Loyola University Chicago

School of Education

Leadership Studies



  • Are you passionate about making a difference in the world?
  • Do you hope to be a catalyst for positive change in your future career?
  • Interested in courses that will help build your leadership knowledge and abilities?

The Undergraduate Minor in Leadership Studies provides a platform to explore the above questions and much more.  Designed as an interdisciplinary minor that can complement any academic major, the program prepares students to excel in leadership in a variety of career fields. Students from all majors are welcome!

Issues of ethics in business, lack of civility in political discourse, and compelling social issues continue to remind us of the critical need for socially responsible leaders in society.  Responsible citizens need to be equipped to recognize and address these complex problems to make positive change in our schools, organizations, and communities.  This necessitates the development of sophisticated knowledge and skills in the areas of critical thinking and problem solving, group dynamics, navigating change, cultural competence, and deep personal self-awareness.

The Minor

The Undergraduate Minor in Leadership Studies is designed as an interdisciplinary complement to a wide range of academic majors.  The minor exposes students to the theory and practice of leadership across disciplinary boundaries to better prepare them for professional and personal success post-graduation.  Students in the minor engage with diverse theories and perspectives on leadership, examine the interplay of social justice and ethics in the practice of leadership, and develop a deeper understanding of contextual influences on leadership in an increasingly complex and global society.  An emphasis is placed on cultivating critical self-reflection as well as analytical skill to enhance the application of students’ evolving conceptualizations of leadership in organizational and career contexts.  The minor also includes opportunities to engage in a variety of active and experiential learning opportunities including service learning, internships, and a capstone portfolio. Additionally, the first class in the minor sequence will count toward the engaged learning requirement in the University Core.

Learning Objectives

  • Graduates will demonstrate an understanding of leadership theory along with contextual influences on the practice of leadership.
  • Graduates will demonstrate an understanding of ethical considerations in the pursuit of leadership for social justice.
  • Graduates will demonstrate the capacity to apply knowledge and skills related to leadership in their unique disciplinary contexts and career fields.

The Undergraduate Minor in Leadership Studies is an 18 credit hour program with four required courses (one of which is a field-based internship course) plus two elective courses (one of which must be taken in the student’s primary school or college of enrollment*).  The four required courses are sequenced and must be taken in order; the two elective courses may be taken at any time.

*Note that the list of elective courses changes regularly and students may request a course be included in the list as well.

Four Required Core Courses

Students are required to take the four core courses (12 credit hours) in sequence.

ELPS 125: Introduction to Leadership Studies

  • This course is designed to provide an introduction to foundational perspectives related to leadership. This includes an exploration of contemporary leadership knowledge and skills that are transferable to a variety of disciplinary contexts. The course will flow through: 1) an exploration of self, 2) understanding self in the context of others, and 3) recognition of broader social systems and ways of influencing them. This course satisfies the engaged learning requirement in the University Core through the integration of service learning.

ELPS 222: Foundations of Ethics and Social Justice in Leadership
Prerequisite: ELPS 125

  • This course introduces formal leadership theories as well as critical and ethical frameworks through which to interpret leadership. This includes attention toward the process of ethical decision-making, using critical reflection as a tool for understanding complex leadership issues, and strategies for advancing leadership focused on social responsibility.

ELPS 223: Contextual Influences in Applied Leadership Internship
Prerequisite: ELPS 222

  • This online and experiential course provides a platform for students to apply learning associated with leadership theory, ethics, and social justice in practice through an applied internship experience. The internship site will provide a discipline specific experience through which to integrate and refine core skills and competencies associated with socially responsible leadership. Additionally, students will build career networks and examine contemporary leadership issues within discipline-specific contexts.

ELPS 325: Leadership Studies Capstone
Prerequisite: ELPS 223

  • This course is designed as a capstone experience for the Undergraduate Minor in Leadership Studies and a platform for students to integrate and extend learning from across coursework in the minor. The class examines change processes and asks students to explore and design innovative, collaborative solutions to seemingly intractable social problems. Leading personal and social transformation requires an understanding of individual thoughts and feelings related to change; knowledge of the complexity of groups, organizations, and systems; and a commitment to navigating change in diverse and intersecting contexts and cultures. This class will explore topics such as social change and globalization, creative conflict resolution, the nature of power, oppression and influence, and systemic leadership. Students will examine the strategies and ideas of effective social change advocates in the 21st century.

Two Elective Courses

Leadership Studies Frequently Asked Questions

The minor is open to all students and you do not need to be an education major to enroll. In fact, the minor is designed to complement a wide range of academic majors. However, space in the minor is limited with enrollments processed on a first come first served basis. Once the program is full for an academic year, students will have to wait until the following year to enroll.

Most students who are beyond the first semester at Loyola are able to enroll in the minor using the LOCUS self-service feature. Simply log into your account, click my academics, change major/ minor, add, LEAD-MINR. If you have not yet completed your first semester at Loyola or the LOCUS system will not allow you to enroll, simply download the form linked here and have it approved by your academic advisor.

Most courses in the leadership minor are offered every semester pending sufficient enrollments. However, multiple sections of ELPS 125 and ELPS 325 are offered every spring semester and multiple sections of ELPS 222 are offered every fall semester. If you have questions about when courses are being offered, please email the program directly at leadminor@luc.edu.

Classes in the minor are offered at the LSC campus. To accommodate scheduling across multiple disciplines, sections are typically offered either: A) one night a week from 5:15 – 7:45 pm, or B) twice a week on Tuesdays/Thursdays from 2:30 – 3:45 pm.

Electives in the minor are meant to contextualize leadership to the students' chosen career field. Listed on the website are pre-approved elective options. Students may petition the program to accept alternative courses, special topics courses, or alternatives that meet the designated learning outcomes for electives.

The leadership minor includes the required course ELPS 223, which includes an internship component. The internship involves approximately 60-75 hours of work at a site over the course of a semester. This amounts to about four hours per week. The site must be identified in advance of the actual semester of enrollment and can reflect a wide array of placements connected to future career plans and opportunities to engage in leadership. Program staff will help students in the identification and approval of internship locations.

Students whose undergraduate major is in social work, nursing, or education do not  need to complete the internship course given the degree program of their academic major already requires a significant internship component. Students with these majors are waived out of ELPS 223.

Contact Information

General Inquiries
Phone: 800.262.2373
Email: leadminor@luc.edu

Faculty/Program Director
John P. Dugan, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Higher Education
Lewis Towers 1130, WTC
Phone: 312.915.7637
Email: jdugan1@luc.edu