Aug 09, 2022  
2019-2020 Graziadio Academic Catalog 
2019-2020 Graziadio Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Online Master of Science in Management and Leadership

The Master of Science in Management and Leadership (MSML) degree provides a graduate academic learning experience designed to develop managerial and leadership skills within a values-centered framework. The degree program provides an opportunity for functional and technical specialists to acquire knowledge and develop competencies to allow for successful transition to effective front-line supervisors, functional managers, and team leaders in 21st century organizations. In addition to understanding and applying contemporary management and leadership theories, students also will create a personal development plan, receive individual leadership coaching, complete a service-leadership project in the community, and undertake an applied consulting project in a client organization.

Four learning objectives are central to the MSML curriculum:

  • Increase self-awareness and personal understanding.
  • Develop strong working knowledge of managerial and leadership capabilities in a values-centered framework.
  • Develop competency in managing people and teams within public and private organizations.
  • Increase multicultural competencies.

This 36-unit program, which may be completed in as few as three trimesters, utilizes a leadership and systems theory orientation to the expansion of management and leadership capacities. Concepts from organization theory and the behavioral sciences-such as enhanced self-awareness, group dynamics, organization and work design, and culture-provide the foundation for the development of advanced knowledge and skills, including improved managerial and leadership influence and impact and multicultural competency. Emphasis is placed on the application of these concepts to current issues facing organizational managers, such as increasing influence, alignment, conflict management, systems thinking, team, productivity improvement, and overall organizational performance.

Immersion Experience

The program has two residency immersions where students will come together in-person for an integrative learning experience. The first immersion is a weekend workshop comprised of two 1-unit courses (BSCI 650  and OTMT 650 ) that helps socialize incoming students to our unique collaborative learning environment. Through the experiential nature of the workshops students learn how to build cohesive learning teams and explore the dynamics of interpersonal communication, personal ethics and values, and team development. A collaborative learning environment is formed among the students as they complete strategic learning contracts and form anchor groups. In the second immersion, systems learning is used to revisit the learning plans and implement the Education-to-Community (E2C) Consultative Capstone Project.


Students are responsible for all synchronous or asynchronous instruction.  Live (synchronous) sessions are required instructional elements of every online class, and real-time attendance and engagement is expected of students on a consistent basis. To ensure the fulfillment of all course objectives and deliverables, faculty may require attendance at certain live sessions without exception. In cases where an absence from a session has been approved by the instructor, the student will be assigned work to demonstrate mastery of the required content. Failure to complete this work will impact a student’s grade.

Standards and Measurements of Achievement for MSML Students

Satisfactory completion of 36 units of course work is necessary for graduation. While it is expected that course work will be completed by the fourth trimester, students may take a more flexible schedule. Degree work in the MSML program must be completed within three calendar years from the date on which the student begins work at Pepperdine University. In rare cases, the associate dean may grant a limited extension of time to complete the degree. Standards of achievement and methods of assessing student performance in each course are delineated in each course syllabus at the outset of the academic term. Through the duration of the MSML Program, a minimum overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 is required to maintain satisfactory academic standing. Each course in the MSML curriculum must be passed with a grade of “C-” or better. A course in which a grade lower than “C-” was earned must be retaken and completed with a passing grade. A course may only be repeated once, and in all cases, both grades will remain on the student’s transcript and be factored into the cumulative GPA.

Student academic performance is monitored by the Academic Program Office at the end of each term, and any student falling below the 3.0 GPA minimum is subject to academic probation. Students placed on academic probation will be notified in writing and informed of the conditions applicable to the probationary status. Among these conditions is a reduction in academic unit load, limiting enrollment to four (4) units of MSML coursework per trimester for the duration of the probationary period. The probationary status will not be cleared until the student has reached the minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.  

Students who fail to regain good standing within the time frame specified in the initial notification of probation will be subject to dismissal from the MSML Program. Other circumstances that may lead to dismissal include:

  • Cumulative GPA falling below 3.0 at any point in the Program
  • Earning any grade lower than a “B” while on academic probation
  • Earning a grade lower than a “B-” in more than two courses within the Program
  • Earning a grade lower than “D” in any course

In addition, a student may be counseled to withdraw or be dismissed from the program for reasons beyond those related to academic achievement. This may occur in cases where the program faculty have determined that a student’s conduct, disposition, and/or potential are incompatible with the values and objectives of the program.

Access to On-Ground Courses

Online students who wish to enroll in an on-ground course may submit a request for consideration on a space-available basis. Prior to the formal submission of the request, students should consult with their advisor to understand the potential impact of taking the desired on-ground course on their overall program completion plan and timeline. Requests are individually reviewed by the Program Office, and approval is not guaranteed. 

Change in Program Modality

Students are generally expected to complete their program coursework in the same modality they had chosen upon program entrance. Under compelling and verifiable circumstances, a student may formally petition for a permanent change in program modality (i.e., from online to on-ground). Petitions should be directed to the Program Office, detailing the nature of the circumstances and providing relevant documentation. 

Pathways to MSML

Students who have completed the Bachelor of Science in Management program and who meet the eligibility criteria outlined below may waive up to 5 units of MSML coursework and complete the MSML program with as few as 31 units. To be considered eligible, students must submit an application for the Pathways to MSML and have completed the BSM Program with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.

Students who earned a grade of “B” or higher in the equivalent BSM course would be able to waive up to 5 units of MSML coursework as follows:

An expedited path to the MSML degree is also available to MBA students or graduates. Up to 5 units of MSML coursework may be waived for students who earned a grade of “B” or higher in the following FEMBA course:

Students may elect to waive an additional 12 units from the elective requirements if the Leadership and Managing Organizational Change concentration is selected.