Information for Prospective Students


This is a classroom-based program. Our courses are offered on evenings and weekends. Occasionally cognate courses may be offered online or as a hybrid course.

Deadline for admissions materials:

  • Fall 2019 admission – August 1, 2019
  • Spring 2020 admission – November 1, 2019
  • Fall 2020 admission – April 1, 2020

Students enter the program in designated cohorts and complete core courses in leadership and research. In addition, students choose and pursue individual interests in cognate areas. Cognate courses provide a broader context for understanding societal issues and provide a deeper content knowledge of dissertation topics, including those in education and government/nonprofits and may relate more specifically to P-12 education leadership, postsecondary education, public health, fine arts, community development, or environmental sustainability. Cognates should contribute to the student’s dissertation content and methodological focus. Drawing upon the strengths of their shared fundamental coursework and their individual scholarly talents, students engage in human and community research and action. After completing coursework and a qualifying paper, students gain PhD candidacy and successfully complete dissertation requirements.

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:

  • 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;
  • 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;
  • Address community and human development through research and action development;
  • Adhere to ethical standards in scholarship and leadership practice that foster collaboration, higher levels of organizational performance, and social justice.