About the Program

  • How long will the program take?
    Students complete 58 semester units. The program is designed for students to complete the course and dissertation requirements in three years or nine continuous semesters of study. Students have the option for additional time to complete their dissertation if necessary.
  • What will this degree do for me? 
    The doctorate in leadership studies is designed to equip candidates with the requisite wisdom to serve in a variety of contexts. This degree is an excellent choice for those with relevant work experience seeking senior leadership positions in a variety of professional and academic communities. Based upon the candidates’ previous educational qualification, a terminal degree in leadership studies can make candidates competitive for faculty positions in various academic disciplines at different institutions of higher education, depending on the needs and requirements at particular institutions. The field of leadership studies is an emerging stand-alone discipline with programs beginning to surface at the undergraduate and graduate level that will attract faculty with terminal degrees in leadership studies.
  • Is there a minimum GPA required to stay in the program?
    Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA to remain in the program. 
  • What is candidacy and how do I advance to candidacy?
    Candidacy is a necessary requirement to advance in the program. Admission to candidacy is a formal process in which the faculty members recognize that the student has successfully met certain degree requirements, is likely to complete the remaining requirements, and demonstrates promise as a scholar. Students have the opportunity to advance to doctoral candidate status in the second year of the program upon completion of the following:

    1. Pass both sets of the comprehensive exams,
    2. Secure IRB approval for their dissertation research, and
    3. Successfully present a research prospectus.
  • What is a research prospectus? 
    Candidates write a preliminary research proposal that identifies a relevant question of inquiry, provides a review of the literature germane to the identified research topic, and suggests a research design in which to answer the question and contribute to the literature on the topic. The prospectus requires diligent study of the literature to develop an informed question and appropriate research design. While the length of the prospectus will vary depending on the specific topic, candidates can expect a minimal of twenty pages for an adequate prospectus with a minimum of 40 sources. Candidates have the opportunity to make progress on their prospectus as they progress through the program using their course work to inform their research and writing of the prospectus.
  • If necessary, how much time after completing my coursework do I have to complete my dissertation? 
    The program is designed so that candidates can defend their dissertation after completing their third year in the program. Candidates have up to five years beyond their final semester of coursework to successfully defend their dissertation. Candidates are charged a dissertation fee each semester during and after the three year program up to the time the dissertation is officially approved.
  • What kind of comprehensive exams will I need to take?
    Students will take two sets of comprehensive exams. The first set of exams is after year one of course work and the second set after year two of course work. The comprehensive exams allow students the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to master and synthesize the content from the completed coursework and establish themselves as an emerging scholar.

    Candidates must pass each set of comprehensive exams in order to continue in the program. Candidates who fail the comprehensive exams will have the opportunity to retake the exams.


Applying to the Program