Program Type
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Program Overview

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?

The interdisciplinary Doctorate in Leadership Studies prepares transformative professionals to provide equitable, ethical and socially just leadership in a variety of organizational settings within a diverse society. Ashland University’s 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 maximum effectiveness in your chosen career path.


Delivery Format



Credit Hours



Time to Complete

3-5 years



Program Features

Sample Curriculum

View the Academic Catalog for complete degree requirements.

Total Coursework

  • Research (16 credits)
  • Organizational Leadership (15 credits)
  • Cognate (15 credits)
  • Proposal and Dissertation (13 credits)

*Hybrid courses meet face-to-face & online (participate in online sessions when it’s convenient for you).

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

Graduate Outcomes


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


  • Demonstrate the ability to formulate, articulate and implement an ethical vision.
  • Identify and describe the skills of fellow professionals within an organization and empower them through intrinsic and extrinsic motivators to achieve their full potential.

Organizational Dynamics

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


  • Integrate professional experience with scholarly research to bridge theory with practice.
  • Appreciate the benefits of reflective practices and scholarly activities, as well as personal and professional growth experiences.

Action Research

  • Effectively apply various quantitative and qualitative techniques to design and implement a study.
  • Collect and evaluate data to inform and, when possible, improve upon, the policies, procedures and practices of an organization.

Solidifying Success

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

Student teacher teaching a class
Bruce R. Willingham Jr.

“The doctoral program at Ashland taught me so many things, but the most important was the ability to have a critical eye. Ashland really helped me think differently about my leadership, specifically who I want to be for others.”

- Bruce Willingham, Jr. '14

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