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Attallah College of Educational Studies

» Master of Arts in Leadership Development

Chapman's MLD program admits a new cohort each fall.

Fall 2020 application deadline:
February 1, 2020
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis after the deadline, and the application may close at any time.

The Attallah College of Educational Studies offers a pioneering Master of Arts in Leadership Development (MLD) that can be completed in 2 years. Through interdisciplinary learning experiences, the MLD program educates leaders to build equitable and just communities in schools, institutes of higher education, and other organizational settings.

The MLD develops leaders who are capable of shaping leadership in others and serving purposes that transcend themselves to promote the common good of all. Modeling the core values of Attallah College—self-awareness, caring, courage, service, affirming diversity, and civic engagement—the MLD program appeals to a range of professionals in educationally diverse settings. Our graduates develop the skills to be creative and innovative in driving purposeful and sustained change.


MLD students will take 6 core classes and 4 electives taught by faculty and experts in their field. Students can choose from a series of interdisciplinary electives or a three-course series with a higher education focus.

For a detailed discussion of courses, see the program course offerings section below.

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Admission Requirements

The admission for this program follows a cohort model. We admit students for the Fall semester. Please consult the Graduate Admission page for application deadlines.

  • Submit an online application
  • Statement of Intent (prompt can be found within the online application)
  • Current resume
  • Official transcripts from all degree-granting colleges/universities attended
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • $60 application fee

GPA Requirements

Students applying to the MLD program must possess a 3.0 minimum cumulative GPA. If an applicant’s GPA falls below a 3.0, one of the following test scores must be submitted:

  • California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET): achieve a passing score on all sections.
  • Miller Analogies Test: achieve a minimum scaled score of 404.
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE): achieve a minimum score on any two of the three sections: 146 Quantitative, 152 Verbal, and 4.5 Analytical Writing.

GRE Institution Code: 4047

Transfer of Coursework

A maximum of six credits of graduate transfer work is allowed. (Please see the Academic Policies and Procedures section of the Academic Catalog for transfer guidelines.)

Supporting documents may be mailed to this address:
Office of Graduate Admission
Chapman University
One University Dr.
Orange, CA 92866

Program Course Offerings

Course sequence: MLD662 should be taken in the semester prior to taking the capstone. The capstone course, MLD 696, is taken at the end of the MLD program, at the completion of or along with the student's final classes.

MLD THEORY AND PRACTICE CORE – 4 Courses (12 units)
  • MLD 505 Foundations of Leadership Development
  • MLD 607 Leadership and Organizations
  • MLD 655 Democracy and Social Change
  • MLD 688 Diversity and Community

MLD ELECTIVES (SAMPLE OFFERINGS) – 4 Courses (12 credits)

  • MLD 510 Leadership in International Contexts: Travel Course
  • MLD 526 Images of Leadership in Popular Culture
  • MLD 530 Peace Leadership
  • MLD 585 Leadership in Times of Crisis: Case Studies in Disaster Response (Interterm Travel, New Orleans)
  • MLD 590 The Practice of Leadership: Independent Practicum
  • MLD 596 Gender and Leadership
  • EDUC 644 Aesthetics and Learning (Interterm Travel, Florence, Italy)
  • MLD 661 Understanding Conflict
  • MLD 668 Leadership for Emerging Social Issues
  • MLD 669 Adult Learning and Development
  • MLD 674 Improvisation for Leadership Development
  • MLD 679 Non Profit Organizations and Leadership
  • MLD 699 Individual Study

Higher education interest area focus

  • MLD 663 Historical Foundations in Higher Education
  • MLD 664 Student Development in Higher Education
  • MLD 665 Politics of Higher Education

K-12 leadership focus

  • EDUC 570 Pedagogies for Social Change
  • EDUC 571 Educating Diverse Learners in Inclusive Classrooms
  • EDUC 634 Teaching Difficult Histories, Critical Discourse, and Social Action
  • EDUC 649 Educating with Multiple Technologies

MLD CAPSTONE CORE SEQUENCE – 2 Courses (6 units)

  • MLD 662 Creative Inquiry
  • MLD 696 Leadership Capstone (formerly 698)

The capstone includes a research paper and project that partners with a local organization of choice, a presentation, and a poster included in that presentation.

Program Highlights

  • Cohort model
  • 30 units
  • Multiple travel study opportunities
  • Low student-to-faculty ratio with personalized education
  • Interactive and engaging discussion-based classes
  • Interterm and Summer classes offered
  • Designed for working individuals with late afternoon and evening classes (4 pm and 7 pm)
  • Independent study options
  • Internship opportunities available
  • Majority of admitted students receive some level of financial support

Program Video

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Chapman University located?

Chapman University is located in the City of Orange, California, near historic Old Towne Orange. Our beautiful campus is centrally located in Orange County, a short distance from the 5, 55, 22, and 91 freeways.

When are Chapman's MLD classes held?

All classes are held in the late afternoon and evenings, between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m., Monday through Thursday.

What is the cost of the program?

Tuition for the 2020–2021 academic year is $1,025/credit.
Tuition Details »

How long will it take me to complete this program?

Chapman's Master of Arts in Leadership Development (MLD) program can be completed in 2 years. 


When is the application deadline?

Chapman admits one cohort per year (fall) to the MLD program. See the graduate admission webpage for all Attallah College application deadlines.

Is the GRE required?

Students applying to the MLD program must possess a 3.0 minimum cumulative GPA. If an applicant’s GPA falls below a 3.0, one of the following test scores must be submitted:

  • California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET): achieve a passing score on all sections.
  • Miller Analogies Test: achieve a minimum scaled score of 404.
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE): achieve a minimum score on any two of the three sections: 146 Quantitative, 152 Verbal, and 4.5 Analytical Writing.

Where can I mail my supporting documents?

Chapman University
Office of Graduate Admission
One University Dr.
Orange, CA 92866

How do I submit my letters of recommendation?

Your letters of recommendation will be submitted electronically through the online application. On the left-hand side of the online application you will be asked to input the name and email address of your recommenders. They will receive an email with information on submitting your letter of recommendation electronically. We do not accept written letters of recommendation directly from the student.

How do I receive more information?

The Attallah College of Educational Studies offers quarterly graduate information sessions. These sessions are great opportunities to obtain further information about the program and meet with the program coordinator.

To request further information about Chapman University's Graduate Programs, please complete the form at the link below so that the Office of Graduate Admission can send you more information about life as a Panther.
Request Information »

Why I Chose the MLD Program...

Alisa Discoll '19“Enrolling in the MLD program is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I learned invaluable lessons, both from the world-class faculty and from my cohort, that helped shape me into a better leader, a better manager, and a better person. I am also tremendously thankful for the opportunity to create an individualized program that was meaningful for me as a working professional and to be able to implement my learnings immediately with my team.”

– Alisa Driscoll ’19

Jesse GutierrezI chose the MLD program because it placed an emphasis on developing others around oneself. Leadership is highly valued within society, but the ability to develop leaders around you is the crucial piece lacking at times. By focusing on my interpersonal, leadership development skills I can create more equitable spaces for those in need.

– Jesse Gutierrez  ’16

Emma Johnston"The Masters of Leadership Development at Chapman University satisfied my purpose of making a difference in this world while providing me the skills to find my path and help me grow into my potential as the change-making leader I am! I could not have chosen a better program even if I had designed it myself. Not only has the Masters in Leadership Development allowed me the space to grow and be challenged as an individual, it has provided me with the skills I need to make my dreams become a practical reality. Because of the Masters of Leadership Development, I know that I will make a difference and fulfill my purpose of being the biggest contribution to our society that I can be."

– Emma Johnston ’16

Contact Us

For Admissions Information Please Contact:

Laura Burns
Administrative Coordinator
(714) 628-7263

For Program Information Please Contact:

Whitney McIntyre Miller, Ph.D.
MLD Program Coordinator
(714) 744-2134

Information Sessions

To learn more about the Attallah College MLD graduate program, please register for an Information Session. 

Need More Information?

For information on Financial Aid, Current Year Tuition and more please visit the pages below!

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