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PhD in Leadership Studies Degree Requirements

The PhD in leadership studies online degree is generally seen as more theory and research-intensive than a practitioner’s degree such as an EdD; students pursuing the online PhD leadership must complete the curriculum established for the EdD in educational leadership plus six additional hours distributed as follows: one graduate course in which leadership theories and concepts in a non-academic environment is a central theme and one course in which non-academic statistics or research methods is the focus. The PhD in leadership studies, therefore, requires a minimum of 66 hours beyond the master’s degree. Although an Online PhD Leadership student may pursue applied research as a dissertation topic, it is expected that an approved dissertation will be built upon a more thorough theoretical foundation than a similar project that culminates in an EdD dissertation.

Professional Research - 21 Credit Hours Required

Specialty Area Content - 18 Credit Hours Required

Criminal Justice


Education courses EdD and PhD students may enroll in.

Some courses require field/clinical hours that students must complete to earn a passing grade. Some courses listed may have prerequisites and may not be available to students who have not previously completed the prerequisites.


Health Science





Approved electives

     One of the following 600-level courses:

Student Personnel Services


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


Master of Science in Global Blockchain Tech.

Master’s in Project Management

Master’s in Strategic Management

Or other approved electives


Information Systems

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




Or other approved electives

Additional Coursework for the PhD

In addition to the courses listed for the EdD track, PhD candidates must also complete the following as part of their core hours:


Three hours selected from: LEAR 850 Qualitative Research Methods, CROL 674 Advanced Statistical Analysis, 685 Qualitative Methods

Three hours selected from: BADM 532 Organizational Behavior, CROL 677 Applied Leadership Techniques, BADM 632 Advanced Human Resource Management, LEAC 781, Higher Education and Student Personnel Services, LEAC 782 Higher Education Enrollment Management, BADM 623, Project Management Processes, BADM 645 Strategic Leadership, BADM 838 Strategic Thinking, Decision-Making, and Innovation, or ADOL 655 Team Leadership

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