Leadership, MA Frequently Asked Questions

Leadership, MA Frequently Asked Questions Leadership, MA Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions




How long is the program?

The MA in Leadership program is 18 months long and consists of 8 courses (modules) taken sequentially (one course at a time).


When and where are the classes?

Cohorts meet on campus at Saint Mary’s College all day (9am – 5pm) on Saturday and Sunday eight times a year (referred to as “Executive Weekends”); the remainder of the time is spent learning asynchronously via a web-based learning management system.  The program concludes with a three-day offsite Residential Executive Weekend.

A sample cohort calendar provides the program flow.


When does the program start?

Cohorts start each year in September.


What are the requirements of the MA in Leadership degree?

To earn the Master of Arts in Leadership degree, learners must successfully complete all 8 courses (48 quarter units) and a Learning Portfolio. The Leadership Learning Portfolio is comprised of:

  • A Leadership Learning Development Plan
  • 7 Reflection Papers
  • A Case Study Report
  • A Graduate Self-Assessment

What is the difference between a MBA and Leadership Degree?

Read this blog to learn more about the difference and which one best meets your needs.



How much does it cost?

The current tuition cost of the 48-unit program is $35,700. In addition to tuition, the following course fees and costs apply:

  • Course materials fee: $170 (approximately, for entire program)
  • Tuition deposit: $200 (non-refundable, credited toward tuition)
  • Cost of books per course: approximately $75-$150
  • Concluding Residential Executive Weekend: estimated at $1,600 (payable with tuition in the last trimester)


Is there financial aid?

Yes. Student loans, the most common form of financial aid for adult learners, are available regardless of income and in most cases will cover the full cost of the program. 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 MA in Leadership program. For more information about how to apply for a scholarship, contact an Admissions Counselor at (925) 631-4199.




What are the admissions requirements?

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

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution; and
  • At least 3 years of work experience (paid or unpaid)


Do I have to take any exams before I apply?

No, we don’t require any assessments such as the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) for admission to our program.


When is the application deadline?

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.


How do I apply?

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 showing your conferred undergraduate degree

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


When will I receive a decision on my application?

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.


Have a question that wasn’t answered here? Our Admissions Team is available and happy to speak with you about any questions, concerns or curiosities you may have about our program. Feel free to contact us at (800) 621-4715 or leadership@stmarys-ca.edu