The BA in Leadership and Organizational Studies program is 21 months long and consists of 14 major courses.

Cohorts meet on campus at Saint Mary’s College on Saturdays, usually at the beginning, middle and end of each course. The remainder of the time is spent learning asynchronously via a web-based learning management system.  

The program follows the quarter calendar, allowing students to make continuous progress with short breaks between each quarter. To find the most current quarter calendar, visit the Academic Calendars page at the Office of the Registrar. The BALOS program begins in Autumn Quarter.

Cohorts start each year in September.

To complete the Bachelor of Arts in Leadership & Organizational Studies degree, learners must earn a total of 124 units including major classes, core curriculum classes and elective credits. Learners enter the program with 64 units of lower division and/or upper division transfer credit. They must successfully complete all 14 courses (48 units), along with 12 upper division elective credits. Elective credits are earned through Personal Learning Assessment (PLA) essays.

As a liberal arts institution, Saint Mary’s College requires all graduates to meet core curriculum requirements in order to graduate. The BALOS curriculum covers many of these core curriculum areas, but the following requirements are not part of the program and the coursework must be completed (usually at a local Community College) by all BALOS learners in order to graduate:

1 Scientific Understanding Course (3 units)

1-2 Arts and Humanities Course (Analysis and Practice, 4 units)

Core curriculum requirements do not need to be met to begin the BALOS program, but they are required to graduate. Contact an admissions counselor for more details or for a pre-approved list of qualifying courses.


The 2024-2025 tuition of the 48-unit program is $908/unit. This is a locked cohort rate, so as long as you make continual progress in your degree, your tuition will stay the same.


In addition to tuition, the following course fees and costs apply:

  • Application Fee: $50 (waived for applicants who attend an Information Session)
  • Tuition deposit: $200 (non-refundable, credited toward tuition)
  • Cost of books per course: approximately $75-$150

Yes. Student loans, the most common form of financial aid for adult learners, are available regardless of income. For more information about the types of financial aid available, take a look at our Financial Aid page or contact the College’s Financial Aid Office at (925) 631-4370.

Additionally, scholarships are available for both entering and continuing learners in the BA in Organizational Studies program. For more information about how to apply for a scholarship, contact an Admissions Counselor at (925) 631-4700 or go to our Scholarship Page.


We consider applicants based on the quality of their composite applications. Successful applicants will have:

  • A minimum of 64 semester units of acceptable transfer credit from accredited post-secondary institutions with a minimum grade of “C-“ and overall GPA of 2.0. (Acceptable courses are those that would be also transferable to the University of California; career-related professional courses that are also transferable only to the California State University systems may also be accepted.)
  • At least 3 years of work experience (paid or unpaid)

We invite you to email copies of any unofficial transcripts to our admissions team at for evaluation. You can also submit copies of professional development classes that may count for academic credit. Examples of professional development classes/exams we may accept include Six Sigma exams, CA State Fire Marshal classes, POST training, Joint Services Transcripts, CA State Board of Real Estate and Financial Securities Licenses. If you have other training that you would like evaluated, please reach out to our admissions team. Our team will let you know if you have enough units to apply. If you are short on units, we will work with you to create a plan to get there.

No, we don’t require any assessments such as the SAT or ACT for admission to our program.

We accept applications on a rolling basis, so it is never too early to apply. Application deadlines can be found on our Admissions & Aid page.

Applications for admission are submitted online. The complete application consists of the following items:

  • Online application
  • Resume
  • Personal Statement
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts from all colleges attended

Application instructions can be found on our Admissions & Aid page.

Once we receive your complete application, including official transcripts and letters of recommendation, you will be contacted to schedule an admissions interview with a member of our program faculty. We will contact you within one to two weeks after your admissions interview regarding an admissions decision and next steps.