An Online MBA Specialized in Executive Leadership

Leadership is most powerful when individuals at every level of an organization feel successful. In the MBA@Denver Executive Leadership concentration, students gain the critical leadership skills necessary to build change-ready organizations, coach others to high levels of performance and understand the neuroscience behind leadership.

Application Required

Students seeking to pursue the Executive Leadership concentration must submit an application after being admitted to the MBA@Denver program. A committee will select applicants approved for the concentration. Priority is given to students in high-achieving roles that require mastery in skills needed for success in organizational leadership.

This concentration equips business leaders to:

Understand great leadership and how it develops in themselves and others

Understand the science behind psychological groups and team performance

Build and maintain highly effective business relationships

Lead others to high levels of personal and organizational performance

Executive Leadership Concentration Courses

The MBA@Denver Executive Leadership concentration allows you to customize your MBA experience with a leadership focus. Within the concentration, you will complete four 4-credit executive leadership courses in addition to your standard 44 core credits, resulting in 60 total credits.

The concentration includes the refinement of a personal development plan, ensuring a lifetime of leadership skills development. Leadership is an action, so group-work opportunities allow students to practice new leadership skills and enhance the performance of teammates.

Courses are:

BUS 4810: The Head and Heart of Leadership: Neuroscience and Emotional Intelligence

Incorporates content from the latest research in the fields of neuroscience and emotional intelligence and their applications in leadership and managing change. Students develop highly relevant leadership skills, strategies and tactics to lead successfully.

BUS 4820: Leading Success in Others

Learn how to hire, understand, inspire, coach, mentor and sponsor a diverse and inclusive team. Students will explore storytelling—one of the hottest topics in leadership—and create a personal development plan to incorporate course elements into strong leadership.

BUS 4830: Leading Change and Building an Agile Culture

Explore and evaluate the latest thinking on leadership and change, developing the strategies necessary to create teams with high levels of change capacity, motivate followers and overcome resistance to change, and achieve both incremental and transformative change.

BUS 4840: CEO Toolbox

Strategy is integral to a successful organization. But without strong execution, even a well-defined strategy can fall apart. Executive teams/leaders that combine actionable strategy with operational depth are the ones most likely to stay the course and deliver long-standing results. They understand the need to align strategy and operations to deliver on their objectives.

After taking courses on Strategic Management, Leadership, Leading Change, Culture, etc., you too understand the need for aligning strategy and operations, yet, in practice it’s often more difficult to do. Through this course, students will hone their skills by developing and using practical tools to deal with shifts and changes along their strategic journeys. This course will allow you to put theory into action.

Take Your Leadership Skills to an Executive Level

Take the first step toward stronger leadership with the University of Denver’s online MBA program.

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Executive Leadership Experts

The online MBA@Denver executive leadership concentration is led by dedicated professors who are focused on furthering your personal and professional development. Our faculty brings a wide range of experience to the classroom, including expertise in the global sector, consulting, organizational development and military-focused leadership.

Meet your professors:

Ayesha Jahan

Affiliate professor


Ayesha Jahan is a strategic thinker, committed to igniting insightful thinking. In her speaking, writing or advising, her priority is directing people’s perspectives toward the future. She was an international speaker at the Global Speakers summit in 2018 and has spoken at TEDx about her work focused on how the mind copes in the face of adversity. She also is currently writing her first book on the topic.

Gretchen Gagel

Affiliate professor


Gretchen Gagel is a recognized expert in the construction industry, beginning her consulting career in 1994. Since then, she has worked with clients including Marriot, Hewlett-Packard, General Motors and Starbucks. Gagel received her BS in Mechanical Engineering from Southern Methodist University, her MBA from the University of Denver and her master’s in nonprofit management from Regis University.

Kristen Kramer

Affiliate professor


Kristen Kramer has devoted her professional career to education, learning and development. She spent years working within the U.S. intelligence community, focusing on leadership and organizational development at all levels within each military branch and various government agencies. Kristen received her Bachelor of Science in education from the University of Maryland and her Master of Arts in industrial organizational psychology from the University of Colorado.

Shape the Future of Leadership

The business world is constantly evolving. Stay ahead with an online MBA from the University of Denver.

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Your career goals are within reach. Take the next step today.