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Leadership and Management

Program of Study
Course Descriptions

In a fast-paced world, competitive organizations require good management and strong leadership at every level. The Master of Arts in Leadership and Management at Notre Dame of Maryland University prepares leaders to master challenges and to effect change through discernment and ethics. While the practice of management and leadership are closely related, they are distinguishable. Both entail influence and goal accomplishment. . Management is commonly seen in terms of reducing chaos in organizations and running them more effectively and efficiently through planning and budgeting, organizing and staffing, controlling and problem solving. Leadership emphasizes establishing direction and aligning people as well as motivating, empowering and inspiring individuals. Ethical, positive leaders consider broad social implications of their decisions as they encourage individuals, teams, and organizations to attain personal and corporate objectives.

The Master of Arts in Leadership and Management offers a mindful approach to excellence in directing organizational resources and people. The program is designed for professional women and men in any field who are or who expect to assume organizational leadership responsibilities.The mission of the program is to prepare leaders who act from an ethical base to master challenges and effect change toward the realization of individual and organizational potential.

The program emphasizes understanding the human dimension of organizations. The leadership and management of complex organizations must be practiced within the broader context of life itself: Why do people work, and what gives meaning and value to their work? What inspires women and men to higher levels of achievement through cooperative teamwork? Fundamental questions such as these have immediate relevance to those in positions of leadership. The needs and aspirations of individual women and men are woven into the daily activity of all organizations, regardless of their size or purpose.

Therefore, the program covers both the science and art of leadership and management. Effective leadership calls for the self-management and self-motivation in addition to requiring technical expertise in business administration. The practice of management requires significant human skills and resources in our complex, ever-changing world. As articulated in this degree program, leadership speaks to the heart of the organization's most important resource: its people.

A distinctive feature of this program is its multidisciplinary foundation in business and the liberal arts. The required curriculum includes courses in business communications, ethics, economics, management, leadership, decision making, technology, and various other facets of business administration. Active participation in the program develops competence in using flexible yet rational approaches to leadership and management that result in greater capacity to integrate different perspectives in responsible, creative planning and problem solving. Students graduate with a balanced set of leadership and managerial skills and values that enable them to develop the resources of an organization for greater productivity and benefit to society.

Program of Study

The program leading to the Master of Arts in Leadership and Management requires completion of a minimum of 39 credits of course work. The core curriculum of 27 credits develops the essential foundation for the program. The required core curriculum encourages breadth of learning in general leadership and management without technical specialization.

Students may select an area of concentration or create an individualized specialization for their remaining 12 credits. The areas of concentration are Health Care Administration, Human Resource Management, Information Systems, Principled Leadership, and Project Management. The concentrations provide depth in the subject areas.

A baccalaureate degree is required for admission. Computer competency in word processing, presentation software and spreadsheet applications is required. However, there are no undergraduate prerequisites in business. Applicants who have recently earned a baccalaureate in business, with a superior academic record, may be granted advanced standing upon admission into the program. Students with advanced standing may waive up to nine credits from the core curriculum. All requirements for the degree must be completed within seven years from the date of admission. Students must maintain a 3.0 (B) cumulative grade point average to remain in good academic standing. Students whose cumulative grade point average falls below 3.0 will be placed on probationary status. Students on academic probation will be given three semesters (in which they register for a course) to raise their cumulative grade point average to 3.0. Failure to do so, or receiving more than two grades below a B, will result in dismissal from the graduate program. These provisions do not apply to students admitted provisionally; provisions governing that status are identified in the letter of admission.

Courses are scheduled primarily on weekday evenings for the convenience of students. Part-time graduate Leadership and Management students may enroll in a maximum of six credits during the fall, spring and summer semesters. Students who wish to study full-time (more than six credits per semester must receive permission from the dean of the School of Arts and Sciences. All graduate students are restricted to three credits during the Winterim semester.

Students completing this program will understand:

  • theory and practice of effective leadership and management
  • applications of economic theory and financial analysis in effective decision making
  • concepts and principles of effective communication

Students will be able to:

  • create holistic, systems-thinking approaches to decision-making grounded in leadership and business principles
  • express critical thinking through strategic, ethical, socially responsible, well-reasoned action and communication
  • demonstrate objectivity in gathering and analyzing information in management and leadership decision making processes
  • examine organizational problems, develop sound solutions, and evaluate consequences of actions
  • integrate scholarship into personal and professional leadership capacities that transform individual lives, organizations and society


Students will recognize the importance of:

  • taking ethical approaches to leadership and management decisions
  • maintaining personal integrity
  • respecting the integrity, individuality and potential of colleagues
  • fulfilling social responsibility

Curriculum (39 Credits)

Central Core (27 Credits)
BUS-501 Managing in Complex Environments (3)
BUS-530 Financial Analysis (3)
BUS-558 Leadership and Leading (3)
BUS-560 Marketing Management (3)
BUS-651 Strategic Organizational Leadership (capstone) (3)
COM-505 Business Communication (3)
CST-534 Data Driven Business Decisions (3)
ECO-548 Economic Theory in Management (3)
PHL-521 Ethical Issues in Leadership (3)

Review of a student's admissions essay and/or GRE or GMAT exam scores may result in a student being required to complete ENG-503 Graduate Writing within their first nine credits at Notre Dame. When prior course work does not qualify for waiver of BUS537 Aspects of Financial Reporting, a prerequisite course for BUS530 Financial Analysis, a student may take a BUS537 challenge exam. Students who do not pass this exam must successfully complete BUS537 before enrolling in BUS530.

Concentration or Individualized Specialization 12 Credits

Students may select either an individualized specialization or a concentration to complete their program. Students who do not select one of the program concentrations may complete 12 credits of coursework in any area of special interest in business, economics, communications, knowledge management, nonprofit management, computer studies, leadership, or project management.

Health Care Administration

The Health Care Administration concentration provides the student with a comprehensive frame-work for understanding the U.S. health care system, including institutions, professionals, economics of health care markets, financing of health care services as well as ethical issues arising from technology advances in health care delivery. Students must take four of the following courses:

BUS-520 Introduction to the U.S. Health Care System (3)
BUS-521 Health Care Economics (3)
BUS-523 The Business of Healthcare (3)
BUS-525 Health Services Financing (3)
NUR-518 Health Policy (3)
BUS-580 Coached Leadership Practicum (3) may be substituted for the final health elective with permission of the department chair.

Human Resource Management

This concentration prepares students to integrate and apply the theories, principles and methodologies of human resource management focusing on its strategic role in today's organizations. Concentration courses prepare students to perform effectively in the expanded role of human resources now responsible for reshaping organizational structures and cultures, building strategic partnerships and designing customized solutions for internal clients.

BUS-500 Human Resource Management (3)

Students must take three of the following courses
BUS-540 Human Resource Development (3)
BUS-541 Legal Issues in Human Resource Management (3)
BUS-542 Performance Management Systems (3)
BUS-545 Compensation Strategies (3)

BUS-580 Coached Leadership Practicum (3) may be substituted for the human resources elective with permission of the department chair.

Information Systems

Management professionals are striving to incorporate the opportunities of the Internet for global advantage. The Information Systems concentration provides students with technology skills to effectively identify, develop, and implement electronic business strategies. Students learn to integrate information technology with management for enhanced marketing and strategy efforts. Some courses are available online.

Students take four of the following courses
CST-511 Topics in Information Systems (3)
CST-530 Foundations of Knowledge Management (3)
CST-554 Principles and Issues In Information Systems (3)
CST-580 Managing Information in a Web-Based World (3)
CST-593 Web Development (3)

Other graduate CST courses may be substituted with the permission of the chair of the computer studies program.

Principled Leadership

Whether you officially head a group or influence a network of peers, you are a leader. The Principled Leadership concentration is designed for those who are interested in leadership as a core practice as well as mastering challenges and effecting change while acting from an ethical base. Gain an organizational understanding of leadership as both a practical and scholarly discipline. Through directed team engagement, refine collaboration skills and group decision making as well as practice leading laterally.

BUS-551 Leadership's Dark Side (3)
BUS-554 Women in Leadership or BUS-511 Topics In Leadership (3)
BUS-562 Leading Organizational Change (3)
BUS-559 Lateral Leadership (3)

BUS-580 Coached Leadership Practicum (3) may be substituted for the final leadership elective with permission of the department chair.

Project Management

This concentration is designed to meet the needs of those bidding on state and federal work con-tracts, particularly current and potential military contractors. Concentration courses cover the range of projection management skill sets from initiating and planning the project, through managing and controlling the project within budget and timeline parameters through focused management skills, to closing the project. Throughout, the courses focus not only on the development of leadership skills but also on the professional and social responsibility critical to the world today. These courses prepare students to complete initial or renewal certification through the Project Management Institute (PMI). Project management courses are offered exclusively online and follow a sequence that begins every March. Courses in the project management concentration are seven-week intensive courses and should not be taken with any other course.

BUS-640 Managing Projects in Contemporary Organizations (3)
BUS-641 Project Monitoring and Delivery (3)
BUS-642 Managing Project Performance (3)
BUS-643 Leading Process Improvement (3)

Independent Study and Master's Project

Students interested in the independent study option must coordinate the project with the chair of the business and economics department and the full time faculty member who will work with the student guiding the project. One three credit independent study course may be chosen. Students also may choose a more comprehensive master's project for six credits. Students selecting a master's project must coordinate the project early in their program with the lead faculty member for the concentration or the designated alternate. Students using this option may not take BUS-580.

Course Descriptions

Examines basic human resource management issues — strategic human resource  planning, recruitment and selection,  training and development, performance management and compensation and benefits.  Learners apply the theories of each of these areas to  develop a portfolio of practical, useful human resource applications. [3 credits]

Presented through competing viewpoints of management, managers, and managerial criticism, learners examine and reimagine traditional management functions of planning, organizing, leading, as well as the paradoxes these ideas present when applied to the complex environments faced by today’s organizations. Resources and assignments facilitate both the comprehension and application of management theories to contemporary situations as students develop strong scholarship habits that form the basis of the program.  Must be taken within the first 9 credits of the program. [3 credits]

Examines special topics and issues in leadership, followership, and management. Course content changes to address contemporary thinking and issues. Course may be taken more than once under different topics. [3 credits]

Examines special topics and issues in finance. Course content changes to address contemporary thinking and issues. Course may be taken more than once under different topics. [3 credits]

Introduces the student to the organization and structure of the U.S. health care system, including institutions, professionals and government programs. Topics also include policy issues relating to access, efficiency and quality of health care services. [3 credits]

Introduces students to economic theory as it relates to the delivery of health care services. Topics include the role of health insurance financing for medical services including managed care and - its influence on consumer and provider behavior relative to the demand and supply of healthcare services. Additional topics include competition in the delivery of health care services, the role of government and regulation, whether greater expenditures on health care insures better health, cost shifting, and the challenge of measuring value in healthcare outcomes. [3 credits]

Introduces the learner to the basics of accounting and financial management: enables students to read and analyze financial statements using financial ratios; and assists the student to develop and analyze operating and capital budgets. This course is designed for the non-financial healthcare manager who must be able to understand and effectively use financial concepts and tools. [3 credits] MSN MSN students only.

Introduces the language and theory of customer service, negotiation and the marketing process. Students will examine the framework and components of customer service and negotiation as applied to the healthcare industry. Students will also study core healthcare marketing concepts and the important role marketing plays in supporting the implementation of an organization's strategic plan. This course is highly interactive and utilizes role play, case analysis, and group/team assignments. [3 credits]

Introduces the student to public and private forms of financing health care services in the United States. Topics include employer-sponsored health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, and managed care. Special focus will be given to the Maryland all-payer rate system and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. [3 credits]

Emphasizes the foundation areas of finance to assist learners in practical business decision making. Introduces financial management concepts including time value of money, net present value and alternative measures, financial ratio analysis, capital budgeting, cost of capital, and asset valuation. Prerequisite: BUS-537 Aspects of Financial Reporting or BUS-537 Placement Exam passed or waiver of BUS-537 based on business experience and previous course studies. [3 credits]

Provides in-depth analysis of financial management decisions and decision-tools. Topics may include capital structure and capital issuance, dividend policy, corporate financial planning, derivatives for hedging stock volatility, derivatives for hedging interest rate risk, and financial institutions. Students will complete a research project and develop strategies to manage an external environment challenge. Projects involve written and oral reports. Prerequisite: BUS-530 [3 credits]

Emphasizes the foundation areas of investment management including securities markets, stock and bond valuation, portfolio theory, asset allocation, the efficient market hypothesis, and investment decision making. The course includes completing a research project as well as building a diversified investment portfolio for a hypothetical client. Projects involve written and oral reports. Prerequisite: BUS-530 [3 credits]

The focus of this course is not how accountants create financial statements; the focus is how a manager uses financial statements in business decision-making. Orients learners to financial accounting practices, leading to the preparation and use of basic financial statements. Learners acquire knowledge of the language of accounting and the elements of the balance sheet, income statement and the statement of cash flows. Topics include the application of accounting theory and generally accepted accounting principles to business transactions, and the use of ratios and other tools to analyze financial reports. [3 credits]

Explores the philosophy and practice of human resource development or training in organizations. Learners consider the common developmental needs of workers at different stages of their careers and the role of staff development and training within the context of total organizational development. Readings, case analyses, and group discussion are integral to this experience. [3 credits]

Explores the fundamentals of workplace law. Emphasizes federal and state equal employment law, compensation and benefits law, legal termination practices and labor relations. Learning is based on readings, interactive discussions about the practical applications of legal theory, and a major research paper. [3 credits]

Describes the purposes and criteria for effective performance management systems including the major approaches and techniques used in each approach. Evaluates the advantages and disadvantages of different methods and reinforces the importance of integration with corporate management strategy. Uses readings, case analyses, and experiential activities to examine different elements of performance management. [3 credits]

Explores in depth the concept of compensation in the workplace, encompassing all forms of financial returns and tangible services and benefits employees receive as part of the employment relationship. Included are an exploration of the total returns for work, including cash compensation and benefits, and such relational returns as recognition and status, employment security, challenging work and learning opportunities. Special focus will be given to the selection, development and implementation of appropriate compensation strategies, given the external environmental influences and realistic internal resource constraints with which today's organizations must cope. [3 credits]

Go beyond the usual concepts of business ethics and leadership prescriptions to the heart of leadership’s dark side by exploring the personality and psychology underpinning the dance between leaders and followers and the factors that lead them to perpetuate dark side behaviors. Students develop strategies as they study historical and present day leaders and followers whose unethical, immoral, or incompetent behaviors have damaged lives and organizations. [3 credits]

Increases the learner’s awareness of societal expectations, pitfalls, and opportunities faced by women. Explores typical female and male approaches to leadership and the world of work through readings, experiential exercises, and personal reflection. Emphasizes the role of women leaders, deciphering the code of the workplace, and confronting female collusion in silencing women’s ways of knowing. Often cross-listed with undergraduates to promote cross-generational mentoring. [3 credits]

Develops learners’ personal capacities to lead others and manage leadership development. Learners grapple with current leadership issues by applying theory and extending lessons provided by cases and ideas of leaders both past and present. Personal leadership and interpersonal skill are developed through guided exercises in group interaction, emotional intelligence, self-awareness, and reflection. Prerequisite: BUS-501 or NPM-510 and a minimum of 9 credits completed in either MA in Leadership and Management, Ma in NPM or graduate certificate program . Students who are at least midway through other graduate programs are welcome to attend with permission of the instructor. [3 credits]

Explores the importance of lateral or non-positional leadership—leadership through influence and ideas—in our communities and workplaces. Develops lateral leadership skills that are becoming more important in our networked world and flattened organizations because influencing others occurs across a broad range of positional and non-positional leadership settings. [3 credits]

Examines the concepts and processes used in designing and implementing market–driven strategies. Students will learn a marketing strategy decision making process which takes full advantage of secondary data resources. Case studies, in-class discussions and a semester-long project provide students with an opportunity to design marketing strategies utilizing marketing principles, descriptive statistics, competitive information and and management functions such as analysis, planning, implementation and control. [3 credits]

Examines in depth the roles that sales promotion, advertising, public relations, direct marketing and personal selling play in the accomplishments of a firm's marketing objectives.
Prerequisite: BUS-560 or permission of department chair. [3 credits]

Examines the core problems organizations and people face as they move through the dynamic processes of innovation and change. Leading change is a complex, long-term and challenging endeavor and a central process in the practice of leadership. Change is studied at every level, individual, organizational and societal, through a contextual lens. Students will identify highly successful change efforts and evaluate the strategies and techniques used. The key issues of changing behaviors, getting the rational mind and emotional mind to work together, overcoming resistance to change, and the role of leaders in the process will be important themes. [3 credits]

Offers students an individualized, real-world and impactful leadership learning experience which provides a hands-on opportunity to apply what has been learned in leadership courses. Each student will develop and submit a semester-long project proposal to be carried out in her or his social or business community requiring personal leadership responsibilities. Once the project proposal is approved, the student will carry out the project supported by an appropriate professionally-trained volunteer coach and the Program Director. The course will conclude with a reflective assessment of the student’s leadership of the project and the lessons learned therefrom to be applied in future leadership opportunities. [3 credits]

Project managers as well as others interested in project management gain tools to add the appropriate level of structure and rigor to their own practice. Provides a socio-technical perspective to the management of projects and explores major concepts through multiple lenses, not only the professional focus of Project Management Institute. Includes planning, scheduling, organizing, and implementing projects with an emphasis on the project management process and tools used in project management. Online learning experience. Prerequisite: Willingness to learn the basics of Microsoft Project. [3 credits]

Examines various interrelated functions impacting project deliveries and how these functions contribute to the strategic success of an enterprise. Designed to provide advanced knowledge to develop, analyze and change project plans; manage scope, time and quality; assess the need for Agile processes; determine risk; and allocate necessary resources to effectively and ethically manage projects. Online learning experience. [3 credits]

Identifies the management processes required to ensure the project is completed within budget and on schedule. Provides the knowledge required to cost a project, develop a project plan, and allocate the necessary resources to manage a project. Supply chain management is a major focus. Expands the conversation on and identifies methods for reducing and mitigating risks. Online learning experience. [3 credits]

Provides an in-depth analysis of the tools, techniques, and processes involved in acquiring and managing project teams toward continuous process improvement while balancing the needs of all stakeholders.  Assists project managers in developing, training, and managing high performing process improvement teams working on complex projects. Learners develop a variety of planning documents to enhance ability of the project team to anticipate, meet, and possibly exceed customers’ expectations. Online learning experience. [3 credits]

Takes a multidisciplinary approach to strategic planning, communication, and implementation, drawing on ideas from the social sciences, leadership and management studies, and social justice and sustainability models. Students learn how clear strategic thinking and innovative implementation are critical to successful leadership in today's highly unstable and increasingly competitive business environment. Leading strategically means much more than strategic planning—it means taking a broad holistic and socially just view, identifying and analyzing competing interests, communicating effectively, and rapidly making mid-course corrections. Prerequisite: BUS-530, BUS-558, BUS-560. [3 credits]

Conducted as an independent study with a faculty member in marketing. The student will complete one of the following: 1) a research paper that addresses a current, real world marketing challenge 2) the development of a marketing plan for a client organization 3) a detailed marketing audit for a client company or nonprofit organization, or 4) the design and conduct of a primary marketing research study. The marketing field project must be proposed by the student and approved by the faculty member within the first week of the semester. The student will participate in the Graduate Poster Session held at the end of either the fall or spring semester. [3 credits]

Involves a comprehensive project based on individual research on an approved topic. The project must be approved by the lead instructor for the concentration area or a designated alternate.
Learners who elect BUS-696 may not also take BUS-698. [3 credits]

Offers opportunity to conduct independent research, under faculty supervision, in an approved area of study. The nature, scope and design of the project, as well as the schedule of prearranged meetings, are contracted individually between the faculty member and the learner. Perquisite: Permission of the instructor and the chair of the business and economics department.
Learners who elect BUS-698 may not take BUS-696. [3 credits]

Analyzes verbal and written communication patterns and messages in organizations. Learners evaluate the effectiveness of a range of methodologies and tools to persuade and inform different stakeholder groups. Learners will critique and create oral and written presentations ranging from communicating statistical information and offering a persuasive call to action, to creating executive summaries and editing the work of others. [3 credits]

Analyzes the practices of public relations in the corporate and nonprofit sectors as a function of management. Effective ways of preparing public relations messages are explored in depth. Strategies for communicating with an organization's internal and external constituencies including employees, clients, stockholders, media representatives, consumer advocates and regulatory agencies are evaluated. Emphasis in the course is placed on trends in public relations since the 1970s. [3 credits]

Includes a variety of topics which focus on applications and issues related to the current technology. Students develop technology-related projects to enhance business. [3 credits]

Introduces the role that data play in understanding business outcomes, including uncertainty, the relationship between inputs and outputs, and complex decisions with tradeoffs. Students work with real life examples to interpret statistical distributions, understand hypothesis testing, and evaluate reliability. [3 credits]

Introduces the fundamental principles of information systems and subsystems and how they work together to facilitate decision making. Learners will evaluate cases in database organization, data communication, systems analysis and design and computer security in terms of their impact on the data/information/decision process. [3 credits]

Examines the Internet as an organizational tool for data gathering, marketing, learning and communication. Learners will study the advantages and disadvantages of using the Web as a major organizational decision support tool, including its social, legal and ethical impact. [3 credits]

Focuses on a user-centered approach to designing websites, including requirements gathering, conceptual design, physical design, coding, testing and implementation. Learners will complete a number of practical projects as well as a website for a nonprofit organization. [3 credits]

Examines special topics and issues in economics. Course content changes to address contemporary thinking and issues. Course may be taken more than once under different topics. [3 credits]

Examines the economic environment in which firms operate. Introduces micro-economic and macroeconomic concepts and techniques to help managers "think like economists" when dealing with tactical issues or deciding on strategic directions for their firms. Provides the macroeconomics foundations for successful business decisions in a global economic environment while exposing students to a broad array of economic issues. [3 credits]

Introduces economic methodologies to managerial decisions. Examines consumer demand, production costs, and output/price combinations that maximize firms' goals under different market structures. Applies basic math and statistics tools to evaluate business choices. All statistics and mathematics used in the class are explained in basic terms at the point of first usage. [3 credits]

Covers risk analysis as an evolving paradigm for decision making in uncertain situations. Risk analysis consists of three tasks: risk management, risk assessment and risk communication. This course introduces the language, models and methodologies of risk management, assessment and communication with an emphasis on the need for addressing uncertainty in all phases of decision making. [3 credits]

Develops the skill demanded and essential in every workplace: that of being able to write well. Emphasis is on the relationship between thinking and writing, being able to present with clarity and coherence the message in written form. What distinguishes the manager or managerial candidate is the ability to present written matter with precision, economy, accuracy and grace. While the course presents business-related writing, the focus is on simply being able to write well. Learners enhance their skills through a series of writing experiences. [3 credits]

Explores the basic human resource management issues – strategic workforce planning, hiring, training, performance assessment, and compensation. Learners apply each theory to the specific position of their choice, developing a portfolio of human resource applications. [3 credits]

Focuses on the complementary aspects of marketing and communications for a nonprofit organization. Topics include segmentation, branding, and membership recruitment. This course also explores the roles of public relations, advertising and social media, as well as the process of preparing persuasive communication for target markets. Learners prepare a case statement, communications plan, and social media strategy for an organization or program. [3 credits]

Analyzes a range of ethical issues and dilemmas inherent to organizations and leadership in relation to both the external environment and the internal processes of the organization. Learners explore these issues through a series of cases analyses. [3 credits]