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Leadership Studies Minor

Enhance your value to employers in need of capable individuals to lead projects, teams, organizations or classrooms when you add leadership skills to your resume. You can gain this advantage — while earning nationally recognized certifications — when you complete the Leadership Studies minor at the University of Central Missouri. This interdisciplinary minor complements any UCM undergraduate degree, especially School of Business Administration programs and others such as:

Earn an interdisciplinary minor to gain applied leadership skills

We worked with the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) — the only honor society to offer accredited leadership training and certification — to develop our Leadership Studies minor. No matter what field you plan to work in, from teaching to the arts to business, you can be confident the leadership skills you’ll gain at UCM will benefit your career and help you develop into a true professional. 

UCM’s Leadership Studies minor is composed of courses across various disciplines and covers competencies that will help you understand how leadership applies in all fields. As many UCM undergraduate degrees are based on the same competencies, you may only need to take a few additional courses to earn this minor quickly.

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Dr. Matthew Houseworth
Associate Professor of Management
Dockery 400E
Warrensburg, MO

Harmon College of Business and Professional Studies

School of Business Administration

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Interdisciplinary leadership education

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Collaboration with the NSLS

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Earn NSLS leadership certifications

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AACSB-accredited management courses

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On-campus and online courses available

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Participation in UCM’s chapter of NSLS

What you will study

The goal of UCM’s interdisciplinary Leadership Studies minor is to help you understand your role as a leader in any career. To earn this minor, you’ll complete courses from six of these competency areas: 

  • Leadership and Advocacy Roles
  • Management of Resources
  • Promotion, Marketing and Communication
  • Diversity and Cultural Differences
  • Decisions in the Legal and Ethical Realms
  • Venture/Start-up Development
  • Career Development
  • Managing People

View UCM’s course catalog for a list of courses tied to each competency. You’ll likely find you’re taking some classes as part of your major, which allows you to more quickly complete the Leadership Studies minor.

Complete a capstone that enhances your resume

No matter your major, you’ll complete a capstone course for your UCM Leadership Studies minor to gain real-world experience. With the help of UCM faculty, you’ll design and implement a sustainable service project. Successful projects have ranged from an adult swim instruction program to a two-day community festival.

Upon completing all your courses, you’ll attain nationally recognized NSLS certifications that boost your value to employers.


National Society of Leadership and Success

  • The University of Central Missouri maintains active involvement with the National Society of Leadership and Success — the nation’s largest leadership honor society. NSLS worked with UCM faculty and a former student to develop some of the NSLS certification requirements, so you can be confident you’re receiving a vetted, high-quality education.


Unique learning opportunities in leadership studies

Enhance your leadership skills and create a peer network through these University of Central Missouri resources for your Leadership Studies minor:

  • A close working relationship with NSLS: Get an expert review of your student portfolio by the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) to determine your competency level and what level of certification you can achieve. This process was established by a UCM student who collaborated with the NSLS as part of their capstone.
  • Leadership certification: Earn nationally recognized leadership certification for your Leadership Studies minor. Completing your coursework, including your capstone, allows you to achieve an Advanced (Level 2) Leadership Certificate to help you stand out in the job market. Levels 2 and 3 certifications are available for a small additional cost.
  • NSLS student organization: Join UCM’s chapter of the NSLS, which requires a fee but provides you with lifetime membership. You’ll network with students pursuing a variety of majors — as well as real-world leaders — and access even more learning opportunities. Previous activities have included leadership workshops and watch parties for speaker broadcasts, which include opportunities to reflect on and ask questions about speeches from notable individuals such as President Bill Clinton, the Dalai Lama and Trevor Noah. Your participation can also earn you three NSLS Leadership Certificates.


What can you do with a minor in Leadership Studies from UCM?

A Leadership Studies minor from the University of Central Missouri adds value to your bachelor’s degree, no matter what career path you choose. If you’re an Art and Design major, for example, this minor can provide you with business-related skills for a well-rounded education. If you ever decide you’re ready for a change of career, the Leadership Studies minor can help you demonstrate other skills for employment in a new field.

Understanding your role as a leader

UCM program coordinators for the Leadership Studies minor — as well as professors and instructors for the various competencies — will help you understand how leadership skills apply to your intended career. Should you decide you wish to pursue leadership positions, use the interactive tool below to learn more about your options.




Financial assistance options for your Leadership Studies minor

The expanded skill set you’ll acquire with UCM’s Leadership Studies minor will enhance your value to employers, who will appreciate your ability to understand how your role fits into a bigger picture. To gain this experience, the University of Central Missouri offers funding that can help you finance your education. Get information on available loans and grants, as well as work-study programs. You may also qualify for scholarships to help you realize your goals.

What scholarships are available for leadership studies students?

Your UCM major likely qualifies you for numerous scholarship opportunities. These are made available by UCM, our alumni and other kind supporters. Search the UCM Scholarship Finder to learn what forms of aid are available to you.




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Explore programs related to leadership studies.

Learn to effectively lead people, projects and organizations with one of these other UCM minors:


Courses & Requirements

UCM’s Leadership Studies Minor focuses on competencies. Because many majors across campus include the same competencies, this minor requires only a few additional courses for some majors.

Leadership Studies Minor students must complete knowledge competencies 1 and 2 and at least four more of the eight competencies to fulfill the minor.

The eight competencies:

  1. Leadership and Advocacy Roles
  2. Management of Resources
  3. Promotion, Marketing and Communication
  4. Diversity and Cultural Differences
  5. Decisions in the Legal and Ethical Realms
  6. Venture/Start-up Development
  7. Career Development
  8. Managing People

The National Society of Leadership & Success (NSLS). Leadership studies students can earn a minor while simultaneously completeing three levels of a nationally recognized leadership certification as a member of NSLS. 


National Society for Leadership and Success (NSLS) Chapter

The UCM National Society of Leadership & Success (NSLS) chapter has over 300 members representing nearly all majors on campus. Membership in NSLS* is required as part of the minor. NSLS contributes to student success through leadership workshops, networking opportunities, and career development activities. Through a cooperative effort with NSLS, you may earn three Leadership Certificates. 

The NSLS Student membership lifetime dues are less than $100.NSLS Logo


Contact Drs. Eric Nelson and Mary McCord for more information about the Leadership Studies Minor. 

Dr. McCord is the coordinator for the Leadership Studies minor. McCord has her Ph.D. in Management from the University of Oklahoma. She has been a member of the UCM faculty since 1999. You can contact her at

Mary McCord

Dr. Nelson is best characterized as a training and development specialist with interests in all of the funcaitonal areas of a business. He has a Ph.D. in Education specializing in Workforce Training from the University of Illlinois. Eric is the faculty adviser for the UCM Chapter of NSLS. You can contact him at

 Eric Nelson






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