More than ever, organizations in all sectors need versatile leaders with high management acumen. The Master of Leadership and Management (MLM) is designed to deliver mastery in 21st-century leadership and management principles and practices. It prepares leaders to take on additional managerial responsibilities in global organizations or to make a career change across industries or sectors. This management program focuses on cross-cultural communication, finance, data analytics, marketing and working in diverse, global teams. The real-world curriculum combines Thunderbird’s prestigious tradition of graduate education with cutting-edge technology to deliver a transformative graduate degree.

Designed to empower graduates with well-rounded, future-ready skill sets, this transformational master's degree provides a strategically choreographed progression through every facet of international management. Courses span the gamut of Thunderbird's online offerings, from accounting and data-driven decision-making to global finance and marketing. Students also receive hands-on, experiential learning opportunities in practical, real-world situations through elective courses that allow them to apply their full range of professional skills acquired during their studies, preparing them to lead in all sectors: government, private enterprise, non-governmental organizations and nonprofits.


Who should attend?

  • Leaders who want to drive growth and proactively respond to social, political, regulatory, and natural forces that impact their business and workplace.
  • Mid-level managers who support and lead teams who are looking to gain advanced skills in leadership in order to achieve a promotion.
  • Functional managers in HR, finance, marketing, supply chain, and operations who want to be more involved in their global business strategy.
  • Professionals from the public and nonprofit sectors who want greater knowledge of global business and leadership development.

Curriculum and specialization

Program curriculum

The Master of Leadership and Management's one-of-a-kind cutting edge curriculum features 30 credit hours and provides students with the flexibility to choose from a variety of instructional courses, as well as applied learning opportunities, including: Thunderbird's Global Challenge Lab, Global Organizational Consulting, and a Global Field Seminar.

Course Course description Credits

TAM 505 Navigating Global and Regional Business Environments

(Offered asynchronously online or one-week in-person in Phoenix)

Learn tools to assess trends and development in the global and regional business environment so that, as international managers, you can develop more effective strategies for your company or organization.


TAM 511 Global Accounting: Managing with Numbers

Break down any fear of accounting and numbers to gain a solid understanding of this key ecosystem across public, not-for-profit, private and business sectors which is a must-have for any leader to succeed in, by learning to ask the right questions in an engaging and safe environment, starting with a step by step practical review of the latest in financial accounting and managerial accounting, drawing on fun practical case examples from the likes of Tesla and a leading bank, to the accounting of launching an entrepreneurial venture. 


TAM 521 Financial Value Creation for Leaders

Develop analytical skills and equip yourself with the necessary decision-making tools for modern financial management, learning to make sound investment and financing decisions in a global setting within a market-oriented framework.


TAM 530 Data Analytics and Digital Transformation in a Global World

Develop data-driven decision-making skills, leading modern organizations to see trends using predictive visual analytics and applying Fourth Industrial Revolution digital transformation technology such as artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, and augmented reality (AR). 


TAM 541 Strategy in a Competitive World (Capstone Course)

Focus on decision-makers' choices that have an impact on the performance of the entire organization. Through case studies and application of strategy tools and frameworks, the course endeavors to improve understanding of competitive strategy making in the corporate context.


TAM 542 Global Leadership and Personal Development

Sharpen your leadership skills and enhance your personal development, no matter your current leadership level, in alignment with today’s volatile, complex, global challenges.


TAM 557 Customer Experience and Digital Marketing in a Global World

Learn how companies, domestic and global, can enhance customer experience and satisfaction by providing value to customers through engaging in strategies that range from qualitative and quantitative to digital.


TAM 582 Communicating and Negotiating in a Dynamic Global World (Core Course)

Immerse yourself in the world's cultures by learning about cultural practices and communication styles across many countries and by working in cross-cultural teams throughout the course.


TGM 586 Global Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Business

This program is designed to train outstanding leaders and managers in public and global affairs to address the most complex and pressing challenges at the forefront of national and international conversations. It delivers the highest quality graduate education with cutting-edge technology and a transformative experience with world-class professors and practitioners.


Thunderbird Applied Learning (Choose 1)

(a minimum of 3 credits)


TAM 589 Global Field Seminar

Immerse yourself in a regional environment and gain inside exposure to the opportunities and challenges a range of enterprises operating in that region face while expanding your private and public sector networks. 


TGM 596 Thunderbird Experiential Practicum (GCL)

Activate the sum of your Thunderbird experience by traveling with a team to a field location to solve a pressing business challenge for a live project sponsor in the mold of a real consulting engagement. 


TGM 507 Global Organizational Consulting

Learn by doing as you gain exposure to key consulting delivery techniques and work remotely on a team to identify and solve an industry challenge in the country of your choice.


TAM 534 Global Venture Creation

Covers the most essential topics for first-timer startup founders. Teaches how to quickly identify and test new business ideas, and how to launch a new venture when an idea worth pursuing is found. Provides a good understanding of the entrepreneurial journey and what is involved when launching a new business. Students develop a new business idea, build and test business model and deliver a professional business pitch at the end of the course. Highly experiential and involves a great deal of customer interaction.



A thunderbird student stands in a cocoa drying center while on a Global Challenge Lab consulting trip overseas

Applied learning

The Thunderbird Global Challenge Lab (GCL) program is a capstone course at Thunderbird that engages a team of four to five Master of Leadership & Management (MLM) candidates with a client in an advanced or emerging market. The team spends one week working on the project onsite with their client. Projects are tailored to the business needs of the client and provide sophisticated data and market analysis, strategy recommendations, and practical, effective plans for sustained growth. The Lab offers projects which are truly win-win propositions, creating value for companies and providing a unique, professional learning experience for our students.

Financial aid and costs

Financial aid

Program Costs

Scholarships of 50% of the total tuition costs are available for students from emerging economies.


Fees USD$
Application fee (domestic) $70
Application fee (international) $70
Program deposit Not required
Total program cost $39,000


Our faculty and online learning

Faculty highlights

Thunderbird Professor Roy Nelson

Roy Nelson

Senior Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs and Associate Professor

Lena Booth

Deputy Dean, Thunderbird Academic Enterprise and Finance Professor
Thunderbird Associate Dean and Professor Seigyoung Auh

Seigyoung Auh

Associate Dean of Research, Professor of Global Marketing & Research Faculty, Center for Services Leadership
Euvin Naidoo

Euvin Naidoo

Distinguished Professor of Practice in Global Accounting, Risk and Agility
Thunderbird Associate Dean, Faculty and Administration Mary Teagarden

Mary Teagarden

Deputy Dean, Thunderbird Knowledge Enterprise and Professor of Global Strategy

Mansour Javidan

Garvin Distinguished Professor and Executive Director of Najafi Global Mindset Institute

Online learning

Our custom-designed degree programs and courses are delivered online by the same award-winning faculty who teach on campus. These eminent professors design the courses using state-of-the-art technology and instructional tools, providing you with a direct connection to the knowledge and expertise of our renowned faculty. The degree awarded is the Master of Leadership and Management. Our diplomas don’t specify whether you earn your degree online or in person.

A Thunderbird students participates in an online learning course on her taptop

Requirements and deadlines

Application requirements

Application deadlines

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Recommended application processing time is 6 weeks.

Deadline Dates
January start December 15
March start February 20
May start April 30
June start June 10
August start July 31
October start September 20


Attend an information session

Learn more about Thunderbird and the admissions process by attending an upcoming virtual information session.

Connect with our admissions team

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Learn more about Thunderbird and the admissions process by attending an upcoming virtual information session.

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