An Online Professional Master's Degree

CU Boulder’s MSOL program offers a focused 10-course, 30-credit curriculum consisting of the following components:

  • The MSOL core, comprised of six courses that provide a foundation in leadership theory and practice
  • Specialized tracks, entailing four courses that offer you the opportunity to customize the program to your interests
  • The Professional Skills Mastery Lab (ProLab), a noncredit, professional development component that helps students enhance their professional skills and knowledge.

The program currently offers the ability to specialize in a track. Students may elect to complete the general Organizational Leadership track or to specialize in one of the following areas: Strategic Leadership, Human Resources, Leading Innovation, or Organizational Communication. Alternatively, you may elect to pursue a broad-based Organizational Leadership track, combining coursework from both HR and Strategic Leadership. With pre-approval, a student may also opt to transfer in up to three of the four track courses from other graduate programs for the ultimate in degree customization.

Program Format

Courses in the MSOL program are delivered in 7-week terms, typically with a one-week break between terms. Two 7-week terms comprise the standard academic semester. Students focus on just one course at a time (i.e., one course per 7-week term), which helps them juggle the competing demands of their busy personal, professional, and academic lives. By taking one course per term (two courses per semester), students usually complete the program in five semesters (including summers), or around 19 months.

Our Learning Models

Part of what makes CU Boulder’s program special is its use of two models: a cohort model and a self-paced model. Whichever way you advance your degree, you will grow a strong professional network and make connections that last beyond the program. 

Cohort Model Benefits: 

  • Close professional cadre: Progress through the core courses with the same group of students.
  • Structured learning: Receive a set academic plan that clearly outlines which courses you will take each semester.  
  • Defined timeline: Complete the program in five semesters (Fall, Spring, and Summer) by taking one course in each 7-week term. 

Self-Paced Benefits: 

  • Broad professional network: Interact with different students throughout your time in the program.
  • Flexible learning: Adjust your schedule based on your availability and needs. 
  • Flexible timeline: Complete the program on your schedule. You can take more classes per semester to finish the program quickly or take one course per semester as your schedule allows.  

Can’t decide which learning model is right for you? You may choose to move between the cohort and self-paced models as needed. If you have questions about which model is the best fit for you, email us at

Quality Education with Online Flexibility

The MSOL provides you with an opportunity to study at a world-class university with online convenience. You will build a strong network of peers as well as other professional connections. The real-world-relevant curriculum is immediately applicable to workplace demands, and our courses are taught by exceptional faculty who bring strong academic credentials, senior-level/executive experience, and student-approved teaching abilities.

There are various ways in which an online course can be delivered. Our approach uses interactive, multimedia courses that allow you to do coursework when it’s convenient for you – i.e., the classes are delivered asynchronously. You’ll have specific deadlines each week, but you have full flexibility as to when you complete the work to meet those deadlines. Unlike some online programs, there are NO long (like, 2½ hour) lectures that you have to call into or watch!  Classes are more interactive/multimedia in nature, so you can tackle them in more manageable blocks of time. Each week, there may be a chapter or two from a textbook to read, articles or case studies to review, discussion questions to which you’ll respond in an online discussion forum, short 10 minute +/- videos to watch, etc. The format makes the classes dynamic and engaging – and more manageable in terms of when and where you do the classwork.