McDonough School of Business

EML Academics

The Executive Master’s in Leadership (EML) curriculum explores leadership as a set of interrelated competencies, teaching students the art and science of effective leadership behaviors.

The Executive Master’s in Leadership (EML) teaches students the art and science of effective leadership behaviors necessary to make wise personal, organizational, and policy choices. The 32-credit curriculum explores leadership as a set of interrelated competencies — understanding and making changes to optimize the self and relationships, your organization, and global and local communities.

Curriculum & Course Descriptions

The EML curriculum combines 12 core courses, three residencies – where students bring together everything they have learned into real-life deliverables – and personal coaching designed to catalyze students’ reflection and self-awareness to force multiply their EML experience. 

*EML courses may be adjusted due to developments related to COVID-19. Students will learn of further updates, if any, from the EML Program Office.   

Program Overview with Professor Catherine Tinsley

Summer Term Courses

Courses offered during the summer term focus on emotional intelligence, accountability, negotiation, and mindful decision-making.

Although business requires a broad array of analytical skills in marketing, management, finance, accounting, and operations, these skills will only go so far. As a complement, managers need a broad array of negotiation skills in order to get their proposals accepted and implemented. A fundamental negotiation skill is social awareness and the ability to understand how one’s mindset (i.e. being “in” or “out of the box”) impacts the situation and the other parties.

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EML Negotiations Course

Develop a systematic way to think carefully about decisions as part of larger cognitive endeavors. Learn about inherent cognitive limitations and how they jeopardize effective thinking; how to model situations to structure thinking; and develop an understanding of different cognitive traps and biases that occur in decision making and problem solving.

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Selling your agenda requires you to know your audience, know what you want them to do, and frame your message successfully. Whether your communication involves modes of
speaking or writing, or audiences of one or many, you are always trying to influence others. This class will help you to capitalize on these opportunities.

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Learn techniques used by leading organizations to create information that supports strategy implementation and drives value creation. Students also will explore how successful leaders coordinate and control day-to-day operating activities, evaluate business performance, and motivate employees to achieve results.

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Strategic-Management-of-Cost-Profit course

Students integrate unit concepts into a personalized action plan that identifies the strategic priorities, action steps, and areas of opportunity in their individual leadership journey. This plan serves as a guide for future growth and success and directly prepares students for the Closing Residency.

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Fall Term Courses

Courses offered during the fall term focus on intra-organizational topics of culture, human capital, collaboration, and building strategic vision.

Apply evidence and statistical analysis to solve leadership problems. Learn how to evaluate the validity and generalizability of any evidence to help you find the best available evidence to address the leadership problem at hand.

Learn how an organization can attract, develop, and retain talented people (human capital); systematically build trust and social capital; and enable organizational success. The class provides context for understanding how an organization can identify and nurture potential leaders.

Understand the power of organizational culture and a leader’s role in shaping and leveraging it. Explore major perspectives on culture to create frameworks that allow you to analyze culture, understand its strengths and weaknesses, and learn how a leader can use culture to bring the best results to the organization.

Analyze and understand the building blocks of competitive strategy and organizational leadership, as well as establish and defend an organization’s dominant position in its industry.

This individual research project allows you to personalize the EML program to your individual interests while engaging in the scientific research process. Guided by a mentor, you will explore a specific leadership challenge; review and contribute to knowledge of leadership within a particular context; or explore an organizational leadership challenge. Alternatively, students interested in entrepreneurship can structure the capstone project to develop a business plan.

Spring Term Courses

Courses offered during the spring term focus on building stakeholder networks, cultivating a global mindset, and continual growth and innovation.

Develop your global business acumen by working in small teams to consult either within an industry or with a specific overseas organization. You will learn details about the political, economic, and social systems of a country in which your partner organization is embedded and work to address its complex business or social challenges.

Learn how to cultivate resources that sustain organizational growth in global societies. Develop leadership strategies that maximize inclusion and impact through organizational partnerships with diverse stakeholders.

Explore both the science and the practice of leading teams and being led, and understand the leader’s role (e.g., designing, composing, structuring, and coaching a team) and the differences among various sorts of teams (e.g., entrepreneurial teams, creative teams, decision-making teams, virtual teams, and top management/C-suite teams).

Examine how effective leaders are able to bring about fundamental change in organizational settings and why certain methods and techniques, and not others, are effective in particular settings.

Implement concepts learned in the classroom to a leadership-focused consulting project for a client based abroad. In small teams, you will work with the client over several weeks and then present your recommendations in person during a week-long global residency.

Catherine Tinsley

The Georgetown EML program presents a unique opportunity for students to reposition themselves for future leadership roles, to challenge themselves to enter new arenas, and to map out a journey to become their best selves – both professionally and personally.

Catherine Tinsley
Academic Director, EML Program
Raffini Family Professor of Management


EML Global residency south africa

EML students participate in three experiential residencies – two domestic and one global – that allow them to actively engage and put into practice the concepts and skillsets they learn in the classroom. These residencies roughly anchor the start and end of the EML program.

Residencies deepened my cohort’s relationships. They provided a concentrated, extended period away from distractions like email to dive deep into leadership challenges.

Ariel Batungbacal (EML’12)

During this intensive and inspiring experience, students receive a solid introduction to the EML curriculum and meet the program team and faculty. The Opening Residency inspires students to begin thinking more deeply and systematically about their perspectives on leadership and the arenas in which they plan to demonstrate leadership. In addition, the residency helps to build a sense of camaraderie and teamwork among members of the cohort.

The Global Residency, a signature Georgetown McDonough experience, provides students the opportunity to implement concepts learned in the classroom to a leadership-focused consulting project for a client based in the residency location. Small teams of students work with their clients over several weeks and have the opportunity to present their recommendations during the week-long global residency. Additionally, prior to the Global Residency, EML students will have attended a series of on-campus lectures and discussions to gain a better understanding of the history, culture, and leadership challenges that exist in the host country. 

Cohorts in the past have traveled to Nairobi, Kenya, and Cape Town, South Africa, for the Global Residency.

Residency Spotlight: Recycling in South Africa

As part of their global residency, three EML students transformed a resource center in a poverty-stricken township of South Africa into a new recycling facility in the center of the community.

Watch Residency Spotlight

This residency places significant emphasis on the understanding and application of selected Jesuit disciplines such as contemplative action and daily examination. Before attending the Closing Residency, students will have created a personal leadership action plan, which will help prepare for discussions about future growth and success as a leader.

Faculty & Research

EML classes are led by experienced faculty who offer practical and applicable knowledge and who are equally committed to our students as mentors beyond the classroom. This group of noted experts and educators understand the nuances of leadership and deliver rich, practical insights to our Executive Master’s in Leadership students.

Brooks Holtom

Professor Brooks Holtom
Previously Taught Human & Social Capital

evelyn Williams

Professor Evelyn Williams
Teaches Leading Change & Innovation

Jason Schloetzer

Professor Jason Schloetzer
Teaches Strategic Management of Cost & Profit