Leadership Studies Doctoral Program (Ed.D.)

The interdisciplinary Leadership Studies doctoral program is designed to enhance the leadership capacity of working professionals from a variety of organizational and community contexts, preparing graduates to understand the complexities of effective leadership and change, with an eye toward discerning and directing purposeful, authentic collective action rooted in ethical, character-based dimensions of leader identity and responsible influence.

20+ years

Faculty's average experience in
advanced leadership instruction

Curriculum Structure

real-world learning
Leadership Core

A comprehensive and progressive foundation in leadership theory and research

alt 2
Research Core and Dissertation

Essential elements of research design, data analysis, interpretation and dissertation advisement

alt 3
Cognate Specialization

Integration and application of content knowledge to targeted areas of leadership practice

Leadership Studies Doctoral Program Outcomes

The Leadership Studies doctoral program hones leaders' ability to effectively read the leadership landscape, identifying both the types of leadership exercised by others, as well as the leadership strategies that will prove transformative in the organizations and communities they serve. Graduates of this program have a demonstrated a capacity for:

  • Leadership that is authentic, reflective, scholarly and effective in a variety of organizational contexts
  • Understanding the critical individual, interpersonal and contextual factors affecting leader-follower relationship
  • Analyzing organizational culture, leading strategic change and developing leadership capacity
  • Exercising professional knowledge & skills pertaining to specialized application domains
  • Applying social sciences research methods to address interdisciplinary problems in leadership and organizational studies
  • Utilizing a theoretical lens to understand and respond to the increasingly complex leadership dynamics of a global society

Gerald Fortson: The Making of a Leader

Gerald Fortson is about halfway through the Leadership Studies doctoral program at Xavier, but he’s already imagining the opportunities the degree will create for him.

Read Full Story »


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