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Better Leaders, Better Organizations

The M.A. degree in Organizational Leadership is an interdisciplinary program that integrates knowledge and research from the social sciences, communication arts, and the humanities. The program is intended to provide students with an advanced degree useful to leaders in all types of organizations. The program is designed for the student whose professional goal is a generalist leadership position in a corporate, government, non-profit, or community organization. The graduate of the master’s program is able to do the following:

  • Understand the relationship between leadership and the liberal arts
  • Develop effective strategies to be an agent of social change
  • Enact a leadership approach that acknowledges and respects differences in value systems
  • Create and utilize an integrated vision as a leader
  • Analyze and understand organizations from multiple frameworks
  • Knowledgeably consume and effectively practice organizational research
  • Understand how to construct and apply ethical systems within organizational settings

Founded on the Jesuit tradition of developing men and women for others, this program challenges students to develop personal leadership styles and inspires them to take action in their work place and communities. Movers, shakers, and change-makers are encouraged to apply.

This program is flexible and offers courses online, on-campus or a blend of both.

Students come from different areas of the world, work in a multitude of professions, and are employed at a variety of career levels. This diversity provides exposure to different problems, solutions and ways of thinking that challenge them to expand their repertoire of skills. The curriculum is designed not only to teach leadership theory and best practices, but to help students to reflect on their abilities, their assumptions, and their beliefs about leadership.  Most importantly, the program helps students to shape themselves into the leaders they want to be.

Students are employed in a variety of roles:

  • Team Leader
  • Project Director
  • Public Affairs Officer
  • Program Manager
  • Training Manager
  • Executive Director
  • Healthcare provider
  • Member of the Military
  • Small Business Owner
  • Religious/Faith Leader
  • Humanitarian
  • Philanthropist
  • Entrepreneur

Alumni are employed at Starbucks, Microsoft, Nike, Target, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Boeing Company, PayPal, Disneyland, YMCA, and many more. Many are employed by smaller organizations where their leadership skills have maximum impact.

Application Deadline:

  • Summer 2015 Deadline – April 27th
    • Classes start May 18th

Apply Now.

Scholarships & Tuition Reduction/Discount Options


The M.A. in Organizational Leadership program is now offering scholarships for new students. For more information about these scholarships please inquire with the admissions department at 1-866-380.5323.

Tuition Reduction/Discounts:

  • Gonzaga University provides a 50% tuition reduction to qualified full-time teachers, principals and Pastoral/Diocesan Ministers working in schools or parishes under the auspices of the Diocese of Spokane – click here for more details.
  • Gonzaga also offers a 10% tuition discount for active military and their spouses, veterans, as well as Federal employees and Boeing employees.

For further questions please inquire with the admissions department at 1-866-380.5323.

All About the ORGL Program

What are the options for course delivery for ORGL students?

This program is flexible; students can take courses primarily online or face-to-face, or combine the two methods of delivery in hybrid classes.

Both online and face-to-face courses foster engagement, collaboration, and networking. There is one required three-day immersion course for all students at Gonzaga’s beautiful Spokane campus.

What are the personal and professional benefits of an ORGL degree?

M.A. in Organizational Leadership graduates take their leadership practices, project management, conflict resolution, team building, and communication abilities to new heights within their organizations. With a solid grasp of leadership theory and practice, graduates can better perform in leadership roles, improve interpersonal relationships and develop healthy and thriving organizations.

For students with an ORGL degree, the following results are possible:

  • Defining and achieving goals in a variety of organizational settings
  • Obtaining a promotion
  • Assuming additional responsibilities
  • Overcoming communication barriers
  • Navigating the relationships between communication, media, cultural context, language and human perception
  • Developing a critical eye for the media and communication landscape
  • Creating strategic and corporate communication plans
  • Improving processes and products
  • Achieving a new position of respect and influence
  • Applying new tactics and strategies to real-world problems
  • Steering an organization in a new direction
  • Influencing organizational effectiveness and culture
  • Accessing a network of peers and faculty
  • Obtaining job leads
  • Positively impacting the world
  • Gaining a renewed sense of purpose

*99% of our students say they would recommend this program to others based on our 2012 alumni survey.

Click here to see how alumni are applying their degrees.

What are the ORGL study abroad and domestic immersion opportunities?

Although not a required aspect of the ORGL program, the study abroad and domestic immersion opportunities allow students to expand their world-view by being introduced to new cultures and ways of thinking. These programs are carefully designed to allow working professionals the opportunity to enhance their Gonzaga educational experience in a unique way.

The ORGL Program offers two-week study abroad and one-week domestic excursions that teach students to work cross-culturally while developing the ability to see leadership and communication skills from a global perspective.  Experience the program in places like Florence and Cagli, Italy and Derry, Ireland. Visit the study abroad and immersions area of our site to learn more.

What is ORGL?

In response to society’s growing need for value-based, visionary leadership, Gonzaga’s Organizational Leadership program (ORGL) was established in 1986.

The Department of Organizational Leadership and the Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership degree seeks to create a community of learning through stimulating discussions, provocative readings, and challenging projects, all integrated by experienced teachers and delivered through the best of educational technology to students throughout the world.

Since it was founded in 1887, Gonzaga University has been committed to developing excellent leaders. One of 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States, Gonzaga consistently ranks in the top four “Universities-Master’s (West)” by U.S. News and World Report. The curriculum is built on the Jesuit tradition of exhorting students to become “people for others.” Students who graduate from the ORGL program earn a degree from a nationally recognized university at a competitive cost that provides a great return on investment.

Graduates of the ORGL program are able to do the following:

  • achieve collective goals in a variety of settings
  • investigate organizational dynamics and human behavior
  • maximize effective communication and overcome communication barriers
  • develop strategies to bring health, creativity and energy to an organization
  • utilize organizational development to effect system-wide organizational change and improvement
  • practice collaborative negotiation and conflict resolution
  • dialogue in the context of creating and transforming community
  • study principles and practice of servant leadership
  • examine leadership, justice and forgiveness in the context of purposeful systems change
  • understand interior leadership necessary for discernment and action within oppressive systems
  • develop mechanisms and practices to facilitate personal and organizational resilience
  • realize the role of stories in people’s personal lives and in business

How does the ORGL degree compare to a Business degree?

The Organizational Leadership Master’s degree is focused on how to develop and practice leadership that inspires others, builds teams, and effects positive change.  Many students enter the program having the skills to perform their jobs well, but are seeking a degree of development to take them to the next level. The focus of the degree is to make all leaders more effective, but it differs from a Business degree in that there are no Finance, Accounting, or Statistics courses in the ORGL program.

Gonzaga’s campus-based MBA & MAcc Programs have been producing outstanding business leaders for over 50 years. Gonzaga’s MBA program provides a solid management foundation through its core curriculum while allowing students to complete a third of their program in elective coursework. See more here.

Welcome from the Department Chair, Dr. Adrian Popa

The M.A. in Organizational Leadership Program (ORGL) at Gonzaga University welcomes you.

We are committed to providing you a holistic graduate leadership education for personal formation informed by Jesuit principles of academic excellence, justice, ethics, stewardship, service, and sustainability. Our commitment, delivered through Ignatian pedagogy of context, experience, reflection, action, and evaluation, is to provide students a formative educational experience that will shape your leadership philosophy and competencies, and awaken an insatiable thirst for curiosity, learning, and growth.

You will learn from faculty who are leadership scholars with backgrounds in direct practice and who take a vested interest in developing the whole student. Our leadership curriculum will prepare you with foundations of leadership and organizational philosophies to contribute to a globalized world in an ethical and socially responsible way.

In the ORGL Program, you will find one-of-a-kind elective courses that may take you to a Benedictine Monastery to learn about leadership and community, Colombia to learn about small business startups in the coffee industry, a glaciated mountain in the Pacific Northwest to learn about leadership and hardiness as a pathway towards personal and organizational resilience, Florence, Italy to learn about leadership through the Renaissance, and Northern Ireland to learn about peacebuilding and dialogue.  The program offers many other memorable immersion experiences on campus.

The ORGL Program at Gonzaga University accommodates a globalized, interconnected world by offering leadership education through a number of delivery methods available to students working, serving overseas or living among the Gonzaga community. Our campus, online, or hybrid courses observe standards of academic excellence and capitalize on the richness of context that students bring into the classroom. The depth of learning leadership is captured in the richness of expertise and backgrounds of our highly prepared students who work in for profit multinational corporations listed on the fortunate 500 index, government agencies, education, healthcare, armed services, humanitarian organizations, public service, faith-based organizations, or small personal business. The diversity of the student body and faculty in the ORGL Program contributes to lively and provocative discussions which allow our students the opportunity to analyze leadership issues from multiple points of view and diverse vantage points.

Please explore our website to learn about our program. We are confident that you will find the M.A. in Organizational Leadership Program at Gonzaga University to be a formative graduate degree for you during any season of life or career level.

We invite you to join us in our mission to develop the leaders the world needs most.

Adrian B. Popa

Chair – M.A. in Organizational Leadership Program

At a Glance



Average completion time

2-2.5 years

Cost per credit



Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities


Online or On-campus (Spokane, WA)

Admission cycles

Rolling 8 week


One, three-day immersion required in Spokane, WA


Top 3 Regional University in the West by U.S. News & World Report

Study Abroad & Domestic Immersion opportunities

Military, Federal Employee, Boeing Discounts