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Master of Science in Leadership, Human Resource Concentration

Corporations and businesses across industries are facing noticeable leadership gaps, heightening the demand for effective leaders. 

Merrimack’s master’s degree in leadership bridges this gap by providing the framework and tools necessary for professionals at any level to become effective and inspirational leaders who drive business results.

Students in Merrimack’s M.S. in Leadership develop the knowledge, skills and leadership styles essential for effective decision-making, enabling them to lead others with confidence. Students learn how to introduce and manage change, create a vision that is clear and concise, provide guidance and clarification, help people fulfill their needs, improve morale and resolve conflicts — all while creating a positive work environment. 

This program embraces a holistic approach to leadership, emphasizing development at the individual, team and organizational levels, while fostering a culture of positive growth.

Quick facts:

  • 100 percent online or hybrid.
  • Tuition under $23,000.
  • Complete in 12 months full time or 16 months part time.
  • No prerequisites needed.
  • No GRE or GMAT required.
  • Financial aid eligible.

Learn more about Merrimack’s M.S. in Leadership.

Leadership skills are the cornerstone of success in any industry, and Merrimack’s Master of Science in Leadership program prepares students and working professionals for roles such as: 

Sources: U.S. Bureau Of Labor Statistics, 2024; Glassdoor, 2024

Master of Science in Leadership Coursework

Merrimack’s 32-credit M.S. in Leadership coursework was designed in consultation with industry experts and includes 20 credits of core coursework, a four-credit capstone experience and 816 credits of electives. The required core introduces key concepts enveloping leadership theory and practice, effective emotional intelligence and communication skills. 

Elective courses are used to develop competencies in additional areas of business tailored to your unique professional journey. You can choose open electives from the Girard School of Business that fit your goals or earn a concentration in HR Management.

Required Core (20 credits)

Students begin by learning how businesses leverage data and are then introduced to the industry tools and applications in a thoughtfully-paced, accessible format.

  • Exploring Leadership Frameworks & Communication Strategies
  • Navigating Ethical Dilemmas (MGT 5220)
  • Driving High Performing Organizations
  • Leading Teams in a Dynamic Environment
  • Cross-Cultural & Global Leadership

Open Electives or Concentration (816 credits)

Choose any eight credits of open electives from the Girard School of Business that fit your goals. Options include coursework in business analytics, finance, accounting, marketing, general management and more. Some advanced elective courses may require prerequisites.

Human Resource Management Concentration

Complete eight credits of HR management coursework to earn a concentration in Human Resource Management. Students seeking certification from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) must complete two additional courses (eight credits) to align with the SHRM Body of Applied Skills and Knowledge competency framework (optional).

  • Negotiations & Conflict Resolution (MGT 5340)
  • Diversity & Inclusion (MGT 5350)
  • Employment Law
  • Talent Acquisition & Performance Management
  • People Analytics (MGT 5410)

Capstone Experience (4 credits)

  • Leadership Capstone

Master the Skills of Effective Leadership

Merrimack’s M.S. in Leadership degree program focuses on building communication skills while providing techniques for mentoring and coaching at the personal, team and organizational levels.  Throughout this degree, students will learn to:

  • Set goals, delegate tasks, build teams and guide through change.
  • Motivate others and inspire trust.
  • Understand emotional competencies around self-management, self-awareness, social awareness and relationship management.
  • Manage conflict effectively and engage in conflict resolution productively.
  • Communicate effectively, develop relationships and navigate cross-cultural differences.
Dr. Kenneth S. Rhee

Dr. Kenneth S. Rhee

Dr. Kenneth S. Rhee has worked extensively on competency assessment and development over the past thirty years with Fortune 500 organizations, nonprofits and government institutions.  Some of his former clients include Coca-Cola, Coopers and Lybrand, BF Goodrich, LTV Steel, Lexmark International, Roadway Express, NASA, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and others.

His main areas of research are emotional intelligence, leadership competency development, adult development, and self-directed change. He has delivered numerous emotional competency development programs and speeches to a number of organizations and groups, including Toyota, USA, Northwest Airlines, Family Business Institute, Sea World Entertainment, Bureau of Public Debt, Lucent Technologies, Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and Wisconsin Health Education Network.

Dr. Rhee is the author of several articles on emotional intelligence, self-directed behavior change and competencies, including “Clustering competencies in emotional intelligence: Insights from the emotional competence inventory” with Richard Boyatzis and Daniel Goleman. His paper “Educational Implications of Longitudinal Intervention on the Awareness of Self-Directed Change on Managerial Abilities” was selected as a best paper in the Academy of Management Proceedings. 

He is also a contributing author of the book “Innovations in Professional Education: Steps on a Journey from Teaching to Learning.” He has published in the Journal of Management Education, International Journal of Organization and Theory and Annual Advances of Case Research.

Dr. Rhee received his B.A. in Chemistry from Johns Hopkins University, M.S. in Chemistry from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, MBA from Boston University and Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from Case Western Reserve University

Student Support Resources

Students in the Girard School of Business benefit from a dedicated success team.

Support includes:

  • 1:1 advising and mentoring from faculty and program staff.
  • Access to LinkedIn Learning and Handshake.
  • Professional development workshops.
  • Math, writing and accessibility services through the Academic Success Center.
  • Career services support through the O’Brien Center for Career Development.

It’s Easy to Apply Online

A complete application includes:

  • Online application (no fee).
  • Official college transcripts from all institutions attended.
  • Resume.
  • Interview or personal statement.
  • Contact information for one reference or one letter of recommendation.

GRE and GMAT scores are not required.

One year of relevant work experience is preferred (relevant work experience includes full-time work, internships and co-ops).

Key Dates and Deadlines

This program enrolls six times a year. Each term is eight weeks.

Application Deadline
Classes Begin
Fall I
Monday, August 12, 2024
Monday, August 26, 2024
Fall II
Monday, October 7, 2024
Monday, October 21, 2024
Spring I
Monday, January 6, 2025
Monday, January 15, 2025
Fall I
Application Deadline
Monday, August 12, 2024
Classes Begin
Monday, August 26, 2024
Fall II
Application Deadline
Monday, October 7, 2024
Classes Begin
Monday, October 21, 2024
Spring I
Application Deadline
Monday, January 6, 2025
Classes Begin
Monday, January 15, 2025

At Merrimack College, we’re proud of our long history of providing quality degrees to students entering the job market. Our faculty are more than just teachers. We are committed to helping you grow — academically, personally and spiritually — so that you may graduate as a confident, well-prepared citizen of the world.

  • Most Innovative Schools (No. 14)
  • Regional Universities North (No. 33)
  • Best Undergraduate Teaching (No. 31)
  • Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs (No. 86)
    (at schools where doctorate not offered)
  • Best Colleges for Veterans (No. 14)
  • Best Value Schools (No. 47)
  • Merrimack College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
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