Jun 22, 2024  
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Center for Leadership Formation

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Marilyn E. Gist, PhD, Associate Dean for Executive Programs

Seattle University’s Center for Leadership Formation offers graduate programs with an intense focus on leadership formation and responsible business impact. These programs are developed for experienced professionals who seek to make greater impact in their personal life, at work, and in the larger society. Depending on the program, participants may earn an executive master of business administration degree (MBA) or a professional graduate certificate.

The Executive Leadership Program (ELP) is an 8-month, stand-alone, graduate certificate program consisting of 20 graduate level credits. The ELP enables deep learning about complexities of leadership at the individual, organizational, and societal levels. In addition to leadership, students take courses focusing on team-building, responsible organizations, and ethical leadership, and engage in a social justice service project. The ELP program serves as the foundation for the following master’s degree program.

The learning objectives for the ELP are:

  1. A deepened consciousness of Self as a leader.
  2. Superior leadership acumen (ability to influence individuals and orchestrate organizational change).
  3. Leading with conscience and competence within the local and global Commons.

The Leadership Executive MBA program (LEMBA) is a 20-month master’s degree program. LEMBA degree students must complete ELP as the first two quarters of the degree program. The next three quarters emphasize advanced business education-principles, tools and practices relevant to general business. The final quarter challenges participants to explore and elevate their positions of influence, social responsibility and impact in both their professional and personal lives by asking students to integrate their business and leadership education to execute an original and personally significant project that is of substantial strategic benefit to their organization and/or society.

The LEMBA program includes the following learning objectives, in addition to the ELP objectives listed above:

  1. Strong knowledge of business concepts and disciplines.
  2. Superior analytical and integrative competence in strategy and decision making.
  3. Ability to inquire/source quality information, and synthesize knowledge via situational analysis and risk assessment.

LEMBA participants comprehend and plan for ongoing globalization and ensure future successes by gaining a balanced emphasis on leadership formation and the core business acumen including:

  • Strategic Skill
  • Collaborative Influence
  • A Drive for Excellence
  • Results Orientation
  • Agility and Courage
  • Integrity

ELP and LEMBA operate on a concentrated schedule in which classes are typically offered one time per month, for two to three full, consecutive days (e.g., Thursday through Saturday, Thursday and Friday, or Friday and Saturday). All programs are taught in a lock-step, cohort fashion with all students progressing through the program at the same time and rate. This model helps to build strong relationships and networks among class members.

Admissions Requirements

The Admissions Committee reviews the applicant’s materials and decisions are made based on the applicant’s entire portfolio. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis with priority deadline of January 15. Qualified applicants are accepted on a first-come first-served basis. The following items are required to apply to any of the Center’s programs:

  • Complete Application for Graduate Admission, indicating the program code ELP or EMBA and a $55 nonrefundable application fee (fee waived for Seattle University alumni, including ELP alumni)
  • Evidence (degree-posted transcript or degree certificate) of a four-year baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution or U.S. equivalent. Exceptions considered on an individual basis by the Executive Director.
  • Official transcripts of all post-secondary educational institutions attended in the last 90 quarter/60 semester credits of the bachelor’s degree, including any transfer credits earned during this time, and any post-baccalaureate credits. Exceptions considered on an individual basis by the Dean.
  • Current résumé reflecting at least seven years of progressively responsible professional work experience. Applicant’s experience should represent a mid-to-senior level role(s). 
  • Three recommendations from supervisors using forms supplied in the application packet
  • Demonstration of verbal, quantitative and critical thinking competencies is necessary to master the LEMBA course material. These competencies are evaluated during the admission process through completion of one or both of the following, as determined by the program: designated Online Workshops or official GMAT/GRE scores taken within the last 5 years. Not required for ELP-only candidates.
    • Applicants who are graduates of the Albers School of Business and Economics, and/or Seattle University may be eligible to waive the GMAT or GRE requirement. Contact the program office for more information.
  • Double-spaced essay to serve as a writing sample and statement of intent/interest in this academic program. See Application for Graduate Admission for specific essay questions to be addressed and the page length requirement.
  • If English is not the applicant’s native language, official English proficiency scores meeting the University entrance requirements are necessary. See policy 2008-01 in Admissions Policies for exceptions.

Applicants who reach the final screening will be invited to participate in a group interview with the program admissions committee. 

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