PhD in Organizational Leadership: Online and Campus-Based Programs

Read on to find out how a doctorate in organizational leadership can prepare you for advanced research in this field. See what online learning and prerequisite requirements are. Get information about required classes, too. Schools offering Organizational Design & Development degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Can I Expect From a Ph.D. Program in Organizational Leadership?

Doctorate programs in organizational leadership often make a distinction between management and leadership. While management is the practice of assigning tasks, enforcing policies and managing operations, leadership is concerned with actively pursuing an organizational vision. This vision typically includes helping employees and team members develop professionally, promoting productive attitudes and efficiently achieving organizational goals through morale and teamwork.

In addition to advanced study in general business practices, such as accounting, marketing, risk management and sales, you'll learn how to develop business models that make jobs easy for workers by streamlining training and support processes. Ph.D. degree programs in this field are best suited for those who already have substantial business experience and wish to continue their study on the theoretical level, usually in academia. For this reason, most programs focus heavily on research and publication.

Course TopicsAccounting, marketing, risk management, sales
Program FormatOn-campus, online, or hybrid
Admissions RequirementsMaster's degree, preferably in related field, GMAT or GRE scores, letters of recommendation
Common CoursesApplied statistics, quantitative research, politics in organizations, philosophy of organizations

Can I Earn This Degree Online?

This degree can be found online, but it isn't common. Those degrees that are offered online are usually hybrid programs, which require you to visit campus periodically during the academic year to give presentations, complete collaborative projects or attend lectures. Some hybrid programs are offered in human resources with a focus in organizational leadership. This degree can be completed in 3-5 years and culminates in a dissertation, which is a substantial work of original research done in conjunction with a faculty advisor.

What Are the Educational Prerequisites?

You'll typically need a master's degree, often in a field related to organizational discipline or psychology. Most degree programs prefer applicants to have professional business experience in the interest of creating an educational environment in which students can discuss real-world experiences. Also, expect to submit GMAT or GRE scores, letters of recommendation, a personal statement and a resume.

What Classes Will I Take?

Classes are largely based on theory and research. Some courses you may find in the curriculum include:

  • Philosophy of organizations
  • Organizational processes
  • Politics in organizations
  • International organizational research
  • Applied statistics
  • Quantitative research

Will I Be Able to Get a Job?

Many people with a Ph.D. in organizational leadership go into academia and research. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that the employment rate for professors would grow by 13% between 2014 and 2024 (, faster than average growth in relation to other job fields. Those with a Ph.D. in their field would find the most employment opportunities.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral

    Online Programs Available

  • Liberty University

    Liberty University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Liberty University:

    • Doctoral

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  • Saint Leo University

    Saint Leo University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Saint Leo University:

    • Doctoral

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral

    Online Programs Available

  • Michigan State University

    Campus Locations:

    • Michigan: East Lansing
  • Northwestern University

    Campus Locations:

    • Illinois: Evanston
  • The University of Texas at San Antonio

    Campus Locations:

    • Texas: San Antonio
  • SUNY at Albany

    Campus Locations:

    • New York: Albany
  • Harvard University

    Campus Locations:

    • Massachusetts: Cambridge
  • Case Western Reserve University

    Campus Locations:

    • Ohio: Cleveland