Doctor of Education in Leadership Studies

Ashland University's doctoral degree in leadership studies combines theory and practice with individual mentoring and applied research to train a new generation of reflective, ethical and effective leaders in K-12 schools, higher education and human service organizations.


Each year Ashland University’s Graduate School and College of Education accepts a maximum of 15 students into the doctoral program. Through a competitive selection process, we look for cohort balance in the following areas:

  • Personal characteristics
  • Academic background
  • Communication style and skill
  • Leadership ability
  • Cultural diversity

The camaraderie within cohorts sustains everyone’s momentum and provides a valuable network well after graduation. Our graduates have gone on to jobs such as:

  • Dean of a nursing school
  • Superintendents in school districts of all sizes, public and private
  • College professors
  • Business executives


All of our doctoral students work full time, so everyone completes a change project on the job as an early component of the program’s required field experience. Working with advisors over 12-15 months, you’ll delve into action-oriented research to determine needs and options. Then, you will plan, implement and evaluate your change project.

Past projects include:

  • An innovative system to connect university financial aid staff with academic advisors
  • An elementary school leadership and service academy


Our faculty includes four full-time members. No adjuncts. We’re happy to welcome affiliate, multi-disciplinary faculty from business, arts and sciences, as well as others in the College of Education to our collaborative team.

We’re proud to share our:

  • Variety in talents, training and background
  • Active, important published research and scholarship
  • Well-prepared coursework for maximum efficiency and impact for the time you spend
  • Strong backgrounds in teaching and mentoring


High-quality academic content paired with individualized mentoring — both on and off campus, through workplace partners — stand as the hallmarks of Ashland University’s doctoral program in leadership studies.

This professional degree program will engage you in a rigorous process of research, inquiry and site-specific practice.

We believe leadership is conceived within the context of organizational renewal, so you’ll focus your development upon:

  • Common values among professionals within an organization
  • Vision of what professional organizations can be
  • Pursuit of institutional and personal goals
  • Combination of information and relationships


Comprising 10 credit hours in the program, the dissertation requires you to engage in scholarly research and inquiry to improve the practice of leadership. The document will demonstrate doctoral-level:

  • Composition and format
  • Inquiry methods and analysis
  • State-of-the-art knowledge
  • Application of leadership strategies from which other professionals can benefit

Interested? Talk With Graduate Admissions

Call Us:
1.800.882.1548 x5688


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