Doctor of Education in Leadership Studies - Traditional Delivery

Ashland University's interdisciplinary Doctorate 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 P-12 schools, higher education, government, industry and human service organizations.

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. With a Doctorate in Leadership Studies, you will engage in a rigorous process of research, inquiry and site-specific practice.

Leadership is conceived within the context of organizational renewal, so you’ll focus your development upon the common values among professionals: vision of professional organizations, pursuit of institutional and personal goals and combination of information and relationships.


  • Cohorts begin in May of each year.

  • Core classes are held at Ashland’s Main Campus in Ashland, OH.

  • Core classes meet on Wednesdays from 5p - 8p, enabling students to work full time while completing their degree.

  • Classes are conducted year-round and in a hybrid format (online & face-to-face).

  • Core classes are completed across seven semesters (28 months) with the remaining time devoted to the completion of the dissertation (varies depending on topic and depth of study).

  • Residency requirements are fulfilled during the summer and scheduled well in advance to minimize work interruption.

  • Cohorts consist of 15 - 20 students and draw from a diverse range of employment sectors (corporate, non-profit, healthcare, education, business, etc.).


Our faculty understand that students pursing a doctorate in leadership studies lead busy lives. In an effort to facilitate the work-life balance of our students, we offer our courses in a hybrid format allowing for both face-to-face instruction and online learning.


Each year we accept a new cohort of students, which gives students the opportunity to learn and grow together. The camaraderie within cohorts sustains everyone’s momentum and provides a valuable network well after graduation. Through a competitive selection process, we look for cohort balance in personal characteristics, academic background, communication style and skill, leadership ability and cultural ability.


Many of our doctoral students work full time, so each student completes a change project on the job or in their community as a 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 helping to resolve important issues within your chosen organization.


Through the dissertation, students 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 and application of leadership strategies from which other professionals can benefit.


Our graduates have continued their careers in a variety of areas including superintendents in school districts of all sizes, public and private, college deans and professors and business executives. With a Doctorate in Leadership Studies from Ashland University the possibilities are endless.

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