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    The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
  Jul 22, 2024
2022-2023 Student Handbook and Academic Catalog 
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2022-2023 Student Handbook and Academic Catalog [Archived Catalog]

MA Organizational Leadership


Program Overview

The MA Organizational Leadership program is designed for working adults interested in making a difference in organizations through ethical leadership, informed by an evidence-based psychological perspective. The curriculum offers the knowledge and skills drawn from psychological research and is aligned with an established contemporary taxonomy of leadership competencies based on social psychological theories. Graduates are prepared to excel as ethical leaders and managers, be sensitive to and understand diverse populations, and contribute to education, research, and policy-making in a variety of organizational environments.

The MA Organizational Leadership is a 40 credit hour program, consisting of a core of 34 credits, including capstone, and 6 credits of an emphasis area. To ensure graduates are well prepared for present and future leadership roles and demands, this degree program offers the opportunity to build knowledge and skills through the completion of a comprehensive core of courses as well as having the ability to deepen an area of interest through the selection of courses from electives in general or industrial/organizational psychology. This program prepares students for advancement into PhD programs in Organizational Leadership or Business Psychology. 

Program Philosophy

This program examines field of psychology from an organizational leadership perspective.  It is intended to develop professionals who can apply knowledge about principles of psychology and leadership to work more effectively with specific populations. The program includes coursework in leadership, research, ethics, interpersonal dynamics, and a variety of electives to support each student’s unique career goals-preparing graduates to apply the principles of psychology and leadership theory in a broad range of settings, to more effectively lead individuals and organizations to success.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program students will be able to:

Professional Practice

  • Demonstrate oral and written communication that is grammatically correct, logical, succinct, and of publishable quality and non-defensive, learning oriented responses to  constructive feedback.


  • Demonstrate knowledge of the role of individual differences in the workplace and the ability to establish and benefit from collaborative professional relationships, regardless of differences in background, work roles, and points of view.

Professional Behavior

  • Demonstrate personal integrity and ethical behavior in their leadership practice through leadership decision-making based on ethical considerations and guidelines.
  • Demonstrate professional behavior through constructive and appropriate interactions with others.


  • Apply the principles of social science research to the field of organizational leadership.
  • Demonstrate comprehension of data and information presented in statistical reports and social science research articles.
  • Critically review leadership scholarship including probing for more information, identifying logic flaws, and creating alternative solutions.

Admission Requirements

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Application to The Chicago School of Professional Psychology’s MA Organizational Leadership program is open to any person who has earned a bachelor degree from a regionally accredited institution and who meets other entrance requirements. Applicants will be judged on their overall ability to do graduate work. Factors that are considered in admission include GPA from undergraduate schools. Generally, an undergraduate GPA of a 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale is required for admission. Applicants must submit official transcripts from all schools where a degree was earned. It is recommended that transcripts are submitted from all schools where credit was received to enhance their applications. Additional factors that are considering in admission include the following:

  • Application
  • Application Fee ($50)
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Essay
    • How will your personal and professional accomplishments, academic background, and experience contribute to your success in this Program?
    • How will the successful completion of this Program support your professional career goals?

Applicant Notification

The Chicago School reviews applications on a rolling basis. Once review begins, complete applications will be considered by the Admission Committee and applicants will be notified regarding the admission decision. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology does not share information or provide any feedback regarding admission decisions.

If a student is offered admission and in order to secure a place in the incoming class, a non-refundable tuition deposit of $250 will be required by the deposit deadline indicated in the offer of admission. The non-refundable deposit will be applied in full toward the student’s tuition upon enrollment.

Degree Completion Requirements

  • Successful completion of 40 credit hours of coursework
  • Successful completion of Capstone Project


The following policies are located under Academic Policies and Procedures : Academic Calendar, Admissions Requirements, Attendance, Satisfactory Academic Progress, Service Learning, and Transfer Credit/Course Waiver. Click the link above for detailed information.

Ethical Guidelines

Students are expected to engage in all graduate work, including but not limited to course work, research, and scholarship, with a high degree of integrity and professionalism. It is essential that students approach professional working relationships, collegial relationships, and client/partner-contact with respect. Further, students are expected to adhere to the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct as well as the “evolving universal code of ethics” (Gauthier, 2005).  Students who choose to seek employment in the field of psychology shall not work beyond their level of competence and shall not use titles governed by credentialing statutes and/or regulations unless authorized by the relevant jurisdictional authority. Students who fail to comply with ethical and professional behavior guidelines are subject to department remediation and/or referral to the Student Affairs Committee for disciplinary action and possible dismissal. 

Capstone Project

The MA Organizational Leadership program culminates in a capstone project that is a critical analysis of a best-selling popular management non-fiction book selected from the list provided.  This analysis intends to identify the evidence-based theories that would support the assertions made by the author.  Based on theory and its supporting literature, the student will identify strengths and shortcomings of the author’s approach, explaining (based on theory) why the approach would succeed or fail, and under what conditions.  This project focuses on developing critical thinking, expanding awareness of diversity and ethics, applying theory to practice, and developing information literacy skills.

Additionally, this capstone project forms the summative assessment of the program, and is designed to satisfy the requirements of the competencies of the MA Organizational Leadership program for a culminating experience.

The Curriculum

Required Core: 34 credit hours

Electives: 6 credit hours

Program Total

M.A. Organizational Leadership: 40 credit hours


Students choose 6 credit hours of coursework in the MA Industrial and Organizational Psychology  or MA Psychology  program.

Earning a Certificate in Organizational Leadership

A student in the MA Organizational Leadership program may earn a Certificate in Organizational Leadership following the successful completion of required coursework and specific program requirements. At the beginning of the semester in which a student expects to be eligible for the certificate, they may submit the Petition for Degree Conferral to the Office of the Registrar. The petition is a request to conduct an audit to determine eligibility for the certificate and, is required for conferral. Eligibility guidelines for the certificate are contained in the catalog under which the student was admitted.

The Specific requirements are as follows:

  • Financial/Financial Aid Good Standing.
  • Academic Good Standing at the time the requirements for the certificate were completed.
  • Cumulative GPA for the coursework required for the certificate must meet the graduation requirements of the certificate.
  • Successful completion of all certificate coursework as identified on the program of study page.
  • The Petition for Degree Conferral must be submitted within 1 year from the date the final certificate requirement was completed.
  • All SAC referrals for behavioral misconduct or issues of professional comportment must be deemed as fully remediated by the SAC committee before the certificate can be conferred.

The Curriculum

Required Core: 3 credit hours

Elective Courses: 6-7* credit hours

Program Total: 9-10* credit hours

*Students who choose IO519 Statistics and Lab as an elective will complete 7 total credit hours of electives, resulting in 10 credit hours total.