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.

Aimed at professionals who are actively engaged and working, this degree is offered entirely online to maximize student flexibility with optional in-person experiential opportunities. The leading edge online curriculum is maximized with live, virtual instruction and coaching from influential and distinguished leaders from across the county. To further enhance professional engagement, our student's experience will be highlighted by a series of online panels, workshops, and networking events that will allow participants to engage with some of the foremost urban leaders and organization innovators in the country.

Program Structure

The program takes 15 months to complete. Students are admitted in the fall and spring semesters into cohort tracks. This gives students the opportunity to build strong connections and powerful networks both during the program and after graduation.

Each semester students enroll in three courses, unlike traditional programs, courses are offered in 6-week sessions, allowing students to focus on one course at a time. This 36-credit program is composed of twelve 3-credit courses. Students complete course work over four consecutive semesters including summer term.

The program is encapsulated with a year-long capstone Legacy Project. This project gives students the opportunity to work alongside organizational and community leaders to develop and create high-impact and sustainable community change.

Who is the Urban Leadership Program for?

The Urban Leadership Program is intended for working professionals seeking to gain hands-on knowledge and skill competencies, organizational decision-making capacity, and transformational leadership skills. This includes:

  • Community leaders
  • Social innovators
  • Global change agents
  • Community entrepreneurs
  • Established and aspiring business leaders


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

Learning Outcomes

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


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Master of Arts - Urban Leadership


School of Public Policy and Leadership

The School of Public Policy and Leadership employs an interdisciplinary approach to create knowledge and understanding to support effective policy and governance through collaborations of faculty, students, and the greater community. Our programs enable students to master the key principles of public management, research, and public policy so they can spark change, improvement, and resiliency in communities.


Greenspun College of Urban Affairs

The Greenspun College of Urban Affairs is committed to creating contemporary solutions for resilient communities. Our academic programs focus on making effective public policy, creating support structures to meet behavioral and mental health challenges, ensuring cities are safe and prepared to meet emergency situations, effective and ethical journalism, and interpersonal and public communication strategies.