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Master’s Degree Programs in Community Leadership Overview

Majors Overview November 18, 2015

Community organizing, management, and communications are the focus of master’s degree programs in community leadership. This program teaches students how to gain a strong foundation in ethics and management, along with communication skills, in order to influence a community to change positively.

Information on Master’s Degree Programs in Community Leadership

Master’s degree programs with a concentration or focus in community leadership are available through many schools. Students usually complete the program within two years.

Most students pursuing a master’s in community leadership must complete core coursework including topic areas such as decision-making, leadership theory, and conflict resolution. Elective courses are available to students on the basis of their career goals. Topic areas such as public relations writing, public policy, community organizing, and budgeting may be in these courses. An internship is a requirement in some programs, research and a thesis are requirements in most.

Program graduates can choose from numerous career options, including government, social service, or education. They can also continue their education by pursuing doctoral degree programs.

Master’s Programs in Community Leadership

Students may pursue a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Organizational Leadership or a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Community Leadership. Students may also pursue a master’s degree program with a concentration in community leadership. Examples of such programs are a Master of Science (M.S.) in Social Work and a Master of Science in Leadership (M.S.L.).

Two years of professional experience may be a criterion for admission to the program. Full-time students can complete the program within two years. Apart from communication skills, numerous skills are developed that could aid the pursuit of a career in community leadership, including collaboration, working with budgets, technology, and advocacy. Students might also learn about using methods of evaluation and critical thinking in attempting to overcome human service challenges and current global issues.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree. In some programs, students may also be required to have completed coursework in statistics apart from other relevant introductory courses.

Coursework

Program coursework has an emphasis on conflict resolution and leadership. Students may also be allowed to choose elective courses on the basis of their career plans. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Public policy and advocacy
•Leading diverse communities
•Community organizing
•Change, leadership, and community
•Organizational design
•Interagency collaboration
•Budgeting for community organizations
•Governing for community leadership
•Public relations planning and writing

Career Choices

Program graduates may seek a professional career that focuses on community leadership. They may seek jobs in public education settings, social service agencies, advocacy groups or government offices. They may choose from possible job positions such as:

•Grants administrator
•Nonprofit consultant
•Director of development

Continuing Education Choices

Program graduates from a master’s degree program in social work with a concentration in community leadership who seek continuing education may pursue a Ph.D. program in Social Work. Graduates from a master’s degree program in community leadership may enroll in a Ph.D. program in Urban Affairs or Public Policy.

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