Doctorate in Leadership Studies


Doc Program Testimonials

"My education at Ashland University allowed me to deepen my understanding of the world around me.  As a result, I felt confident in growing my leadership experiences at the local and state levels."

-- Neil Gupta, Ed.D. '01, '06 

Director of Secondary Education

Worthington City Schools


Doctorate of Leadership Studies Testimonial

“I've earned two graduate degrees from Ashland University and it was a joy to learn from the Doctoral faculty.  The Leadership Studies Program had a profound impact on my growth and development.  It truly changed my practice, made me a better person, and helped me think more critically about the world. I have re-fueled my passion for teaching, learning and leading thanks to the care, concern and support of the Ashland University faculty and staff.”   

-- Bridget Ingram, Ed.D.  '99 & '16


Clark State Community College


Doctorate of Leadership Studies Testimonial

The Ashland University EdD program provided me with the theoretical background and experience I was looking for to help me lead more effectively. The faculty are not only experts in the field of leadership but their practical experience and commitment to excellence make this program well worth the investment.”

-- Jerry Strausbaugh, Ed.D.  ‘13

Executive Director

Appleseed Community Mental Health Center


Doctorate in Leadership Studies Programs

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.

Program Highlights:

  • Cohorts begin in May of each year (students select Ashland or Columbus campus)
  • Cohorts consist of 15 - 20 students and draw from a diverse range of employment sectors (corporate, non-profit, healthcare, education, business, etc.)
  • Residency requirements are fulfilled during the summer and scheduled well in advance to minimize work interruption
  • Up to 9 semester hours of post-graduate coursework can be transferred in to the Cognate portion of the degree

Doctorate of Education in Leadership Studies -  Ashland, OH Campus

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

Executive Doctorate in Leadership Studies - Columbus, OH Campus

The Executive Ed.D. in Leadership Studies is an interdisciplinary doctoral degree for working professionals and practitioners who would like to complete their doctorate within a condensed timeframe. Through an executive delivery format, students can complete their doctorate within 2 years. The Executive Ed.D. Program is designed to meet the needs of mid- to senior-level professionals who wish to extend their knowledge and expand their career opportunities.

  • Begins May 2020 at the AU Columbus Center
  • Core classes meet two Fridays (4p-8p) and Saturdays (8a-4p) per month, enabling students to work full time while completing their degree
  • Core classes are completed across four semesters (16 months) with remaining time devoted to the completion of the dissertation
  • The topic of the student’s mentorship project must be identified at the beginning of the program and will segue into the student’s dissertation
  • Residency is completed during the first summer of the program AND by maintaining continuous enrollment in the program

Why earn your Doctorate in Leadership Studies at Ashland University?

  • Highly specialized curriculum helps you learn the skills employers seek
  • Cohort learning model allows you to grow, learn and connect with your classmates
  • Flexible hybrid learning enables you to mix online and on-campus classes to fit your schedule
  • Accelerated program allows you to complete your degree in less time than you think

Mentorship experience & residency requirement

Over a 12- to 15-month period, you will have the chance to work with a doctoral faculty mentor and complete an on-the-job component where you work on a project designed to resolve important issues within your own organization. Work study will give you real field experience while delving into action-oriented research that allows you to plan, implement and evaluate your project’s success. During your Doctorate in Leadership Studies residency program, you will attend classes and activities during each semester with other members of your cohort. Our approach to residency is designed to help you build relationships with your peers, faculty and other professionals while, at the same time, offering a variety of options to accommodate busy work schedules.

Specialize in an area that interests you

The cognate portion of our Ed.D. program allows you to choose or build a specialization around an area of study that interests you. The cognate portion consists of a minimum of 15 semester hours and will help you become an expert in your area of interest. Our advisors can help you make sure the courses you choose line up with personal and professional goals.  

Course highlights

  • Becoming a Researcher
  • Quantitative Research Design
  • Qualitative Research Design
  • Human Capital and Public Policy
  • Leadership Theory
  • Organizational Behavior
  • And more

Career opportunities

As a graduate of this Ed.D. program, you will be better prepared for a variety of leadership studies jobs, including high-level administrative positions with P-12 schools, the government, colleges and universities, and certain private organizations. Our graduates have continued their careers in a variety of areas, including school superintendents in the public and private sectors, college deans and professors, and business executives. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is a nationwide demand for leaders and administrators in a wide variety of fields. 

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