M.S. in Leadership Education

Application Deadline for Fall 2024 is December 15, 2023

The priority deadline is December 15, 2023; applications submitted after that date may be considered if space is available.

Today's organizations and communities require dynamic and inclusive leadership ready to address complex challenges. Learn to develop, train, teach, and evaluate leadership for modern society.

An M.S. degree in Leadership Education immerses students in three specific areas, 1) leadership scholarship, 2) teaching & outreach, and 3) research methods & program evaluation.

  1. Leadership scholarship refers to understanding the field of leadership from an evidence-based perspective, which includes leadership models & theories, leadership development & training, and leadership from several perspectives (e.g. motivation, power & influence, cultural diversity, etc.)
  2. Teaching & outreach refers to developing skills necessary to effectively convey information to others about leadership. For many of our students, this means that they develop skills in teaching because they will be teaching leadership or will be engaged in providing professional development. This may also include developing skills for developing programming, effective writing, teaching online, facilitation, etc.
  3. Research methods & program evaluation refers to developing the skills necessary to conduct research or evaluate programs related to leadership. This aspect of our program explores how we know what we know about leadership, and how we effectively contribute to that knowledge through evidence-based processes.

Candidates for the degree must possess a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. The degree may be earned by successfully completing a minimum of 30 credit hours beyond the bachelor's degree.

The program welcomes applicants from a variety of disciplines and fields. Programs are planned to meet individual student background experiences and desired graduate program goals. Students may choose a specialization within the M.S. program (though it is not required or expected).

Depending on your interests, the master's program will give you the opportunity to:

  • Investigate the foundations and application in Leadership, teaching and learning
  • Specialize in a specific area of leadership education
  • Use methods of research and scholarship to examine one topic closely (either in a thesis or individual project)
  • Build skills in your chosen area of leadership, teaching and extension
  • Apply leadership knowledge gained in a variety of settings, such as education, agribusiness, non-profit, community and government organizations, and agencies

Career Pathways

A variety of career pathways exist for this degree program, including training and development, talent development, leadership development, extension education, postsecondary teaching, and community development.

Teaching and Extension Education Specialization

The Teaching and Extension Education specialization prepares students for careers in community college or university teaching, public school teaching (additional certifications and courses may be required), outreach programs and Extension. The specialization is valuable for students planning teaching careers, as well as for individuals providing educational services. Teaching and extension courses focus on teaching strategies, program planning, adult education, innovation, and use of technology in learning.

To complete the specialization, students must complete ALEC 805:  Advanced Teaching Strategies and two elective courses from the following list:

  • ALEC 800:  Overview of Program Planning
  • ALEC 802:  Developing Leadership Capacity in Organizations and Communities (prerequisite of ALEC 801:  Theoretical Foundations of Leadership)
  • ALEC 809:  Diffusion of Innovations:  Through and Extension Context
  • ALEC 811:  Principles of Adult Education
  • ALEC 830:  Introduction to the Development of Distance Education Courses


Dr. Lindsay Hastings
ALEC Graduate Chair
Clifton Professor in Mentoring Research
Research Director, NHRI Leadership Research 
(402) 472-8739

ALEC Graduate Support Staff:

Jennifer Greenlee
Office Associate, CEOE
(402) 472-2808

Start Your Future Now

ALEC M.S. Degree Options & Course Requirements ALEC Graduate Course Rotation Cycle ALEC Graduate Student Handbook ALEC M.S. Application Requirements Graduate Course Catalog ALEC Graduate Funding and Assistantships
How to Apply