Marymount California University

Marymount California University

Master of Science in Leadership & Global Development


30800 Palos Verdes Dr. East

Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

United States



Program Information

Degrees Offered:

Master of Science in Leadership & Global Development

Format: Campus

Program Description:

Marymount’s Leadership and Global Development (LGD) program prepares graduates for leadership and consulting roles in business, governmental and not-for profit settings.

Goals of the Leadership and Global Development (LGD) program include providing students with:

  • Conceptual frameworks through which to understand community dynamics and theories of leadership
  • Social science research methods to apply to organizational problems and questions
  • Cultural and ethical competencies to support effective leadership in human communities
  • Modern tools with which to interpret and present data
  • Direct experience with individual and collaborative practice-based action research
  • Opportunities to reflect on their roles as participants, observers, and leaders
  • Preparation for doctoral study


Introduction to Leadership and Global Development:

Marymount’s Leadership and Global Development (LGD) program prepares graduates to lead in business, governmental and not-for profit settings. Drawing upon on our Catholic education tradition, the program is based on the belief that Marymount graduates lead lives of service to others. Because this mission engages communities as complex interconnected wholes, and not just in terms of a single sector (like business, health, education, children, rights, income), much of what is taught in this program moves between traditional disciplines, and never privileges one above another—they are tools in a broad tool kit. The program produces skilled leaders who recognize that an interdisciplinary approach to advancing any community is dependent on leadership’s ability to interpret an organization’s past and portray an inspiring and sustaining future.

The unique character of the program derives from the conjoining of local and international concerns. LGD issues in urban US cities are distinct from rural Lake County but they follow predictable patterns, and common elements appear—leadership and governance, individual vs. community obligations, the impact of built space and the spatial mapping of residence and transport and markets—enough in common that lessons learned in one setting are instructive for, and in, many others. This is part of the strength of the program. The local space in which the brick-and-mortar of the university sits provides a rich microcosm of the planet, a community in need, with untapped assets and organizational weaknesses, with a diverse population and high aspirations-- in sum, a living classroom for LGD. From this living site of instruction, students prepare for a globe full of communities.

The careful mix and balance of classroom, hybrid, asynchronous online and field educational delivery methods follows from a developmental pedagogy. Starting with the familiar, and moving steadily towards an unfamiliar world, this process is reflected in the progression of study from classroom to field, assisted by increasing reliance on on-line learning, interaction, and writing. In that emerging process, the student comes to learn how to understand and effectively study communities--see how they work, how they are organized, the culture—using learned skills and techniques from the program. LGD promotes method heterodoxy, and introduces and employs in integrated ways qualitative, quantitative, ethnographic, and geospatial research methods and skills. Instruction uses case-study and an experiential and virtual-assisted pedagogy in order to rigorously conceptualize the sociocultural, economic, ecological and spatial world, and provide the professional skills to prepare students to work in one or another of the related professions that seek to improve the conditions of communities.

Why Get a Master’s Degree in Leadership and Global Development?

The kinds of concrete work activities carried out by LGD professionals vary widely. They work with other professionals, organizations and community members to identify the assets and obstacles to positive change, promote the growth of sustainable opportunities and practical beneficial activities, and support the development and advancement of individual community members. In leadership as consultants, program managers, educators, planners, researchers, entrepreneurs, outreach agents, and community-based leaders and advocates, typically working for the non-profit/NGO, government, academic, or commercial sectors, LGD professionals serve as vital agents of progressive, inclusive and sustainable change—locally and abroad. Their inter-cultural people skills, their geospatial skills, their understanding of how organizations operate, and abilities to communicate, mediate, enquire, and outreach in communities demonstrate professional capabilities in high demand in today’s complex world.

As generalists with a holistic understanding of the cultural, social, economic, political, environmental and geospatial sciences, LGD professionals effectively coordinate with sector specialists who may be limited to more narrow areas of expertise, and serve as ideal team leaders. Their training also serves as a platform for additional specialized skills acquisition—they know what they do not yet master, and how to gain that skill by further research and study. Research suggests that such a degree as proposed here has many in demand applications, whether focused on Wall Street, emerging economics or traditionally disenfranchised population. The broad scope of capacities and skills allows for a broad employment reach, and pre-graduation experience in the field provides an edge.


Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities

Facts & Figures

Classification: Associate's College

Locale: Large Suburb

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