Top 10 Best Online Doctor of Organizational Leadership Degrees

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Updated: March 13, 2024, Reading time: 22 minutes

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What, for instance, is the ideal structure for a business during an acquisition? How can you foster a positive workplace culture while increasing employee productivity? You can approach these questions with the knowledge you get from studying an organizational leadership program.

Consider getting a doctorate in organizational leadership on top of your educational leadership undergraduate degree if you’re interested in high-level, specialized employment options in leadership and other corporate roles. Most organizational leadership doctorate graduates move to advanced positions such as training and development managers with a strong background in higher education administration.

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Students can learn both the technical and human requirements of managing an organization by enrolling in organizational leadership degree programs, a type of management that stresses the human aspects of running an organization. A doctor of organizational leadership program prepares graduates for careers like executive, managerial, or human resource positions, which manage and supervise teams of people.


Organizational Leadership doctorate degrees can be used in many different fields, such as business, government, health care, or nonprofit organizations. We help you find the best graduate schools and programs that produce the most qualified for high-level Organizational Leadership positions!

Our list of highly recommended Online Doctor of Organizational Leadership programs excels because of these features:

Learn about our ranking process. Check out our Methodology page.

Grad School Center is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

The 10 Best Online Doctor of Organizational Leadership Programs

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership

The prestigious Chicago School of Professional Psychology has a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership program available online. Students complete 60 credits that can be completed in 3 years, including dissertation, competency examination, and participation in two three-and-a-half-day residencies. Because most doctoral students are currently working in the field, the Ph.D. program utilizes asynchronous online learning that fully allows students to customize their class schedules.

Admission to the online Ph.D. program requirements include a master’s degree in organizational leadership or closely related fields from an accredited institution and three or more years of work experience in the field.

The Chicago Campus offers students the chance to fully immerse in a multicultural metropolis with virtually limitless academic resources and outstanding networking opportunities to develop strategic leadership skills. The school will help Ph.D. students obtain networking opportunities by connecting them with businesses approved by the institution.

Networks created will help graduates of the doctoral degree open more doors to upper-level organizational leadership positions.

The University of Arizona Global Campus

The University of Arizona Global Campus
Doctor of Philosophy in Organizational Development & Leadership

The University of Arizona Global Campus offers an online Ph.D. in Organizational Development and Leadership program. Students must complete 60 credits, maintain a 3.0 minimum GPA, participate in three non-credit In-Residence Workshops, and complete dissertation requirements.

You will develop your own answers to organizational difficulties in your Ph.D. program in Organizational Development and Leadership and evaluate them using human performance technologies.

Admission requirements for the online doctorate include a master’s degree in organizational leadership or closely related fields, a GPA of 3.0, and at least one year of professional work experience.

Students are encouraged to speak with academic counselors to customize their degrees based on their interests and future goals. The organizational leadership online program at UA Global helps students analyze diversity in firms.

Discoveries and applications in subjects including leading organizational change, performance management, employee motivation, executive coaching, ethics, and more are part of the doctorate in organizational leadership coursework.

Eastern University

Eastern University
Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership

Eastern University offers an online Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership. Students must complete 60 credits, including foundation, research, concentration, three residencies per year, and dissertation courses.

Students move through the program in cohorts of roughly 20 classmates, frequently forming lifelong learning communities. This cohort-based curriculum creates long-lasting and encouraging professional networks through continued cooperation with your peers.

Applicants for the online doctorate must have a master’s degree in educational leadership or closely related fields from an accredited institution, a 3.2 GPA on a 4.0 scale or equivalent, and at least three years of professional experience in organizational leadership positions.

Eastern University prioritizes financial aid opportunities for incoming students. As a result, prospective Ph.D. students are required to speak with financial aid officers upon admission to the program to have full guidance in obtaining financial aid opportunities.

The David and Ellie Greenhalgh Scholarship is the top private scholarship program for organizational leadership students.

Regent University

Regent University
Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership – Organizational Leadership

Regent University offers an online Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership. Students must complete 60 credits, including two four-day residencies at the Regent Campus. The organizational leadership concentration aids students in creating an environment and culture conducive to organizational change.

Applicants must have a master’s in leadership degree from an accredited institution to apply for admission to the online doctoral program. International students can also apply to the program but must have a master’s degree from a nationally recognized or accredited foreign university or college.

The online doctorate will prepare you to motivate and influence organizations worldwide as a student, teacher, or business leader. While earning most of their Ph.D. in leadership online, students will have a solid foundation in leadership theory and practical elements crucial to organizational success.

This doctorate is a terminal degree that teaches future organizational leaders through a research-based study from a Christian point of view.

University of Southern California

University of Southern California
Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership

The University of Southern California offers an EdD in Organizational Leadership that is available online. There are two tracks available for part-time students: 43 units for master’s degree holders and 60 units for students without a master’s degree that can be completed in 3 and 4 years, respectively.

While most of the EdD coursework is done online, students still need to participate in annual immersion weekends on campus to interact with professors and peers and engage in activities to develop leadership and effective strategic planning skills.

USC’s organizational leadership online doctorate accepts students with only a bachelor’s degree. Applicants without a master’s degree should have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale, at least six years of professional experience, and GRE or GMAT scores.

Doctoral students participating in the 60-unit program of study have the choice to receive a graduate certificate in Learning Design and Technology for coursework finished in the LDT program. With the help of the LDT graduate certificate, students can considerably enhance learning and performance outcomes in the workplace.

Colorado State University

Colorado State University - Online
Organizational Learning, Performance, and Change Ph.D.

Colorado State University offers a Ph.D. in Organizational Learning, Performance, and Change that is available online. Students complete 48 credit hours, a dissertation, and faculty-advising credits, for a total of 60 credits that can be completed in 3 years of full-time study.

Since most students in the program are experienced organizational leaders, the Ph.D. curriculum mixes applied expertise and research skills to advance their knowledge of the field.

Prospective students must have a master’s degree from an accredited institution, a minimum of 3.0 GPA, and at least ten years of advanced experience in a related discipline.

The program is very selective and seeks applicants from a variety of backgrounds. Candidates should have a substantial amount of work experience, a firm belief in the use of research to identify issues and find solutions, and the motivation to implement those ideas for the benefit of both the people who work in organizations and the organizations themselves.

Columbia International University

Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership

Columbia International University offers a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership that is available online. Students complete 48 credits that can be completed in 27 months, including dissertation and Ph.D. projects.

Since the Ph.D. at CIU is designed for working adults, it incorporates research courses and dissertation preparation into the course material from day one of the student’s educational experience.

Prospective students for the online doctorate must have a master’s degree from an accredited institution with a cumulative GPA of 2.5. Students must also submit their master’s thesis or graduate research paper for scholarly writing evaluation.

Each student will have a personal adviser or mentor to work with them for 27 months of the program and serve as the head of their dissertation committee. A topic matter expert will also be on their committee. Professors who hold terminal degrees in their specializations make up this staff.

Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University
Doctorate in Organizational Leadership & Development – Qualitative

Grand Canyon University offers a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership and Development with an Organizational Development concentration that is available online. The program requires students to complete 60 hours of coursework and eight-week courses that proceed at a fast rate.

Students who live near the area can enroll in evening classes, which only require once-a-week on-campus lectures.

Prospective students for the online doctorate should have a master’s degree from an accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 3.4. On the other hand, interested applicants with a GPA between 3.0 and 3.39 will be considered.

By utilizing the previous researchers’ work and doing their own qualitative research study, candidates for the program can add to the body of knowledge in their subject. You will be able to focus on a particular area of their field that interests them through this study and gain insights based on themes, patterns, interviews, and other types of qualitative research.

Liberty University

Liberty University - Online
Ph.D. in Organization and Management – Leadership

Liberty University offers a Ph.D. in Organization and Management – Leadership that is available online. Students must complete 60 credits and eight-week courses that can be completed in an average of 3 years of full-time study. Since the degree is aimed toward working professionals, classes are 100% online without specific login times.

Applicants for the online doctorate must have a master’s degree from an accredited institution with a minimum of 3.0.

This online doctorate will prepare students to handle real-world business difficulties using theory and research techniques. Students can enhance their prior knowledge and experience while fostering the success of upcoming generations of business professionals.

The skills and information doctoral students acquire from this degree can help them succeed whether they want to work as a top executive or an instructor.

Indiana Wesleyan University

Indiana Wesleyan University
Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership

Indiana Wesleyan University offers a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership that is available online. Students must complete 60 credit hours of required and optional synchronous sessions and in-person residency. This program emphasizes leadership through a global and multicultural lens, placing particular value on inclusivity, integrity, and global leadership viewpoints.

Admission requirements include a master’s degree from an accredited institution with a minimum of 3.0 GPA and five years of leadership experience.

This Ph.D. program will assist you in developing a wide range of skills in scholarly research, writing, presenting, and connecting leadership theory to professional leadership practice, regardless of your career goals. The school will assign an academic adviser for each student to help with their studies.

Common Courses in Doctor of Organizational Leadership

Organizational Theory

This course covers old and new organizational theories, including organizational structure and design. Students will also learn about organizational learning and philosophical methods for assessing organizations and leaders in organizational contexts.

Educational Law and Finance

This course concentrates on current legal challenges affecting primary, secondary, and postsecondary education institutions. The course also teaches students how to negotiate efficient and novel financial solutions, estimate financial projections, and assess an organization’s financial health.

Leadership and Diversity

This course will examine a range of leadership and diversity-related topics, particularly those that pertain to the organizational setting. Understanding multicultural leadership ideas and acquiring skills to offer leadership in cross-cultural contexts will be emphasized in the course.

Quantitative Research and Statistics

The essential components of quantitative research methods are covered in this course. This course will also discuss the study of research methodology, statistics, and various statistical analyses. The course’s main topics will be using statistics and practical research techniques.

Scholarly Argument

Students will get the fundamental knowledge necessary to conduct a literature review and build a strong case in this course. Students will create a thorough topic outline and an annotated bibliography of materials.

Students will have the chance to master research techniques, which will help them succeed in their courses and finish either a dissertation or an Applied Doctoral Project.

Dissertation Methodology

The design of a research method is connected to this course’s ideas of qualitative and quantitative research. Students will examine their research approach, research questions, and the instruments they’ll employ to gather data.

The course will strongly emphasize the choice and design of research tools as well as the coding, analysis, and interpretation of data.

Organizational Communication

This course will familiarize students with organizational communication theories and relevant academic work, in addition to the characteristics and effects of communication inside organizations. Students will learn techniques for improving their communication abilities in an organizational setting.

Organizational Culture

The themes of corporate culture, climate, and values are the main focus of this course. The function of leaders and their effects on corporate culture and environment will receive particular attention.

Leadership and Diversity

This course will teach students a range of leadership and diversity-related topics, particularly those that pertain to the organizational setting. Understanding multicultural leadership ideas and acquiring skills to offer leadership in cross-cultural contexts will be emphasized in the course.

Typical Coursework for a Doctor of Organizational Leadership Degree

The organizational leadership doctorate usually consists of 48 to 60 credits of material delivered in eight-week classes. Most of these programs offer asynchronous learning methods, which means that students can complete graduation requirements in their own time wherever.

While organizational leadership courses can be conducted through online learning, some coursework involves on-campus and face-to-face activities. The typical coursework for an online doctorate in organizational leadership includes project weeks, immersion or residency, and a dissertation.

Project weeks usually happen midway through your doctorate. You’ll be asked to work with coworkers or people in your network on a problem or change your company faces. To share what you’ve learned and get feedback, you’ll next connect with a peer in organizational leadership.

Immersion is similar to project weeks. However, immersion does not require students to solve problems. Instead, immersions are the school’s way of combining the accessible and dynamic aspects of online education with the meaningful interactions of face-to-face learning.

The final coursework in doctorate degrees is the dissertation, presenting research findings and marking the completion of a student’s doctorate studies. Doctoral students take great pride in their dissertations.

Career Pathways for a Doctor of Organizational Leadership Degree

A doctorate in organizational leadership degree can prepare graduates for careers in different fields and work environments. In their respective industries, these graduates hold some of the most specialized and high-tech jobs and make some of the highest wages.

Doctoral-level positions in organizational leadership are advanced leadership positions.

Education Administrator

Education administrators manage the everyday operations of a school. For their schools or school districts, they might serve in the roles of principals, admissions officials, deans, or superintendents. 

Education administrators frequently collaborate with faculty members, support personnel, legislators, parents, students, and local communities to keep their schools operating.

Human Resources Manager

A person in charge of an organization’s administrative and organizational operations is known as a human resources manager. An HR manager is often required to oversee hiring, training, and the organization and growth of the business culture as long as a company has employees. HR managers are employed in almost every sector. 

Organizational Development Consultant

A firm hires an organizational development consultant to assess how it runs and offer suggestions for improvement. Typically, organizations employ organizational development consultants when they are having trouble and need to make adjustments to stay profitable. 

These professionals frequently hold advanced degrees in business, have managerial experience, and rely on a stellar reputation for turning around failing companies to keep getting hired by other struggling organizations.

Organizational Developmental Director

The organizational development director directs the design, planning, and implementation of corporate organizational development programs, policies, and procedures. They also approve change management initiatives and suggest enhancements to existing programs.

Postsecondary Teacher

After high school, postsecondary teachers—often referred to as faculty or professors—teach students in various academic and career-focused disciplines. These educators include professors at universities and colleges, technical and career education instructors, and graduate teaching assistants.

Top Executive

Since graduates of doctor of organizational degrees are trained and equipped with advanced knowledge in leadership, graduates can apply for C-level positions. High-level organizational goals and policies are established in consultation with other executives and under the supervision of other employees.

Training and Development Manager

Human resources specialists, known as training and development managers, oversee an organization’s industry-specific staff members’ activity. They are crucial in assisting organizational employees in developing their specific abilities and capabilities to carry out a particular position.

Online Doctor of Organizational Leadership - fact

Financing Doctor of Organizational Leadership

Enrolling for a doctorate will give you a mixed feeling of excitement and nervousness. Since it’s a terminal degree, it can change your life for the better. However, as the saying goes, “Nothing comes for free.” Whether your doctorate is for professional advancement, personal development, or both, it’s always a good idea to first secure funds before beginning a doctoral program. 

The first thing to do is fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Upon completing the form, you’ll see various financial aid opportunities, such as scholarships, fellowships, assistantships, grants, loans, and many more. It’s suggested to put loans as your last resort to fund your doctorate. 

Loans, unlike other financial aid opportunities, are not free. You’ll need to pay your student loan after graduation. Aside from that, student loans may need a credit check. Some don’t specify, while others demand that you enroll in school at least half-time.

Loans can be categorized as those that specifically consider a borrower’s financial needs and those that don’t. What you qualify for will depend on several things, including your income and enrollment status in school.

Another thing you can do is search for private funding opportunities. Organizations that offer the most scholarships for organizational leadership students are:

Professional Organizations in Organizational Leadership

Regardless of degree level and focus of study, students are suggested to join at least one professional organization. These organizations will give you many benefits, including participation in conventions, moral guidelines, honor societies, prizes, scholarships, and more. An excellent way to advance your education and long-term career is by joining professional groups. 

When you are a student, membership is frequently discounted. 

Here are some of the top professional organizations for organizational leadership students:

Skills Required for Organizational Leadership

Technical and Professional Skills

Leaders of all kinds and professions are seen as trusted authorities. Organizational leaders should always be ready to share their expertise or experiences with others on their team or organization because they have the training and experience necessary to command respect in their industry. Such people are passionate about learning and want to encourage others to advance.

That is not to argue that executives in a business must be experts in everything. A strong leader knows the right people to contact for solutions to issues. Even though it means they aren’t “in command,” they feel at ease negotiating organizational hierarchies to discover solutions.

Facilitating Organizational Change

Organizational leaders should not be content to maintain the status quo but rather seek to bring about progressive change by developing new teams, initiatives, or programs to advance the organization. For the sake of promoting constructive change, this may occasionally entail discontinuing particular behaviors or programs.

But making sure that development is sustainable will cause the most significant change. Helping others develop as leaders is the greatest contribution an organizational leader can make. Again, this does not imply that they are all in managerial positions; rather, it indicates that they are part of an environment that values open communication, critical thinking, personal accountability, teamwork, and general positive motivation. 

Ethics and Integrity

Ethics and integrity are all too frequently compromised in favor of efficiency and production. In actuality, the best kind of organization fosters inclusivity and welcomes all staff members, regardless of origin or background. 

Leaders who support a company’s culture of enhancing employee well-being and positively influencing the neighborhood can inspire others.

Problem Solving and Analytical Skills

Problem-solving skills can assist organizational leaders in dealing with crises and handling problems that affect the whole organization. The capacity to quickly make decisions, conduct research, and use analytical skills are all part of problem-solving skills. Organizational leaders may use these qualities to address issues that go outside the purview of their managers and direct reports.

Communication Skills

An organizational leader might benefit from good communication skills since they enable them to share the organization’s beliefs and objectives with others. To speak and write to various audiences, including donors, departmental directors, team managers, employees, and vendors, an organizational leader may use their communication skills. 

Communication skills, which include speaking, writing, and active listening, impact many facets of a leader’s function in the business. 

Motivational Skills

Maintaining team motivation and attention is one of the most crucial applications of communication abilities. Organizational leaders value fostering a positive work environment among all team members, but they also feel comfortable connecting with staff members personally.

This level of ties is crucial because when people think their opinions are not being heard, they lose interest in the group and their team. Team members who feel disconnected will work as little as possible or leave the company altogether.

Organizational leaders should inspire others using a variety of strategies. But whatever method they use, leaders make sure to spend additional time modeling good behavior to get their team’s support.

Are online Organizational Leadership degrees respected?

Frequently Asked Questions

Are online Organizational Leadership degrees respected?

Degrees obtained at a traditional university or online program are typically equivalent. The same doctoral degrees can be earned online as they would at a traditional university in the student’s hometown.

Ensure that the online program and university have received accreditation from accrediting councils, such as the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Commission on Colleges. 

How long does a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership take?

The average time for a doctorate in organizational leadership programs is five years. Some students, however, tend to take seven years. Students who were able to transfer more credits can earn a doctorate in three or four years.

What are the differences between PhDs and EdDs in Organizational Leadership?

A terminal degree in education called an EdD emphasizes using research and knowledge to solve practical organizational or educational problems. Unlike those pursuing a Ph.D. or Doctor of Philosophy, candidates for an EdD rely on existing research to guide their decisions and practices to further their field of study. Instead of existing research, the Ph.D. focuses on creating new research.

Can you obtain a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership ontirely Online?

No. PhDs are terminal degrees, which means that students must be evaluated face-to-face. Some programs might also appear fully online, but they might have a residency program that requires you to attend class part of the time while working in the field to learn and receive credit.

How much does a Doctor of Leadership cost?

Tuition costs rely on several factors, such as the status of the university. However, organizational leadership courses typically cost between $400 and $900. Private universities often charge more because of their greater expenditures, but they could also provide more financial aid to veterans.

Key Takeaways

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