Feb 03, 2023  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog

Leadership: Business, PhD

Ph.D. in Leadership Program Overview

The Doctor of Philosophy in Leadership is designed to equip individuals for the highest level of scholarship and leadership in business, ministry, education, public service, healthcare, and non-profit organizations.

The program is designed to prepare working professionals to understand and to analyze the complexities and challenges of leading organizations. This is a purely online program with ample opportunities to develop new colleagues and connections through recommended (not required) synchronous learning opportunities. Current students celebrate the flexibility of the program yet strongly encourage engagement in the synchronous offerings.

The program offers a focus on strategy and change in creatively leading complex organizations. This interdisciplinary program provides students with opportunities to engage in scholarship and research in developing professional competencies related to:

  • Organizational culture and change
  • Leadership strategy and practice
  • Team and employee engagement
  • Industry-specific knowledge and trends
  • Research methodology for understanding the current practices in leading organizations
  • Consulting and Coaching

The PhD program is a 48-credit hour degree with coursework in leadership and organizational studies, research methods, and concentration electives. The program can be completed in as few as two-years but may take 3-5 years. The program is designed for individual pacing given the constraints of professional leadership and the best of adult learning paradigms.

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate how to lead change in organizations.
  2. Apply leadership principles and practices to improve personal and organizational performance.
  3. Analyze the cause(s) of an organizational issue to develop leadership recommendations.
  4. Synthesize and evaluate current theory and apply appropriate methodologies to conduct meaningful research in the field of leadership development.

Concentration Outcomes

The PhD in Leadership at AU currently provides two distinct pathways (concentrations) that enable you to align the program to your research interests. Concentrations consist of five elective courses (15 credit hours). Students declare a concentration upon application but are permitted to take two concentration electives (6 credit hours) from a different concentration. Concentration courses are offered on a rotating basis, and students can expect to be able to complete the concentration sequence over two academic years. 


Admission requirements 

Applicants are required to provide the pertinent admission information in order to be considered for admission into the PhD Leadership program. The Director of the program with the Deans/Associate Deans of the concentrations in the respective colleges make final decisions regarding the acceptance of applicants. In some cases, the Director/Deans/Associate Deans may ask for further information or a personal interview prior to a decision regarding admission into the program.

Applicants for admission into the PhD Leadership program at Anderson University must meet the following academic prerequisites: 

Prerequisites for admission 

  • Master’s Degree (30 or more hours) from accredited institution 
  • 3.0 minimum graduate cumulative GPA 
  • Three (3) Letters of Reference
  • Graduate Writing Sample
  • Statement of Research Intent
  • Application  (https://link.andersonuniversity.edu/apply
  • $40 application fee
  • Minimum TOEFL score of 550 (paper), 220 (computer) or 75 (internet) will be required if English is not the student’s first language, and proof of current Visa for International students. International candidates will need to have an interview via Skype with the Program Director before being accepted. International students receiving their graduate degrees from institutions abroad must submit their transcripts to be evaluated by WES, who will then transmit the results to Anderson University.

Deadline: 1 month before each semester

Transfer credits: 

A student may transfer up to 6 credit hrs. of doctoral level coursework. Transferability of hours will be determined by the director  of the program and the dean or associate dean of the concentration  in consultation with the University Registrar.  Students may not transfer research courses into the program due to the nature of the embedded dissertation process.

Program Requirements

Ph.D. in Leadership Minimum GPA: 3.0 Cumulative GPA


Students must develop new knowledge and add to existing knowledge through the dissertation. Students will form a dissertation committee, submit a dissertation proposal, and receive IRB approval before initiating dissertation research. The dissertation handbook outlining the expectations for the quality of the dissertation, and the requirements for each chapter and formatting. There will be an oral defense of the dissertation.

The Business Leadership dissertation format must be in compliance with the most recent version of The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA), The Christian Ministry Leadership dissertation format must be in compliance with the latest version of Turabian. All dissertations must be formatted for publication with ProQuest Dissertation Publishing.

Dissertation Topics

  • Dissertation proposals will be approved by the Center for Leadership and Organizations and the respective college offering the concentration.
  • Dissertation Supervisors are assigned after the completion of two LEAD core courses and LEAD 733.  At the completion of LEAD 836 the Nomination of Dissertation Committee form should be signed by all prospective committee members and submitted to the Director of the PhD in Leadership Program for final approval in either the College of Business or the Clamp Divinity School.

Dissertation Continuous Enrollment (LEAD 839 dissertation course)

It is recommended that students review the fee structures for continuous enrollment.  If you are unable to complete your dissertation in two semesters, you may enroll in LEAD 839 to complete your dissertation.

Degree Requirements (48 Cr. Hrs.)

Leadership Core Requirements (21 Cr. Hrs.)

Business Concentration (15 Cr. Hrs.)

Courses must fulfill at least one of the stated LEAD concentration foci. In addition to BUS 734, choose four courses, one with each of the following objectives: Teams, Communication, and Leadership; Ethics in Leadership and the Life of the Leader; Advanced Human Resources; and The Political Side of Organizations. Students are permitted to take two courses from another concentration within the Ph.D. in Leadership program.

Teams, Communication, and Leadership (3 Cr. Hrs.)

Choose one of the following courses:

Ethics in Leadership and the Life of the Leader (3 Cr. Hrs.)

Choose one of the following courses:

Applied Statistics (3 Cr. Hrs.)

The Political Side of Organizations (3 Cr. Hrs.)

Choose one of the following courses:

Research & Dissertation (12 Cr. Hrs.)

Required Research & Dissertation Courses (9 Cr. Hrs.)

Research & Dissertation Choice (3 Cr. Hrs.)