- Professor of Education
About this Program
With two degree offerings, the Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) and the Doctorate in Organizational Leadership (DOL), the Hood doctoral experience is unique in its approach with a cohort-based format and personalized faculty support that provides an immersive experience with structural support at every stage and is committed to ensuring every candidate completes the dissertation process and earns a doctorate.
NEW: The Emerging Community Leaders Doctoral Scholarship Established in 2023 by Hood College alumnus, this scholarship, amounting to $5,000, will be granted once in their first cohort year to an individual working for an educational system, institution, or a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. During this initial year in the Doctorate of Organizational Leadership (DOL) program, the recipient will receive $2,500 in the fall and another $2,500 in the spring. This scholarship is not renewable after the first year for the recipient. Application deadline is June 1st.
The Doctoral Program in Organizational Leadership (DOL) is a cohort-based program designed for mid-to-senior-level professionals from diverse backgrounds including business, education, non-profit, military and government and is open to both domestic and international students. To accommodate work schedules of busy professionals who are in our program, classes are offered on Saturdays in a flexible, hybrid format, with in-person classes on some Saturdays at the college’s scenic Frederick campus.
The Doctoral Program in Organizational Leadership is committed to Preparing Leaders, Transforming Communities. The Doctoral Program in Organizational Leadership is founded on four pillars of leadership excellence: Mindful Leadership, Stewardship, Systems Thinking and Community.
The curriculum is carefully designed to promote these values and principles. Class discussions, self-assessments, and assignments provide opportunities to analyze personal and professional values and grow as mindful leaders. Coursework guides students in the responsible administration of financial, social, ecological, and human resources to nurture a mindset of stewardship. Systems thinking is encouraged in exploring opportunities to effectively initiate and manage sustainable change to transform organizations and communities. Opportunities to engage with the larger community are weaved in throughout the curriculum with community leaders serving as Leaders-in-Residence and multiple formal and informal events for service to the community.
Read about the Doctoral Program’s contribution in designing and facilitating the leadership curriculum for Leadership Frederick County, as part of Hood’s partnership with the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce.
Our values-based curriculum encourages students to choose dissertation topics that can make an impact in their organizations and communities. We are proud of our alumni who are transforming communities through their work.
*Listen to authentic testimonials from Hood doctoral program alumni in the recorded session of the April 2023 Doctoral Alumni Panel available here.
Hood College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), which is recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE) and by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
Ideal candidates are mid-to-senior career professionals who have a leadership role within their organizations or communities, or have a strong desire for leadership. Hood College's doctoral program is now open to both domestic and international applicants.
What we look for in determining eligibility:
- At least 8 years of experience
- Leadership experience or a strong desire to lead for transformational change.
- A master's degree with a minimum GPA of 3.25
- Previous coursework in statistics. If this requirement is not met, additional coursework beyond the 60 credits will be necessary.
- For International Students: English proficiency test report and verification of master’s degree.
"My journey to earn a doctoral degree is a personal one. As someone who enjoys the process of being schooled, I’ll earn the highest academic degree possible—not for monetary gain, job advancement, or to be elevated in the eyes of some—but for me."
--Eric Louérs-Phillips, DOL'19
The Doctoral Program in Organizational Leadership is a cohort-based program with hybrid scheduling that provides flexibility for busy professionals. Coursework for the multidisciplinary program is usually completed in three years with two summers dedicated to the dissertation coursework and independent work during the fall semester of the fourth year.
Students progress through 60 credits of coursework over a period of three years that include 27 credits of core leadership courses, 9 credits of research methods courses, 12 elective credits that can be selected from graduate course offerings from business, education, economics, counseling, or health sciences. Finally, 12 credits of dissertation research courses provide the structural support to ensure candidates complete their dissertations and earn their doctorate, and walk in the commencement ceremony in May of their fourth year.
At the end of the second year, students take a Comprehensive Examination to demonstrate their grasp of the first five leadership core courses and three research methods courses. Once they pass the comprehensive exam, they are given the title ‘doctoral candidate’ and become eligible to formally start work on their dissertation research.
If candidates need more time to complete their dissertation work, additional support is provided with 1-credit courses every semester till they complete their dissertations.
Classes are offered on Saturdays but doctoral students do not have to be on campus all Saturdays. Each semester, students will have two courses, with 4 to 5 on-campus sessions per class, and 1 Saturday session per class conducted through Zoom.
* Applications are now open for the Fall ’23 Cohort. Priority Deadline is March 1st. Regular deadline is May 1st. Apply early as we have limited seats in each cohort.
To be considered for admission to the program, applicants must:
- Submit your resume to demonstrate interest in the program by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The Program Director will review your resume and offer an opportunity for a preliminary meeting to discuss your eligibility.
- Complete the online application here.
- Have previous institution submit an official e-transcript for a completed master’s degree. Applicants must have completed a master’s degree with a minimum 3.25 GPA and taken at least one course in statistics. E-transcripts should be sent to the Hood Graduate Admissions via Parchment or emailed to email@example.com.
- Submit a résumé that demonstrates a minimum of 8-10 years of progressive professional work experience (*please note that if you submit your resume upfront to firstname.lastname@example.org, the doctoral program director will review it and reach out for a preliminary meeting to discuss your background & the doctoral program).
- Submit two letters of recommendation: one from your employer that speaks to your professional work experience and leadership skills, the second from an individual who can attest to your leadership skills.
- Submit a 400- to 500-word personal essay that describes what attracts you to this doctorate program.
- Submit a 500- to 750-word essay in response to one of the following prompts:
- What is the role of leadership in an organization as it focuses on challenges and issues of the twenty-first century?
- Leadership is often defined as the “art of influence.” What lessons have you learned from a leader you admire?
- Compare and contrast your leadership style with that of a leader you admire and respect.
- Describe how sustainable leadership (economic, social and environmental) fits with your personal paradigm of leadership.
- Provide one of the following admission elements:
- Standardized test scores (SLLA, GRE, GMAT or MAT) - OR -
- Evidence of master’s level culminating research experience (capstone project, thesis, field work or action research project).
- For International Students: English language test and a NACES or AICE course by course transcript are required. Visit our international admission webpage for more details.
Once applications have been submitted for initial review, eligible applicants will be invited for a virtual interview with the doctoral review committee as part of the application process.
Hood Doctoral Student Bios
- Cohort 7 Doctoral Student Bios
- Cohort 6 Doctoral Student Bios
- Cohort 5 Doctoral Student Bios
- Cohort 4 Doctoral Student Bios
Hood Doctoral Alumni Bios
Hood Doctoral Student Spotlights
- Smita Padmanabhan (short video clip)
- Darnell Billups (short video clip)
- Cynthia Johnson (short video clip)
- Jeneen Stewart (short video clip)
- CDR Youssef Aboul-Enein, USN, DOL
- Jonathan Spaans, DBA'19
Hood Doctoral Alumni Spotlights
- Ja'Bette Lozupone, DOL'20 - featured in January 2023 Diverse Magazine, Emerging Scholars issue
Hood College Doctoral Cohort 8
Featuring our fall 2023 new doctoral cohort (Cohort 8).
95 percent of our full-time faculty hold the doctorate or terminal degree in their field.All Faculty
"If you’re thinking about pursuing a doctoral degree at Hood College, I would say to go for it. It’s a transformative experience that will change your life for the better. Like they say, diamonds are formed under pressure, and it doesn’t happen overnight."
- Alumni Relations
Cheryl Dyson, DOL'22, was recently appointed superintendent of Frederick County Public Schools. She plans to use the knowledge and skills gained in Hood's organizational leadership doctoral program to serve students, teachers and staff.
- Community Involvement
"I knew that part of my post-military retirement plan was to earn a doctorate. My problem was finding the right fit. I found Hood College's doctoral program was an exact fit geographically and financially, as well as time and commitment-wise."