Find your degree

Online College Plan 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.

best online doctoral programs

If you’re ready to rise to the top of your organization, you need to consider one of these top online Ph.D. programs in organizational leadership. 

This is a field that involves setting goals, leading, and evaluating the success of individuals as well as large teams. You will need to have a strong vision of what the success of your organization looks like. Being able to see the small and big picture is crucial, as is attention to detail. 

A Ph.D. is the most direct path to earning the leadership position of your dreams. Whether you want to work in business or education, one of these degrees can easily pave the way to career success. 

Although this degree is only a few decades old, emerging as an offshoot of both human resources and business management, it requires a strong skill set and a powerful vision for the future. Earning an online Ph.D. in organizational leadership can help you develop those skills.

Admissions Requirements

To apply for a Ph.D. in organizational leadership, you will be expected to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree along with several years of experience. Often, you can replace a few years of that required experience with a master’s degree instead. In most cases, you will be required to submit transcripts from any college you attended (usually with a minimum of a 3.0 GPA), GRE test scores, a personal essay, and letters of recommendation from professionals who know you well. 

What Is the Outlook for a Doctoral Program in Organizational Leadership?

Organizational leadership is growing, with jobs in organizational management and management analysis projected to grow rapidly. With jobs increasing at a rate of 14%—nearly three times the national average—by 2028, you won’t have to worry about being out of a job for long. 

The Best Organizational Leadership Degrees: Methodology 

The ranking system we’ve used to create this list is based on various factors, such as the total cost for the program, how many applicants get admitted, and the student-to-faculty ratio. Online College Plan uses data from the National Center for Education Statistics to determine the best programs. We also get information directly from the institutions, US News and World Report, and other sources.

Each part of the criteria represents several points, and we have listed them in descending order, with the number one school at the bottom of the list. If there was a tie between schools, we gave higher placement to the college with lower total tuition fees.

With the criteria that we’re using, here’s how we’ve calculated those points: 

Total Tuition

Less than $15,000– 3 points 

$15,001 to $20,000– 2 points

Over $20,001– 1 point

Acceptance Rate

More than 50% of applicants accepted – 3 points

25% to 50% of applicants accepted – 2 points

Less than 25% of applicants accepted – 1 point

Student to Faculty Ratio

10 to 1 or less – 3 points

11 to 15 to 1 – 2 points

16 or more to 1 – 1 points

Please note that the listed tuition is based on the average cost per academic year for graduate programs at each university. Costs can vary between programs and will often depend on whether you are a resident, non-resident, or an online student. You may be able to apply previously earned credits toward your degree, depending on the school or program. Each student’s situation may differ. For exact amounts, contact the school directly. 

Top 30 Schools for a PH.D. In Organizational Leadership

SchoolTuitionAcceptance RateStudent/ Faculty RatioPoints
Liberty University$29,75050%  17:14
Northeastern University$25,26420%14:1  4
Nova Southeastern University$20,61848% 17:14
University of Southern California$47,88018%9:15
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Chicago$22,21213.04%4:15
Regent University$15,55250%  19:15
Abilene Christian University$23,23861.5%13:1 6
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign$15,01660%20:16
Southeastern University$13,365 48.14%  30:16
Grand Canyon University$10,528 41%  21:16
Northcentral University$16,98390%13:1  7
Franklin University$16,080100%12:1 7
Colorado Technical University-Colorado Springs$13,758 100%28:17
Brandman University$12,060 95%19:17
Colorado State University-Global Campus$9,000 81.4%24:17
Valdosta State University$4,572 57.7%21:17
University of the Cumberlands$4,282 80%17:17
Fielding Graduate University$17,29696%7:18
University of La Verne$14,346 76%14:1 8
Cornerstone University$13,920 77.6%15:1  8
California Baptist University$13,410 80%14:1  8
Eastern University$13,374 63.9%12:1  8
University of Arizona Global Campus$11,938 84.6%15:1  8
Indiana Wesleyan University-National & Global$11,08393.5%14:1 8
Concordia University – Chicago$9,090 79%12:1  8
Touro University Worldwide$9,000 100%11:1  8
Wilmington University$8,784 99%15:1  8
Cabrini University$2,115 76%13:1  8
Johnson University$11,750 55%10:19
City University of Seattle$11,812 100%6:19


Spread the love
  1. MERIT: 4
    View Profile Average Cost: $29,750

    Home to several graduate schools, Liberty University certainly is not the oldest school on our list—but it’s definitely one of the best when it comes to organizational leadership. Found only in 1971, this Christian institution was founded by the late Jerry Falwell, a renowned Baptist minister. 

    There are three possible online doctoral programs in organizational leadership for students to choose from at Liberty. All of them are between 50 to 60 credit hours and take around three years to complete:

    • Doctor of Philosophy (PHD) Education: Organizational Leadership
    • Doctor of Education (EDD)Higher Education Administration: Organizational Leadership
    • Doctor of Philosophy (PHD) in Organization and Management: Leadership

    Liberty is unique because all classes can be completed 100% online with no set log-in times. This means you can complete your coursework on your own time and easily fit learning into your busy schedule. Courses are broken down into eight-week segments, allowing learners to progress quickly through the curriculum. Liberty has a  transfer-friendly curriculum and admissions policy along with affordable tuition and fees.

    More Information
  2. MERIT: 4
    View Profile Average Cost: $25,264

    Northeastern University is unique in that all students gain substantial work experience before they receive their diplomas. In fact, over 90% of Northeastern undergraduates complete at least one professional co-op during their college careers, working for employers all over the world. The Doctor of Education is no exception.

    This program can be completed from anywhere, at any time, either on a full- or part-time basis. Designed to be completed in three or four years, the Doctor of Education is best for students who want to pursue a variety of disciplines or are from many different professions. Although it can be paired with numerous concentrations, organizational leadership studies is one of the most popular.

    Within this concentration, there is an additional specialization known as the sports leadership specialization. This allows learners to investigate leadership principles for positive change specifically in the field of sports. It requires an additional nine quarter hours of study.

    More Information
  3. MERIT: 4
    View Profile Average Cost: $20,618

    If you haven’t yet started your undergraduate education, you might want to consider Nova Southeastern University. Not only does this university offer exemplary bachelor’s degrees, but it also has a unique dual admission program through which students can apply for graduate school at the same time they apply for undergraduate school. This saves both time and money by streamlining the process.

    The Ed.D. in organizational leadership at Nova Southeastern University requires 54 credit hours. Learners will take classes such as Strategic Planning and Change Management, embarking on a strong research core as they progress through the curriculum. Choose to enroll at Nova, and you’ll also be able to enroll in a Summer Institute that allows you to meet with classmates and professors.

    To apply, you will need to submit letters of recommendation, a transcript, and an online application for admission. You will also need to supply test score reports from the Miller Analogies Test or the Graduate Record Exam along with a completed personal statement of goals. 

    More Information
  4. MERIT: 5
    View Profile Average Cost: $47,880

    Located in the scenic and vibrant Los Angeles downtown arts and education corridor, the University of Southern California has multiple other campuses. These include sites in nearby cities like Sacramento as well as those as far away as Washington, D.C. USC is also home to a thriving, innovative online campus, too.

    The Doctor of Education in organizational change and leadership is a three-year program. It explores practices used to supervise and motivate others as well as how to facilitate organizational change. Offered by the USC Rossier School of Education, the degree requires annual on-campus immersion weekends.

    To apply, select one start date to which you are interested in applying. Admissions is the same for online programs as it is for on-campus degrees at USC. You will need a bachelor’s degree with an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher along with six years of proven leadership experience.

    More Information
  5. MERIT: 5
    View Profile Average Cost: $22,212

    You wouldn’t be foolish for assuming that the Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Chicago only offers degrees in…well, Psychology! However, that’s far from the case. This highly-ranked professional school offers degrees in numerous other areas, including a well-known online Ph.D. in organizational leadership.

    Students are guided by expert faculty as they explore topics like team-building, interpersonal dynamics, and the psychological theories of motivation. Unlike many Ph.D. programs that follow a rigid course structure, this program allows learners to customize their learning with various electives.

    60 credit hours are required, with most students taking just three years to complete their studies. While most classes can be completed online, there are two residencies required that are three and a half days each. Tuition is affordable, with numerous scholarships and financial aid opportunities available

    More Information
  6. MERIT: 5
    View Profile Average Cost: $15,552

    Virginia Beach, VA is known for its scenic white beaches and its hopping party scene—but it’s also home to one of the best schools in the country. Regent University, founded in 1978, is a premier private institution that offers a superb online Ph.D. in organizational leadership.

    Founded on the mission of “Christian leadership to change the world,” this program includes concentrations in ecclesial leadership, human resource development, organizational leadership, and entrepreneurial leadership. For students with diverse interests, there is also an individualized studies option.

    With minimal on-campus residency, this degree is the perfect choice for learners seeking terminal research-based degrees. Offered fully online, it prepares students to influence organizations around the world as teachers, leaders, and scholars

    More Information
  7. MERIT: 6
    View Profile Average Cost: $23,238

    Abilene Christian University is home to the Wildcats, a team that is well-known for competing in the NCAA Division I Southland Conference. But it’s not all fun and games at this university, located in sunny Abilene, TX. There are several reputable, academically distinguished programs offered at this university, too.

    This school is home to one of the best Doctor of Education in organizational leadership degrees. Not only does this program help to strengthen students’ leadership skills, but it is also offered entirely online in an asynchronous learning environment. Courses are broken down into five core competencies: organizational culture, collaboration and communication, resource development, organizational assessment, and personal development.

    After graduating from this program, students will know not only how to lead, but how to lead with a Christian purpose. It offers rigorous academics paired with the flexibility that only an online program can provide. Requiring 60 credit hours, it takes most students about three to five years to complete.

    More Information
  8. MERIT: 6
    View Profile Average Cost: $15,016

    As the first school to provide disability access to all university facilities and services, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has a reputation for groundbreaking change. Not only is this school nationally recognized for its high level of research activity, but it also ensures that all programs are completely accessible to all students—even those studying from afar.

    Offered by the College of Education, the online Doctor of Education has many concentrations, including diversity and equity in education, human resource development, and global studies in education.

    To apply, plan to submit transcripts with details regarding your previously earned master’s degree. You should have a minimum GPA of 3.0. Before graduating with your doctorate, you will complete three written qualifying exams, 64 total credit hours, and a doctoral dissertation.

    More Information
  9. MERIT: 6
    View Profile Average Cost: $13,365

    Southeastern University is ranked as one of the top Regional Universities in the South, but you don’t need to live in a southern state to benefit from this institution’s phenomenal academic programming.

    The Ph.D. in organizational leadership at Southeastern University combines online classes with periodic one-week classes on campus. These classes are intensive and incredibly hands-on, culminating in the completion of a final doctoral dissertation. The degree prepares learners to become influential thought leaders and is offered with affordable tuition of just $795 per credit hour.

    In addition, substantial financial aid is dedicated specifically to graduate students. You may have access to employer assistance benefits, church-matching scholarships, and more. The entire degree consists of 60 credit hours.

    More Information
  10. MERIT: 6
    View Profile Average Cost: $10,528

    Despite the scenic implications of its name, Grand Canyon University isn’t actually located in or near the Grand Canyon. Instead, it’s campus can be found in Phoenix, about four hours away. Regardless of the misnomer, this school offers some of the best undergraduate and graduate degrees.

    The Doctor of Education in organizational leadership with an emphasis in organizational development is offered by the College of Doctoral Studies. Students combine theory with practical experience as they analyze unique organization structures in varied environments like for-profit and nonprofit organizations. It includes a formative dissertation process that starts at the beginning of the coursework and continues throughout the rest of the program.

    Available in both online and evening cohort formats, this program is perfect for current leaders and aspiring executives. A transformative program, it offers affordable tuition and allows students to connect with a broad support network of learners, scholars, and instructors. This network lasts long after graduation!

    More Information
  11. MERIT: 7
    View Profile Average Cost: $16,983

    At Northcentral University, you won’t just be a number. Instead, you will have access to one-to-one mentoring from highly credentialed faculty, regardless of whether you are studying on or off-campus. 

    The Ph.D. in organizational leadership at Northcentral University is unique because it lets you examine leadership from a variety of lenses. It is uniquely flexible, allowing for one-on-one, highly individualized interaction with all of the doctoral faculty. No entrance examinations are required.

    With 60 credit hours required for graduation, this program includes 20 courses and takes most students just under four years to complete. Scholarships are available for students who qualify.

    More Information
  12. MERIT: 7
    View Profile Average Cost: $16,080

    Offering programs designed specifically for adult learners, Franklin University is located in the state capital of Columbus, OH. Home to 30 bachelor’s degrees, five master’s, and of course, a Doctor of Education in organizational leadership, this school allows students to complete their classes in as few as three weeks or as many as fifteen. It all depends on what is most convenient.

    This program can be completed in just three years of study, allowing you to complete your doctorate faster. You only need to set aside one year for your dissertation! You can transfer in up to 24 hours of previously earned credit, studying within a relevant, fully-online curriculum.

    To apply, you will need to have earned a master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale. Graduate entrance exams are required if you do not meet this GPA threshold.

    More Information
  13. MERIT: 7
    View Profile Average Cost: $16,080

    If starting your classes at any time that it’s convenient for you sounds like a pipe dream, think again—Colorado Technical University-Colorado Springs makes this possible. This school has multiple start dates throughout the year and allows most learners to complete a Doctor of Management-Organizational Development and Change in just three years.

    This program is unique in that the curriculum is offered in a flexible format. There is a brief residency component, but otherwise, all requirements can be completed online. The creation of a dissertation is integrated into the entire program—starting as early as day one.

    Core courses include things like the Application of Action Research, Management Theory, and Organizational Innovation and Scenario Thinking. An affordable degree, it is backed by Colorado Technical University’s low tuition and numerous financial aid opportunities, like loans, scholarships, and Corporate Alliances Grants.

    More Information
  14. MERIT: 7
    View Profile Average Cost: $12,060

    Formerly Brandman University, the University of Massachusetts Global offers a fully online Ph.D. in organizational leadership. Although the program is online, it allows students to learn within local cohorts, allowing them unique opportunities to bond and connect with other students. 

    This is an interdisciplinary degree that can lead to many different career paths in business, education, government, higher education, non-profits, and even as an organizational development consultant.

    Coursework can be completed in just two years, with a dissertation completed in the third. However, most students begin preparing for their dissertations almost immediately after starting their degrees. To apply, you will need to have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA and the completion of a master’s degree.

    More Information
  15. MERIT: 7
    View Profile Average Cost: $9,000

    Originally an agricultural school, Colorado State University is a leading research university. But life exists outside of the research laboratories, too. In fact, this school is home to one of the best online Ph.D.’s in organizational leadership.

    This program helps learners develop the skills necessary to improve organizational effectiveness. It’s perfect for academics, researchers, and working executives alike. Although it is offered mostly online, students are required to attend biweekly Saturday meetings in downtown Denver.

    Learners build their professional networks as they complete courses in a close-knit cohort. All students move through the curriculum together, fostering support and allowing learners to connect with others in their classes. The curriculum includes 48 hours of coursework in topics like Workforce Development and Systems Leadership along with an in-depth dissertation. 

    More Information
  16. MERIT: 7
    View Profile Average Cost: $4,572

    Located in one of the most beautiful cities in the south, the so-called “Azalea City,” Valdosta State University in Valdosta, GA also has some of the best programs for graduate students. The Ed.D. in leadership is offered by the Curriculum, Leadership, and Technology department and is perfect for leaders who wish to work in an educational setting.

    This program includes nine credit hours alone of disciplinary studies, allowing students to gain an in-depth understanding of things like adult learning strategies and curriculum design. Then, the program progresses to problems in leadership and research techniques to allow students to become well-rounded doctoral candidates.

    To apply, submit your online application along with transcripts from both undergraduate and graduate degrees. You will need to have earned a minimum of a 3.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale. GRE and MAT scores are also required (either one is acceptable) as are writing statements, three letters of recommendation, and a resume with three years of agency experience.

    More Information
  17. MERIT: 7
    View Profile Average Cost: $4,282

    At the University of the Cumberlands, each undergraduate student is required to volunteer a minimum of 40 hours before graduation. This commitment to the community is just one thing that makes this private institution in Williamsburg, KY stand out.

    It also has a dynamic Ph.D. in organizational leadership. This program teaches students how to train and influence others in any kind of work setting, as well as how to make informed decisions in assessment and program planning. The program includes multiple concentrations, including those in unique areas like student personnel, nursing, English, and information systems.

    A Christian online Ph.D. program, the program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. To apply, you must submit the university’s formal application along with official transcripts showing an average GPA of 3.5 or above on a 

    4.0 scale at the graduate level. 

    More Information
  18. MERIT: 8
    View Profile Average Cost: $17,296

    A multidisciplinary approach to learning is sometimes best when it comes to effective, career-relevant education. The Ph.D. in organizational development and change at Fielding is designed for scholar-practitioners who want to expand their skills to effect positive change in organizations and communities.

    At Fielding, you will study among a flexible learning community—you can work wherever you choose. Multiple electives and concentrations are available, allowing you to further customize your learning. If you have completed any doctoral credits within the last eight years, you might be eligible for the university’s degree completion program, too.

    To apply, candidates must submit evidence of a bachelor’s or master’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 for both. You will also need to submit an online application form, resume, statement of purpose, reflective essay, and a writing sample. No GRE scores are required for admission.

    More Information
  19. MERIT: 8
    View Profile Average Cost: $14,346

    With 55 undergraduate programs and nineteen master’s degrees, the University of La Verne is also home to four separate doctoral degrees and eight credentialing programs. The Doctor of Education in organizational leadership is designed to prepare scholarly practitioners who can understand and apply theory to practice in a variety of areas like nonprofits, business, and education.

    Consisting of 54 credit hours, the program requires 18 courses along with the completion of a dissertation. Most students can complete their studies in just three years. Core courses include Conflict Management, Decision Making, and Organizational Development.

    More than 80% of all students in this program enjoy job advancement or placement before they even graduate! Graduates work in a variety of industries like higher education, law enforcement industry, and healthcare. 

    More Information
  20. MERIT: 8
    View Profile Average Cost: $13,920

    Students at Cornerstone University enjoy small class sizes with a student-to-faculty ratio of just 12:1. With more than half of it’s classes containing fewer than 20 students, this university is a popular choice for aspiring business professionals.

    The Doctor of Education in organizational leadership and development at Cornerstone helps to support the personal and professional growth of aspiring, effective leaders. The degree is taught from a Christ-centered perspective and is perfect for individuals seeking or continuing careers in business, nonprofit leadership, ministry, or education.

    Most students take just three to four years to complete their studies, with tuition starting at just $665 per credit hour. To apply, you must have at least five years of professional experience and a master’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA.

    More Information
  21. MERIT: 8
    View Profile Average Cost: $13,410

    If you are ready to reach the pinnacle of training in Organizational Leadership, you should consider the The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Organizational Change and Administration degree program at California Baptist University. The program teaches not only theory, but skills and principles that will prepare students for a wide range of executive or administrative roles. 

    This is an interdisciplinary terminal degree ideal for professionals in education as well as executives in business, current organizational administrators, and those involved leadership in private or corporate sectors. The entire program is online with no residency requirements. 

    The faith-based, 56-unit program takes an average of three years to complete, including the dissertation. Classes are taught in an eight-week format, and students will progress through the coursework and dissertation process via a cohort model. This allows them to start and finish with their peers. Financial aid is available for those who are eligible. 


    More Information
  22. MERIT: 8
    View Profile Average Cost: $13,374

    With a career success rate of averaging 97% over the last three decades, the quality of education at Eastern University is nothing to scoff at. Faculty here are prestigious, and since the campus is just 25 minutes from Philadelphia, it offers the perfect living and learning community for aspiring academics. That community extends to the online campus, too.

    The Ph.D. in organizational leadership includes a handful of residencies at the main campus in St. Davids, PA. It requires 60 credit hours of study and is normally completed in just four years. Once you apply, you will be admitted to a cohort of about 20 peers, progressing through the program together as you create a lasting learning community.

    The degree includes unique specialization areas in topics like education, business, and nonprofits, providing one of the most interdisciplinary approaches to leadership studies. With a curriculum rooted in the Christian faith, it offers students a springboard to lifelong career and personal success.

    More Information
  23. MERIT: 8
    View Profile Average Cost: $11,938

    Students who chose to attend the University of Arizona Global Campus can pursue the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Organizational Development and Leadership. This affordable program can prepare you for leadership roles in a wide range of fields.

    You can personalize this program by adding a Standard Organizational Development and Leadership Doctoral Specialization. The specialization consists of several advanced courses and seminars that can help you develop your skills even further.

    All of the courses in this program are taught by experienced faculty members who also hold doctorates, so you will be learning from the best of the best. You can study from anywhere in the world, as long as you can access your online classroom from your device. So for those who have busy schedules already, this flexible program is ideal.

    More Information
  24. MERIT: 8
    View Profile Average Cost: $11,083

    With a student body that is more than 60% female, Indiana Wesleyan University incorporates both religion and academics into its professional training programs. Students here can pursue a variety of traditional degree options like computer science and accounting as well as more out-of-the-box choices like organizational leadership.

    The Doctor of Philosophy in organizational leadership at Indiana Wesleyan enrolls students from all walks of life, including Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, and even small businesses. It includes eight domains of study, including organizational theory, transformation, development, and more.

    Students are required to attend a one-week summer residency on the main campus in Marion, IN, for each year that they are enrolled in the program. This residency fosters collegial relationships with peers and faculty and allows for intensive face-to-face learning. 

    More Information
  25. MERIT: 8
    View Profile Average Cost: $11,083

    Originally founded in 1864 as a teacher’s college, today Concordia University is a comprehensive university with multiple colleges addressing majors in the liberal arts. All majors have a Christian focus and are grounded in the Lutheran tradition. The school is home to more than 4,300 graduate students and offers an 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio.

    These small class sizes lend themselves well to students’ success. In fact, 90% of all graduates are either employed or pursuing continued study upon graduation. The EDD/Ph.D. in leadership has a focus in organizational leadership and is one of the very best.

    With a curriculum that aligns modern leadership theory with the most tried-and-true leadership practices, this program allows students to identify and address their own personal learning goals and professional ideas. It consists of 61-67 credits and is available both online and on campus. Core classes include topics such as research-based decision making.

    More Information
  26. MERIT: 8
    View Profile Average Cost: $9,090

    Looking for a doctorate degree in organizational leadership that doesn’t require you to take the GRE? Consider Touro University Worldwide. This school, located in Los Alamitos, CA, has an online PsyD in human and organizational psychology that has a helpful concentration in organizational leadership. 

    Guided by professional practice, the curriculum of this program can be completed entirely online. It allows students to apply the Scholar-Practitioner Model to cutting-edge research and to solve problems in a variety of settings. Tuition is affordable, starting at just $700 per semester credit unit. Tuition assistance from employers is frequently available, too.

    To apply, you will need to have earned a master’s degree from an accredited institution with a cumulative GPA of 3.4 or higher. You will also need to supply two letters of recommendation and a doctoral entrance essay as well.

    More Information
  27. MERIT: 8
    View Profile Average Cost: $8,784

    With a student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1, Wilmington University is known for its small class sizes and attention to student success. In fact, nearly 92% of the classes have fewer than 20 students, allowing students to connect with their faculty and fellow students.

    The interdisciplinary Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership, Learning, and Innovation at Wilmington University can be customized with a choice of three different concentrations. These include workplace learning, strategic leadership, and talent development. If interested, you can also design your own doctoral learning experience with an objective of your own choice.

    While you are enrolled, you will learn from dedicated and engaged learning leaders who are subject matter experts. Students learn in a unique cohort model, completing up to 120 internship hours as they foster a spirit of collaboration and gain diverse, hands-on experience.

    More Information
  28. MERIT: 8
    View Profile Average Cost: $2,115

    Cabrini University is a Catholic university rooted in the history and heritage of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini. With this history, the university has a commitment to community service and excellence in education.

    The doctoral degree in organizational development builds upon this mission. Students have a choice between a practice-based DBA (Doctor of Business) and a research-based Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy). Regardless of the pathway selected, most learners can complete their studies in just three years.

    This program includes classes such as Trends in Organizational Research, Theory and Corporate Governance, & Business Ethics from a Social Justice Lens. it requires one weekend a month of on-campus residency and offers courses in a cohort model. Notably, Cabrini offers the cheapest online doctoral program in organizational leadership on our list. 

    More Information
  29. MERIT: 9
    View Profile Average Cost: $11,750

    With so many students currently enrolled in Johnson University’s Ph.D. in leadership studies, it’s easy to assume that here, you would just be one face in the crowd. However, that’s far from the case. The school offers a small 10:1 student to faculty ratio that ensures you will get all the support you need. 

    The degree includes coursework broken down into seven-week sessions with a one-week break between each. Delivered entirely online in an asynchronous format, the degree culminates with a dissertation that is totally customizable. Learners can choose from numerous concentrations, including organizational leadership, educational leadership, missional leadership, and philosophy and theology of leadership.

    Most students can complete their studies in just four years, but part-time enrollment can extend the degree up to seven years. Though not required, doctoral candidates may choose to participate in operational research summits on campus. These allow for additional work experience and networking.

    More Information
  30. MERIT: 9
    View Profile Average Cost: $11,812

    Our top program in organizational leadership is offered through City University of Seattle. With a student to faculty ratio of 6:1 and low tuition costs, this is an online doctoral degree you should definitely consider.

    You don’t have to live in Seattle in order to benefit from the myriad high-quality degrees offered by City University of Seattle. You can also study online. The distance Doctor of Education in leadership consists of 90 credit hours of study and provides professionals with the skills they need to meet today’s leadership challenges.

    Designed to perfectly meet your career goals, the program allows students to specialize in one of three different concentration areas: higher educational leadership, organizational leadership, and specialized study. The specialized study track is unique, allowing students to apply their learning to an area of interest like inspired teacher leadership or entrepreneurship.

    One of the most transfer-friendly programs, the Doctor of Education in leadership at City University of Seattle allows students to transfer in up to 12 graduate quarter credits. The program is regionally accredited and recognized for its rigor and can be completed in as little as two and a half years. 

    More Information

What are some jobs for people with a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership?

If you are considering a degree in organizational leadership, know that there will be hundreds of career options available to you, including those in business, education, and many other industries. 

You might work as a professor, educating other students in the skills that you value most. Professionals who have earned Ph.D.’s often pursue careers as post-secondary administrators, business professors, or even as professors of organizational leadership. 

You could also work at the upper levels of a major organization. You might work as a training and development manager, operations research analyst, or even a CEO. 

Can I earn a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership entirely online?

Wondering if you can earn your Ph.D. in organizational leadership entirely online? Absolutely. In fact, this can be one of the easiest, most affordable, and most convenient methods of earning a Ph.D. Not only will you not have to deal with the hassle of a commute and finding campus housing, but you don’t have to sacrifice your current way of life, either. 

Most online programs are equivalent to those offered on-campus. Often, they are taught by the exact same faculty—and sometimes, you will even be learning with an on-campus cohort! You will take up to 60 credit hours, in most cases, following a standard curriculum that includes classes like Quantitative Research Design and the Theory of Organizational Behavior. 

Like on-campus programs, you will also be required to complete a dissertation. If you’re nervous about whether you will be able to complete this dissertation without close supervision from a faculty member, don’t worry—most online programs include personalized one-on-one attention from their faculty. 

Does my program need to be accredited?

It does. This is one of the most important aspects of selecting a Ph.D. in organizational leadership. Any legitimate online college or program will be accredited by the Department of Education or the nonprofit Council for Higher Education Accreditation. When you are looking for a Ph.D., keep an eye out for those with regional accreditation. 

The process of obtaining regional accreditation is much more rigorous than the alternative—national accreditation. Although national accreditation isn’t necessarily bad, a school or program that is regionally accredited indicates a higher program quality. 

Should I pursue a specialization option?

There are many online organizational management degrees that allow learners to pursue specialization options. These options can help you personally tailor your degree toward a specific area of interest, allowing you to meet unique career goals. 

The list of potential specialization options is endless, but might include marketing, human resources management, international business, or information technology, just to name a few. Specializations may require you to take additional classes focusing on the various aspects of your concentration, or you might be required to focus on some dimension of this concentration while completing your final dissertation.

Is a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership really necessary?

When you’re searching for a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership, you might find yourself so frustrated with the search that finally you apathetically ask, “is it even worth getting another degree?” 

Truth be told, if you already have a bachelor’s and master’s in this field, it might not seem like it at first. However, it’s important to note that professionals with doctoral degrees advance much more quickly than those with lesser degrees. At the senior level of most organizations, managers have at least a master’s degree—if not a doctoral degree. 

And if you’re still looking for a job and are not yet employed, keep in mind that employers often value education above anything else. They may specifically seek applicants who have earned a high-quality education and who are experts in their field—regardless of how much experience they have. 

Can I work while completing an online Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership?

Most online programs in organizational leadership are designed specifically to cater to working professionals. In fact, working while completing one of these degrees can benefit you tenfold. Not only will you be able to use your current and prior work experience to bolster your academic assignments, but you can also apply the techniques learned in the classroom to your career—and you can do so immediately. 

If you’re interested in pursuing higher education, then you should check out The 20 Best Online Psychology Degree Programs and the 5 Best Online PhDs in Healthcare Management