Jun 24, 2024  
University Catalog 2023-2024 
University Catalog 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Graduate School of Leadership & Change

Welcome to the Graduate School of Leadership and Change!

The PhD in Leadership and Change is a unique geographically dispersed low-residency, cohort-based program that focuses on the interdisciplinary study of the scholarship, research and practice of leading change in organizations and communities. Designed for mid-to-senior-level cross-sector practitioners, the multiyear doctoral journey is structured multi-year “learning modules” in leadership and change, and research and inquiry, with each module culminating in demonstrations of learning for which the student is awarded credit. Each of these modules are framed by the student’s own deep curiosity and are sequenced to develop the knowledge, scholarship and research skills necessary to design and implement their own original research, their dissertation, which is designed to inquire into and improve leadership and change practice in their fields of interest. In addition to the completion of these required modules, the pre-candidacy years are marked by a combination of three face-to-face and virtual residencies annually, a robust set of inter-residency elective workshops, as a highly engaged and diverse cohort- based learning community.

The students’ expanded opportunities to pursue their own intellectual creativity and curiosity best realized within the context of well-defined program structures, requirements, and learning guidelines. There is a balance at play between program requirements and self-empowered learning, between being a member of a peer learning community and an independent scholar- practitioner, and between challenging faculty oversight and empowered student-driven initiative. The flexibility in pacing allows students to align their progress with the ebbs and flows of their professional and personal responsibilities. 


Through this extensive and thorough evaluation process, the Program is able to assure that every Program graduate upon completing the program, will have demonstrated both the ability and capability to: 

  1. Conduct an informed critique of theories, concepts and debates related to leading change in their profession, communities, and/or society at large;
  2. Engage in and create positive change in an organization, community, and/or the larger society;
  3. Reflect critically and responsibly on self and society as learners, leaders and scholars in the global context;
  4. Pursue self-directed and lifelong learning;
  5. Consider that knowledge is socially constructed and has historically privileged  dominant groups and marginalized others;
  6. Engage in the critical appraisal of research and other forms of scholarly communication in their fields of leading change;
  7. Design and execute research that meets scholarly and professional criteria of the candidate’s chosen field or sector and prepares them with the scholar-practitioner potential to inform and improve practice.


To date, the program has close to an 80% graduation rate, which far exceeds the national average. A number of dissertations have won national awards. The diverse student body, by age, race/ethnicity, geography and professional sector, live across the country and internationally. The faculty, all full-time senior scholar-practitioners, are equally diverse.

Laurien Alexandre, PhD
Dean, Graduate School of  Leadership & Change


Current Tuition and Fees

University Tuition and Fees  

Leadership & Change