INDIANAPOLIS (UIndy) – A new master’s degree program at the University of Indianapolis takes a fresh approach to the study of leadership, emphasizing human resources and problem-solving skills that can boost the effectiveness of any business or not-for-profit organization.

The Master of Science in Strategic Leadership & Design is the first graduate program to be offered by UIndy’s School for Adult Learning, which specializes in evening programs for working adults.

“This is a type of degree that employers are looking for and have not been able to find,” said Judy Apple-VanAlstine, dean of the School for Adult Learning. “People are more interested now in the creative side of leadership, looking at leadership in its societal, economic and psychological context.”

The new program includes entire courses dedicated to vital skills that sometimes are glossed over in other types of management and leadership training, such as performance appraisal and conflict resolution. Other courses include Organizational Design, Cognitive Systems and Managing Information Technology Systems. As a capstone project, each student designs an organization or redesigns an existing one.

“The focus is less quantitative and more qualitative and behaviorally oriented,” Apple-VanAlstine said. “It looks at all the systems within an organization.”

The courses are offered in a hybrid format of online activities and weekly night meetings, with students grouped in cohorts for mutual support. A student can continue to work full-time while completing the 36 credit hours in just two years.

The degree is applicable to a range of career options in not-for-profit or public-sector leadership, commercial business, project management, consulting and other fields.

More information is available at or call 317-788-3393.