Organizational Leadership, M.S.


The Master of Science in Organizational Leadership is designed for aspiring or existing leaders from diverse professions and backgrounds, who are interested in advanced leadership positions in the public or private sectors. An effective leader recognizes that leadership is not solely a matter of formal authority or power but rather of influence, integrity, spirit, and respect regardless of one’s power or authority. Candidates gain an understanding of scholarship, independent judgment, academic rigor, and intellectual honesty. Students work collaboratively with faculty advisors who will help them assess and develop their leadership skills, facilitate the transfer of their academic knowledge and research designs into workplace settings, and prepare them for professional longevity. 

Focus on building leadership skills across all types of organizations, rather than just in one specific area. Regardless of discipline, students learn to increase their ability to communicate and lead in a collaborative work environment. The M.S. Organizational Leadership offers three concentrations, which provide candidates the choice to specialize in either area of expertise. The M.S. in Organizational Leadership program is offered at Mercer's Atlanta, Henry County, and Macon locations, and students are admitted two times per year in August and January.

The degree program offers three concentrations:

  • Leadership and Organizational Development and Change
  • Leadership for the Healthcare Professional
  • Leadership for the Nonprofit Organization


Upon completion of the program, students will be prepared to:

  • Program participants will become skilled, innovative, principled, and ethical leaders who understand the foundations of organizational leadership and build on those to contribute to the effective functioning of society at all levels.
  • Program participants will demonstrate an understanding that leadership is not solely a matter of formal authority or power but rather is a matter of influence, integrity, spirit, and respect regardless of one’s power or authority.
  • Program participants will demonstrate proficiency in inquiry, creative problem solving, and examining values in decision-making. Program participants design and complete a professional research project that demonstrates their understanding of the importance of research and careful data analysis in solving problems, and addressing issues related to organizational leadership.
  • Program participants will communicate effectively using various forms of expression, such as logical, statistical, and visual. While all program participants have proficiency in written and oral communication, they will demonstrate skill in professional presentations.
Leadership and Organizational Development and Change
Organizational development is a profession that finds application in all types of organizations: nonprofit, healthcare, for-profit corporations, education, and government. Students learn to confidently guide employees in various types of organizations to maximize their potential, ultimately leading to long-term organizational success. The coursework challenges students to think critically and respond reflectively in an intensive learning environment while also acquiring the tools needed to understand the interests of workers, unions, and the public. Through this concentration students will:
  • Gain insight into the complex nature of organizational leadership
  • Become knowledgeable about how societal, organization, and individual strategic planning levels can impact sustainability for the organization
  • Understand how to exercise leadership in organizational settings
Individuals who successfully complete the program can go on to work as professionals in positions including: executives, community leaders, consultant, instructional coordinator or postsecondary education administrator.

Leadership for the Healthcare Professional

Effective leadership is necessary to meet the challenges of delivering quality patient healthcare in the 21st century. The U.S. Bureau of Labor forecasts four of the top ten job growth areas are in healthcare (2014).  Students are prepared to utilize best practices in this dynamic environment through team collaboration, leadership and professional development. The courses challenges students to not only understand, but to build a continuous organizational system for sustainable health care delivery as well as financial health in their organizations. Through this concentration students will:
  • Gain insight into the complex nature of organizational leadership in a healthcare setting
  • Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of healthcare in the nation and globally by critiquing the design, structure, organization and delivery of healthcare services
  • Become knowledgeable about the conditions and limitations of healthcare systems
  • Develop the leadership skills needed to work in teams, build cross-functional teams, and facilitate collaborative decision-making
Individuals who successfully complete the program can go on to work as professionals in positions including: case management director, chief nursing officer, corporate recruiter, healthcare executive or training and development manager.

Leadership for the Nonprofit Organization

Nonprofit professionals, educators, administrative support workers, and service occupations account for the majority of paid workers in the nonprofit sector. This concentration is designed for individuals from various academic and professional backgrounds seeking to create change in their communities. Students learn to lead, motivate and train others as they explore and apply strategies in development, budget, volunteerism, governance and strategic planning. Nonprofit organizations are requiring more leaders with the right skill set that includes: oral and written communication skills and effective problem solving and critical thinking skills to run their organizations.
  • Learn concepts, principles, and processes related to the United States federal and state laws under which nonprofit organizations operate and consider their effect on the establishment and operation of nonprofit organizations
  • Learn about budgeting and fund development for the nonprofit sector
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the current and future role of human resources in nonprofit organizations and apply strategies for acquiring, managing, developing, and retaining volunteers and board members
  • Broaden perspectives of nonprofits through major themes and concepts incorporated throughout the curriculum
Individuals who successfully complete the program can go on to work as professionals in positions including: administrative service manager, budget/finance director, executive director, economic development director or human resource management director.

The Master of Science in Organizational Leadership requires a total of 31 semester hours to complete.

View the Master of Science in Organizational Leadership Program Plan >


Applicants seeking graduate admission must have a bachelor's (undergraduate) degree with a minimum 2.75 grade point average from an accredited college or university. The degree may be in any discipline. An interview will be scheduled with the applicant after all required admissions materials are submitted.

Application Checklist

Submit all of the following items to complete your application to the program:

Application for Admission. Begin application now >

  • $35 Non-refundable Application Fee ($100 for International Applicants)
    Submit the required application fee in the form of a check or money order made payable to Mercer University. Do not send cash. The application fee is nonrefundable and cannot apply toward tuition. Former or current students of Mercer University need not submit another application fee. 
  • MAT or GRE Test Score
    All applicants must take the Millers Analogy Test (MAT) or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and achieve a qualifying score. Scores must be no more than five years old at the time of application. Testing information can be provided through the official MAT or GRE Website. The target score for the MAT is 397, and the target score for the GRE is 151 verbal and 143 quantitative. This is but one tool used in the decision making process.
  • Unofficial MAT or GRE Test Score
    If you have already taken the MAT or GRE and have the score results, we request that you include this information with the application. For example, you may submit a copy of the unofficial score report given at the time the test was taken (sometimes referred to as the "walk-out score report") or a copy of your examinees score report received through the mail. This will allow the admissions department to begin the file evaluation process. This does not replace the requirement of an official score report for those applicants who are offered admission.
  • Transcripts from All Previously Attended Institutions
    Submit an official transcript from each college and university previously attended. Transcripts are required for both undergraduate (including summer school and studies abroad) and graduate course work, regardless of length of stay or if the grades are listed on another school's transcript. Official electronic transcripts should be submitted to Former and current Mercer University students need not request a Mercer University transcript.
  • Letter of Recommendation
    The letter of recommendation/support can be from a person in current or past leadership structure, or those that have firsthand knowledge of the applicant’s professional accomplishments.
  • Philosophy of Leadership Essay
    Briefly discuss your career goals and personal philosophy of leadership. Essay should be one to two pages, typed and double-spaced.
  • Résumé
    Applicants must submit a current résumé.


Submit all application supporting materials to:

Mercer University
Office of Graduate Admissions
College of Professional Advancement
3001 Mercer University Drive
Atlanta, GA 30341


Admission decisions cannot be made until all application materials have been received.


Additional Requirements for International Applicants
A. Evaluation of Foreign Credentials Applicants who completed all or part of their education abroad are required to have their foreign educational credentials evaluated by an independent evaluation service. A Course-by-Course and Grade Point Average Equivalent Evaluation is required for graduate admission. Contact the Office of Admissions for information about evaluation services if your foreign credentials have not been evaluated. If an evaluation has been done, you must submit an official sealed copy with your application.
B. Official Translations Documents submitted in a language other than English must be accompanied by official translations.
C. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) The TOEFL or IELTS is required for international applicants whose primary language is not English. The scores may not be more than two years old. Official score reports must be sent directly to the Office of Admissions by the Educational Testing Service. The Educational Testing Service institution code for submission of official score reports is 5025. Unofficial copies of the score report may be included with the application for initial review and evaluation. This does not replace the requirement of an official score report for those applicants who are offered admission.
Exception: The TOEFL is not required of international applicants who have attended another U.S. institution and completed freshman English Composition I and II with grades of "C" or higher.
D. Financial Guarantee: International applicants who wish to obtain an I-20 for F-1 visa must include financial documentation showing ability to finance tuition and living expenses for one year. Financial documents must have a current date and indicate available funds of US$25,000.
E. Visa Status: International Applicants Who are Currently in the United States - Documentation of your current visa status must be submitted with the self-managed application. (Copy of I-20 and I-94 if on an F-1 visa; copy of visa stamp and I-94 if on another type of visa; or copy of Resident Alien card [front and back] if classified as a Resident Alien.)

The Enterprise Learning Partnership program (formerly known as the Preferred Provider Partnership program) provides affordable opportunities for employees of partner companies to attend an approved degree program of study at Mercer University. This unique program allows Mercer to establish relationships with corporations, government agencies, and organizations that are committed to supporting their employees' educational goals and ongoing professional development. Incentives include tuition benefits, military benefits, waived application fees, convenient credit transfer policy, and a streamlined process to learn more about an employee’s program of interest.

Employees of the following Mercer partners are able to use these benefits when enrolled in the M.S. Organizational Leadership program:


AT&T The Kroger Company 
City of Atlanta Fire Rescue Department Piedmont Healthcare
GEICO  Robins Air Force Base
Georgia Department of Corrections  WellStar Health System
Gwinnett County Police Department  


Learn more about Mercer’s Enterprise Learning Partnership program > 

We understand that you may have questions about your educational journey with Mercer University. Browse our FAQs and get answers to some of our commonly asked questions.












Facilities/Tech Fees

Graduate & Professional Students:

1-8 Hours - $17.00/hour
9-99 Hours - $150/semester
Miscellaneous Fees (subject to change based on individual course requirements)
Internship - $100 - $375
Practicum - $75 - $250
Fieldwork - $75 - $155
Lab Fee - $100 - $300/per course
Transcript Fee - $25
Transcript Fax Fee - $5