Q: How many credits are required for the Master of Leadership Development program?
A: The program is 36 credits/12 courses.
Q: Is the Master of Leadership Development program accredited?
A: The Master of Leadership Development program is fully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International, a standing earned by less than five percent of the world’s business programs. In addition, Penn State Great Valley has a chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma, an international honor society established in 1913. Membership in Beta Gamma Sigma is the highest recognition a business student can receive in an undergraduate or graduate program at an AACSB-accredited institution.
Q: Does it matter if I don't have a business undergraduate degree?
A: A business undergraduate degree is not required. We welcome students with a variety of undergraduate backgrounds and the various perspectives they bring to conversations about leadership.
Q: Can I choose a specific concentration?
A: While we do not offer concentrations, we offer multiple graduate certificates — many of which can be stacked into a master’s degree. You can take electives in an area of interest, customizing your degree program to your needs. Also, there is a concurrent degree option where students can earn a second master’s while using courses to satisfy both programs’ requirements.
Q: Does the program offer any experiential learning opportunities?
A: Our courses employ experiential learning techniques to bridge the gap between theory and practice. Much of the self-reflection students do during the program allows them to “learn by doing.”
Q: Do you allow students to transfer credits into the program?
A: A maximum of 10 graduate credits earned at another accredited institution may be applied. Courses must have been completed, with a grade of B or better, within five years prior to the date of enrollment. Up to 15 credits from Penn State nondegree and graduate certificate courses can be applied to a degree program—more information can be found here. Transfer credit approval is granted by the student's academic adviser and program director after an admission offer has been accepted.
Q: I am worried about flexibility. How are classes delivered?
A: Our courses are offered in seven-week sessions. You will move through this program as a cohort, so we only offer a fall semester start. Classes are usually scheduled one day a week for three hours in the evening. Courses may require in-person meetings, with additional work being completed through various modes of delivery, including remote synchronous, online asynchronous, or a combination of both. Our students find this mix of in-person and online courses offers the opportunity to better collaborate, network with peers, and take advantage of our campus resources.
Q: I’ve been out of school for 15 years. Will I feel out of place taking classes after all that time?
A: The average age of our students is 32. You will find most of our students share the same concern and worry how they will be able to juggle graduate school with an already busy life. Our Master of Leadership Development program is designed for the needs of working adults.
We encourage those who are not sure about committing to a master’s degree to consider beginning with a graduate certificate—which, in most cases, allows for credits earned to transfer to the degree program upon admission. Each semester, prospective students can take advantage of our “test drive” program, which offers the opportunity to sit in on a class. To arrange a test drive, email [email protected] and a program representative will reach out to discuss options with you.
Q: How long will it take me to graduate?
A: The choice is yours! We provide flexibility for students, many of whom may be using tuition benefits from their employer or financing their studies on their own. Students can take up to eight years to complete a degree program, and up to three years to complete a graduate certificate. The average completion of a degree program is between two and a half to three years when pursued on a part-time basis, and up to two years if pursued full time.
Q: Are career services provided?
A: Yes. We have a Career Management Services office that provides one-on-one career advancement support, internship guidance, access to career fairs and other career events with local and national companies, as well as an array of other services. An additional perk of being part of the Penn State family is free career services for life!
Q: Is there an application fee? What are the application deadlines?
A: Yes, there is a $65 application fee. Schedule a meeting with a program representative to discuss eligibility for an application fee waiver. We recommend applying no later than July 15 for a fall (end of August) program start, or December 6 for a spring (January) start. See the admission requirements page for more information. International application deadlines may differ; for more information visit the international applicant page.
Q: Is the GMAT or GRE ever waived?
A: The GMAT/GRE is not required for the program.
Q: Where can I find information on scholarships and funding options?
A: There are a variety of scholarships available to half-time and full-time students who meet certain criteria. More information can be found here.
Q: Are there program metrics?
A: The Graduate School provides metrics on admission data, GMAT/GRE scores, enrollment, student demographics, time to degree, and degree conferral; more information can be found here.