Master's in Organizational Leadership and Learning

Inspire Your Inner Leader

We believe leadership matters more than ever in today’s complex and global environment. A crucial talent challenge facing organizations is finding the resourcefulness and innovation skills needed for success. More and more adaptability, problem-solving, creativity and cultivating trust are seen as keys to developing the next generation of leaders. With a Master of Arts in Education and Human Development in Organizational Leadership and Learning from the George Washington University (GW), you will participate in a collaborative learning community that aims to cultivate awareness of self and other, critical thinking, and reflection. The goal of the program is to “develop ethical, responsible and humanistic leaders with strong ‘learning’ orientation, capability to effectively lead change, and capacity to continuously develop themselves and others in their organizations and environments”. The Master’s in Organizational Leadership and Learning (OLL) is an innovative, academically rigorous skills-based graduate program that prepares the next generation of professionals for broad career opportunities in diverse work settings such as public and private businesses and nonprofit organizations. It offers a practical and hands-on curriculum that covers diverse aspects of leadership, preparing you to direct individuals, teams and organizations to maximize their development and performance, and inspire their success.


Why a GW Master’s in Organizational Leadership & Learning?

The OLL program aims to develop a new generation of leaders through:

  • Emphasis on Awareness: The program offers hands-on practice in diverse aspects of leadership. It focuses on a unique view of leadership and expands on your understanding of how to lead in the midst of change and complexity.
  • Applied and Innovative Curriculum:Further develop your leadership skills with a curriculum that focuses on practical, growth-oriented activities and topics that use readily applicable real-world examples.
  • Scholar-Practitioner Faculty:Learn from faculty members who are active and experienced working professionals with real-world insights into leading organizations. All faculty members have a doctoral degree and are members of reputable industry associations.
  • Diverse Student Body: Gain exposure to unique viewpoints and refine your critical analysis and communication skills with discussion forums and small group projects.

Master’s in Organizational Leadership Courses

GW’s Master’s in Organizational Leadership and Learning is a 30-credit master’s program and can be completed in as little as 2 years.


The program values a multi-disciplinary approach to leadership. Students will learn topics such as the foundations of human behavior, adult learning principles, group dynamics, research methods, diversity within organizations, organizational change, strategic change, leadership development, impact of globalization on societies and organization and assessing the impact of change efforts.



HOL 6700 Human Behavior and Learning in Organizations
HOL 6701 Adult Learning
HOL 6702 Organizational Change
HOL 6704 Leadership in Organizations
HOL 6709 Leadership Development
HOL 6721 Assessing the Impact of Organizational Change Using Qualitative and Quantitative Methods
HOL 6746 Work Groups and Teams in Organizations


In addition to the required courses, students will take 3 elective courses from a diverse set of topics. See below:

HOL 6703 Consulting Skills
HOL 6705 Strategic Change
HOL 6706 Current Issues in Organizational Leadership
HOL 6707 Organizational Learning HOL 6708 Global Leadership
HOL 6710 Globalization, Change and Learning
HOL 6725 Internship in Organizational Leadership and Learning
HOL 6743 Action Learning
HOL 6744 Meaningful Workplaces
HOL 6747 International and Multicultural Issues in Organizations
HOL 6101 Research and Independent Study* *

All electives are subject to a minimum enrollment mandated by GW. **Internship and research/independent study courses might be used as electives provided the subject matter of the work is relevant. For example, a research project in leadership could qualify for 3 elective credits.

Program Outcomes

Graduates of this organizational leadership and learning degree benefit from its unique focus on leadership, as well as a strong understanding of how to lead in a competitive marketplace. This interdisciplinary program also allows you to tailor learning to deliver specific skills, including:

  • An understanding of organizational problems and innovative strategies to solve them
  • Practical methods for leading effective group processes, adult learning, organizational diagnosis and change
  • Effective use of critical thinking and reflection in problem solving
  • Enabling social responsibility and authenticity in your leadership strategy and your organization

Program Faculty

Visiting Assistant Professor
Associate Professor
(202) 994-8649
Career Outlook

Career Outlook

A Master of Arts in Education & Human Development in Organizational Leadership & Learning from the George Washington University (GW) builds your skills in leadership, group processes, adult learning, organizational diagnosis and consulting strategies to help you enter or advance your career in organizations in different sectors.

These roles include some of the most dynamic positions in business today. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Services reports that training and development managers earned a median annual salary of $111,340 in 2018, with jobs in the field expected to grow 8% by 2028.1 Management analysts had a 2012 median pay of $83,610 per year, with job opportunities expected by grow 14% by 2028.2 Lastly, general and operation managers earn a median salary of 104,980, with job opportunities expected to grow 6%.3


Current Student and Alumni Workplaces

  • Corporate recruiting and Human Resources
  • Internal and external management consulting and analysis
  • Knowledge management
  • Leadership coaching and development
  • Learning or training departments
  • Organizational development
  • Performance improvement
  • Strategic change and strategic planning
  • Talent management
  • Consulting
  • Amazon
  • American Institute of Architecture Students
  • AstraZeneca
  • Atlanta Journal-Constitution
  • Deloitte
  • Google
  • Jacobsen Daniels
  • KIPP Foundation
  • Land Trust Alliance
  • Logic 20/20 Inc.
  • PWC
  • Science Systems and Applications
  • Sustainable Capital Advisors
  • Starbucks
  • The Intern Group
  • University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC)
  • University of Texas A&M
  • U.S. Department of State
  • U.S. Army
  • U.S. Coast Guard


1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2018-19 Edition, on the Internet at

2 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2018-19 Edition, on the Internet at

3 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2018-19 Edition, on the Internet at


Karma Israelsen

Why did you choose the Organizational Leadership and Learning program at GW?

The reputation of the university, the strength of the program and faculty, and the fully online program.

Provide a specific example of how you are applying the coursework to your career.

I apply the lessons from the program on a daily basis, specifically about building knowledge and learning and about building a strong organizational culture.

Tell us about a time that a GW faculty member provided support to guide your experience.

Dr. Forte, Dr. Miller, Dr. Khilji, and Dr. Matthews continue to provide guidance and support! They are always available and willing to talk or provide a perspective.

How has the program helped you to advance your career?

I had a strong professional background prior to joining the program, but having the MA credential definitely gives me more access to opportunities both professionally and personally.

What was one of the most valuable experiences you had during the program?

It was wonderful to connect with peers, colleagues, and other students.  It's also been fantastic to meet alumni across the country and globally.


Kevin Jelani

Why did you choose the Organizational Leadership and Learning program at GW?

I chose the Organizational Leadership and Learning program at GW for the simple fact that we lack competent leaders in our workforce. 

Provide a specific example of how you are applying the coursework to your career.

Learning about and becoming aware and cognizant of what it takes to communicate and lead effectively, has made me a better leader. I have become more understanding and patient with my colleagues. 

Tell us about a time that a GW faculty member provided support to guide your experience.

I appreciate Dr. Khilji’s guidance and communication style in addressing some of my school dilemmas. 

How has the program helped you to advance your career?

I have become respectful and appreciative of diversity in my workplace.




  • Program Entry: Fall, Spring & Summer (online); Fall (Main campus)
  • Prerequisites: Bachelors Degree
  • Campus: Main Campus, Online

Application Requirements

  • Online Application
  • Resume
  • Statement of Purpose
  • 2 Letters of Recommendation
  • Transcripts (unofficial)
  • Application Fee

*Additional application requirements may exist for international applicants
For more information on any of these requirements, please visit our Admissions FAQ page.

We encourage you to submit your application as early as possible.  For in-person applicants, apply by January 15, 2021 for the best chance of admission. The second round deadline for Summer and Fall 2021 enrollment is March 15, 2021.

Transformation Begins Here

Learn more about the MA in Organizational Leadership and Learning program located on campus (202-994-9283) or online (202-994-9283) and

In the News

Dr. Shaista Khilji presented a research paper entitled, "Reinforcing gender, racial and class inequalities within organizations: A study of individual experiences in the US," at the European Group of Organizational Studies Annual Conference.

Dr. Shaista E. Khilji has been awarded a grant from the GW University Seminar Fund for 2020-2021. She, along with Dr. Anne Marie O-Brien and Dr. Sandra Davis from GW's School of Nursing, will be focusing on "Addressing Income Inequality and Its Growing Threat to Our Nation and The World."

GSEHD student Luqman Adeniyi(master's, Organizational Leadership and Learning) published an article on entitled, "Racism in America: Reflecting on my role as a journalist in this moment." Mr. Adeniyi is an Associate Producer at CNN, and he says, "Tying this back to OLL, it’s the concept of public reflection, focus on vulnerability, psychological safety and transformative learning that inspired me to share my perspective with a wide audience.

Four faculty in the School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) who are graduates of the Master Teacher Leadership Development Program, along with Dr. Ellen Goldman and a staff member in SMHS, published "The process of curricular integration and its effects on anatomical knowledge retention" in Clinical Anatomy. The article provides faculty perspectives on the revision of the MD Program and shows a significant increase in anatomy knowledge retention for the new vs. old curriculum.

Dr. Ellen Goldman was re-appointed as a Senior Consortium Research Fellow supporting the Fort Leavenworth Research Unit of the U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral Sciences and Social Sciences.

For more information, please request information or contact our admission office at or 202-994-9283.