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Program Overview

The Doctorate of Organizational Leadership is designed for practicing professionals in education, the non-profit sector and government. Goals are to:

  • Develop leaders who are well versed in the triple-bottom-line sustainability paradigm (economic, social and environmental).
  • Equip leaders with the skills and competencies to initiate and manage change in today’s competitive environment.
  • Educate and train leaders to employ pedagogical, empirical and research skills to initiate, conduct and evaluate independent research.
  • Provide a forum for area professionals to network and collaborate with others who share their interests in leadership, service and development of communities.
  • Enable candidates to customize their studies based on work context, educational background and career aspirations.
  • Advance frontiers of theoretical knowledge and practical application in leadership.

Entrance requirements

See Admission Requirements for a complete listing of entrance criteria.

About the program

The DOL requires 60 credits beyond the master’s degree and consists of 27 credits of core coursework, 12 credits from a specialization tier, 9 credits of research methodology courses, and a 12-credit applied research-based capstone project.

Core leadership tier

Courses in this tier provide every cohort member a common set of understandings about key elements of effective organizational leadership:

  • Seminar in Leadership Theory and Practice (4 credits)
  • Seminar in Ethics and Leadership (4 credits)
  • Leading and Managing Human Capital (3 credits)
  • Financial Stewardship for Leaders (3 credits)
  • Sustainable Systemic Leadership (3 credits)
  • Seminar in Leading Strategic Change and Transformation (4 credits)
  • Leadership and Strategic Communication (3 credits)
  • Leadership, Advocacy, and Policy (3 credits)

Research tier

All candidates complete the following three Research Methodology courses for a total of nine credits:

  • Qualitative Research in Social Sciences: Theory and Design (3 credits)
  • Statistical Methods for Social Science Research: Design & Analysis (3 credits)
  • Fundamentals of Evidence-Based Management: Theory, Research, and Application (3 credits)

Specialization tier

Candidates select 12 specialization credits (three courses) from among graduate course offerings within the departments of Psychology and Counseling, Economics and Business Administration, and Education. Also, in consultation with their adviser, students design and conduct a one-credit project related to each of those elective courses. These projects will involve either the candidate’s employer or a local organization and have as their goal to inform the candidate concerning the ultimate subject of his/her research-based capstone experience. Up to six credits beyond the master’s degree may be transferred toward meeting this requirement with the adviser’s approval.

Note: Selection is subject to the approval of the candidate’s adviser and Program Director. With approval, courses from other departments may also meet this requirement.

  • COUN 500L Human Development as Lifelong Development 4.0
  • COUN 502L Social and Cultural Foundations of Counseling 4.0
  • COUN 503L Lifestyle and Career Development 4.0
  • COUN 506L Research and Program Evaluation 4.0
  • ECON 560L Managerial Economics 4.0
  • ECMG 578L International Financial Management 4.0
  • EDUC 502L Technology for Literacy, Leadership, and Learning 4.0
  • EDUC 513L School Law 4.0
  • EDUC 514L Administration of Pupil Services 4.0
  • EDUC 581L Research-based Teaching and Learning 4.0
  • EDUC 582L Educational Philosophy in a Diverse Society 4.0
  • EDUC 584L Systemic Change Processes for School Improvement 4.0
  • EDUC 586L Principles of Supervision 4.0*
  • MGMT 562L Financial & Managerial Accounting 4.0*
  • MGMT 563L Marketing Management 4.0
  • MGMT 565L International Management 4.0*
  • MGMT 566L Management & Information Technology 4.0*
  • MGMT 568L Accounting Information Systems 4.0*
  • MGMT 569L Project Management 4.0
  • MGMT 570L Marketing Analysis for Managers 4.0*
  • MGMT 572L Supply Chain Management 4.0*
  • MGMT 576L Advanced Financial Management 4.0*
  • MGMT 577L Portfolio and Investment Management 4.0*
  • MGMT 580L Strategic Cost Management 4.0*
  • MGMT 581L Financial Statement Analysis 4.0*
  • MGMT 582L Negotiation & Conflict Resolution 4.0*
  • MGMT 587L Public Administration 4.0*

*Prerequisite course(s) may be required.

Research-based capstone courses

During the last two years candidates work within a series of applied research-based capstone project courses for a total of 12 credits. This work is guided by an advisory committee and includes a public presentation of the results. Capstone projects are expected to address a challenge within the candidate’s working context, organization or community and to incorporate leadership-based research and the impact of effective leadership. Examples include the design and implementation of a strategic plan, implementation of a diversity management program and an assessment of the effectiveness of various implemented programs.

The capstone project consists of the following three courses which are distributed across three semesters:

  • Capstone I: Theoretical Framework (4 credits)
  • Capstone II: Research Proposal Defense (4 credits)
  • Capstone III: Project Defense (4 credits)