Prospective Students: Master of Leadership Development


Join us on Tuesday, April 22 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. to sample the first half of a leadership development graduate class. Contact Ed Weckerly at or call 610-725-5377 for more information.


aacsb_seal  This degree helps students develop leadership potential in themselves and in others. The program considers leadership across the lifespan, from early career through retirement including parenting and community service as well as leadership in the corporate realm. The program employs a multidisciplinary approach stressing social responsibility, ethics, and the value of the individual. Instruction develops real-world skills to foster positive change in individuals, groups, organizations, and community.

The Master of Leadership Development degree is accredited by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the highest ranking a business school program can receive.

Benefits to Students
The Master of Leadership Development degree provides the competencies and actionable behaviors that can be readily applied in their professional and personal lives. Cutting edge information on leadership development is shared in an interactive, collaborative learning environment. The program's Lifespan Perspective on authentic transformational leadership development is reinforced through strong bonds formed with leadership practitioners, faculty and students, Penn State leadership events, and Penn State's Alumni Association.

Skill sets targeted for development include:

  • Character strengths and virtues, using the tools of the Gallup Organization;
  • Ethical and moral reasoning;
  • Self-awareness and emotional intelligence;
  • Envisioning and strategic thinking;
  • Inspirational communication;
  • Innovation, creativity, and change;
  • Team building and diversity leadership, consistent with the Diversity Leadership Academy;
  • Development of the self and others.

Benefits to organizations
The Master of Leadership Development degree provides the organizations sponsoring our students with the potential benefits of transformational leadership by:

  • Aligning leadership development with performance metrics and drivers
  • Fostering adaptability and responsiveness to changes in markets necessary for productivity and profitability
  • Building an image of confidence, mission orientation, and commitment to people
  • Developing associates who attract new personnel of higher quality
  • Broadening collective skill sets for generating more creative solutions to problems
  • Challenging and develops people more fully, both professionally and personally
  • Providing the comprehensive resources of Penn State University and its corporate partners

Listen to a podcast of Leadership Across the Lifespan with Dr. John Sosik, professor of management and organization, discussing the strengths and characteristics leaders develop to create and sustain the highest levels of performance.

Read an interview with Dr. John Sosik in the March 2010 edition of the International Leadership Association Newsletter pages 5-12.

Admissions requirements and process
Applicants should

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university. (The GMAT is not required.)
  • Have at least 3 years of professional work experience.
  • Submit all necessary forms, documentation, and fees.
  • See the MLD Admissions Page for more information.

Degree requirements
The MLD requires 36-credit hours of course work in an interdisciplinary program blending social and behavioral sciences with ethical studies. Credit may be given for similar courses taken at other institutions. The curriculum includes:

  • 12 credits in Leadership Cornerstones
  • 9 credits in Leadership Competencies
  • 12 credits in Leadership Contexts
  • 3 credits in the Leadership Capstone course

The Master of Leadership Development degree offers courses in 7 week sessions during the evening and on Saturdays.

The management faculty represents a mix of nationally and internationally recognized academic scholars and business professionals. The full-time professors all hold doctoral degrees and have professional experience in corporations, non-profits, or as entrepreneurs. Adjunct professors from corporate and entrepreneurial ventures supplement fundamental academic theories with current marketplace experience.

The MLD program attracts students from the corporate, non-profit, governmental, health, educational, and community sectors who bring varied voices and ways of knowing to the classroom.

"The core competency areas your program are in line with the competency areas we believe we need to instill in our leaders: understanding their level of emotional intelligence; championing innovation; developing the knowledge, skills, and abilities of their associates; role modeling ethical behavior; envisioning and articulating personal and organizational visions; and promoting change in the community..."

                           -- John Hoguet, SPHR, Director of Workforce Development, SunGardSCT

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