Master of Arts - Urban Leadership

The M.A. in Urban Leadership at UNLV's School of Public Policy and Leadership recognizes that effective, creative, and energetic urban leaders are critical for fostering positive change to the economic, social, and political conditions of America’s cities. Given the complex nature of the 21st century city, urban leaders require a broad range of skills that include: innovation problem-solving, strategic planning, and collaborative management. This degree will help students develop their skills in these areas.

Aimed at professionals who are actively engaged and working in the community, this degree is offered almost entirely online to maximize student flexibility. The online courses will be enhanced by three face-to-face panel-networking events where students will engage with each other and urban leaders from the Las Vegas community and nationally.

At the core of our program is an intellectually rigorous curriculum that will help urban leaders:

  1. Shape and communicate their vision
  2. Create innovative solutions to pressing issues
  3. Collaborate with stakeholders and,
  4. Implement strategic plans, programs, and policies

Our program is unique in its recognition that urban leaders come from a variety of professional backgrounds. Leaders can be elected officials, public administrators, non-profit leaders, and leaders in private organizations. Thus, a defining feature of our program is that students will have an opportunity to engage with leaders from a host of community settings. To further enhance this professional engagement, our student's experience will be highlighted by a series of panels and workshops that will allow participants to engage with some of the foremost urban leaders and policy analysts in the country.

The program will take 15-months to complete. The required course-work will be completed over one calendar year followed by a 3-month Legacy Project. While the courses will be offered entirely online, students will also be required to attend 3 in-person panel/workshop events in Las Vegas. These events will be oriented around a series of short-lectures by instructors, panel discussions around urban issues, and various networking events.

The program will culminate with a three-month Legacy Project. This project will engage all the members of the cohort around a single community engagement effort. The project will require the cohort to help shape a vision, find creative solutions, and implement projects and programs as part of a broad community building effort in the Las Vegas region. The project will be identified at the outset of the program and students will work on parts of the project as they progress through the curriculum. Given the complexity of the project, it will most likely take several student cohorts to fully complete. Thus, in completing their part of the project, each cohort will leave behind a legacy for future cohorts to build upon and upon completion of the project, students will have become part of a lasting legacy for the program and the Las Vegas community.

For information regarding accreditation at UNLV, please head over to Academic Program Accreditations.


Available Online

UNLV is unable to provide fully online education to students from certain states. Visit the State Compliance page for more information.


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Program Information

Plans of Study: Part II
Representative Syllabi
Degree Contacts
Graduate Coordinators
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