Program of Study

This is a classroom-based program.  Our courses are offered on nights and weekends; occasionally cognate courses may be offered online.
The program is 60 total credit hours.  Click on highlighted course titles to view a syllabus for that course.

I. Leadership Required Core (18 semester hours)

 The required core is designed to provide knowledge and understanding of contemporary organizations and the wide range of influences on 21st century leadership.

LEAD 6302 Leadership Communication in Organizations

LEAD 7303 Leadership in Complex Organizations

LEAD 7304 Leadership and Ethics

LEAD 8305 Leadership Theory

LEAD 8308 Major Area of Leadership Research (Qualifying Paper)

LEAD 8334 Leadership and Change

II. Research Core (15 semester hours)

The research core will prepare students to conduct high quality research.

PSYC 6331 Research Design

PSYC 6330 Advanced Psychological Statistics

LEAD 8309 Leadership Inquiry

LEAD 8302 Advanced Qualitative Research

PSYC 7320 Multivariate and Regression Analysis


LEAD 8332 Leadership in the Global Setting; LEAD 8336 Contemporary Issues in Leadership; LEAD 8338 Independent Readings and Research in Leadership

III.  Cognate Courses (15 semester hours)

Courses will be selected from related fields to provide a broader context for understanding societal issues and to provide a deeper content knowledge of dissertation topics. Students will choose courses from education, community development, government, and/or nonprofit fields. Some courses may be organized and offered as an interdisciplinary course while others may be for students in a single cognate area like Gifted and Talented.

Cognate courses may also be offered as part of a field-based research project through our program.


Note that students have opportunities to enter into independent and directed studies in their content and methodology areas – these will be counted toward cognate hours. Occasionally we will post syllabi of some of the cognate courses to give you an idea of what some students have taken. 

LEAD 7302 Directed Readings on the Capabilities Approach

LEAD 7331 Administrative Leadership in Higher Education

LEAD 7300 GIS and Research Design

IV. Dissertation (12 semester hours)

Selection of the dissertation project will rest primarily with the doctoral student, subject to approval by the student’s primary research advisor, dissertation committee, and the Director of LEAD. The PhD dissertation is meant to foster research expertise and contribute to the development of theory, methodology, and discipline knowledge of leadership.