The tenets of organizational leadership revolve around the idea that good leaders aren’t born, but made. You can be taught all the skills and techniques that you need to step up and take charge in any sort of organization.
But still, there’s something about people that are called to leadership roles. You probably have a certain kind of drive. You have high standards, and you don’t settle for second best.
When you are starting out on the path to that organizational leadership education, chances are you are going to want to get it at the best possible university you can find.
This is precisely where our editor’s selection of the best universities offering organizational leadership undergrad degrees comes in.
Our Method for Selecting the Top Organizational Leadership Bachelor’s Programs in the Country
First-rate doesn’t mean monolithic. Our selections represent a diverse range of majors, specializations, and leadership philosophies to ensure you find an option that isn’t just the best—but also the best fit for your individual leadership goals.
What we look at are the core qualities, the thing that can make a degree great no matter what the subject or the theory behind it. You’ll find all of these in every program on the list.
Excellent Instructors With Real-world Experience and Academic Expertise
Maybe the most important quality in any education program is who is teaching it. Instructors with the right empathy, communication skills, and command of the material are absolutely crucial.
When you are learning leadership, you need to learn it from an experienced leader.
The schools we selected all have professors who can draw on a deep well of academic training and research experience. They have the material down cold, often because they investigated and developed the theories and evidence themselves.
And they often have genuine experience in the real world, working in organizations and taking on leadership roles themselves. With the benefit of that experience, they have valuable lessons to pass along that will give you an edge in your own education.
Genuine Industry and Community Connections
Leadership and the business environment aren’t fixed in stone. They evolve, and good schools learn to evolve with them. That means keeping ties to organizations in the community, particularly for programs that offer highly specialized concentrations, like healthcare or business management.
This gives you all kinds of opportunities to engage with real-world leadership problems, working on projects with other students or instructors. It means you have built-in networking, too, to help you line up that all-important first job after you graduate from your bachelor’s program. And it means the lessons you learn will be relevant, and proven in the field.
Resources and Support To Get You to Your Leadership Goals
Something you’ll learn fast about organizational leadership is that it’s a collaborative effort. No one carries the whole load alone. You need a team to support you along the way.
So every one of these schools has top-notch academic advising and career counseling services to support you through the bachelor’s program and keep you on track. They also have extensive research libraries, with case studies and other vital material to fuel your studies. And they have wide, multi-disciplinary studies available, with key expertise in fields like psychology, management, and communication that go into organizational leadership excellence.
Wide Recognition and Reputation in Academic and Leadership Rankings
Of course, a school with all these qualities doesn’t go unnoticed out in the world of employers looking for leaders. A great organizational leadership program will turn out some consistently great leaders. And that means word will get around, both in the world of academia and out among organizations where these leaders take charge.
So the schools on this list have a sterling reputation within the community. They often show up on ratings and reviews from other major evaluation agencies like U.S. News & World Report or The Princeton Review. And in cases where they are eligible to receive it, most of them hold a specialty accreditation from agencies that evaluate scholastic and professional preparation programs in various fields.
Helping You Make the Right Choices Among the Top Organizational Leadership Bachelor’s Degree Programs
Evaluating leadership training programs is a challenge. By its nature, the art of leadership is imprecise and evocative, dependent as much on innate characteristics as formal knowledge. You can put two students through exactly the same program and find the different philosophies and leadership emphases will resonate with one but not the other.
Just knowing that this list has the top organizational leadership bachelor’s programs in the country isn’t the end of the story, of course. Ultimately, you’re going to have to pick just one of them. So while we have absolute confidence in every school and degree listed on this page, we’re also giving you the information you need to start narrowing down your choices to only the best of the best – for you.
For starters, we’re putting all the schools together grouped by state, so you can find something close to home.
We also give you the basic rundown on the details of the institution itself:
We also offer an insightful briefing on the school and the program from an independent perspective. What is it that makes any particular school a stand-out against the competition? Is it an ultra-low student-to-faculty ratio, so you are guaranteed plenty of one-on-one time with those elite instructors? Is it career center that puts on job fairs with local employers? Is it an accelerated option that lets you finish faster, or multiple campus locations that offer more flexibility in attendance?
Only you can decide what’s most important to you. But we’re giving you all the information you need to pick out the cream of the crop for your particular interests and needs.
Our Top Picks for the Best Bachelor’s Degrees in Organizational Leadership
As a future leader with high standards, you know exactly how important it is to start your education off with the right organizational leadership degree. And you’ll have no trouble finding that program somewhere right here on this list.
Oakwood University (private)
BS in Organizational Management (on-campus)
Oakwood University’s BS in Organizational Management provides a solid course of undergraduate study for students with aspirations of leading people and teams in business, governmental entities, and nonprofit organizations. We love this program’s rich curriculum that prepares students to analyze business issues and make organizational decisions with confidence. Oakwood offers plenty for the undergrad, including exciting internships, networking opportunities, and student-operated business clubs. Interested in taking your bachelor’s degree to the next level? Consider adding a minor in accounting, management, management information systems, or marketing.
Ottawa University-Phoenix (private)
BA in Leadership and Management (on-campus, online)
Also offers: MA in Leadership (on-campus, online)
Ottawa University – Phoenix offers both an undergraduate and a graduate degree for both emerging and practicing leaders that are offered both online and on-campus for maximum convenience and flexibility. The BA in Leadership and Management comes complete with concentration options in economics, finance, or human resources. This exciting program produces professionals who lead teams in an ethical, efficient, and effective manner. Students of this program learn to analyze systems and interpret data; elevate your communication and problem-solving skills; and formulate strategic approaches to achieve organizational success. Personalize your program by choosing a concentration in economics, finance, or human resources! The MA in Leadership is offered in an accelerated format and is expertly designed to help students land top-tier positions in a variety of fields. Just some of the courses of this dynamic program include Developing Leaders to Create Value; HR Planning and Administration; Servant Leadership; Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace.
Arkansas Tech University (public)
BA in Organizational Leadership (on-campus, online)
Arkansas Tech University’s BA in Organizational Leadership comes complete with your choice of on-campus or online course delivery and opportunities to personalize your undergraduate course of study in agricultural business, child development, criminal justice, industrial/organizational psychology, inter-college, or public relations. Students of this dynamic course of undergraduate education examine the leadership concepts that today’s top employers demand. As a student of organizational leadership at ATU, you’ll study leadership theory, leadership development, supervision, workplace learning and communication, nonprofit leadership, globalization and diversity, and more. An applied leadership project and eService-learning experiences round out this program.
Central Baptist College (private)
BS in Organizational Management (online)
BS in Leadership (on-campus)
Central Baptist College offers the BS in Organizational Management, a fully online course of undergraduate study that’s offered through the school’s PACE programs. PACE degrees are adult education degree programs that offer flexible learning options for adult learners with busy, professional lives. Their bachelor’s degree in organizational management is designed to build upon your leadership and management skills and prepare you for either future MBA study or for an exciting career in leadership. Just some of the other reasons why we love Central Baptist College include a low, 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio and an impressive 88% employment rate after two years.
University of Miami (private)
BBA/BSBA in Organizational Leadership (on-campus)
Also offers: MS in Leadership (on-campus)
The University of Miami offers not one, but two degree programs in leadership that are expertly designed to meet you where you’re at in your career. The BBA/BSBA in Organizational Leadership provides a solid curriculum that allows students to gain the skills necessary to work with and motivate others in an organizational setting. It comes complete with exciting, hands-on experiences that allow students to explore leading and working within teams. The MS in Leadership provides students with a deep exploration of the interpersonal skills that allow them to manage, influence, negotiate, persuade, and inspire others. This graduate course of study, which can be completed in a part- or full-time basis, is designed to accommodate the schedules of today’s busy, working adults. Classes are held two evenings a week and on Saturdays.
Valdosta State University (public)
BS in Organizational Leadership (online)
Also offers: Ed.D. in Leadership (Organizational Leadership, Curriculum Leadership, Technology Leadership, Higher Education Leadership, Special Education Leadership)
Valdosta State University’s BS in Organizational Leadership is a fully online undergraduate examination of the practices, theories, issues, and challenges associated with leading individuals, teams, and organizations. This program provides a deep dive into management, administration, HR, and technology as it relates to leadership in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Though students of this program study from a distance, they enjoy plenty of support and guidance and work with an advisor throughout the course of the program. We love the program’s flexible curriculum that is personalized through your choice of track in public administration, office administration & technology, legal office administration, law enforcement administration, or Spanish for Professionals/ESOL instruction.
Brenau University (private)
BA in Organizational Leadership (online)
Also offers: MBA in Non-Profit Leadership; MS in Organizational Leadership with emphasis options in Non-Profit Leadership, Project Management, Managerial Accounting, Public Accounting, Business Analytics, Communications Management, Finance, Health Care Management, Human Resources Management, Management, Marketing, Mediation and Conflict Resolution, or Strategic Thinking and Innovation
Whether you’re an aspiring or practicing leader, whether your skills and focus lie in the private, public, or nonprofit sector, Brenau University’s online BA and MS in Organizational Leadership have what you need to succeed! The BA program offers a comprehensive curriculum in managing, motivating, and communicating with others in a collaborative work setting. Students of this program enjoy outstanding guidance and support from a faculty of experienced business pros and engage in hands-on learning experiences that involve solving real-world problems. Just some of the courses of this program include communications, group dynamics, human resources, and conflict resolution. The MS, which provides a deep examination of leadership skills, is ideally designed for professionals in any number of sectors and industries. We love this program’s outstanding selection of concentration options that allow you to design a graduate course of study that aligns with your specific career goals.
University of Northern Iowa (public)
BA in Organizational Leadership (on-campus)
The University of Northern Iowa’s BA in Organizational Leadership arms students with the skillset needed to motivate individuals and teams and meet organizational objectives. Focused on helping students develop the professionalism and interpersonal skills they need to take on major leadership roles in today’s competitive business environment, this exciting course of undergraduate study includes topics in ethical decision-making, civic-mindedness, and innovation. You’re sure to love this programs success rate – 95% of all graduates here are employed!
Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary (private)
BS in Organizational Leadership (on-campus, online)
Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary’s BS in Organizational Leadership offers your choice of on-campus or online study and the opportunity to personalize your program by adding an optional emphasis in Sports Management and/or optional minor in Office Administration! This dynamic and flexible course of undergraduate study explores the concept of managing and leading people and teams in a faith-based environment. This degree, which is funded by the Love Foundation, emphasizes a Biblical approach to executive leadership and prepares students to assume leadership roles in church settings, schools, nonprofits, and businesses. Just some of the other features of this program that we love include exciting opportunities to network with leaders in business and industry, hands-on learning through community projects, and a student-centered learning environment that features a low, 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio.
Maharishi International University (private)
BA in Enlightened Leadership (on-campus)
Also offers: MA in Enlightenment and Leadership; MBA with a specialization in Leadership and Workplace Conflict Resolution; MA in Leadership and Workplace Conflict Resolution
Maharishi International University’s degrees in leadership are expertly designed for aspiring and practicing leaders who want to elevate their knowledge and skills and become confident, competent leaders who can deftly communicate across cultures and inspire and motivate individuals and teams. Grounded in Consciousness-Based approaches to leadership, these programs prepare students in the best practices of leadership while helping them explore their creative potential through Transcendental Meditation. An optimal blend of coursework and fieldwork round out these programs of study for a truly comprehensive examination of leadership.
Bradley University (private)
Major in Management and Leadership (on-campus)
Also offers: MA in Nonprofit Leadership (can be finished in as little as 16 months)
Bradley University offers two options to kickstart or advance your career in leadership! The Major in Management and Leadership prepares students with the tools they need to lead individuals and teams and maximize organizational success. You’re sure to love the outstanding mentoring relationships you’ll develop with faculty members who are active in the business community and the internship opportunities with big names like ConAgra, Caterpillar, the American Red Cross, the OSF Health Care. The MA in Nonprofit Leadership is a fully online course of graduate study that allows students to hone the unique skillset needed to assume leadership positions in community and social services agencies, faith-based organizations, philanthropic organizations, colleges and universities, and beyond.
Purdue University-Main Campus (public)
Major in Organizational Leadership (on-campus)
Also offers: MS in Technology Leadership and Innovation with optional concentrations in STEM Education Leadership, Biometrics, Open Digital Innovation, or Organizational Leadership
Purdue University’s main campus is home to an undergraduate and graduate program that’s designed to creating effective, confident leaders. The Major in Organizational Leadership offers a solid curriculum that’s focused on developing the policies and practices that shape organizational culture; leading teams to produce innovative products and solutions; and managing systems and organizational resources. We love that this program offers students the opportunity to align their degree with their career goals by choosing a concentration in business intelligence, organizational design & transformation, or project management. The MS in Technology Leadership and Innovation offers a flexible format that includes your choice of on-campus or online study and an exciting curriculum that’s focused on leadership skills in industry and technology. This degree program also comes with the opportunity to personalize by choosing an area of specialization in STEM Education Leadership, Biometrics, Open Digital Innovation, or Organizational Leadership.
Indiana State University (public)
BS in Organizational Leadership and Supervision (online)
Also offers: Graduate Certificate in Organizational Leadership and Supervision
Indiana State University is home to the fully online BS in Organizational Leadership and Supervision, which features accelerated, eight-week courses and an innovative curriculum that’s focused on creative problem-solving, critical thinking, team building, communication technology and more. Beyond the program’s core classes, this program offers students the opportunity to personalize their course of undergraduate study to align with their specific career goals.
Bethel University (private)
BS in Organizational Management (on-campus, online)
Also offers: MA in Organizational Management (online)
Bethel University offers both a BS and MA in Organizational Management to prepare and elevate leaders at all points in their career! The BS in Organizational Development, which is offered both on-campus and online, boasts twice-weekly classes for maximum convenience. The MA in Organizational Development is offered in the fully online format that best accommodates the lives of busy, working adults and is laser focused on elevating your ethical, problem-solving, and strategic decision-making skills and apply them directly to the workplace. Just some of the topics explored in this program include leadership theory, global business, business policy, and ethics. It’s taught by a highly esteemed faculty and offered in an asynchronous format that allows you to study whenever it’s most convenient.
University of Kansas (public)
BSB in Management and Leadership with an Organizational Leadership track (on-campus)
MS in Organizational Leadership
Leadership Strategies and Applications certificate
The University of Kansas’ BSB in Management and Leadership with an Organizational Leadership track is designed to put you on the fast track to a leadership position within a business, nonprofit, or governmental agency. Just some of the exciting courses within this program include Project Management, Business Consulting, Negotiations and Dispute Settlement, and International Management. Already have a bachelor’s degree and looking to transition to a leadership position or advance in your current one? Then you’re sure to love the university’s MS in Organizational Leadership, a cutting-edge course of graduate study that’s focused on building the foundational leadership skills used by today’s most in-demand business leaders.
Kansas State University (public)
BS in Management with a Organizational Management track (on-campus, online)
Nonprofit Leadership Studies Undergraduate Certificate
Organizational Leadership Graduate Certificate
Leadership Studies minor
Kansas State University’s BS in Management with an Organizational Management track produces the next generation of business pros who have the skills and knowledge to become confident, effective leaders of people and teams. Housed within the esteemed College of Business Administration, which is ranked among the top 10% of all AACSB-accredited business schools in the nation, this program comes complete with exciting, hands-on learning experiences (they partner with more than 300 companies to provide unmatched learning and career opportunities), an extensive alumni network of more than 160,000, and outstanding study abroad opportunities to places like Japan, Taiwan, China, Mexico, and South America.
Northern Michigan University (public)
Major in Applied Workplace Leadership (online)
Also offers: Applied Workplace Leadership certificate
Northern Michigan University’s Major in Applied Workplace Leadership is a convenient and flexible online bachelor’s degree completion program for non-traditional students who have previously earned college credit or an associate’s degree. This exciting course of undergraduate study prepares students to assume in-demand leadership positions as project leaders, team leaders, and managers through a robust curriculum that emphasizes elevating critical thinking, ethical decision-making, observational, and goal-oriented communication skills. We love the accelerated courses here that are taken just one at a time.
Adrian College (private)
BA in Leadership (on-campus)
Adrian College’s BA in Leadership provides emerging leaders with a broad examination of leadership and its relation to ethical challenges, achieving effective social engagement, and discovering their potential as ethically responsible leaders. Just some of the courses offered here that you’re sure to love include Leadership in Language; Leadership and Social Movements; Ethical Organization and Leadership; Feminist Models of Leadership; and Leadership Capabilities.
University of St. Thomas (private)
BA in Business Administration with a concentration in Leadership and Management (on-campus)
The BA in Business Administration in Leadership and Management through the University of St. Thomas is where students develop the skills and knowledge to become successful leaders of people, teams, and organizations. Through this program, students study the effects of organizational change as it relates to managing people and achieving goals, thereby preparing them for leadership positions in a variety of businesses and organizations. A business core is blended with courses that explore leadership from both individual and organizational perspectives. Students are encouraged to examine the concepts and tools needed to realize an organization’s long-term vision and goals and consider the role of the leader in driving organizational change and influencing systems. Just some of the reasons why we love this program include a highly engaged faculty, small class sizes, and an excellent system of support and guidance.
Cottey College (private)
BA in Organizational Leadership (on-campus)
Also offers: Minor/Certificate in Organizational Leadership
Cottey College’s BA in Organizational Leadership offers a broad exploration of leadership and how students can become effective contributors to the leadership process. This program is offered as an interdisciplinary course of study that’s designed to prepare students to assume leadership roles in a variety of sectors and settings. Choose this exciting program and you’ll enjoy selecting electives that best align with your specific interests and career goals. Students of this program are encouraged to participate in one national conference with the International Leadership Association (ILA) at the annual Women and Leadership Conference that’s held each summer, or at the Global Conference that’s held each fall. Cottey is the only all-woman collegiate team to participate in the annual Leadership Challenge Event at Washburn University!
Saint Louis University (private)
BA in Leadership and Organizational Behavior (online)
MA in Leadership and Organizational Development
(Ed.D, Ed.S, Ph.D, MA) in Educational Leadership
Minor in Leadership and Organizational Behavior
BS in Organizational Leadership and Technology
Post-Bac Certificate in Organizational Leadership
BS in Leadership and Human Resource Management
Saint Louis University’s BA in Leadership and Organizational Behavior is where students elevate and refine their communication, critical thinking, problem-solving, and ethical-decision making skills and prepare to become confident, effective leaders within a diverse, global workforce. This exciting program is expertly designed to prepare emerging leaders to assume roles in a variety of positions and in a variety of sectors. We love the program’s dedicated faculty of working professionals; its flexible format that features six accelerated, eight-week terms; and its options to study on-campus or online.
Rochester Institute of Technology (private)
BS in Global Business Management with a track in Leadership (on-campus)
MS in Organizational Leadership and Innovation
Certificate in Organizational Change and Leadership
The Rochester Institute of Technology’s BS in Global Business Management offers an exciting track in Leadership that’s expertly designed to provide students with the essential skills needed to lead effectively in a global economy. Motivating employees… leading regional and global teams… and effectively communicating – this undergraduate course of study comes complete with the contemporary topics for emerging and seasoned leaders. We also really like this program’s co-op feature, which allows students to gain full-time, paid work experience before they graduate. The MS in Organizational Leadership and Innovation is another RIT leadership program that allows students to explore how to analyze and identify an organization’s ability to innovate and evolve. This fully online program enjoys a 95% employment rate among grads!
New York University (private)
BS in Leadership and Management Studies (on-campus, online)
New York University’s BS in Leadership and Management Studies provides emerging leaders with the skills and tools they need to successfully assume professional roles across sectors and in countless settings. Here you’ll explore business core competencies like business organization and management; business law and ethics; finance; economics; and leadership, and you’ll personalize your program through your choice of concentration in Human Resource Management, International Business and Global Management, Marketing Advertising and Public Relations, or Organizational Management and Development. Study on-campus in NYC or choose a fully online course of study for superior convenience and flexibility – the choice is yours!
Marymount Manhattan College (private)
BA in Business, Leadership concentration (on-campus)
Marymount Manhattan College’s BA in Business with a Leadership concentration offers a dynamic look at business and an exploration of what it takes to become an effective, efficient manager of people and teams. Here you’ll learn about the responsibilities that leaders have to their employees, customers, communities, and the environment and the role that social responsibility, global citizenship, ethics, and law play in any leadership role. Courses of this program include accounting, marketing, strategic management, information technology, and more! Marymount’s superb NYC location means exciting opportunities to gain valuable, hands-on experience with places like Madison Square Garden, Macy’s, JP Morgan, Ralph Lauren, Bank of America, and much, much more!
Methodist University (private)
BA in Professional Leadership and Ethics (online)
- AA in Leadership and Management (on-campus)
- Leadership Studies Minor (on-campus)
Methodist University’s BS in Professional Leadership and Ethics offers a unique interdisciplinary examination of professional ethics, communication, and organizational leadership. Built on a liberal arts foundation, students explore psychology, history, and moral reasoning alongside writing, analysis, and business fundamentals. Underpinned by three central tenets – collaboration, contextualization, and contribution – students come to the BS in Professional Leadership and Ethics program prepared to dive deep and develop the ethical grounding expected of today’s organizational leaders. Graduates come away from this program well-prepared to communicate effectively across channels, pull meaningful insights from business data, and adapt to an ever-changing business environment.
William Peace University (private)
BS in Business Administration with a concentration in Leadership and Management Studies (on-campus)
Also offers: Leadership and Management Studies Minor
William Peace University’s BS in Business Administration in Leadership and Management Studies is expertly designed for today’s emerging and practicing leaders who want to learn the skills that will kickstart or advance their career in leadership. Here students learn the latest business theory and then begin to put it into practice by participating in internships with global companies located in the Raleigh/Research Triangle Park area. Just some of the other features of this program we love include a low, student-to-faculty ratio of just 11:1; a First-Year Success Series for new students; and an esteemed faculty of professors – not teaching assistants.
Pfeiffer University (private)
BS in Business Management and Leadership (on-campus)
MS in Leadership
Joint Master of Business Administration/Master of Science in Leadership (MBA/MSL)
MBA with a Focus Area in Leadership
Minor in Leadership
Pfeiffer University’s BS in Business Management and Leadership is where you’ll gain the skills and knowledge you need to confidently build teams, direct projects, and lead individuals and corporations to success. In addition to a strong core in business, accounting, economics, finance, and marketing, you’ll enjoy personalizing your course of undergraduate study by choosing among a concentration in Entrepreneurship, Financial Economics, Global Leadership, or Marketing. Are you ready to take the next step in your career? The MS in Leadership is a robust program that’s designed to elevate your business acumen to excel in the global marketplace. You’ll also be able to personalize your graduate program by selecting a concentration in either Human Resources Management or International Management.
University of Akron Main Campus (public)
BS in Organizational Supervision (online)
BA in Communication – Strategic and Organizational Communication
Certificate in Business and Professional Communication and Leadership
The University of Akron’s BS in Organizational Supervision is a fully online course of undergraduate study that’s ideally designed to produce the next generation of leaders! Here students will learn to strengthen their organizational leadership and supervisory skills to prepare for leadership positions in any number of sectors or settings. In addition to this program’s convenient format that allows students to study from the comfort of their homes, we love that this program is taught by the same, esteemed faculty as the school’s in-person classes.