Online Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership

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 online Organizational Leadership Ph.D. program is ideal for experienced managers seeking to further their careers by creating leadership models that fulfill organizational needs and objectives. 

This online 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. 

Students in our online Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership program 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 his or her own customized approach to being an effective leader of the future.

In our blended online organizational leadership program, students take one course per 7-week term, consecutively. Students also engage in two brief residencies (roughly three and one-half days each) at our Chicago Campus, which provides an opportunity for face-to-face interaction and networking with fellow students from around the globe. At the first residency, which occurs during Year 1 of the program, students engage in focused seminars aimed at helping them formulate dissertation topics and prepare for the research process. At the second residency, in Year 2, students complete their competency exam. A third residency is optional. 

Graduates emerging from the 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

Two residencies at one of our campuses; three and a half days each

Program Time to Completion

3 years
  • Master's degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • 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 or 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.

Envisioning the New Health & Human Service Organizations
Students will apply advanced understanding of strategic management concepts to analyze and assess complex organization problems, envision new paradigms and innovative solutions, and create organizational change. This course investigates the complex ethical, legal, political, economic, regulatory, social, technological, and international issues facing health and human services leaders.

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