Online PhD in Leadership Programs

When pursuing an online PhD in leadership, you will use multi-disciplinary literature to study research methods, strategies, technologies and ethics in business.

You will also be able to use the resources of faculty methods and fellow students. The leadership doctorate also focuses on developing the skills of systems thinking, critical thinking, statistical thinking, and reflective thinking.

What do you need before applying for a PhDin leadership by distance learning?

In addition to basic application requirements of a transcript, resume, reference letters and statement of intent, in order to apply to an online leadership distance doctorate degree program requires a master’s degree in the business discipline, such as accounting, communications, management and marketing.

You could also apply to an online PhD in Leadership program with a Master’s in Educational Leadership, Global Leadership, Organizational Leadership, or Leadership Studies. Most leadership doctorates require a minimum GPA in business-related graduate coursework in order for you to apply. Some programs also require that you have a certain amount of business experience.

Finally, most online distance doctorate degree programs require certain scores on the GRE (Graduate Record Examination), GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test), and MAT (Miller Analogies Test).

What to expect from an online leadership doctorate program

  • An online PhD in Leadership typically requires 60 credits, which you can complete over 3 to 5 years on a full time basis or up to 8 years on a part-time basis.
  • For your leadership doctorate, you will also need to write and defend a dissertation, which should present something new to the field of business leadership.
  • Most online schools require students to complete face-to-face residences before graduating, as a way to learn more, gain professional contacts, apply the skills learned in core coursework and be prepared for work as leaders in their field.
  • You will take courses that focus on leadership and business, such as Leadership Practice and Theory and Organizational Development and Change.
  • You will study various research methods such as case study, biography, phrenology, ethnography, and quantitative and qualitative.

Featured Colleges with Online Doctorate in Leadership Programs

Northcentral University

  • DBA - Organizational Leadership
  • PhD in Business Administration - Organizational Leadership
  • Doctor of Education - Organizational Leadership
  • PhD in Education - Organizational Leadership
  • Doctor of Education - Instructional Leadership
  • PhD in Education - Instructional Leadership
  • Doctor of Education - Leadership in Higher Education
  • PhD in Education - Leadership in Higher Education
  • Education Specialist (EdS) - Organizational Leadership
  • Education Specialist (EdS) - Educational Leadership

Walden University

  • D.B.A. - Leadership
  • Ed.S. in Teacher Leadership
  • Doctor of Education - Teacher Leadership
  • Ed.S. in Administrator Leadership for Teaching and Learning
  • Ph.D. in Education - Mixed-Model - Adult Education Leadership
  • Ph.D. in Education - Mixed-Model - Community College Leadership
  • PhD in Management - Leadership & Organizational Change
  • PhD in Management - Leadership & Organizational Change - Course-based
  • Ph.D. in Education - Course-based - Leadership, Policy & Change

University of Phoenix

  • Doctor of Education - Educational Leadership
  • Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership
  • Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership/Educational Technology

What career options do you have?

As a campus or online PhD in Leadership graduate, you may find work in senior business management positions, such as CEO and COO. You can also teach at the University level, or work as a researcher at a university. You can also work as a leader or advisor in industries other than business. Examples of this include working as an assistant principal or principal in education or a campaign advisor in politics. Individuals who have a leadership doctorate are also hired to help advance organizations in sectors like healthcare and other non-profit industries.



The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that general and operations managers earned an average salary of $114,900 in 2011. Chief executives had an annual average salary of $176,550 in 2011. BLS also reported that growth in this area is expected to increase by 5% from 2010 to 2020, which is less than expected for other industries. Therefore, there is expected to be much competition for jobs as a senior executive.

Related online doctorate degree choices

Online PhD in Educational Leadership: Students in this program study educational psychology, arts education, curriculum development, and languages. This program prepares individuals to work as a principal or vice principal.

Online PhD in Management: This is the highest degree that can be completed in the field of business. Individuals taking this program will gain practical and theoretical knowledge about business research.






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