Master of Science (M.S.) in Leadership

Master of Science (M.S.) in Leadership

The M.S. in Leadership program offers the rare combination of strategic expertise and ethical perspective that today’s leaders need to guide organizations through change. With tracks for emerging and experienced leaders, our customizable curriculum prepares working professionals at all stages of their careers to make a real-world impact.

At a Glance

Two Pathways

We offer options for both early leaders and mid-career professionals.

Ten Courses

Six core courses and four electives in your concentration or competency.

Flexible Format

Study full- or part-time online, on campus at night, or hybrid.

Affordable Tuition

Ignatian-Inspired Curriculum

The M.S. in Leadership curriculum rests upon four pillars: Ignatian leadership, Leading Change, Leading People, and Leading Results. These pillars are linked to six required core courses, which ground students in time-tested leadership principles while equipping them with new thinking and new tools.
Main campus in autumn during the mid-day class change.

Step 1: Select Your Pathway

M.S. in Leadership Track

Designed for new professionals with fewer than eight years of full-time work experience. 

This includes the following six required core courses, plus four courses within a concentration or four free electives:

  • Daring to Lead
  • Leadership Fundamentals: Articulating Your Leadership Vision and Values
  • Leading Change from the Middle
  • The Self-Aware Leader
  • Problem Solving Through Critical Thinking
  • Women and Men for Others

M.S. in Leadership: Executive Leader Track

Designed for seasoned professionals with more than eight years of full-time work experience. 

This includes the following six core courses offered in a 7-week online format, plus four courses within a concentration or four free electives:

  • Leading Thinking
  • Leading Change and Execution
  • Strategic Management of Innovation
  • Emotional/Social Intelligence Deep Dive
  • Fostering Dignity and Belonging
  • The Just Leader

Step 2: Customize Your Degree

In addition to the core requirements, students may choose between two options:


Select a concentration:

Leadership Electives

Select four courses from one or more of the following:

Our Faculty

Learn from a combination of seasoned professionals and leading academics who bring a remarkable depth and breadth of knowledge, converting research and expertise into models that students can apply immediately in the workplace.

In Dr. Noone’s class, I’m learning how the Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm (IPP) molds the learning environment to the student based on their life experiences in order to enhance the outcome for each individual. This is exactly what I encountered so far at BC. The professors and classes are amazing. I can’t say enough great things about my experience here.
Lyle Van Horn, Current Student

Financial Aid

We know that a BC education is a worthwhile but significant investment. We're committed to helping you affordably achieve your educational goals while treating each student and their family equitably. Financial aid and payment plans may be available for students taking a minimum of six credits across a semester.




When applying to the MSL, you will have to select either the Leadership Track or the Executive Track. Admission to either of the two tracks is dependent on an applicant’s level of professional experience. 

Leadership Track: The Leadership track is the pathway for applicants who are early in their careers.  Applicants with less than 8 years of full-time work experience should apply for this track.

Executive Track: The Executive Track of the MS in Leadership is the pathway for applicants who have a minimum of 8 years of full-time work experience.  Successful applicants to the Executive Track not only have significant years of worked experience, but also demonstrated leadership experience including managing people, processes, or projects. Note to international students: because of its online format, the executive track does not support F-1 visas.

Application & Deadlines

Application fee: $60 (to be paid as part of the online application)

Start Your Application

If you are mailing a hard copy of any application materials, please send them to:

Boston College
Woods College of Advancing Studies Admissions Office
St. Mary's Hall South
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.


Upload a copy of your transcript. Be sure to include all of your relevant professional experience.


Standardized Tests

The Woods College MS in Leadership does not require the GRE or GMAT for admissions. If you believe your scores would enhance your application, please feel free to submit them. Our GRE reporting code is 7534 and our GMAT reporting code is 44X-HX-07. 

For all non-native English speakers, the TOEFL (reporting code 3276) or IELTS (if applicable) is required. Please view the International Students page for required test scores. If your undergraduate degree was conducted in English, you may be eligible for a TOEFL waiver. Please contact Woods College Admissions if you believe you qualify for a waiver.

Letters of Recommendation

Two letters of recommendation are required. If you have been out of school for less than 5 years, one of these letters must speak to your academic abilities and should come from a professor, academic advisor, or other person who would be able to discuss your academic record. We prefer that one letter of recommendation be from an academic source, and another from an employer or person in a supervisory capacity who can speak about your interests and experience.

Letters must be sent directly from recommender either through online application portal or directly to Woods College.  We will not accept letters that are not in a sealed envelope mailed directly from recommender or emailed directly from recommender.

Please note: Letters of recommendations should be provided by Professional or Academic recommenders.


Unofficial transcripts may be uploaded to your online Application Form for purposes of application review. However, official transcript(s) must also be submitted upon acceptance/matriculation. Both undergraduate and graduate transcripts are required.

Please mail transcripts to:

Boston College
Woods College of Advancing Studies Admissions Office
St. Mary's Hall South
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

If your academic institution provides electronic transcripts please indicate as the recipient.

Boston College Alumni and Current Students

Your BC transcript must be formally requested from the Office of Student Services and submitted to the Woods College. Woods cannot request or access transcripts independently. 

Transcript Requests

Official Transcript Submission for International Applicants

All students who have, or are currently attending, an institution outside of the United States must provide a detailed, course-by-course transcript evaluation  indicating the conferral of an undergraduate degree that is equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.  

This evaluation is not just an English translation, but a document provided by an accredited evaluating agency that shows all grades, course titles, credit hours, United States degree equivalency, grade-point average (GPA), and date of degree conferral. 

This detailed, course-by-course transcript evaluation must be submitted to complete the application.  

Please request a detailed, course-by-course transcript evaluation for all international institutions where a degree was conferred from one of the following agencies:

Educational Credential Evaluators
P.O. Box 514070
Milwaukee, WI 53203-3470

Center for Educational Documentation
P.O. Box 170116
Boston, MA 02117

World Education Services Inc.
P.O. Box 5087
Bowling Green Station
New York, NY 10274-5087

Applicants whose Native language is not English are required to demonstrate English language proficiency, for required scores, visit our International Student page.

International Student page


International Students: For all international students and non-native English speakers, interviews are conducted as part of the application process. The purpose of the interview is for the admission committee to gain a better sense of an applicant and how the program fits his or her academic and vocational needs. Additionally, the interview provides the committee an opportunity to answer a student’s specific questions and to address the unique needs one may have in transitioning to Boston College.  The interview will last no more than 15 minutes.  Qualified applicants will receive information on how to schedule an interview once their application has been received and initially evaluated. 

Program Director Interviews: in some cases, the program director may request an interview with a candidate to better assess their qualifications for the program.  Applicants selected for an interview will be contacted directly.

Personal Statement

To be uploaded to your online Application Form.

Length – 500-750 words. Address the prompt provided to you in the application.  



If you have additional questions not listed here, please contact Michael Campitelli at

Can I apply to the Executive track if I do not have 8 years of experience? 

Yes, you can apply for the Executive Track and your qualifications will be assessed by the committee.  However, in most cases admission to the Executive Track will be restricted to those with a minimum 8 years professional experience to ensure that both you and your peers have the best learning experience. 

If you meet the criteria for admission to the MSL but do not have the minimum qualifications for the Executive track, you will be admitted to the standard Leadership Track.

Do you offer admission to international applicants?

Yes, international applicants are welcome to apply and upon formal admission, are eligible for a student visa. (Please note that TOEFL or IELTS scores are required.)  Please note international students pursuing the program with a student visa will need to complete the program in 1.5 years (3 academic semesters).

What if my GPA is not 3.0? Am I still eligible to apply for the program?

Yes, you are welcome to apply. We will consider your application and weigh a variety of factors to determine whether we are able to offer you admission. For particular applicants, we may be able to grant admission into the program with particular conditions noted (for example, passing the first two courses with a B or better in each during the first semester).                                                    

Is there an option to take courses as a nondegree student?

Yes, qualified, accepted non-degree students may enroll in select non-degree courses. Please review the process and course options.

Nondegree Options

How much does the program cost?

Tuition and financial aid information can be found on the tuition and aid webpage.

Tuition & Aid

Do you offer graduate course credit transfer?

Students can transfer in up to 6 credits (usually equivalent to 2 courses). Decisions on whether to accept transfer credits will depend on an assessment of whether the courses to be transferred fit within the Masters of Science in Leadership and Administration curriculum.

How long does it take to complete the degree?

This is variable and is largely based on how many courses a student takes at any given time. If you take 2 courses per semester, you can complete the degree in 18 months.

Can students work full-time and pursue this degree?

This is certainly a possibility and we have designed the program to be flexible to accommodate a variety of scheduling needs.

Do you offer graduate student housing?

No. Boston College does not currently offer housing for graduate students but our Office of Residential Life does have a staff member who can help you find off-campus housing.

Does Woods College require an enrollment deposit?

Yes, admitted students who confirm their enrollment must pay a $250 enrollment deposit. The enrollment deposit is not an additional fee, and will be applied directly to your student account and will be deducted from your tuition bill.  Anyone hoping to defer their enrollment will have to pay the deposit before their deferment request will be processed.

Do I have to select a concentration?

No, you have the option of selecting a concentration if you wish.  You also have the option of simply taking free electives.  Elective courses are categorized under leadership competencies (Leading people, Leading Change, Leading Results) to help you identify courses that might be of interest to you.  You can take electives from any or all of the competency groups.

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