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Master of Arts in Human
Resource Management (MAHRM),
Organizational Leadership



230K+ Alumni Worldwide


The Master of Arts in Human Resource Management Program offers an innovative, multidisciplinary approach to the growing fields of human resource management and organizational change in the 21st century. The program uses case studies, experiential learning opportunities, and best practices to build the critical skills and knowledge of professionals seeking senior management positions or consultancy to organization leadership on human resource management and organizational change.

The Organizational Leadership specialization prepares professionals to become proactive, problem-solving, change-oriented leaders in dynamic organizations. The instruction, experiential exercises, and capstone thesis are for those desiring to understand and apply the technical and reflective processes that accompany leadership opportunities in the modern workplace — whether business or nonprofit, domestic or international.

Admission Requirements

A conferred bachelor’s degree or a master’s or doctoral degree from a regionally or nationally accredited academic institution.

Course Details

Required Courses

For the Master of Arts in Human Resource Management degree with a specialization in Organizational Leadership, you must complete 11 foundational courses and four specialization courses.

Foundation Courses

Course Name

A comprehensive management/practitioner-level overview and appraisal of current practices, trends, and applied theory in the era of strategic alignment between employees, jobs, systems, technology, policies, procedures, training, and organizational development. Students will evaluate and analyze theory as it relates to practical application in the workplace.

A comprehensive analysis of the laws and regulations, both federal and state, that impact human resources management. The course emphasizes equal employment opportunity affirmative action, health and safety, privacy of information and methods of liability prevention in employment matters. Integrated into the course are aspects of ethical considerations as related to Human Resources Management, including employer use of power, organizational business practices, and safety concerns.

A comparison and evaluation of planning, organizing, directing and monitoring of human resources planning processes, including recruiting, selecting, placing and integrating individuals within organizations. A key aspect of the course is the selection process (testing and assessment of skills and traits that influence work performance), employee orientation and integration (employee development and career planning), and aspects of performance management. The course also covers current trends in employee outsourcing.

Employee development is the responsibility of the line manager, the human resources professional, and the employee. This course provides essential managerial-level comprehension of training theory and its practical applications in the business and management environment. Students learn the functions and duties of training: trainer/developer, the identification and assessment of training needs, program design and development, selection of delivery methods and means of instruction, the implementation of training programs, and evaluation. The course integrates training and development, organizational development and career development, critical components of Human Resource Development.

This course provides an overview of the latest technology as it applies to the human resources function and its impact of human resource management administration and organizational development. The course also integrates and assesses fundamental aspects of wage, salary, benefit administration, and employee rewards and incentives as they are becoming increasingly supported by automated systems.

The course provides students with both the day-to-day realm of common and complex issues related to human behavior in the workplace as it relates to employee relations, and an examination of relationships among unions, workers, management and the government. The course assesses legal restraints (i.e., negotiation, contract administration, decertification) and preparations and techniques for dealing with negotiations, strikes, and lock outs, as well as grievance handling and arbitration.

An in-depth review of current organizational behavior issues in the areas of workforce planning and performance management is covered as it relates to employee diversity. Using case studies, the course provides an integrated perspective of theory and practical aspects of interpersonal and group communication, organizational structures and system, and employee performance in the diverse workplace.

The course overviews how, why, and when to integrate the behavioral sciences with human resource management principles to increase individual and organizational effectiveness. Students will analyze, evaluate, and design relevant theories as they relate to practical application in the workplace.

PrerequisiteODV 600

This course examines and assesses how technology can best be integrated into and utilized in the workplace to maximize human performance. Implications for information management and organizational communication are investigated and classified. A key aspect is how the two components are impacted by organizational communication. It examines current trends in enterprise-wide technology solutions, specifically as they relate to HRM and OD, implementation of technology, productivity as it relates to use and misuse, and how it facilitates change in human performance and organizational growth.

This course is focused on developing a student’s research skills in preparation for the HRM670 Capstone Thesis Project. Students will be guided through research of peer-reviewed journal articles and research methodologies as they relate to the field of Human Resource Management and Organizational Development. Faculty will guide students through written review of research and current practices in preparation for the HRM670 Capstone Thesis Project.

PrerequisiteHRM 669 and Must complete at least 7 core courses.

The project course consists of a Master’s Thesis Project in the area of HRM or ODV. Students work under the guidance of an assigned faculty member. Students clarify research topics and identify data sources in preparation for the project. Students gather data and present their research in both written and oral form to faculty and classmates. This course lasts two months and encompasses integrating critical components and learning experience into a deliverable that meets academic guidelines for program completion and may be applicable to the workplace to build a student’s portfolio. Grading is H, S, or U only. Course is eligible for an In Progress (IP) grade.

Specialization Courses

Course Name

The formation and development of groups through effective leadership is the focus of this course. Team communication styles and roles within teams are examined. Strategies that foster creativity in groups are discussed. The impact of technology on teams and communication styles is evaluated. Students learn experientially about groups and teams and the impact of diverse ethical perspectives by participating in group activities and observing leadership in small groups.

Examination of emerging forms of leadership, influence and power, chaos and collaboration. The course will analyze multiple organizations within the private and public sectors, and will draw upon diverse perspectives, ethical considerations and applied approaches. Participate in experiential approaches to learning leadership skills which may include the classroom as a temporary organization to be examined in real time.

Course topics will focus on the dynamics of change, organizational redesign, and the essential skills necessary for leaders to initiate corporate and organizational transformations. Resistance and acceptance of change initiatives, including the impact of organizational culture will be examined. Students will strengthen their leadership skills and strategies in order to initiate and implement change through problem-solving experiences across a broad range of organizational contexts.

Integration of the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to design, conduct, and evaluate effective conflict resolution and negotiation practices. Course topics include interpersonal and intra-group conflict resolution; persuasion, problem solving techniques and decision-making in conflict resolution; overcoming bias, anger, and retaliation. Students will develop leadership and dialogue skills used to navigate conflict situations, and begin to detect conflicts as potential clues of organizational challenges.

Learning Outcomes

In addition to the academic outcomes for all Master of Arts in Human Resource Management graduates, students completing the Organizational Leadership specialization will learn to:

  • Distinguish between multiple approaches to leadership and innovation while confronting complex organizational issues
  • Interpret group dynamics and engage in systems thinking to develop organizations capable of innovation, adaptation, and orchestrating conflict
  • Evaluate ethical issues and aid organizational members in creating an ethical culture that supports operating in diverse, uncertain, and unpredictable environments
  • Distinguish between authority, power, and leadership functions, and employ frameworks that serve organizational goals
Program Disclosure

Successful completion and attainment of National University degrees do not lead to automatic or immediate licensure, employment, or certification in any state/country. The University cannot guarantee that any professional organization or business will accept a graduate’s application to sit for any certification, licensure, or related exam for the purpose of professional certification.

Program availability varies by state. Many disciplines, professions, and jobs require disclosure of an individual’s criminal history, and a variety of states require background checks to apply to, or be eligible for, certain certificates, registrations, and licenses. Existence of a criminal history may also subject an individual to denial of an initial application for a certificate, registration, or license and/or result in the revocation or suspension of an existing certificate, registration, or license. Requirements can vary by state, occupation, and/or licensing authority.

NU graduates will be subject to additional requirements on a program, certification/licensure, employment, and state-by-state basis that can include one or more of the following items: internships, practicum experience, additional coursework, exams, tests, drug testing, earning an additional degree, and/or other training/education requirements.

All prospective students are advised to review employment, certification, and/or licensure requirements in their state, and to contact the certification/licensing body of the state and/or country where they intend to obtain certification/licensure to verify that these courses/programs qualify in that state/country, prior to enrolling. Prospective students are also advised to regularly review the state’s/country’s policies and procedures relating to certification/licensure, as those policies are subject to change.

National University degrees do not guarantee employment or salary of any kind. Prospective students are strongly encouraged to review desired job positions to review degrees, education, and/or training required to apply for desired positions. Prospective students should monitor these positions as requirements, salary, and other relevant factors can change over time.