of Business Administration path. There are also Master's degrees that have a specific discipline in management studies.

What is Organizational Management and Why Consider this Degree?

In order for any organization or government agency to reach their goals, they must create a strategy or a plan to accomplish this. What goes into this entire process is organizational management, and both hard and soft skills are taught in higher education. Students will discover various aspects in creating teams to work on projects, assembling meetings and conferences to hash out different ideas and work on implementing strategies into a process, and being able to analyze results to determine if the end goal can be achieved.

For those looking to excel in a career that requires strong critical thinking and leadership, elaborate communication skills, and is goal-oriented with efficient planning methods, they should consider higher education in organizational management. The skills learned from the degree will prepare working professionals when moving into a managerial or executive position within a company or government agency. Coursework will typically consist of legal and ethical issues, supply chain management, strategic planning, and behavioral tactics.

Consider a Featured Online MPA Program


NASPAA Accreditation

When looking at Master's degrees within the field of Public Administration, students should be looking for accreditation from the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA). Holding this designation ensures that the program students are taking will prepare them fully for the career they are entering. The curriculum and related courses on organizational management have been reviewed and met rigorous standards set by the agency, along with a faculty that has vast experience and constantly monitors the industry or government they have been part of. Holding a degree with NASPAA accreditation will help graduates gain higher-level management within an organization, government agency, or the health care industry.

For those looking at management outside the Public Administration field, there are different accreditation services to look at. Depending on what part of the United States the institution is located, there are regional accreditation agencies that will highlight some of best programs available within organizational management. For example, the Northeastern region has the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) is another common association that oversees various higher education business programs. A number of college degrees that offer coursework in organizational management will hold this accreditation. This association was established back in 1988 and has accredited over 1,000 institutions on a global basis.

Learning Online: Different Methods and Reasons

Many educational programs within organizational management are available online, either through the Master of Public Administration or a direct discipline. Pursuing an online program is beneficial to those already out in the workplace and are looking for additional skills in leadership and management. Typically, these programs will have a flexible schedule and as little as one course can be taken at one time. This provides a path where the student can still work full-time and gain valuable skills to enhance their career or pursue a better position.

Online institutions also give the student more variety to choose from, eliminating the need to travel to a specific university or live on-campus. While organizational management programs are commonplace in higher education, there are unique areas of emphasis that are offered. For example, some program concentrations can focus on running an organization with data-driven methods, or students can pursue human resource management to enhance their communication skills when working with a team. All of these possibilities exist in a virtual setting for students to learn and master.

Examples of Graduate Programs

Ashford University

Through the Forbes School of Business and Technology, students can obtain a Master of Arts in Organizational Management. This is an online program that offers numerous specializations, including Human Resource Management, Organizational Leadership, and Public Administration, or students can pursue the traditional program. Skills gained regardless of specialized path chosen include the ability to evaluate management practices and their effectiveness, analyze behavior within the workplace, and develop strategic planning methods. Courses are taken once at a time to convenience those with busy schedules, and each class takes six weeks to complete.

33 total credits are needed to complete the program, and all graduates must hold a 3.0 cumulative GPA. Courses specific to organizational management in the program include topics in marketing and advertising strategy, public relations, financial decision making, and business ethics. In order to be administered into the program, students should hold a minimum GPA of 2.0 from their Bachelor’s degree for conditional admittance. This also provides a good entry point to determine if the program or university is right for the student before fully admitting. Up to nine credit hours can be transferred over toward the Master’s degree.

There is also a specialization in Organizational Management through the Master of Public Administration. Topics in these courses will consist of human resources and social and ethical responsibility within business. In addition, further coursework will dive into business management, organizational behavior, statistical concepts, urban planning and redevelopment, and policy creation. The MPA program will prepare students to critically think about the values of public service and analyze how they are impacting the community, recommending any changes when necessary. This Master’s degree is also available online and has the same six-week course format.

Capella University

A Master of Science in Human Services contains specializations, including Leadership and Organizational Management for students to customize their studies. Courses within this program will teach students to use evidenced-based methods to create an organizational strategy, learn how to communicate efficiently and clearly with stakeholders, and strong leadership practices that they can utilize when working with teams or deciding how to reach a particular goal. All courses within the curriculum are available online, and the schedule is divided up with five core and specialization courses, an additional elective, and a capstone project culminates the program.

The Master of Public Administration has a few management-related concentrations to choose from: Human Resource Management and Project Management. In additional to typical MPA courses that focus on ethics, theories, and budgeting procedures, these specific concentrations look at how to create the framework of a project, analyzing any risk associated with these projects and how it could impact the industry, deal with employee relations, and how information systems can impact project management. Regardless of concentration selection, the program requires 48 total credit hours to complete.

One unique aspect of taking courses at Capella University is the GuidedPath structure. Students can take just one course or up to three courses within a 10-week quarter. Payment is done by how much the student completes within a time frame, and the amount varies based on the specific term and the course load. Up to 12 credit hours can be used in the transfer process, and there is a $5,000 scholarship offered by the university to help out with academic tuition.

University of Colorado-Boulder

The Master of Science in Organizational Leadership (MSOL) is a convenient way to gain top management skills and blends topics within business, communication, and social sciences. This is an online program in an asynchronous format and is divided up into seven-week terms. Even though this is a virtual program, students will be working with peer groups in order to gain communication and leadership skills necessary to succeed in their field. There are five tracks to choose from to customize the learning experience: Human Resources, Leading Innovation, Organizational Communication, Strategic Leadership, and a general path.

Students enrolled at UC-Boulder can take advantage of the Professional Skills Mastery Lab, a unique educational experience that offers additional professional development and workshops in communication, leadership, career coaching, and working with established professionals. Admission guidelines for students that are looking to enter the program include submission of an online application with fee, a 500-word essay describing professional goals and why the student wants to take the MSOL program, at least two letters of recommendation, unofficial transcripts, and an updated resume. GMAT or GRE scores are not required to submit, but can be used to further enhance the application.

Typical Courses

Employee Relations

These courses explore the various theories and practices to create a positive relationship between an organization and their employees. This includes establishing a work-life balance that is acceptable for the employee and being able to solve any disputes that could arise to avoid further challenges down the road. Studies in these courses will prepare students for human resources departments within an organization or they can act as a specialist and act as a bridge between managerial positions and standard employees.

Leadership Roles

Students gain important leadership skills and strategies for the organization they will be part of. This can include how to manage a team and solve any disputes that may take place, or preparing and delivering meetings to define a focus and goal while reaching out to other workers when they need assistance. These courses will review various strategies and how to delegate tasks within a team.

Supply Chain Management

Oversees the processes and operations of an organization to efficiently deliver goods and services to the client. Information gained in this area will be used to make these processes better, determining where to allocate resources or implementing new features to deliver better results. This can also be offered as a concentration or a certification at some universities.

Quality Control

Topics covered in these courses will center around reviewing various aspects of the organization and determining that processes and the goods and services they create are within compliance and have met certain standards. Quality control is not just important for the end result, but also throughout the entire supply chain. Students may explore utilizing statistics for decision making and planning long-term for certain projects at the organization.

Project Management

Foundational courses that focus on the development of project planning at an organization. This includes theory and methods to create a balanced and schedule that fits with the resources available, the best ways to communicate within a team and how to solve any disputes that may come up and analyzing the plan to determine the amount of risk that may occur and how to minimize issues. Specialty topics, like working with specific organizations or international projects, can be covered within a concentration or certification within project management.

Career Options

Management Analyst

These analysts or consultants oversee the entire organization’s activities and reviews them to identify any problems within various sectors and determine improvements that need to be made. These analysts will work with other employees to survey and gather information across the organization, and they are generally responsible for delivering this information to upper management. Communication skills and strong knowledge of the organization is needed to fulfill this type of job. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for this type of position is around $83,610.

Social Service Manager

Coordinates social work within the organization with a goal to enhance their way of life. This includes the elimination of poverty, family abuse, job opportunity, and overall health in the community. Managers within social work will determine the best course of action when delivering service and typically will be involved with the creation of policies, budgeting, and the hiring of workers in this portion of the organization. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, average median salary for social and community service managers is around $65,320, and the job outlook is expected to grow by 13 percent between 2018-28.

Child Welfare Director

High-level management position in agencies that focuses on the well-being of children. Directors are responsible for organizing services geared toward children, usually at facilities that are catered to human resources and family services. These responsibilities can range in different industries, such as guidance counselors within schools and officers geared toward the protection of children from difficult situations.