New MSM Degree Focuses on Human Capital and Leadership

Dr. Bryan J. Watkins

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Lake Forest Graduate School of Management (LFGSM) is excited to offer a Master of Science in Management (MSM) Degree to students starting in the Fall Term of our 2016-2017 academic year.

We are offering the MSM Degree in response to increasing demand for expertise in human capital development from students and employers. With the MSM, we aim to provide students with the skills and knowledge to analyze organizational issues through the lens of human capital, while focusing less on quantitative financial courses than the MBA Degree. By offering the choice of two different graduate business degrees, LFGSM is a leader in responding to the demands of working professionals and the marketplace.

Offering Students the Very Best of Business

The MSM degree is growing in popularity. In fact, the 2015 Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) Prospective Students Survey identifies that seven percent of respondents reported the MSM Degree to be the top preferred program type. In addition, the MSM is fourth-most preferred among graduate business program types after the MBA, Master of Accounting, and Master of Finance. Offering this degree allows us to remain competitive in offering the best possible portfolio of degrees to students.

We anticipate prospective students will be from liberal arts backgrounds and may not have traditional undergraduate business training, but still desire to move their careers and organizations forward. Classes were formulated with these types of students in mind and focus on human capital and leadership. Example classes include Leading Organizational Change, Workplace Diversity, and Effective Leadership.

MSM: The Human Side of Business

MSM students will dive into the topic of human capital – the most valuable resource an organization has. While traditional business courses teach students to approach issues through quantitative analysis, MSM courses will examine issues in organizations from the “people side”. More specifically, students will learn how to maximize human capital to actualize organizational strategies.

Although the focus of the MSM Degree will be on growing management skills, we understand that both quantitative and people skills are important – one cannot exist in a vacuum without the other. As a result, we have developed a curriculum that gives students a business foundation, but then focuses on activating people to achieve goals, with courses in organizational development, communication, human capital management, and project management.

Great Leaders Change Lives

Our mission at LFGSM is to develop great leaders who change lives. As such, leadership development is integrated throughout all of our Graduate Degree Programs, ensuring that no matter what course students are in, they will be focused on how to use their skills to be agile leaders who advance strategy, innovation and their organizations. We offer the only Graduate Degree Programs that are taught by 100% Business Leader Faculty®, and education that is “For business. By business.” Moreover, our students are experienced working professionals coming from a diversity of industries and job functions.

Since leadership is at the core of every organization, the MSM Degree focuses on the human capital side of business – preparing students to effectively lead people to grow their organizations. The MSM Degree will produce leaders who understand that leadership is all about motivating, supporting, and mentoring people. Ultimately, graduates of the MSM Program will have the interpersonal, strategic, and business knowledge to successfully lead and orchestrate change in their organizations.

We look forward to seeing what our first class of MSM graduates will accomplish as leaders in their industries!


Bryan J. Watkins, Ed.D.Dr. Bryan J. Watkins, Ed.D. is Chief Academic Officer and Vice President at Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. Bryan has a breadth and depth of experience in multiple higher education institutions that includes direct responsibility for accreditation, faculty relations, and program and curriculum design and development, as well as virtual, hybrid, and face-to-face program delivery, admissions, marketing, and sales. He is a member of the School’s Leadership Team. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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