The Master of Arts (MA) in Leadership focuses on the challenges facing leaders in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, with an emphasis on the interaction between, and interdependency of, these spheres. Successful completion of the MA in Leadership degree involves a comprehensive program of theoretical study backed by significant practical experience and analysis. Participants will also undertake a formal self-assessment process to gain insight into their own strengths and weaknesses and their ultimate leadership potential.
Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Studies
Sean Lyons (303 Macdonald Hall, Ext. 58500)
Graduate Program Coordinator
Bruce McAdams (204 Macdonald Stewart Hall, Ext. 56597)
Graduate Program Assistant Team
This list may include Regular Graduate Faculty, Associated Graduate Faculty and/or Graduate Faculty from other universities.
MBA, PhD York - Associate Professor
BA Concordia, MA Lakehead, PhD Windsor - Professor
B.Sc., MBA British Columbia, PhD Waterloo, CPA, CA - Associate Professor
B.Sc. Moratuwa (Sri Lanka), PhD Western Sydney (Australia), CPA, CMA - Associate Professor
BA McMaster, MIR Toronto, PhD York - Associate Professor
BPA Windsor, MA, PhD Ottawa - Professor and Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies), Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics
B.Comm. MBA McMaster, PhD Toronto - Professor and Associate Dean (Academic), Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics
B.Sc. Waterloo, MBA Ottawa, PhD Carleton - Dean, Maine School of Business, University of Maine
Associated Graduate Faculty
M.Sc. Utrecht, MBA Derby, PhD Ramon Llull, CPA, CMA - Associate Professor and Chair
B.Sc. Toronto, MBA McMaster, CPA, CA, CFA - Associate Professor
M.Phil. Quaird-i-Azam (Pakistan), MA, PhD Nagoya (Japan) - Acting Assistant Program Head of Business, University of Guelph Humber
Associated Graduate Faculty
BA, M.A.Sc., PhD Waterloo - Associate Professor
Minimum admission requirements are:
- A four year undergraduate degree or its equivalent (from a recognized university or college) with an average of at least a “B-“ (70-72%) in the last two years of study and having completed at least three years of relevant work experience
- Alternate admission may be offered to applicants with a three-year General degree, diploma and/or an acceptable professional designation and having completed at least five years of relevant work experience.
Meeting the minimum criteria for admission does not guarantee acceptance into the program. Limitations of funds, space, facilities or personnel may make it necessary for the University, at its discretion, to refuse admission to an otherwise qualified applicant.
Upon successful completion of the Master of Arts (MA) in Leadership program, graduates will have the capacity to:
- Develop a strong sense of self-awareness as a leader and apply evidence-based strategies in developing both themselves and others.
- Interpret and integrate complex information from a variety of diverse sources when making leadership decisions.
- Understand the importance of being a role model in the workplace and apply key leadership principles in order to make ethical decisions and influence others.
- Communicate appropriately using plain language and knowledge mobilization principles to a variety of stakeholders, both orally and in writing.
- Develop and manage a team using evidence-based approaches to effectively collaborate and work with others.
The MA in Leadership program is designed to enable mid-career professionals to complete a graduate degree without interrupting their careers. Online courses are combined with on-site residential periods in Guelph and the completion of either a major research project or two additional courses.
On average participants allot 20 to 25 hours per week to study and participate in the program. This is an approximate number of hours and may vary depending on personal learning style. Participants normally complete the MA Leadership program within 18-24 months. Normally, course modules are eight weeks in length and are completed in a pre-determined sequence, but some variations exist. Students may choose one of the following two options:
Course Work and Major Research Project
Students must complete six online courses (3.0 credits), two residency courses (1.0 credit) and the major research project (1.0 credit). The project requires a literature review, data collection, and data analysis, which culminates in a major research project.
Students must complete six online courses (3.0 credits), two residency courses (1.0 credit) and two additional online courses (1.0 credit).
The course will enhance participants' interpersonal competency, as well as their knowledge and understanding of the theory and research underlying the impact of team management and collaboration on the organization.
This course traces the development of the concept of leadership. Through the interplay of theory and practical application, participants will gain a deeper appreciation for the requirements, responsibilities, and consequences of effective leadership.
This course studies the role of leadership in the management of change within an organization and the changes required of management. The course examines the development of trust, the building of organizational loyalty, and motivation and inspiring of high performance teams.
As a research-intensive course in the MA in Leadership program, this course examines the conceptual and practical dimensions of strategic leadership and management in a variety of organizational, external and individual contexts using a selection of readings, discussions, case analyses and a final paper.
The role of the leader in decision-making is explored through the study of the rational model for decision-making, human biases, creativity, and risk and uncertainty in decision-making. The course will also examine ethical issues and group decision-making.
This course will enhance the leader's ability to navigate the complexity of organizational life and contribute to building a more sustainable society by developing skills in reflective practice. Reflective practice is divided into four areas that stretch over eight modules: Rethinking, Relating, Responding and Reinventing.
The course will explore both quantitative and qualitative techniques used in the analysis of research results from a variety of sources (surveys, government statistics, in-depth interviews, focus groups and program evaluation results). Case studies will be used to demonstrate the application of multiple research methods.
Issues in the use and application of ethical standards by leaders are explored through examples from history, current events, novels, films and television. Relevant theory is applied to leadership examples to help students develop an ethical framework for the exercise of leadership skills.
Leadership in the senior living sector requires unique skills, competencies and practices. The purpose of this course is to explore leadership theories and concepts in this context. Understanding the rights and choices of seniors, the future of the aging population, care and support services available and legislative requirements is essential to individuals interested in pursuing career growth in senior living.
This course reviews a variety of theories and models that help to explain the behavioural underpinnings that influence and shape management and leadership processes within organizations. Examples from history and current events are explored to illustrate theory.
This course will provide students with an opportunity to design developmental plans for direct reports, assess their coaching skills, and develop their coaching skills to support the development of others.
Using the "Basis of Competence" model, this course examines personal skills in four areas: Managing Self, Communicating, Managing People and Tasks, and Mobilizing Innovation and Change. The skills required to make smooth transitions from one job to another in a dynamic workplace will be explored.
This course involves a directed research project leading to a referenced, professional report on a leadership problem or issue.
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