Interdisciplinary Leadership Studies

Program Contacts

Louis Nadelson, PhD: Department Chair
Telephone: (501) 450-3282 | Email:

Rhonda McClellan, EdD: Graduate Program Director
Telephone: (501) 852-0912 | Email:

[1] Vision

The interdisciplinary PhD in Leadership Studies at the University of Central Arkansas prepares active professionals from education, healthcare, government, and nonprofit settings to contribute to the body of knowledge in leadership studies and to enhance human and community development through their research and service.

[2] Mission

The interdisciplinary PhD in Leadership Studies prepares students for academic positions and for leadership roles in complex organizations found in public and nonprofit sectors. Graduates will understand their roles in conserving, expanding, and transforming the discipline of leadership studies, research methodologies, and leading toward an improved quality of life for all.

[3] Objectives

The interdisciplinary PhD in Leadership Studies is designed to provide an interdisciplinary intensive preparation for evolving community leaders who have a willingness to address social challenges. Within the program, students will examine considerations such as

  • leadership as an evolving field of study;
  • leadership for public and the collective good;
  • leadership as an integrative effort across various public arenas;
  • research skills necessary to consume, generate, and communicate existing and new knowledge in the field of leadership studies;
  • leadership as an action that requires research, networking, and ethical and moral imperatives.

Upon completion of the program, graduates of the program should be able to

  • articulate the complexities associated with leadership, the conditions under which leadership occurs and emerges, and the approaches to leadership research ranging from traditional to more contemporary theories;
  • analyze communicative and change concepts, theories, and models required by leaders in the 21st century to advance organizational success and foster organizational growth;
  • recognize and assess the relationships between and among leadership, community and human capabilities, and quality of life;
  • conduct scholarly research that contributes to the field and practice of leadership;
  • adhere to ethical standards in scholarship and leadership practice that foster collaboration, higher levels of organizational and individual performance, and social justice.

[4] Admission Requirements: Admission is limited and competitive

To be considered for admission, applicants must:

  • Submit all documents required by the UCA Graduate School including official copies of all undergraduate and graduate transcripts and competitive GRE scores that have been taken within the last five years;
  • Have completed a master’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.00;
  • Submit a competed application to the Interdisciplinary PhD Leadership program that includes (a) a current vita or resume, (b) a type-written statement of intent, and (c) three letters of recommendations that describe the student’s suitability for the program.

[5] Program of Study

The Interdisciplinary PhD in Leadership curriculum comprises 60 semester hours of graduate credit built upon appropriate master’s degree. These 60 hours, which can be completed as a full-time or part-time student, are distributed into the following curricular areas, each with a distinct purpose:

  1. Leadership Core (18 hours):
    LEAD 6302 Leadership Communication in Organizations
    LEAD 7303 Leadership and Complex Organizations
    LEAD 7304 Leadership and Ethics
    LEAD 8305 Foundations of Leadership Theory
    LEAD 8V08 Major Area Research
    LEAD 8334 Leadership and Change
  2. Research Core (15 hours):
    PSYC 6330 Advanced Psychological Statistics
    PSYC 6331 Research Design
    LEAD 8302 Advanced Qualitative Research
    LEAD 8V09 Seminar in Leadership Inquiry
    PSYC 7320 Regression and Multivariate Analysis or LEAD 8332 Leadership in the Global Society or LEAD 8V36 Contemporary Issues in Leadership or LEAD 8V38 Independent Readings and Research in Leadership
  3. Cognate (15 hours): approval of the Committee Chair and Department Chair required
  4. Dissertation (minimum 12 hours): LEAD 9V10 Dissertation in Leadership Studies

[6] Graduate Course Links

Follow this link for LEAD course descriptions: course link.

Follow this link for PSYC course descriptions: course link.