North Central College - Naperville, IL

North Central College offers five-year bachelor’s/master’s degree in leadership

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NAPERVILLE, Ill. (Nov. 16, 2010)—North Central College is offering a new option to earn both a bachelor’s degree and a master of leadership studies degree in just five years.

Students accepted into this program earn both a bachelor’s degree—in any discipline—and the master of leadership studies with the completion of 141 credit hours.

“You’re effectively getting a full year of graduate school for free. You get out in five years with a pair of degrees, giving you a tremendous competitive advantage,” says Thomas D. Cavenagh, Schneller Sisters Professor of Leadership, Ethics and Values, coordinator of the master of leadership studies program and professor of business law and conflict resolution.

The option offers a great deal of flexibility, since participants may earn their undergraduate degree in any of the more than 55 majors offered by North Central College. North Central’s master of leadership studies degree offers four areas of concentration: higher education leadership, professional leadership, social entrepreneurship and sports leadership.

“This is a great way to prepare for a professional terminal degree—a law degree or a Ph.D.—because you’ve demonstrated a capacity to do graduate work,” Cavenagh says. It’s also an opportunity to prepare for careers in higher education and other fields. “We hope to build a student body that comes from a variety of undergraduate disciplines.”

North Central undergraduate students with a minimum grade point average of 3.33 may apply to the program any time during their junior year of college through the first term of their senior year. Students may count a maximum of 12 graduate hours toward the 120 hours required for their undergraduate degree. These hours may be used to meet major or minor requirements (with department or program approval) or as electives. After receiving their bachelor's degree, students take an additional 21 hours of graduate work in their fifth year to complete the requirements for the master of leadership studies degree.

North Central’s master of leadership studies degree is ideally suited for people pursuing a variety of careers who:

  • Realize leadership is more than holding a title or position
  • Want to study the dynamic tension between power and decision-making
  • Seek to better understand others and embrace ethical management, and
  • Want to confront organizational roadblocks and develop reliable management practices.

Founded in 1861 and celebrating its Sesquicentennial in 2011, North Central College is an independent, comprehensive college of the liberal arts and sciences that offers more than 55 undergraduate majors and graduate programming in six areas. Located in the Historic District of Naperville, Illinois—rated by Money magazine as among the nation’s “Best Places to Live”—North Central College is just 30 minutes from Chicago’s Loop. With more than 2,900 undergraduate and graduate students, North Central College is committed to academic excellence, a climate that emphasizes leadership, ethics, values and service, a curriculum that balances job-related knowledge with a liberal arts foundation and a caring environment with small classes. Visit to learn more.