Hi, I'm Carol Geffner. I serve as the Director of the Executive Master of Leadership program here at USC's Price School of Public Policy. 

I bet you, like all of our students, are a busy professional such that scheduling a time to talk in real-time could take awhile. So I'm hoping the videos below can be the next best thing and give you a better feel of what our program is all about.

USC’s Executive Master of Leadership is designed for experienced professionals ready to take their leadership to the next level within a complex environment and/or organization. Here, in a supportive cohort environment, students are challenged to discern and refine their own assumptions, biases and beliefs – all within a 21st century framework of leadership.
Specifically, students will learn and develop within themselves highly effective leadership knowledge, skills and practices, such as:
  • Models of 21st century leadership
  • Strategic communication
  • Emotional and social intelligence
  • Team dynamics, collaboration and managing across boundaries
  • Character and ethics
  • Change management in complex cultures
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Power and influence

Get the Executive Master of Leadership Brochure


The Executive Master of Leadership curriculum consists of a 28-unit curriculum (seven classes), comprised of four core courses and three electives. The core courses are completed over a 14-month period in an intensive format, which is highly interactive and designed to accommodate the scheduling demands of working professionals.

Each four-unit course meets for eight full days. The core leadership classes are scheduled around weekends, typically in two or three blocks per semester. These weekend leadership workshops meet approximately four weeks apart, and typically require all-day attendance.

Core Courses:

  1. PPD 640 - Leadership Foundations: Competencies and Core Values (Fall)
  2. PPD 641 - Leading Individuals, Groups, and Teams (Spring)
  3. PPD 642 - Strategic Leadership of Organizations (Summer) 
  4. PPD 643 - Leading Transformations Across Sectors (Fall)

Executive Master of Leadership Admissions

To be considered for the EML program, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and five or more years of relevant professional experience. Under normal circumstances, no applicant having a grade point average of less than 3.0 will be admitted to the program.
Interested applicants are encouraged to complete the official USC Graduate Admissions Application.