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Traditional Doctorate in Leadership Studies

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Students who complete the Ashland University Doctorate in Leadership Studies will achieve the ability to:


  • Demonstrate knowledge of professional organization structures, policies, and procedures.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and application of leadership strategies in various organizational cultures.


  • Demonstrate the ability to formulate and articulate a vision, as well as practice the ethical dimension of leadership in the vision’s implementation.
  • Demonstrate the ability to identify and describe the skills of fellow professionals within an organization and empower them through intrinsic and extrinsic motivators to achieve their full potential.


  • Demonstrate the use and benefits of open communication across an organization.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the political, economic, social and legal aspects that can affect an organization.


  • Demonstrate the ability to integrate professional experience with scholarly research in order to bridge theory with practice.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of and an appreciation for the benefits of reflective practices, scholarly activities, as well as personal and professional growth experiences.


  • Demonstrate knowledge and effective application of various quantitative and qualitative techniques to design and implement a study.
  • Demonstrate the ability to collect and evaluate data to inform and, when possible, improve upon the policies, procedures and practices of an organization.

Year 1

Summer Year 1 (May)

Organizational Development
EDLS 9889 (3)

Integrative Leadership *
EDLS 9800 (3)

Orientation & Training on Blackboard

Total Hours - 06

Fall Year 1 (August)

Organizational Behavior *
EDLS 9881 (3)

Becoming a Researcher
EDLS 9819 (3)

Total Hours - 06

Spring Year 1 (January)

Qualitative Inquiry *
EDLS 9821 (3)

Leadership Theory *
EDLS 9880 (3)

Total Hours - 06

Year 2

Summer Year 2 (May)

Quantitative Statistical Analysis *
EDLS 9820 (3)

Mentorship *
EDLS 9830 (1)

Cognate ^

Total Hours - 07

Fall year 2 (August)

Human Capital & Public Policy *
EDLS 9888

Mentorship *
EDLS 9830 (1)

Cognate ^

Total Hours - 07

Spring Year 2 (January)

Institutional Law & Policy *
EDLS 9887 (3)

Mentorship *
EDLS 9830 (1)

Cognate ^

Total Hours - 07

Year 3

Summer Year 3 (May)

Mentorship *
EDLS 9830 (1)

Cognate ^

Total Hours - 07

Fall Year 3 (August)

Dissertation Research *
EDLS 9823 (3)

Mentorship Presentation
Comprehensive Exam

EDLS 9899 (varies)

Total Hours - 03+

Spring Year 3 (January)

EDLS 9899 (varies) - total is 10

Total Hours - 03+

*Hybrid courses meet face-to-face & online (asyncronous).

^Cognate courses can be taken anytime after admission to the program.The schedule indicates recommended but not required times.


Integrative Foundations 3 credits
Research 16 credits
Organizational Leadership 15 credits
Cognate 15 credits
Dissertation 10 credits
TOTAL 59 credits

Traditional Doctorate in Leadership Studies

Training a New Generation of Ethical and Effective Leaders

Are you a working professional in K-12 schools, higher education, government, or human service organizations? Do you strive to be a catalyst for positive change?

Ashland University’s interdisciplinary Traditional Doctorate in Leadership Studies program is designed to enhance your leadership capacity. It combines theory and practice with individual mentoring and applied research to train you into a reflective, ethical, and effective leader for maximized career opportunities.

What to Expect

Institutions and organizations around the world need individuals who understand not only how to encourage and lead others, but also how to effectively manage other essential components of leadership: the ethical, political, and cultural.

In this 59-hour program, you’ll experience high-quality academic content paired with individualized mentoring both on and off campus. You’ll engage in a rigorous process of research, inquiry, and site-specific practice to development your skills within the context of organizational renewal.

Program Features

Our Traditional Doctorate in Leadership Studies program features:

  • Hybrid model courses. In an effort to help facilitate your work-life balance, our courses are offered in a hybrid format to allow for both face-to-face instruction and online learning.
  • Cohort learning. We accept a new cohort of students each year to give you the opportunity to learn and grow together. Our competitive selection process ensures a cohort balance in personal characteristics, academic backgrounds, communication style and skill, leadership ability, and cultural ability.
  • Mentorship and real-time problem solving. We understand that you work full time, which is why this program provides the opportunity to complete a change project on the job or in your community as part of required field experience. You’ll work with advisors over 12-15 months to delve into action-oriented research to determine needs and options. From there, you’ll plan, implement, and evaluate your change project, which will ultimately help you resolve important issues within your own organization.
  • Advanced research skills. You’ll engage in scholarly research and inquiry to improve your practice of leadership through the dissertation.

Solidifying Success

Doctorate graduates have continued their careers in a variety of areas including superintendents in school districts of all sizes, college deans and professors, and business executives.

Become a Doctoral Student

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