Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership in Southern California

Program Description

Businesses, large and small, increasingly recognize the critical distinction between a manager and a leader. A leader is someone who paints a vision and inspires employees to work effectively toward achieving it. In an increasingly global environment, today’s organizations are looking for value-based, visionary leadership. 

The Chicago School’s doctoral program in Organizational Leadership is ideal for experienced managers seeking to further their careers by creating leadership models that fulfill organizational needs and objectives. 

Offered at The Chicago School's Los Angeles and Irvine campus locations in Southern California, the Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership program prepares leaders of tomorrow with coursework in human diversity and ethics, research strategies, strategic change management, team-building, organizational interventions, interpersonal dynamics, leadership methodologies, and a range of electives to support each student’s individual career goals. 

Southern California students enrolled in the Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership conduct a wide range of leadership research and complete a dissertation on a leadership topic of their choosing. The curriculum also provides students with a rich understanding of traditional theories of leadership and organizational effectiveness. Theory comes to life as students bring their real-world experiences to the classroom and to online discussions. Each student is encouraged to explore and develop their own unique approach to being an effective leader of the future.

In the blended on-ground program, students take two courses concurrently within a 15-week semester in a cohort fashion, learning and sharing experiences with the same group of classmates for the duration of the program. Classes meet face-to-face one weekend per month, with online assignments and discussions between classes.

Organizational Leadership students also benefit from rich, hands-on learning experiences through the department's ConCISE Center for Performance Management and Consulting. The center targets the business community, helping to develop leadership programs, manage change, and undertake strategic planning initiatives. These endeavors allow students to make significant contributions to the community through partnerships with local organizations.

Graduates emerging from the Organizational Leadership program are highly qualified to apply the principles of psychology and leadership theory in a broad range of settings and to more effectively lead across generations, cultures, and distances.


Organizational Leadership



Total Credits


Fieldwork Requirements

Program Time to Completion

  • Master's degree from a regionally accredited institution in psychology, the behavioral sciences, organizational discipline or other related field
  • A course in Psychology, with a grade earned of C or better 
  • A course in Statistics, with a grade earned of C or better
  • A course in Organizational Behavior, with a grade earned of C or better
  •  Three of more years of work experience is preferred
Admission Requirements

GRE Requirements

Sample Courses

Management Philosophy and Practice
Looks at various management philosophies and their practical applications. Topics include an examination management and leadership philosophy's and styles, and a comparison and contrast of the differences between management, leadership, and mentorship.

Emerging Theories of Leadership
Examines current theories regarding leadership. Topics include an examination of ethical leadership and the various theories of leadership and leadership development.

Systems Theory
Focuses on the exploration of General Systems Theory and major modes of organizational systems in order to facilitate understanding of change and its impact on organizational life

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