May 30, 2024  
University Catalog 2023-2024 
University Catalog 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Leadership and Change, PhD

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PhD in Leadership and Change
Graduate School of Leadership and Change
Credits for Degree: 63 annual credits
Standard Mode of Instruction: Low residency
Standard time to completion: 84 months

Program Overview

The PhD in Leadership and Change is a distinctive program rooted in the mission of Antioch University, the learning goals of lifelong adult learners, and the needs of professionals as disciplined reflective change agents and engaged scholar-practitioners.

We view this PhD as a degree that prepares students to enter the community of scholar- practitioners. It is a degree that is appropriate for university researchers as well as practicing professionals. Scholars, whether in industry or academy, honor the practices and obligations of scholarship as stewards of their discipline and professional domain. Whether in a business or university, scholars perform pedagogical roles in their professional lives. We believe the PhD degree prepares scholars to practice their profession with highest standards in multiple and varied academic and non-academic settings.

Accordingly, within the context of domain and disciplinary competence, it is our view that the essential characteristics of a scholar as a professional are:

  • To be Reflective. One doesn’t just act, but regularly steps back and reflects on what the action means. Reflection can’t be done in isolation, however; therefore, it is important to establish communities of reflection. Thus, the PhD in Leadership and Change places a high value on disciplined reflection within and among peers, in the form of cohorts.
  • To be Responsible. One upholds the standards of evidence, argumentation, and the drive for honesty in one’s own work. Thus, the PhD program places a high value on the scholarly enterprise, ethical behavior, and rigorous inquiry skills.
  • To be Communal. It is a scholar’s obligation to pass on what she/he knows. The work of the scholarly community transcends any one person. Thus, this program places a high value on collaborative learning, dialogue, and a robust community of learners.

In order to prepare people to become stewards of discipline, domain, or profession, and to be, in the words of the Carnegie Foundation’s former President, Lee Shulman, “officers of the community of scholars,” we believe it is important to rethink key aspects of doctoral education. This PhD program is designed for working professionals who will understand and lead organizational change in their professions as reflective practitioners and engaged scholars. Understanding and leading change in the professions requires the essential elements of the scholar as professional: to be a reflective practitioner, to be responsible and act with integrity as one leads, and to be communal in one’s learning, leading, and reflecting. In essence, our program posits that scholarship is not site bound, and we believe that working professionals can, in fact, be working scholars in the best sense of that tradition and community. While retaining Antioch’s educational philosophy and values, this PhD program has developed educational goals and activities that are distinctive within American higher education and represent an alternative to most present PhD programs. In developing this program, special emphasis has been given to some of the major issues raised in the national discussion on re-envisioning the PhD. These discussions have emphasized the need for programs:

  • to be more learner-centered,
  • to encourage students to collaborate with each other in their doctoral work,
  • to increase the quality and availability of faculty mentoring for students, and
  • to increase the integration of professional practice with academic learning.

Further, this re-envisioning effort has also called for experimentation with new types of PhD programs and for the assessment of these programs to determine their effectiveness.

In Spring 2022 and Spring 2010, the PhD program underwent Comprehensive Program Reviews–a process in which external reviewers evaluate the degree to which a degree program is fulfilling its stated mission and purpose, and how well. The 2022 reviewers concluded their assessment by saying, “Without a doubt, the Program should be commended for its novel educational model that has been a source of strength and pride for Antioch University.” In 2010, the reviewers concluded that “The PhD program is serving as a national model to inform the continuing discussion of the nature of doctoral education in the United States and around the world. It is once again placing Antioch University at the forefront of innovation, leadership, and change. Moreover, the PhD program serves as a model for experimentation in innovation within the University itself, having a highly successful model as measured by student satisfaction as well as degree retention and completion.”

Admission Requirements

The PhDLC program admits a cohort of up to 25-30 students each year.
Entry date: July 1, annually
Application Deadlines: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis year-around.

  • Early admission review cycle: applications completed by October 1
  • Regular admission review cycle: begins February 1 and continues through mid-May or until the cohort is full

A master’s or other graduate degree issued from an institution recognized by an accrediting body that has been approved by the United States Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and five years of relevant professional experience are minimum eligibility requirements. In addition, selection for admission will depend upon such characteristics as capacity for self-directed learning, evidence of strong academic skills and conceptual abilities, and an interest in interdisciplinary study and applied research. Applicants must demonstrate a strong potential for individual and professional growth, evidence of leadership and aspiration to lead, and an interest in being a socially engaged professional.

How to Apply

  1. Online Application
  2. Admissions essay
  3. Three recommender forms
  4. Transcripts
  5. Resume
  6. Research-oriented writing sample
  7. Application fee

Application material can be submitted via email to or hard copies can be mailed to:

PhD in Leadership and Change
Antioch University
900 Dayton St.
Yellow Springs, OH 45387

Please note: All materials submitted for application to the PhD program become the property of the PhD program.

Current Tuition and Fees

University Tuition and Fees  

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