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Department of Leadership Studies
Fort Hays State University
600 Park Street
Rarick Hall 235
Phone: 785-628-4303
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Concentration in Organizational Leadership

Offered Virtually and On Campus - Click here for a printable version of the MLS in Organizational Leadership curriculum

The Master of Liberal Studies (MLS) in Organizational Leadership is a 31 credit-hour degree which provides you with an innovative curriculum focusing on the study of leadership in the context of modern organizations. This liberal arts program consists of a 10-hour core requirement, an 18-hour customized plan of study designed to meet your individual goals, and a 3-hour culminating experience. This program is designed to provide maximum flexibility. As a result, this allows you to play a greater role in determining the content of your degree program. You will benefit from the adaptability and flexibility of developing your own curriculum which can match your own personal interests and career goals.

The MLS in Organizational Leadership is intended to provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary to be effective in a variety of settings. First, you will develop a deep understanding of how organizations function and what role leaders at all levels must play to improve the performance of organizations. Second, you will gain important practical skills essential for success in your chosen profession. Skills in interpersonal relations, problem solving, team building, motivation, and communication are all necessary to be successful in today’s society. Third, you will become acquainted with the political, social, and economical implications of our emerging knowledge society. With the complex problems and challenges of our changing world, the need for leadership is greater than ever before. Effective leadership can make a positive contribution for a better quality of life at all sectors of our society. As a graduate of the MLS in Organizational Leadership, you will find yourself well prepared for the challenges of the future.

Graduates of this program will be both valuable and marketable in a wide array of occupation fields. By enhancing you leadership and supervisory skills, this program will assist you in pursuing careers in a variety of human resource fields. Organizational Leadership students strive toward their career goals, while enhancing the organizations and communities they serve. Application of this degree program is varied and limitless, opening career opportunities and mobility within organizations. MLS in Organizational Leadership students will find themselves well prepared to be productive members of the 21st century workforce.

Curriculum Outline

Core Curriculum (10 Credit Hours)

The core curriculum of the MLS degree program consists of four courses which integrate the important themes of knowledge and research. These courses are all built around the popular theme “ways of knowing: exploring the new knowledge society.” The courses include:
Course # Course Title Credit Hours Semester Offered

  • IDS 801 Introduction to Graduate Liberal Studies 1 Fa, Sp, Su
  • IDS 802 Ways of Knowing in Comparative Perspective 3 Fa, Sp, Su
  • IDS 803 The Emerging Knowledge Society: Origins and Implications 3 Fa, Sp, Su
  • IDS 804 Information Literacy for Independent Learners: Developing the Foundation for Lifelong Learning 3 Fa, Sp, Su


According to Peter Drucker, we are living in an age of social transformation where our “economic order is based on knowledge, not labor or raw material or capital, as the key resource.” With this in mind, the MLS in Organizational Leadership degree is designed to incorporate exploration and understanding in ways which various “knowledges” are generated, applied, and managed in our information-based world.

Individual Plan of Study (18 Credit Hours)

Each student, in consultation with their major advisor, will tailor an 18 credit hour plan of study designed to meet his or her own specific needs, interests, and career goals. Our students are typically working adults with backgrounds in diverse settings. As a result, they often enter the program with a desire to complement their specific job-related functional skills with the interpersonal, team building, and leadership skills demanded by today’s competitive labor market. For example, if a student is interested in health care administration or public administration, they may select course electives in those specific areas which encompass a strong organizational or leadership behavior theme. They have the flexibility to do so because of the 18-hour customized plan of study within the program. (Courses from other colleges or universities may also be acceptable.)

Organizational Leadership Required Courses:

Course # Course Title Credit Hours Semester Offered

  • LDRS 800 Organizational Leadership 3 Fa, Sp
  • LDRS 807: Leadership in Teams and Collaborative Environments
  • LDRS 810 Leadership Assessment and Intervention 3 Fa

Organizational Leadership Elective Courses:
Course # Course Title Credit Hours Semester Offered

  • LDRS 812 Advanced Leadership Theories 3 Sp
  • LDRS 818 Ethical Leadership 3 Fa
  • LDRS 880 Seminar: Supervisory Leadership 3 Sp
  • LDRS 870 Readings in Organizational Leadership 1-3 Fa, Sp, Su


Culminating Experience (3 Credit Hours)

A culminating experience of 3 credit hours (such as a research paper, production of an original work, or internship) will be decided upon by a committee of three faculty members representing at least two of the three departments in the College of Arts and Sciences. The type of culminating activity will be chosen in order to address the student’s specific needs and will serve as a capstone experience. This activity is designed to provide learning opportunities outside the classroom by linking leadership and organizational theory to practice. These individual experiences allow students to reflect and then act upon what is learned about leadership behavior in the classroom, and then test those concepts in a “real world” situation.

Select one of the following courses:
Course # Course Title Credit Hours Semester Offered

  • LDRS 890 Internship in Organizational Leadership 3 Fa, Sp, Su
  • LDRS 895 Research Project in Organizational Leadership 3 Fa, Sp, Su


Graduate Faculty

Dr. Brent Goertzen, Associate Professor of Leadership Studies

Dr. Curt Brungardt, Voss Distinguished Professor of Leadership Studies

Contact Fort Hays State University’s Graduate School for an application packet or further details at:

(785) 628-4236 or write Fort Hays State University Graduate School, 600 Park Street, Hays, KS 67601 or online at

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