Organizational Leadership (DOL)

  • Doctorate

About this Program

The Doctorate of Organizational Leadership (DOL) prepares leaders in higher and public education, business, the non-profit sector, military and government to meet the personal and professional challenges of the future. The DOL is a cohort-based doctoral program with flexible hybrid scheduling designed specifically for busy professionals.

Program Overview

Preparing Leaders, Transforming Communities

The DOL is founded on the four pillars of leadership excellence: mindfulness, resource stewardship, systems thinking and community commitment. Our program prepares students to guide their organizations—and their communities—through the challenges of the twenty-first century. Students learn to make decisions based not only on financial performance but also on social and environmental criteria. Coursework prepares them to use benchmarking and evidence-based research to improve organizational effectiveness and efficiency.

Through an integrated curriculum that explores values, students are equipped for lives of responsibility, leadership and service. Participants are encouraged to be lifelong learners who engage in self-assessment, reflection and evaluation. 

Ideal Candidates

Ideal candidates are mid-career professionals who hold leadership positions within their organizations or have a strong desire to ascend to that level. They have earned a master’s degree and have at least 8-10 years of progressively responsible experience in their career field. Hood College's doctorate programs are now open to both domestic and international applicants. View our doctoral profiles here.

"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 possiblenot for monetary gain, job advancement, or to be elevated in the eyes of somebut for me." -Eric Louérs-Phillips '19

Cohort Format 

The DOL is a cohort-based doctoral program with flexible hybrid scheduling designed specifically for busy professionals. The multidisciplinary program is usually completed in four years with three summers dedicated to the dissertation, however, there is flexibility for those individuals who would like to complete the degree in three years.

DOL candidates:

  • Start and progress together with Doctorate in Business Administration candidates through 27 credits of core courses and 9 credits of research courses, as well as three capstone courses;
  • Differentiate their DOL degree pursuit through three electives aligned with their specialization in education, business or government; and
  • Adhere to our four-year Course Sequence.

Student Learning Outcomes

At Hood College, we are committed to teaching excellence. Program goals and learning outcomes identify what we expect students to learn. This includes how to think critically and accomplish objectives in courses and programs of study at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. We believe an integrated learning approach that combines a strong grounding in the liberal arts with advanced study in the discipline, combined with internships and research initiatives, is the best way to prepare students for lives of purpose and civic engagement.

Leadership Frederick County

Breaking news! We are #HoodProud to partner and elevate the Leadership Frederick County (LFC) program to the next level. Learn more about the new LFC /Hood Doctoral program partnership here.

View Hood Doctoral Webinar - "How a Professional Doctorate Can Advance Your Career" - recorded 4/21/20
This webinar features a panel of successful Frederick leaders who recently went through the Hood doctorate programs. Learn how a professional doctorate in organizational leadership or business administration will help you meet your personal and professional goals.

2019 Doctoral Cohort Dissertation Titles

Preetha Abraham, D.O.L. - The Mediating Role of Organizational Climate in the Relationship between Leadership Outcomes and Organizational Strategic Planning

Michele Baisey, D.O.L. - The Impact of Participation in an Elementary Behavior Support Program on Students’ Prosocial Behavior, School Functioning and Academic Performance

Linda Chambers, D.O.L. - Disproportionate Suspension and Special Education Identification of African American Students: A Case Study in the Early Elementary Grades

Lura Hanks, D.O.L. - Improving Teacher Effectiveness for Increasing Student Reading Proficiency through a Talent Management Professional Development Model

Eric Louers-Philips, D.O.L. - Leadership Style, Leader–Follower Congruence, & the Implementation of a Cultural Proficiency Initiative

Danny Rumpf, D.O.L. - Principals' Perceptions on Their Experience of the Framework for Teaching Professional Development

Jonathan Spaans, D.B.A. - Roles of Knowledge Diffusion, Emotional Intelligence, and Locus of Control in Facilitating Incremental Innovation Among Middle Managers: An Empirical Investigation

Joshua Work, D.O.L.  - A Case Study on Principal Selection Practices and Preparedness of Assistant Principals for Principal Selection Processes




You may also be interested in our Doctorate in Business Administration.

Degrees Offered

  • DBA
  • DOL

Department Offering

* Please note that the fall application deadline is May 1st so apply early as applications are reviewed once completed.

To be considered for admission to the program, applicants must: 

  • 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
  • Submit a résumé that demonstrates a minimum of 8-10 years of progressive professional work experience.
  • 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).

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.

Program Requirements

The doctoral programs (DOL/DBA) require 60 credits beyond the master’s degree. They consist 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 dissertation project.

Research Methodology Tier

To address the research tier, all candidates complete the following three research methodology courses for a total of 9 credits:

LEAD 620Qualitative Research in Social Sciences-Theory and Design


LEAD 621Statistical Methods for Social Science Research: Design and Analysis


LEAD 622Fundamentals of Evidence-Based Management Theory, Research, and Application


Core Leadership Tier

Courses delivering the 27 core credits are designed to provide every cohort member with a common set of understandings about key elements of effective organizational leadership. This tier of courses includes the following:

LEAD 601Seminar in Leadership Theory and Practice


LEAD 602Seminar in Ethics and Leadership


LEAD 603Leading and Managing Human Capital


LEAD 604Leadership and Strategic Communication


LEAD 605Seminar in Leading Strategic Change and Transformation


LEAD 606Financial Stewardship for Leaders


LEAD 607Leadership, Advocacy and Policy


LEAD 608Sustainable Systemic Leadership


Additional Requirements for DBA candidates

• Six approved management workshops.
• Conference presentation (local, regional, national, or international).
• Experiential opportunity with a faculty member.
• Paper publication (or preparation of paper to be published).

Specialization Tier

Candidates who enter the doctoral program come from many different sectors, including business, education, non-profits, the military and government. In order to provide a flexible program that meets the personal and professional needs of candidates, the specialization tier provides opportunities to develop more specialized study. Course selection is guided by the candidate’s goal of enhancing understanding of their industry or building new content development in a complementary area. Candidates will work closely with their faculty adviser and select courses to support their personal and professional goals. The candidates will identify courses at the end of year one coursework and submit a declaration of specialization form to the doctoral program director for approval. Year two coursework will include the specialization courses outlined in the declaration form. Candidates will complete their specialization coursework no later than fall semester of year three.

All candidates will select one specialization from the following:

  • General Leadership

  • Education Leadership

  • Business Leadership

  • Government Leadership

The 12 specialization credits are selected by candidates from among the graduate course offerings within the disciplines of counseling, economics & business Administration, and education; the selection of specialization courses is subject to the approval of each candidate’s adviser and program director. With similar approval, appropriate courses from other departments may also meet this requirement. Candidates complete all course requirements for each of the three courses in this series and, in consultation with their adviser, design and conduct a project related to each course. These projects will involve either the candidate’s employer or a local organization. Their goal will be to help inform the candidate concerning the ultimate subject of his/her research-based capstone experience. Up to 6 credits beyond the master’s degree may be transferred toward meeting this requirement with the approval of the adviser.

Select three of the following:

COUN 500LHuman Development as a Lifelong Process


COUN 502LSocial and Cultural Foundations of Counseling


COUN 503LLifestyle and Career Development


COUN 506LResearch and Program Evaluation


ECON 560LManagerial Economics


ECMG 578LInternational Financial Management


EDUC 502LTechnology for Literacy, Leadership & Learning


EDUC 513LSchool Law


EDUC 514LAdministration of Student Services


EDUC 581LResearch-Based Teaching, Learning & Assessment


EDUC 582LEducational Philosophy in a Diverse Society


EDUC 584LSystemic Change Processes for School Improvement


EDUC 586LPrinciples of Educational Supervision


LEAD 675Independent Study


LEAD 699Special Topics in Org. Leadership


MGMT 562LFinancial & Managerial Accounting


MGMT 563LMarketing Management


MGMT 565LInternational Management


MGMT 566LInformation Management & Technology


MGMT 568LAccounting Information Systems


MGMT 569LProject Management


MGMT 570LMarketing Analysis for Managers


MGMT 572LSupply Chain Management


MGMT 576LAdvanced Financial Management


MGMT 577LPortfolio and Investment Management


ECMG 578LInternational Financial Management


MGMT 580LStrategic Cost Management


MGMT 581LFinancial Statement Analysis


MGMT 582LNegotiation & Conflict Resolution


MGMT 587LPublic Administration


Candidates design a capstone dissertation research project to address a challenge within their working context, organization or community. The project incorporates leadership-based research, the working context of the candidate and the impact of effective leadership. The capstone credits are distributed across three semesters of three different 4-credit classes:

LEAD 630Capstone I: Theoretical Framework


LEAD 631Capstone II: Research Proposal


LEAD 632Capstone III: Project Defense


Comprehensive Examination: Students will sit for a comprehensive examination that tests their grasp of the first four leadership core classes and the three research methods courses. Comprehensive exams are completed in the spring of year two of the program.

Portfolio Evaluation: Students will be required to maintain a portfolio of their work in Chalk and Wire. The major assignment from each class must be submitted to Chalk and Wire. This collection of assignments will comprise the student portfolio, which will be reviewed at the end of the second year by a faculty team. In addition, students are required to submit a statement indicating their plans for future research and capstone work at the end of the first year. This statement will also be reviewed by a faculty team.

The Andrea Scott International Graduate Scholarship Program is available to international doctoral applicants who have a valid IELTS Academic score within the last 2 years and plan to study topics related to higher education leadership and educational access and equity. Awards are for $5,000 (payable in U.S. dollars only) annual tuition scholarship renewable for 3 years pending good academic standing.

Simarjeet (Simi) Sandhu, DOL'21

Featuring Simarjeet (Simi) Sandhu, DOL'21 whose mission is to spread awareness for the Sikh community by publishing children's books with Sikh characters. Hood College values the diversity and inclusiveness of its doctoral program.

Program Contact

Nisha Manikoth

Program Director

Sonia Bowie

Doctoral Program Administrative Assistant

(301) 696-3600
Tanith Fowler Corsi

Director of Graduate Admissions

Office: 301-696-3603 Cell/WhatsApp: 240-651-4015

Our faculty...

95 percent of our full-time faculty hold the doctorate or terminal degree in their field.

All Faculty
Mary C. H. Weller

Doctoral Alumna Focus | Mary C. H. Weller, DOL '21

Mary C. H. Weller, DOL '21 Alumni Graduate School Graduate Student

"Hood College’s DOL program was the right place at the right time for me. When I entered, I had no idea just how important my study at Hood College would be!"

  • Academics
  • Alumni Relations
  • Education
  • Business
Simarjeet (Simi) Sandhu

Doctoral Alumna Focus | Simarjeet (Simi) Sandhu, DOL '21

Simarjeet (Simi) Sandhu, DOL '21 Alumni Graduate School Graduate Student

"The program taught me that leaders must be the voice of those who are voiceless. The Kisaans in India are being silenced and in many cases are helpless. As a leader, I find it my duty to advocate for the Kisaans and be their voice"

  • Academics
  • Alumni Relations
  • Education
  • Business
Jonathan Spaans, DBA

Doctoral Alum Focus | Jonathan Spaans, DBA'19

Jonathan Spaans, DBA'19 Alumni Graduate School Graduate Student

"The program had the most impact on my ability to investigate, solve and implement complex solutions to problematic production and infrastructure issues."

  • Academics
  • Alumni Relations
  • Education
  • Business