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12 Months, 33 Credits

Today’s global economy requires visionary management, a 360-degree view of customers, and breakthrough service strategies. The MS degree in service leadership and innovation allows those who work in any industry to transform their organization through novel ways of thinking, problem-solving, and projecting the future. By learning how to see and capitalize on opportunities that others miss, graduates of the program are positioned to take employees, and themselves, to new levels of success in a constantly changing world.

Curriculum Resources

The latest curricula for incoming students is provided below. Current students and alumni – please visit the Office of the Registrar for a History of Course Catalogs to view and download official degree requirements pertaining to the academic year you began your degree.

Curriculum

Service Leadership and Innovation (comprehensive exam option), MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
GRCS-701
Research Methods
This is an introductory graduate-level survey course on research design/methods and analysis. The course provides a broad overview of the process and practices of research in applied contexts. Content includes principles and techniques of research design, sampling, data collection, and analysis including the nature of evidence, types of research, defining research questions, sampling techniques, data collection, data analysis, issues concerning human subjects and research ethics, and challenges associated with conducting research in real-world contexts. The analysis component of the course provides an understanding of statistical methodology used to collect and interpret data found in research as well as how to read and interpret data collection instruments.
3
SERQ-710
Service Design Fundamentals
Service design is a holistic design process. It uses skills from a variety of disciplines (design, management and process engineering) to develop models to create new services or to improve existing services in the most efficient and effective manner possible. The emphasis of the process is to provide value to the customer; as a service differentiator or create unique experiences for the customer. Service design uses methods and tools from a variety of disciplines to assist with the analysis and creation of enhanced systems. These tools include; mapping, blueprinting, analysis of customer behavior, market analysis, service marketing, and service recovery. The outcome of this course is to provide students with the fundamentals of service design thinking to allow them to lead the efforts of systematic design in a variety of disciplines.
3
SERQ-712
Breakthrough Thinking, Creativity, and Innovation
This is an introductory-level survey course on the dynamics of innovation. The course focuses on individual, team and organization-human and systems dynamics that impact organizational innovation. Students gain awareness in, understanding of and important skills in fostering multi-level organizational human ecologies conducive to the creation of innovation. Issues and challenges important to leaders at all levels in an organization, entrepreneurs and talent management practitioners will be examined and explored. There is a required fee for the class to pay for the administration of the ISPI and Meyers Briggs evaluation instruments. Students will develop in their understanding of innovation, their own personal innovation capabilities, preferences, and the human dynamics unique to innovation applied in an organizational context. This background is becoming increasingly critical to developing innovation capabilities in and across organizations in our increasingly competitive and complex world. This course will build awareness and improve competency in the application of overall course content and design principles particular to developing innovation-competent individuals, teams, and organizations.
3
SERQ-720
Service Scenario and Strategy Development
The service world has many examples of once-successful companies that failed to accomplish the primary goal of every organization: consistently design, deliver value to customers and other key stakeholder groups in a highly competitive and ever-changing service environment. Today’s organizational leaders must be able to develop and implement strategies that ensure the continued competitiveness of their organizations, and identify and leverage opportunities for growth and innovation brought about by change. Firmly grounded in the fundamentals of strategy development this course prepares students to create and sustain competitive advantage; and to apply key foresight techniques including scenario planning to anticipate future opportunities.
3
SERQ-723
Service Analytics
Analytics in service organizations is based on four phases: analysis and determination of what data to collect, gathering the data, analyzing it, and communicating the findings to others. In this course, students will learn the fundamentals of analytics to develop a measurement strategy for a given area of research and analysis. While this measurement process is used to ensure that operations function well and customer needs are met; the real power of measurement lies in using analytics predicatively to drive growth and service, to transform the organization and the value delivered to customers. Topics include big data, the role of measurement in growth and innovation, methodologies to measure quality, and other intangibles.
3
SERQ-740
Leading Innovation
Achieving competitive advantage in today’s world demands that organizations know how to innovate, and do so not once, but repeatedly. Creativity, rapid learning through continuous improvement, and the ability to turn ideas into action, products, processes and services are crucial. How do leaders foster and sustain a culture of innovation? What unique competencies and skills do you need as a leader and what skills do your teams need? How is managing an innovation team different than managing other kinds of teams within an organization? Through this course, service leadership students will leverage and build on their growing knowledge about innovation, the individual and group skills required for innovating gained in SERQ-712. Students will gain deeper insights into innovation leadership requirements for creating, managing and curating a thriving environment in which cutting edge ideas are encouraged, born and grown. Open to students in the service leadership and innovation MS program and non-majors on a space available basis with department permission.
3
Concentration Course or elective
3
Second Year
SERQ-787
Service Design and Implementation 
Internally driven service businesses have been the norm for many years, at best, customer-compelled companies understand the value of co-creation and customer centricity. In this course, students research and select design theories and customer centric processes to construct a customer co-created service system/process. This future-oriented approach allows the learner to apply foundation principles of service design and innovation to invent strategies to resolve customer problems.
3
SERQ-795
Comprehensive Exam
Students will demonstrate synthesis and integration of the theories and foundation principles of their discipline to respond to questions found in the comprehensive examination. This demonstration will apply core knowledge to problem situations to be successful students must receive a passing grade of at least 80 percent. (12 semester hours or less of coursework remaining to complete the program; completion of all core courses in the discipline; currently enrolled in the program; possess a program GPA of 3.0 or higher; no outstanding incomplete grades; student cannot be on academic/disciplinary probation; for disciplines requiring integrative problem solving successful completion of that course.)
0
Concentration Courses or electives
6
Elective
3
Total Semester Credit Hours
33

Service Leadership and Innovation (capstone project option), MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
GRCS-701
Research Methods
This is an introductory graduate-level survey course on research design/methods and analysis. The course provides a broad overview of the process and practices of research in applied contexts. Content includes principles and techniques of research design, sampling, data collection, and analysis including the nature of evidence, types of research, defining research questions, sampling techniques, data collection, data analysis, issues concerning human subjects and research ethics, and challenges associated with conducting research in real-world contexts. The analysis component of the course provides an understanding of statistical methodology used to collect and interpret data found in research as well as how to read and interpret data collection instruments.
3
GRCS-702
Principles of Research Communications
Conducting research requires language skills to express the research concept, explain methodology and summarize the results. This course will focus on written communication skills including critical thinking, scholarly writing skills and the ability to synthesize research results to draw conclusions. Key to this course is the establishment of a defensible argument through which the student explains, convinces and establishes boundaries for the research subject. The focus of this course is to have students learn the mechanics of research writing and at the conclusion of the course to have generated elements of their final research thesis or capstone which can be used as a basis for further work with their home department or thesis/capstone faculty advisor.
3
SERQ-710
Service Design Fundamentals
Service design is a holistic design process. It uses skills from a variety of disciplines (design, management and process engineering) to develop models to create new services or to improve existing services in the most efficient and effective manner possible. The emphasis of the process is to provide value to the customer; as a service differentiator or create unique experiences for the customer. Service design uses methods and tools from a variety of disciplines to assist with the analysis and creation of enhanced systems. These tools include; mapping, blueprinting, analysis of customer behavior, market analysis, service marketing, and service recovery. The outcome of this course is to provide students with the fundamentals of service design thinking to allow them to lead the efforts of systematic design in a variety of disciplines.
3
SERQ-712
Breakthrough Thinking, Creativity, and Innovation
This is an introductory-level survey course on the dynamics of innovation. The course focuses on individual, team and organization-human and systems dynamics that impact organizational innovation. Students gain awareness in, understanding of and important skills in fostering multi-level organizational human ecologies conducive to the creation of innovation. Issues and challenges important to leaders at all levels in an organization, entrepreneurs and talent management practitioners will be examined and explored. There is a required fee for the class to pay for the administration of the ISPI and Meyers Briggs evaluation instruments. Students will develop in their understanding of innovation, their own personal innovation capabilities, preferences, and the human dynamics unique to innovation applied in an organizational context. This background is becoming increasingly critical to developing innovation capabilities in and across organizations in our increasingly competitive and complex world. This course will build awareness and improve competency in the application of overall course content and design principles particular to developing innovation-competent individuals, teams, and organizations.
3
SERQ-720
Service Scenario and Strategy Development
The service world has many examples of once-successful companies that failed to accomplish the primary goal of every organization: consistently design, deliver value to customers and other key stakeholder groups in a highly competitive and ever-changing service environment. Today’s organizational leaders must be able to develop and implement strategies that ensure the continued competitiveness of their organizations, and identify and leverage opportunities for growth and innovation brought about by change. Firmly grounded in the fundamentals of strategy development this course prepares students to create and sustain competitive advantage; and to apply key foresight techniques including scenario planning to anticipate future opportunities.
3
SERQ-723
Service Analytics
Analytics in service organizations is based on four phases: analysis and determination of what data to collect, gathering the data, analyzing it, and communicating the findings to others. In this course, students will learn the fundamentals of analytics to develop a measurement strategy for a given area of research and analysis. While this measurement process is used to ensure that operations function well and customer needs are met; the real power of measurement lies in using analytics predicatively to drive growth and service, to transform the organization and the value delivered to customers. Topics include big data, the role of measurement in growth and innovation, methodologies to measure quality, and other intangibles.
3
SERQ-740
Leading Innovation
Achieving competitive advantage in today’s world demands that organizations know how to innovate, and do so not once, but repeatedly. Creativity, rapid learning through continuous improvement, and the ability to turn ideas into action, products, processes and services are crucial. How do leaders foster and sustain a culture of innovation? What unique competencies and skills do you need as a leader and what skills do your teams need? How is managing an innovation team different than managing other kinds of teams within an organization? Through this course, service leadership students will leverage and build on their growing knowledge about innovation, the individual and group skills required for innovating gained in SERQ-712. Students will gain deeper insights into innovation leadership requirements for creating, managing and curating a thriving environment in which cutting edge ideas are encouraged, born and grown. Open to students in the service leadership and innovation MS program and non-majors on a space available basis with department permission.
3
Second Year
SERQ-797
Capstone Project
The purpose of this course is to provide students the opportunity to conduct research, develop a plan and evaluation components and submit the project as a demonstration of final proficiency in the program. The topic selected by the student will be guided by the faculty teaching the class and it will require the student to coalesce and incorporate into the final project a culmination of all their course work in the program to date.
3
Concentration Courses or electives
9
Total Semester Credit Hours
33

Service Leadership and Innovation (thesis option), MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
GRCS-701
Research Methods
This is an introductory graduate-level survey course on research design/methods and analysis. The course provides a broad overview of the process and practices of research in applied contexts. Content includes principles and techniques of research design, sampling, data collection, and analysis including the nature of evidence, types of research, defining research questions, sampling techniques, data collection, data analysis, issues concerning human subjects and research ethics, and challenges associated with conducting research in real-world contexts. The analysis component of the course provides an understanding of statistical methodology used to collect and interpret data found in research as well as how to read and interpret data collection instruments.
3
GRCS-702
Principles of Research Communications
Conducting research requires language skills to express the research concept, explain methodology and summarize the results. This course will focus on written communication skills including critical thinking, scholarly writing skills and the ability to synthesize research results to draw conclusions. Key to this course is the establishment of a defensible argument through which the student explains, convinces and establishes boundaries for the research subject. The focus of this course is to have students learn the mechanics of research writing and at the conclusion of the course to have generated elements of their final research thesis or capstone which can be used as a basis for further work with their home department or thesis/capstone faculty advisor.
3
SERQ-710
Service Design Fundamentals
Service design is a holistic design process. It uses skills from a variety of disciplines (design, management and process engineering) to develop models to create new services or to improve existing services in the most efficient and effective manner possible. The emphasis of the process is to provide value to the customer; as a service differentiator or create unique experiences for the customer. Service design uses methods and tools from a variety of disciplines to assist with the analysis and creation of enhanced systems. These tools include; mapping, blueprinting, analysis of customer behavior, market analysis, service marketing, and service recovery. The outcome of this course is to provide students with the fundamentals of service design thinking to allow them to lead the efforts of systematic design in a variety of disciplines.
3
SERQ-720
Service Scenario and Strategy Development
The service world has many examples of once-successful companies that failed to accomplish the primary goal of every organization: consistently design, deliver value to customers and other key stakeholder groups in a highly competitive and ever-changing service environment. Today’s organizational leaders must be able to develop and implement strategies that ensure the continued competitiveness of their organizations, and identify and leverage opportunities for growth and innovation brought about by change. Firmly grounded in the fundamentals of strategy development this course prepares students to create and sustain competitive advantage; and to apply key foresight techniques including scenario planning to anticipate future opportunities.
3
SERQ-740
Leading Innovation
Achieving competitive advantage in today’s world demands that organizations know how to innovate, and do so not once, but repeatedly. Creativity, rapid learning through continuous improvement, and the ability to turn ideas into action, products, processes and services are crucial. How do leaders foster and sustain a culture of innovation? What unique competencies and skills do you need as a leader and what skills do your teams need? How is managing an innovation team different than managing other kinds of teams within an organization? Through this course, service leadership students will leverage and build on their growing knowledge about innovation, the individual and group skills required for innovating gained in SERQ-712. Students will gain deeper insights into innovation leadership requirements for creating, managing and curating a thriving environment in which cutting edge ideas are encouraged, born and grown. Open to students in the service leadership and innovation MS program and non-majors on a space available basis with department permission.
3
SERQ-723
Service Analytics
Analytics in service organizations is based on four phases: analysis and determination of what data to collect, gathering the data, analyzing it, and communicating the findings to others. In this course, students will learn the fundamentals of analytics to develop a measurement strategy for a given area of research and analysis. While this measurement process is used to ensure that operations function well and customer needs are met; the real power of measurement lies in using analytics predicatively to drive growth and service, to transform the organization and the value delivered to customers. Topics include big data, the role of measurement in growth and innovation, methodologies to measure quality, and other intangibles.
3
SERQ-712
Breakthrough Thinking, Creativity, and Innovation
This is an introductory-level survey course on the dynamics of innovation. The course focuses on individual, team and organization-human and systems dynamics that impact organizational innovation. Students gain awareness in, understanding of and important skills in fostering multi-level organizational human ecologies conducive to the creation of innovation. Issues and challenges important to leaders at all levels in an organization, entrepreneurs and talent management practitioners will be examined and explored. There is a required fee for the class to pay for the administration of the ISPI and Meyers Briggs evaluation instruments. Students will develop in their understanding of innovation, their own personal innovation capabilities, preferences, and the human dynamics unique to innovation applied in an organizational context. This background is becoming increasingly critical to developing innovation capabilities in and across organizations in our increasingly competitive and complex world. This course will build awareness and improve competency in the application of overall course content and design principles particular to developing innovation-competent individuals, teams, and organizations.
3
Second Year
SERQ-790
Research Thesis
A thesis is based on experimental evidence obtained by the candidate in an appropriate topic demonstrating the extension of theory into practice. A written proposal which is defended and authorized by the faculty adviser/committee followed by a formal written thesis and oral presentation of findings are required. Typically the candidate will have completed research methods, data analysis, and graduate writing strategies prior to enrolling in this course and will start the thesis process by taking thesis planning as soon as they have completed the prerequisites to allow them to finish the thesis when they have finished their coursework. The candidate must obtain the approval of their graduate adviser who will guide the thesis before registering for this course.
3
Concentration Courses or electives
9
Total Semester Credit Hours
33

Concentration

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
Higher Education 
EDLI-753
The Student Experience in Higher Education
This course explores the student experience in higher education. Since students are, arguably, a university’s most important customer, how should institutions approach the student experience on and off campus? This course will prompt students to consider the wide range and types of colleges and universities around the world and the models used that form the college experience. These approaches impact students perceptions of the higher education university reputation, marketability, alumni giving, and retention. Topics for investigation include: (1) campus facilities and third places; (2) student services; (3) student activities and athletics; (4) teaching and learning; (5) campus traditions; (6) assessment strategies.
3
EDLI-754
Critical Systems in Higher Education
Higher education is a vital societal component in American and global societies and must be accessible to citizens. This course examines current and historical perspectives of the critical systems in higher education to fund, manage risk, and adhere to lawful practices and lead. All of these systems affect students in areas of accessibility, value, customer service, and the higher education experience. Included is an exploration of how price, cost, and value shape what is provided by and who attends college as well as reviewing current practices and events that continue to shape higher education.
3
EDLI-757
Organization and Leadership in Higher Education
This course examines features of core functional areas of modern higher education. The course focuses on the administration of higher education institutions and includes (1) historical contexts for higher education; (2) student experience; (3) academic and administrative issues; (4) infrastructural concerns, including planning, technology, and facilities management. This course uses a survey perspective of these areas to provide a foundation for understanding the dimensions found within higher education. This course is open to RIT students with a graduate status, or those with department permission.
3

Electives

Course
HRDE-711
Program Evaluation and Design
This course teaches the systematic application of social research procedures to evaluate the conceptualization, design, implementation, and utility of human resource development programs.
HRDE-712
Performance Analysis and Development
This course provides individuals with a framework needed to successfully analyze performance and design learning interventions that drive performance improvements in an organization. Students will examine performance measurement, adult learning principles, and learning styles as well as best practices in organizational learning, employee development, and alternative delivery strategies. Additionally, students will identify how to link learning initiatives with strategy and gain commitment to those initiatives from senior leaders.
HRDE-715
Human Performance Design and Development
A systematic approach to improve organizational productivity and competence of the internal workforce. It is a process of selection, analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation of programs to allow the most cost effective influence on human behavior and accomplishment to solve organizational problems.
HRDE-720
Theories of Organizational Development
As organizations undergo continual change, HR leaders play a pivotal role enabling their organizations to anticipate, plan, and profit from change. This course introduces the student to theories and practices of organization development and change leadership. Such leadership requires competencies of identifying and framing challenges, consulting with clients, researching solutions, creating, implementing, and evaluating action plans. Through study, practice, and application, students will gain knowledge and skills to foster change, innovation, and the adaptability of an organization.
HRDE-721
Organizational Learning and Knowledge Management
This is an introductory graduate-level survey course for organizational learning and knowledge management. The course will provide a broad overview of the concepts, practices, and challenges associated with learning in organizational contexts. Principles, techniques, and structures used to create, capture, store, value, distribute, and leverage knowledge to enhance organizational performance in continuously changing environments will be examined. Topics covered include types and nature of knowledge, levels of organizational learning, communities of practice, social and technological systems for capturing, storing, and distributing knowledge, valuation of knowledge assets, innovation and creativity, barriers to organizational learning, and knowledge as a source of competitive advantage.
HRDE-722
Talent Development
This course provides skills to develop, retain, and engage the best available talent required for current and future success. Students examine benchmark practices from all industry types to derive effective strategies for their own organizations, develop a human capital strategy development, and complete an integrated set of projects to implement selected components of the strategy.
HRDE-740
Strategic HRD for Global Organizations
Global human resource development is a method for developing employees in global organizations. In this course, students will be exposed to the fundamentals of developing HRD programs within a multicultural framework. The need to be aware of cultural differences and how to best address them is critical for the global company. This course will explore globalization and HRD, design and development of global HRD programs, delivery and assessment of global HRD programs, and consulting across cultures.
HRDE-742
Leading Change
Major change initiatives within organizations fail because of lack of understanding of the process of change and the lack of deliberate and focused attention to the change process. This course teaches students the change process and the alterations required in structures, processes, and activities to effectively implement change initiatives within organizations. The components of this course include applied approaches and tools to help analyze barriers for change, leverage power and influence, and provide frameworks to plan and implement change.
HRDE-743
Training for Global Organizations
This course is designed to develop a student's understanding of cross-cultural communication and adaptation and how to design and deliver formal training. The course provides an introduction to different theoretical perspectives on cross-cultural communication and adaptation and the application of these perspectives to the design of training. Issues examined include culture theory, cross-cultural competence, and techniques and design of cross-cultural training.
HRDE-745
Information Systems in HRD
The workforce of the future is changing. It is creating challenges for organizations to continue to grow and develop their human capital. The role of the HRD professional is to act strategically, utilizing information system tools to ensure the workforce has the skills to meet the challenges of tomorrow. This course will provide a comprehensive overview of information systems used in HR to develop, assess, and provide data analysis of the workforce to meet the present and evolving needs of the organization.
HRDE-780
Internship
This course provides the student with the opportunity to apply their graduate course work to the world of work. Students will participate in internship opportunities in a work scenario similar to their ultimate career choice in the field. A mentor for the student must be identified in the place of the internship. The role of the mentor will be to work with students to develop a plan for the internship, facilitate the internship experience, and verify the student's accomplishment of specified outcomes as a result of the internship. Once the mentor approves of the plan of work and student accomplishments at the conclusion of the internship they will send this final report to the student's program adviser.
SERQ-722
Customer Centricity
The Customer Centricity course develops the learners ability to help their organization manage its interactions with its valued customers across multiple channels, maximize revenue opportunities, build foundations to increase customer satisfaction, and drive customer retention and loyalty.
SERQ-730
Project Management in the Service Sector
Managing public and private sector projects is a complex, demanding process involving ethical considerations, leadership, the ability to understand complex rules and regulations, the politics of the administration and the vagaries of the budget process. This conceptual framework will address planning, selection of team members, contracts and agreements, monitoring and adjusting the project progress and completion of the project through turnkey stages. The end result of this process is to contribute to establishment of trust of the stakeholders, minimize failure and maximize success.
SERQ-732
Assessment of Service Quality
The service sector encompasses a large and varied arena making the assessment of service quality challenging. This course will provide quality evaluation strategies which span a variety of service sectors. To build a comprehensive picture of public and private sector quality service indicators will be reviewed as well as strategies to assess service quality. Each of these approaches will be analyzed, discussed and evaluated for the output generated. To assist with this overview, the Serve/Qual model, including the identification of service standards to meet and exceed customer expectations, will be used to evaluate service quality.
SERQ-735
Data Mining in the Service Sector
To gather and analyze public/private service sector information to inform decisions is the goal of every public/private sector administration. Data can drive success of governments and organizations or lead to their downfall. This course will explore data mining used in the public/private sector, how to gather it and utilize the results of the data collections to inform decisions that reflect the needs and desires of the stakeholders in this sector.
SERQ-745
Social Psychology of Service
Service interactions are an increasing segment of human interactions in today’s society. This course will examine service relationships, encounters and experiences from the perspective of human motivation and relating existing theories of social psychology to the delivery of services. An analysis of the interactions of customers and employees will help the student restrain their use of intuition and overlay critical thinking skills with human dynamics. The areas to be included in this course include; emotional intelligence, reciprocity, persuasion, conflict and communication, motivation, diversity, retention, and other related theories.
SERQ-747
Design Thinking and Creativity
The use of creative problem solving to discover new alternatives in the design of products and services is the essence of design thinking. The innovation design thinking process seeks creative inspiration to solve a problem, generating and selecting ideas to develop a path from design to market. Design thinking tools and strategies are discussed as are “Wicked Problems” and the impact design thinking can have on developing a solution for these problems. An in-depth approach uses stories and prototypes to design products/ services in an effort to solve problems in an innovative and sustainable manner.
SERQ-787
Service Design and Implementation
Internally driven service businesses have been the norm for many years, at best, customer-compelled companies understand the value of co-creation and customer centricity. In this course, students research and select design theories and customer centric processes to construct a customer co-created service system/process. This future-oriented approach allows the learner to apply foundation principles of service design and innovation to invent strategies to resolve customer problems.

MS in Service Leadership and Innovation