Information for Prospective Students


PhD in Leadership Studies (Leaders Engaged in Arkansans’ Development – LEAD) brings together scholars who will research the intersections between leadership and social change. Prominent discussion topics involve how leadership leverages human and community development to influence well-being and justice. Graduates are prepared to produce and use leadership research that has the potential to transform practice in nonprofit, public health, government, and educational organizations. Faculty offer an interdisciplinary leadership curriculum using scholarly skills and research to prepare active professionals to research contemporary leadership issues.

Program 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.

Learner Outcomes

Upon completing the program, LEAD graduates should be able to:

  • Think critically, argue logically, and conduct research necessary for doctoral-level leadership study; 
  • Articulate the complexities associated with leadership, the conditions under which leadership 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;
  • Investigate the relationship between leadership and social change;
  • 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 performance, and social justice.

Learn More About the Application Process