Northern Vermont University is now part of Vermont State University! Please visit for accurate information.

Northern Vermont University Launches New Online Graduate Leadership Program

Northern Vermont University has launched a master’s degree program in leadership studies that starts this fall, geared to early- and mid-career professionals interested in effecting significant change through their careers. Applications are being accepted now.

Unlike more conventional leadership programs, NVU’s leadership studies program integrates required core courses and electives in each course, and every course is five credits instead of the usual three- or four-credit courses. The curriculum runs through fall, spring and summer. The program can be completed in a year for full-time students and two years for part-time students.

“Students will get a more streamlined, robust and integrated curriculum experience in each course,” says program director David McGough, who teaches education at Northern Vermont University’s Johnson campus. “We’re running a program that’s rich with learning. Students will have more time to immerse themselves in the content, but they’ll have fewer courses, transitions and instructors.”

Leadership studies, NVU’s first online graduate degree program, indicates a move toward “very cutting-edge, interdisciplinary graduate programs” at NVU, McGough says.

The leadership studies curriculum blends aesthetic expression including drawing and graphics, diversity issues, personal and social ethics, psychology and other disciplines. Courses will be taught by instructors who are leaders in the arts, the nonprofit world, technology, mental health counseling and other fields. 

 “We’re part of the cutting edge of helping people figure out how they’re going to shape the movements that become the future,” McGough says. “Leadership is now viewed more as a process than a personality, more as an endeavor to get people to work together toward common ends instead of simply a position within an organization.”

 In its approach to online learning, NVU’s program focuses on building engagement and a sense of community, partly through face-to-face connections including videoconferencing, peer study sessions and hands-on projects. “We’ll create a network of people who want to be in leadership positions over time, so students develop connections across the country that will be a lasting community for them,” McGough says.

The launch of the leadership studies program coincides with new NVU Online undergraduate programs and certificates and the new NVU Live Online course offerings for students who want an online program with real-time interaction with faculty and classmates.

About 800 students in 43 states and five countries are enrolled in NVU Online programs.

For more information about the leadership studies program and other NVU graduate programs, visit, email or call 802.635.1244. For more information about NVU Online, visit