Every company, community, and country needs inspiring and capable leaders.

Leaders have the power to shape and guide the future in positive new directions. If you would like to have a powerful and positive impact on the future, consider University of the Cumberlands' executive Ph.D. in leadership. This Executive Doctorate in Leadership program will prepare you with the skills and knowledge it takes to be a successful leader. 

This doctor of executive leadership program is ideal for working individuals that need a flexible program to fit their busy schedule, but also one that isn't completely online. This Ph.D. executive leadership program is in a hybrid format and requires a residency component, so you receive the practical training you need. The curriculum will allow you to become an advanced practitioner with community organizations, educational institutions, and businesses.

Anchor: Stats
Anchor: Programs & Requirements
Programs & Requirements

Programs & Requirements

Executive Ph.D. in Leadership Studies

The Executive Doctorate in Leadership program at University of the Cumberlands is a hybrid leadership doctorate designed to help you guide educational organizations into the future. You’ll learn the skills you need to lead with empathy and insight, inspire staff and students, and contribute insightful research to your field. Online coursework and flexible scheduling make it possible to earn your Executive Doctorate in Leadership and set your sights on new goals—even while working full time.

You will participate in a comprehensive study of effective leadership and administrative methods, while gaining an in-depth look at the political factors involved in organizational decision making. Program planning, assessment strategies, and global trends in leadership, along with a dissertation component round out the executive curriculum.

Additionally, if you are a current educator wishing to obtain Kentucky Rank 1 certification via our online leadership doctorate, you can achieve your goals by completing this doctor of executive leadership program and taking additional coursework within the School of Education. Keep in mind that a Ph.D. or Ed.D. alone will not lead to the Kentucky Rank 1 certification without an accompanying planned program from the School of Education that includes the courses required for Rank 1. Our knowledgeable advisors are here to help you enroll in the classes you will need for both your Executive Doctorate in Leadership studies and the Kentucky Rank 1 certification.

Course Requirements

Students pursuing a PhD in leadership studies at Cumberlands are required to complete ONE specialty area.

  • Criminal Justice
  • Education
  • English
  • Health Professions  
  • Health Science
  • History
  • Mathematics
  • Missions and Ministry
  • Nursing
  • Student Personnel Services
  • Instructional Technology
  • Public Administration

Courses in the following business department masters programs will matriculate as the Doctoral specialty if the program is completed as a second Masters:

  • MBA
  • Master of Science in Global Blockchain Tech.
  • Master’s in Project Management
  • Master’s in Strategic Management
  • Or other approved electives

Courses in the following information systems department masters programs will matriculate as the Doctoral specialty if the program is completed as a second Masters:

  • MSDF
  • MSIT
  • Or other approved electives

For a full list of course offerings or more program specific information, visit our Academic Catalog

INTR 799/899 - Applied Learning Practicum

*For executive format students, the applied learning component (internship/practicum) is established as an integral (essential) part of the established curriculum. Due to the applied learning component required for the degree program, executive format students must enroll in INTR every term of enrollment. In addition to the required course enrollment, successful completion of three (3) hours of INTR 799/899 may replace LEAS 836 with approval of the Department Director and/or Chair.  

Anchor: Executive Student Resources
Executive students walking toward graduation ceremony

Executive Student Resources

UC's Department of International Graduate Services enjoys providing support resources for our international students. Find tutorials and information regarding offices and policies for the International Graduate Students and programs.

Executive Program Format

Our Executive Programs include hybrid course days designed for international graduate students studying in the U.S., or domestic students seeking a hybrid-format program.  We strive to incorporate professional experience and real-world application of course curriculum into our programs to enhance the learning experience.  Practical Training is an integral part of program coursework and available to all students.  At the University of the Cumberlands our degree programs focus on quality education at an affordable price.

Executive Program students take three (3) courses per semester.  The program semester is based on the existing UC semester calendar, with three (3) annual semesters: fall, spring, and summer.  Two of the courses each semester focus on the specific program content.  Additionally, students will be required to attend an intensive residency weekend as part of their course enrollment each term.  The third class includes an Applied Learning Practicum, in which students apply what they are learning in their other two courses to the real world via work or internship experiences.

Residency FAQs

Residency Session dates are determined by the course that you are registered for. It is very important that you make note of the class you registered for, as well as the designated residency weekend for that course as each course will only meet one weekend for the duration of the semester.

Even though we will only be meeting one weekend per semester, we will have the same number of contact hours with you. This will enable the instructors to make residency weekends much more valuable. This change will allow us to have meaningful projects on residency weekends.

You can view your semester schedule in your self-service portal in your Student Profile. Once you log into your MyUC account, click on Academics, then click on Current Schedule. Your schedule details will indicate the date and location of your residency weekend.

You can find information on the residency site locations on our website.

Yes, all three days are mandatory, and requests to arrive late or leave early will not be approved. Should you not be in attendance for the full session, you will be counted absent for the entire session. Please plan travel accordingly!

Attendance to each executive residency class session is mandatory. Students may make up no more than one (1) residency session throughout the duration of their academic program. Missing a second residency will result in the student being dismissed from the university.

A missed session will result in the student attending a make-up session, and paying a $300 residency make-up fee. In addition, the student may be asked for documentation from the program department providing an explanation as to why the scheduled residency session was missed. Make-up sessions must be completed prior to the end of the term. Noncompliance with this policy will result in dismissal from the executive program.

Make-up residency sessions will be held at our campus in Williamsburg, KY. You will be contacted with the time and dates after your absence is reported. There will only be one (1) residency make-up session offered each semester. Failure to attend all days of the makeup session will result in receiving a failing grade for the course, as well as potential dismissal from the University, and SEVIS termination. 

If you cannot be in attendance for all three days then you will be counted absent for the entire residency weekend and be required to attend the make-up residency and pay the $300 make-up fee.

The Department of International Graduate Services will contact you via your UC student email as registration for the next term approaches. Please remember that you are required to register for (one) main class, (one) online class, and Applied Learning Practicum each semester in order to maintain your F1 status – late registration will not be accepted and can result in the termination of your student status. 

Once you register for a class you will want to make note of the residency weekend that your class is scheduled, as that is the only session for that class that will be scheduled for the semester. You will need to be sure to plan your travel accordingly to ensure that you are in attendance for the full residency session.

Registration is done on a first-come, first-serve basis. Once a course is full, there will not be additional seats added, as we cannot exceed classroom seating capacity; therefore, it is advised that you register for classes as much in advance as possible. As a reminder, students cannot register for future semesters until their current tuition balance is paid in full.

*Please note all times are in local time zone*


Facility will open at 4:00 p.m.


Facility will open at 7:00 a.m.


Facility will open at 7:00 a.m.

We ask that you please take note of the above-mentioned times and schedule your travel accordingly.

*These dates have been set; however, if any changes are made, they will be made prior to registration for that semester. Not all dates are available at each residency location.

Fall 2023 (August 28 – December 15)

  • September 29 – October 1
  • October 6 – 8
  • October 13 – 15
  • October 20 – 22
  • November 3 – 5
  • November 10 – 12
  • November 17 – 19

Spring 2024 (January 8th – April 26th)

  • February 9 – 11
  • February 16 – 18
  • February 23 – 25
  • March 1 – 3
  • March 8 – 10
  • March 15 – 17
  • March 22 – 24
  • April 5 – 7

Summer 2024 (May 6th – August 23rd)

  • May 31 – June 2
  • June 7 – 9
  • June 14 – 16
  • June 21 – 23
  • June 28 – 30
  • July 12 – 14
  • July 19 – 21
  • July 26 – 28
  • August 2 – 4

Fall 2024 (August 26th – December 13th)

  • September 27 – 29
  • October 4 – 6
  • October 11 – 13
  • October 18 – 20
  • October 25 – 27
  • November 1 – 3
  • November 8 – 10
  • November 15 – 17
  • November 22 – 24 
Anchor: Mission & Goals

Mission & Goals

The mission of this Executive Doctorate in Leadership program is to prepare you to make valuable and innovative contributions in a variety of leadership roles and organizational settings.

Help you improve colleges and schools through better critical and reflective thinking
Assist you to become more effective at the college, school district or unit level
Strengthen your research, analytical and communication skills so you can become a better decision maker
Improve your content knowledge in a specialty area
Help you promote public service and ethical leadership in professional and community settings
Anchor: Career Outcomes

Leadership Careers & Outcomes

All stats from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Management Analysis: $93,000

Management Analysis: $93,000

This career allows you to work with a corporate side of a company to work through ways to improve the efficiency of the organization. 

College Professor: $79,640

College Professor: $79,640

Teach at the college level and pass on your leadership knowledge to another generation. 

Development Manager: $120,130

Development Manager: $120,130

Development Managers organizes and directs programs for organization's staff to allow for enhancement amgonst the organization.  

University Administrators: $96,910

University Administrators: $96,910

Post Secondary Administrators oversee the academics, services for students, and faculty reaserch at colleges and universities. 

Top Executive: $98,980

Top Executive: $98,980

Help organizations meet their goals by planning effective policies and stragesties. 

Administrative Services and Facilities Manager: $99,290

Administrative Services and Facilities Manager: $99,290

Help organizations run more efficiently by organizing and directing activities.  

Anchor: FAQs

Common Questions

Yes, residency weekend sessions are mandatory. You must attend each session in full to receive credit. If you miss any part of the session, you will be counted absent for the entire session. No exceptions. 

All programs at University of the Cumberlands are offered at some of the lowest rates in the nation – and we even include free textbooks through our One Price Promise! For more information on how affordable this program would be for you, visit our Financial Aid page.

Many upper-tier career opportunities are available to you if you have completed an executive PhD in leadership. Among other options, you may choose to pursue a career as...

Management Analyst - If you choose to pursue a career as a management analyst, there’s good news. The job rate in the field is projected to grow 14 percent while the median income is currently at $93,000 annually.

Postsecondary Instructor - As a graduate of this Online Leadership Doctorate Degree, you’ll also have the skills to pass your knowledge and experience on to the next generation of leaders. The median annual salary for postsecondary instructors is $79,640, and employment opportunities are projected to grow 12 percent by 2030.

Postsecondary Administrator - Leaders are needed at the university and college administrative ranks, as well. Wages for postsecondary education administrators in colleges, universities, junior and community colleges as well as technical and trade schools currently average $96,910 in annual salary. And the prospects are looking up with job growth rates projected to rise to 8 percent over the next decade.

  • Application
  • Submit official transcripts from all applicable colleges/universities attended; must be received directly from the issuing college or university.
  • Doctoral degree admission requires a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0* on a 4.0 scale from the conferred master’s degree as well as in any subsequent graduate study. Admission to a Doctoral degree requires a master’s degree or higher from a US Department of Education recognized accredited institution, in a field related to the doctoral degree of application.
  • Any international course work completed must have official transcript evaluations completed and submitted to the University by the evaluation firm. Evaluations MUST include GPA for admission. Approved Evaluation Firms are:
    • World Education Services (WES)
    • Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE)
    • International Education Research Foundation (IERF)
    • Educational Perspectives (EP)
    • SpanTran
  • Documentation of language fluency for non-native speakers of English, such as a score report from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the 8 International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or a report from Duolingo. This requirement is waived for students who have completed bachelor’s or master’s level coursework in the U.S. at an accredited institution. The minimum acceptable TOEFL or IELTS scores for admission are: 
    • Paper-based TOEFL (PBT) - 550 
    • Internet-based TOEFL (IBT) - 79 
    • IELTS - 6
    • Duolingo - 100
  • Students applying for residency and an F-1 VISA must provide a copy of their current passport.
  • Admission to the Executive Program is completed by a review of the above documents
  • Upon admittance into the Executive Program, a non-refundable $300 processing fee is required for course registration

All admissions materials should be submitted to International Graduate Admissions:

Students in our executive programs experience being on campus more than other graduate students, given this program is hybrid and has residency requirements. 

A group of Graduate students entering during the processional at Commencement.

Executive Program Admission Requirements

All students in our executive programs are required to meet a standard set of admissions requirements for graduate students.

Anchor: Faculty
Dr. Lauren Woodward

Dr. Lauren Woodward

Adjunct Professor
EdD - Dr. Educational Leadership

Dr. Lauren Woodward

Contact Information

lauren.woodward [at] ucumberlands.edu
Robert Kevin Meade

Dr. Robert Meade

Adjunct Professor
PhD Leadership

Dr. Robert Meade

Contact Information

robert.meade [at] ucumberlands.edu
Dr. Christopher Clark

Dr. Christopher Clark

Adjunct Professor
EdD - Dr. Educational Leadership

Dr. Christopher Clark

Contact Information

christopher.clark [at] ucumberlands.edu

Request Information