Master of Applied Leadership

Curriculum & Courses

Curriculum & Courses

Master of Applied Leadership Curriculum

MAL Curriculum Completion

  • 30 total credit hours 
  • Completion of MALP 781-790 with a grade point average of 3.00 or higher and no course grade below a B-
  • Average time to completion: 1-2 years
  • All students entering the program are required to attend a two-hour online orientation (via Zoom) with the Executive Director of Applied Leadership before beginning their MAL coursework. This orientation will introduce the students to the program goals, class structure, mentors, and program resources. 


MALP 781 Leadership Literacy (3)

MALP 781 is grounded in theories and models of applied leadership. This course examines the various components of the leadership process, including leaders, followers, goals, contexts, and cultural values and norms. The course also explores the dynamic relationship between leaders and followers, the means used by leaders and followers to achieve their goals, and the ethical implications of those means and the goals themselves. Focus is placed on how the concepts explored in class translate to application, as well as the importance of continuing to develop one’s understanding and practice of leadership throughout one’s lifetime. Pre-requisites: None

MALP 782 Informed Decision Making (3)

MALP 782 focuses on informed leadership through (1) the development of skills for journaling, critical and creative reading, and accurately comprehending the conclusions of relevant research reports and legislative and policy documents and (2) the study of indicators of and approaches for measuring organizational and leadership effectiveness. Pre-requisites: None

MALP 783 High-Impact Communication (3)

MALP 783 explores the communication between leaders and followers. Attention is given to how leaders and followers send and receive messages as well as how they may create and manage meaning. The course (1) presents major concepts of communication as they relate to the practice of leadership, (2) emphasizes the importance of understanding communication as it relates to the leadership process, (3) demonstrates the way communication affects the leadership process, and (4) builds professional communication skills that help leaders better communicate with their followers and diverse stakeholders. Major communication concepts addressed include audience analysis, verbal and written communication, nonverbal communication, and mediated communication. Pre-requisites: None

MALP 784 Ethical Leadership and Policy (3)

MALP 784 presents ethical leadership as the process of using ethical theories to make sound decisions, as well as using one’s position of leadership to bring about positive organizational change. The course examines the ways different theories and models of ethics influence the various components of the leadership process including leaders, followers, goals, contexts, and cultural values and norms as well as the interplay among these components. The course also examines the ethical implications of popular approaches to leadership. The course is designed to enable learners to articulate their own code of ethics and apply this code to their approach to leadership. In addition, the course will assist in building the learner’s thinking capacity to use ethical theories and models to make sound ethical decisions and create policies in and for an organization. Pre-requisite: None 

MALP 785 Conflict Management (3)

MALP 785 engages students in a study of behavioral dynamics for managing situations that occur in the leadership environment and how to prevent, manage, and de-escalate unhealthy events before they lead to more serious problems. Pre-requisite: None

MALP 786 Systems Thinking (3)

MALP 786 focuses on making decisions in today's world, a world increasing in complexity, with broad changes and uncertainties. These changes and uncertainties create the need for approaches that allow those in positions of leadership to discern the real dimensions of wicked problems and the causes that create them as well as putting together the parts to make decisions within and selecting the best actions for an organization. Using systems thinking, students will investigate the factors and interactions that contribute to or could contribute to possible outcomes. The course will help develop and hone skills necessary to analyze complex problems, formulate well-reasoned arguments, and consider alternative points of view. It will help assess innovative business models, identify crucial issues, develop and present well-reasoned positions, and evaluate evidence. Pre-requisite: None

MALP 787 Design Thinking (3)

MALP 787 endeavors to inspire and support students to approach problem solving as a cooperative and iterative process that includes: empathizing with those experiencing a problem, accurately defining a problem and its root cause, ideating fixes to the problem, prototyping potential solutions to the problem, and testing the potential solution’s effectiveness.  Pre-requisite: None

MALP 788 Work Teams (3)

MALP 788 explores ways of organizing people in organizations to solve problems and facilitate positive systemic change. In particular, functional, cross-functional, and self-directed work teams will be investigated. The benefits of having multiple people engage together in a collaborative and cooperative environment to develop and deliver an organization’s products and/or services will be studied, as well as the roles leaders play in facilitating work teams. Pre-requisite: None

MALP 789 Project Management (3)

Project managers are responsible for leading teams, defining goals, communicating with stakeholders, and seeing a project through to its closure; thus, MALP 789 explores the roles and attributes of project management - the organization, planning, implementation, and navigation of project plans while managing financial, human, and temporal resources within restraints such as supply chains, budgets, and schedules. Pre-requisites: MALP 788

MALP 790 Capstone Application Seminar (3)

MALP 790 is intended to bring closure to the Applied Leadership program. Attention will be given to bringing the program together and making sense of the program as a whole – that is, to integrate and interconnect the goals that were addressed across the program as well as emphasizing the application of the program goals respective of a student’s Area of Concentration and providing opportunities for reflective practice as a means for professional and personal growth prior to exiting the program. Pre-requisite: MALP 789

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