The Department of Leadership Studies offers the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in leadership studies. The 75 semester credit hour doctoral program utilizes an interdisciplinary approach to prepare individuals who will emerge as leaders capable of excelling in business, health care, education and public affairs agencies.
The PhD in leadership studies program at Our Lady of the Lake University is designed as a four to five year sequence, which begins with intensive course work and culminates with the dissertation. Courses in the program reflect emerging new knowledge and skills and are taught as interdisciplinary, thematic units. This is a cohort program, which includes approximately 15-25 participants taking courses together. The cohort model provides individuals with opportunities to work collaboratively to meet the demands of the program. The program requires:
- 75 semester hours in leadership studies beyond the master’s degree, including dissertation
- Doctoral coursework taken at an accredited college/university up to five years prior to the student’s entry in the program may partially fulfill semester hour requirements
Admission Application Requirements
In addition to the requirements for graduate admission into Our Lady of the Lake University, applicants will provide:
- A master’s degree in an appropriate field from a regionally accredited college or university; leveling work may be required
- Preferred grade point average of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale in all previous master’s degree work
- A complete résumé
- A personal statement may be required
Interview with DLS Faculty arranged by the Leadership Department and is by appointment only
Admissions deadlines are available on the Department of Leadership Studies website.
All completed admission files will be submitted to the PhD Program Director who will review the completed applications. All applicants will be notified of their admission decision no later than 30 days after the admissions deadline date.
Doctoral students will be expected to complete the following requirements in addition to required coursework:
- Comprehensive examinations — each student is required to pass successfully all written comprehensive examinations. The first comprehensive exam occurs after 18 credit hours. Students may not continue beyond 30 semester hours until they have passed this exam. The candidacy comprehensive exam is taken after 48 semester hours. Upon passing the candidacy exam, students may form a dissertation committee and register for dissertation credits.
- Dissertation — a dissertation is required as part of the doctoral program. A student must register for at least nine semester hours of dissertation courses. If a student has not completed the dissertation by the end of the three-course sequence, the student must register for one credit hour of dissertation credit for each semester until completion.
- Time limits — the interdisciplinary program is designed as a four-year cohort experience. Students are expected to complete the doctoral program in the time limit prescribed. Exceptions may be approved by the chair of the Department of Leadership Studies. Students will not be permitted to complete the program after 10 years from the time of first enrollment. Students who take longer than seven years from time of first enrollment to complete all coursework and the dissertation may need to repeat some of their courses.
- Students complete 60 credit hours of required course work, three credit hours of electives, and 12 credit hours spent researching and writing an original dissertation.
The sequence of courses is designed around four broad areas. The four course leadership sequence progresses from theories of leading individuals and small groups through leadership in international organizations. The applied courses improve practitioner skills in the areas of communication, management and legal/ethical. The policy development courses introduce students to seminal arguments for and against a variety of societal issues. The leadership research sequence provides students the needed skills to conceive, design and conduct their doctoral dissertation. The leadership electives are taken in the last year of study concomitant to work on the dissertation.
If a dissertation chair, in agreement with a doctoral student, believes the student has a good chance of successfully defending their dissertation prior to the beginning of a term, that student should be registered for LEAD 9199 and any remaining hours needed to complete all of their course and program requirements.
If a student does not successfully defend her/his dissertation that term, the dissertation chair will submit a grade of “X” for LEAD 9199 . That grade will remain in place until the student successfully defends her/his dissertation. However, if the dissertation is not completed in the next consecutive term, the student will then need to register for LEAD 9149 for each term after that in order to remain an active student.