Program Highlights

The Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership is a liberal arts degree with broad application due to its coursework in leadership, communication, ethics, team dynamics, and fundamental business practices. The major integrates theory and practice to foster understanding between the interrelationship of leadership with power and influence, while emphasizing socially responsible leadership and ethical decision-making.

Organizational Leadership is a newer discipline that is widely accepted in today's business climate. Students who study Organizational Leadership earn a life-enhancing degree while learning to become stronger professionals and more effective organizational members. Graduates of the Organizational Leadership program will possess strong leadership, communication, team-building, critical thinking, oral presentation, and creative problem solving skills.

The program meets the needs of employers in all types of organizations. Best of all, this degree is compatible with many fields and types of organizations including small businesses, large corporations, non-profits, municipal, government or community agencies, hospital administrations, agribusiness, service and hospitality industries, pharmaceutical and other professional sales, and more.

Program Goals

Students completing the Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Leadership will:

  • Formulate professional level written and oral communication as a critical component of effective leadership.
  • Interpret organizational issues and determine effective solutions consistent with organizational goals.
  • Design effective team-based, collaborative approaches for creative organizational solutions; while supporting increased organizational capacity for change.
  • Evaluate changes in the internal and external environments of organizations and construct appropriate response strategies taking into consideration the organization’s political, social and cultural context.
  • Use ethical reasoning to judge whether the actions and behaviors of leaders are ethically and socially responsible; while supporting an organizational system which maintains high ethical standards in response to organizational issues.

Flexible Learning

A degree in Organizational Leadership is also available through Millikin University's Flexible Learning program.


Organizational Leadership majors then finish their B.S. degree by successfully completing 15 required major courses, over two years. New OL cohorts typically begin in January and August. The major courses are only offered in a cohort format; students begin the major together, take all courses together in a pre-defined sequential order, and complete degree requirements as a team.

Each of the 15 required major courses meet seven weeks, up to five of which meet live, one night per week from 6-10pm. Students focus on one course at a time. Overlap between courses due to pre and post work from predecessor and successor courses is expected. The pre and post activities create a total of seven weeks of instruction per course.

Before entering an OL major cohort, students must have fewer than 12 credit hours remaining in their Pre-Major course work. Students are expected to complete all Major and Pre-Major course work in the remaining two years once beginning a cohort, so as to graduate with their peers. This may require the student to take courses during the Summer or Immersion semesters. Students unable to complete any course in the cohort may significantly delay their degree completion date due to prerequisites and cohort scheduling issues. Course Sequence:

  • CO242. Business and Professional Communication (3)
  • OL300. Self-Leadership (3)
  • OL310. Group and Team Dynamics (3)
  • OL240.  Tools for Organizational Decision-Making (3)
  • OL350. Leadership Ethics (3)
  • OL340. Introduction to Finance and Budget in Organizations (3)
  • OL344. Organizational Leadership (3)
  • CO343. Organizational Communication and Conflict (3)
  • OL301. Organizational Development through Human Resources (3)
  • OL306. Organizational Behavior (3)
  • OL375. Organizational Creativity, Innovation, and High Performance (3)
  • OL385. Leadership, Diversity, and Multiculturalism (3)
  • OL390. Organizational Development (3)
  • OL400. Project Leadership (3)
  • OL450. Organizational Leadership Capstone (3)

Departmental Course Offerings

Courses change each semester, so this list should not be considered a commitment to these individual topics. However, this does represent a list of many of our current and popular courses. The list is provided so that you can begin to imagine your academic career at Millikin in this major.

Career Development The purpose of this course is to provide working adults with the skills essential in making informed career decisions that address present and future job realities. This course will teach teh basics of career development, emphasizing career development as a lifelong process. You will: (1) Develop and refine individual career goals and utilize various methods to gather career-related information, (2) become actively involved in the fundamentals of writing resumes and job search letters, (3) explore various job search methods with an emphasis on networking skill development and technology, and (4) learn and practice successful interview techniques. (OL210)
The Effective Job Search Available only for students who have not taken OL210, this course is intended for the student who may be seeking a variety of employment opportunities and is not well-established with a particular employer, or who is interested in opportunities within organizations other than where he/she is currently employed. In this one credit hour course, students will learn all aspects of how to conduct an effective and targeted job search. This includes refining career goals, knowing where to look for a job, developing and refining a resume, writing professional and polished cover letters, as well as fine-tuning interview skills and salary negotiation techniques. Students will also learn the importance of networking, how to monitor labor market considerations that may impact future employment, and how to survive and thrive in a new workplace. (OL211)
Evaluation and Exploration Available only for students who have not taken OL210, this course is intended for the student who is unsure of a specific career path or how he/she will utilize the Millikin degree. This course would be particularly helpful for the student who is early in his/her college career and may have limited professional work experience, or is interested in changing career paths. In this one credit hour course, students will use a variety of assessment tools designed to learn more about personal values, interests, personality traits, and skills. Students will also explore careers in order to determine options that might be a good fit. Additionally, they will reflect on how their particular major will prepare them for these career options and begin the process of developing a specific career goal. This course will emphasize career development as a lifelong process and the development of a career self-reliance mentality. (OL212)
Moving up the Corporate Ladder Available only for students who have not taken OL210, this course is intended for the student who is well-established in the workplace and pursing his/her degree in order to be promoted within that organization. In this one credit hour course, students will reflect on past work experiences and skills and create a career development plan to address future career ambitions. Students will also develop and refine their resume, interviewing, and networking skills. Additionally, they will learn the basics of working with and/or managing multiple generations in the workplace; managing change in the ever-evolving workplace; and how to leverage their soon to be acquired degree in order to be promoted and get a raise.
Leadership and Popular Culture

Leadership is often thought of in terms of the wise and powerful CEOs of companies and/or the rulers of nations. Most of us never get to know these people except through books and videos detailing their lives. However, those same successful leadership styles are easily seen in our favorite characters portrayed via popular media on our TVs, computers, tablets, and mobile phones on a daily basis. This course will explore leadership using some of today’s most influential popular culture figures. (OL 220)

Perspectives In Leadership

Aspiring leaders will look at a single leader from multiple different perspectives, including associated biases. This results in conflicting opinions about the leader’s style and overall success. This course uses film and readings to compare and contrast each source's opinions in attempts to determine a more complete reality about the selected leader. (OL 230)

Tools for Organization Decision Making Decision-making is a crucial component for the success of any business. Managers should be trained to make better decisions and learn to utilize the latest technology available. This is especially true for organizational leaders in a global marketplace. This course will provide an overview of information systems and will explore the use of information technologies in supporting organizational decision-making.  (OL240)
Self Leadership Self Leadership focuses on personal change as the foundation for leading change within an organization. Students consider their positive leadership characteristics, face their challenges as springboards for growth, reflect on their own ethical practices, and grasp the importance of communication, all in the framework of becoming a more effective leader. The course is also designed to develop non-traditional students as critical writers, readers, and researchers, within the context of leadership. Students are asked to read and actively critique leadership materials, write an informed and polished research essay on a leadership topic of their choice employing APA format, and present their first oral communication as a leader. While this course does not cover everything taught in the Critical Writing, Reading and Research courses, it will familiarize students with the standards of academic writing, and with strategies for academic research within the context of the major. (OL300)
Organization Development through Human Resources Effective leaders recognize that people are an organization’s most valuable resource. At the same time, a major misconception within many organizations is that human resource development is the sole responsibility of the HR Department or the Personnel Office. Leaders at all levels have responsibility for human resource development. This course is designed to provide an overview of human resource development. Topics may include recruitment and selection, training and development, compensation and benefits, performance evaluation, health and safety, and labor relations. (OL301)
Organizational Behavior Understanding and maximizing the performance of organizational members is critical to leadership. Leaders and other organizational members must learn to facilitate effective work relationships and contribute to a supportive organizational culture. Borrowing from a variety of disciplines, including behavioral science and behavioral psychology, this course examines the complex relationships among individuals, groups, organizations and society, and emphasizes motivation, communication, leadership and group relations. As it relates to the field of Organization Behavior (OB) successful students will be able to identify and discuss the following concepts: Definition of OB; Role in organization; Job performance and job satisfaction measures; Job-fit and organizational-fit; Biographical characteristics, job abilities and types of intelligence; Emotions and moods; Personality; Values, attitudes and behavior; Organization Structure and Culture (OL306)
Group and Team Dynamics This is a hands-on course designed to prepare students for the world of teams. Focus is to develop students’ understanding of team dynamics including team development, member roles, leadership, norm development, role of conflict and diversity in teams, delegation of authority, and team management. (OL310)
Introduction to Finance and Budgeting in Organizations This course is an introduction the financial systems, financial documents, and financial reporting that any mid-level organziational leader will need to understand. Students learn to create, use, and interpret financial statements and to use accounting information to make informed business decisions.  (OL340)
Organizational Leadership Promotes leadership development through the study of leadership theory and concepts and encourages the practical application of leadership at all levels in the organization. It includes examination of historical approaches to leadership and leadership theories that focuses on influential contemporary leadership perspectives such as Servant Leadership, Situational Leadership and Transformational Leadership. Through an examination of leadership theory and research, self-assessments and reflection, and application to the work environment, students create a personal leadership development plan. (OL344)
Leadership Ethics This course takes organizational leadership a step further and focuses on the ethical considerations inherent in leading and following others. It is designed to encourage socially responsible leadership and foster understanding of how to lead competently and professionally, and to prepare students to recognize and address responsibly the ethical dilemmas which they will face in any leadership position. The course also emphasizes consideration of global issues in terms of social responsibility for leaders. (OL350)
Special Topics in Organization Leadership Selected topics on organizational or leadership issues. The course may be repeated for credit with different topic. Offerings will be of variable credit from 1 to 3. Consent of OL advisor. (OL355)
Organizational Creativity, Innovation and High  Performance Examine the innovation and creativity necessary to lead an organization to thriving in today’s highly competitive, rapidly changing and dynamic global economy. This course will investigate organizations that operate in this environment shows that high levels of creativity and innovation are key factors in those that are the most successful. This course offers its participants the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to encourage creativity and innovation at different levels of an organization: at the individual level, within teams, and at the level of an organization’s systems and processes. Students will also examine the critical roles played by organizational culture and leadership in fostering an organization’s competitive edge (OL375)
Leadership, Diversity, Multiculturalism Explore diversity and multiculturalism in today’s organizations. The course will highlight in particular issues of race, social class, gender, and age in the workplace, and will address why leaders should foster multicultural environments. Emphasis will also be on learning to value differences, and best practices for creating diverse organization. (OL385)
Project Leadership Taking the lead on a project and seeing it through from start to finish is a highly desirable skill in today’s organizations. Project management might be re-designing a corporate training program or might be as extensive as leading an organization through major technological renovations. This course enables students to apply their knowledge of organizational systems, leadership, communication, negotiation and team-building as they demonstrate their abilities to successfully lead (or create a comprehensive plan to lead) a work project. This course is designed to showcase the students’ practical application of their course work in a real-world setting. (OL400)
Organizational Leadership Capstone The OL capstone course is designed to pull together the material presented in all other courses in the Organizational Leadership major. It combines and integrates elements of leadership, communication, finance, human resource development, and organizational behavior. The students utilize case study and experiential learning to determine an innovative organizational mission and vision. These set the framework to make strategic and ethical decisions related to the future of the organization and to develop supporting operational initiatives. The students operate in a self-directed mode, using team process concepts and project management techniques to prepare a final oral presentation on their findings and recommendations. Additionally, through a capstone paper, students will reflect on what they have learned in the OL program and the impact it will have on them as organizational leaders. The course goals demonstrate the graduating class has acquired the skills, knowledge and abilities to perform in the work world and life as successful alumni in Millikin’s proud tradition. (OL450)