School of Public Policy and Leadership

Master of Arts in 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.

Please contact the program coordinator, Benoy Jacob, for more information.
[email protected]

Admission Requirements

  1. A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  2. A minimum grade point average of 2.75 overall for all undergraduate work
  3. A completed Graduate College application
  4. Submission of official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  5. A resume that outlines your professional experience
  6. A personal statement of interest
  7. Three letters of recommendation
  8. A non-refundable admission application fee, payable by credit card, check or money order. Checks or money orders need to be made payable to the Board of Regents
  9. Satisfactory GRE scores in the verbal and quantitative sections may be required to supplement the undergraduate grade point average.

To be considered for application, please contact the program coordinator Benoy Jacob at [email protected] or 702-969-3175.

Is this program right for you? Do you consider yourself an agent for positive change in your community?

  1. Are you working with a private, public, or non-profit organization that is implementing urban policies and programs?
  2. Do you wish you had new ways to think about the issues that matter most in your community?
  3. Do you want to move into a leadership position in your community or organization?
  4. Do you consider yourself a leader in your community or organization?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then the Master of Urban Leadership program is for you.

Program Description

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.

If you want to improve your ability to shape the urban community, then this is the degree for you.

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
  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

Learning Objectives

Upon completing the Masters in Urban Leadership, a graduate will be able to:

  1. Effectively interpret a community’s needs and issues then design and articulate subsequent solutions
  2. Use data and evidence to create innovative solutions to pressing urban issues
  3. Assess different strategic approaches to the implementation of solutions
  4. Collaborate effectively within and across organizational boundaries
  5. Identify and apply their personal and leadership traits and skills

Coursework Requirements

Total Credits Required: 36

Required Courses: 36 Credits

Semester 1: Understanding the 21st Century City

MUL 720: Urban Governance (3 credits)

Urban governance refers to the coordination of activities between organizations, institutions, and individuals within and between urban communities. This course will examine how these structures constrain and enable collective decision making about critical urban issues.

MUL 722: Urban Issues (3 credits)

In this course, we will examine several contemporary issues that challenge urban communities. For example, topics could include: social equity, community resilience, and public health. The course will be tied directly to the issues underlying the Community Engagement Legacy Project.

MUL 731: Urban Development (3 credits)

This course recognizes that many of the challenges faced by the contemporary urban community revolves around issues of development. This course will discuss the development process, particularly as it relates to housing, infrastructure, and community/economic development.

Semester 2: Analytics and Organizations

MUL 735: Design Thinking for Urban Issues (3 credits)

Design thinking is a unique problem-solving approach that emphasizes innovation. While this problem-solving approach is widely employed in the private sector, it has yet to be widely employed to address 'public' problems. This course teaches design thinking with specific application to urban issues.

MUL 737: From Analytics to Action: How to use Data (3 credits)

This course will help students become advanced consumers of data. Students will learn how to interpret different types of analysis and how the findings from statistical models and program evaluations can support different decision processes. Students will also be introduced to different types of data applications including BIG data options.

MUL 742: Social Media and Communication Technology (3 credits)

Social media encompasses a wide range of technological platforms. But social media options need to be thoughtfully implemented. This course will help students determine, when and how to best employ a social media strategy in a data and technology rich environment.

Semester 3: Implementation and Impacts

MUL 750: Understanding Your Leadership Qualities (3 credits)

Each leader brings to the table a unique set of qualities and skills. These characteristics suggest individuals will lead effectively using different strategies. This course is designed to have students better understand their unique leadership qualities and subsequent leadership strategies.

MUL 751: Collaborative Leadership (3 credits)

Unlike traditional models of leadership – which emphasize hierarchy – collaborative leadership skills emphasize working across organizational and functional boundaries. This class will teach effective techniques for leading across boundaries.

MUL 752: Developing and Nurturing Teams (3 credits)

Leading within a team can be a difficult task. Yet it is instrumental to the effective development and implementation of programmatic objectives. In this course, students will learn how to develop the capabilities of their team members to move projects forward.

Year-Long Course Requirements

MUL 730: Legacy Project (9 credits)

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.

Produced by UNLV Web Communications | © 2015 University of Nevada, Las Vegas Website Feedback