Doctorate in Leadership Studies


Doc Program Testimonials

"My education at Ashland University allowed me to deepen my understanding of the world around me.  As a result, I felt confident in growing my leadership experiences at the local and state levels."

-- Neil Gupta, Ed.D. '01, '06 

Director of Secondary Education

Worthington City Schools


Doctorate of Leadership Studies Testimonial

“I've earned two graduate degrees from Ashland University and it was a joy to learn from the Doctoral faculty.  The Leadership Studies Program had a profound impact on my growth and development.  It truly changed my practice, made me a better person, and helped me think more critically about the world. I have re-fueled my passion for teaching, learning and leading thanks to the care, concern and support of the Ashland University faculty and staff.”   

-- Bridget Ingram, Ed.D.  '99 & '16


Clark State Community College


Doctorate of Leadership Studies Testimonial

The Ashland University EdD program provided me with the theoretical background and experience I was looking for to help me lead more effectively. The faculty are not only experts in the field of leadership but their practical experience and commitment to excellence make this program well worth the investment.”

-- Jerry Strausbaugh, Ed.D.  ‘13

Executive Director

Appleseed Community Mental Health Center


Doctorate in Leadership Studies Programs

Ashland University's interdisciplinary Doctorate in Leadership Studies Programs includes a Traditional Ed.D. in Leadership Studies, as well as an Executive Ed.D. in Leadership Studies. Our traditional and executive doctorate programs combine theory and practice with individual mentoring and applied research. Here, at Ashland University, we are determined to train a new generation of reflective, ethical and effective leaders in P-12 schools, higher education, government, industry, and human service organizations.

High-quality academic content paired with individualized mentoring — both on-and off-campus, through workplace partners — stand as the hallmarks of Ashland University’s doctoral studies in education focused on leadership studies. With a Doctorate in Leadership Studies, you will engage in a rigorous process of research, inquiry and site-specific practice.

Leadership is situated within the context of organizational renewal, so students will focus their development on professional and leadership values, organizational change, institutional and professional goal-setting, equitable leadership, and effective professional relationships.

Program Highlights:

  • Cohorts begin in May of each year (students select main campus or Ashland Columbus campus)
  • Cohorts consist of 15 - 20 students and draw from a diverse range of employment sectors (corporate, non-profit, healthcare, education, business, etc.)
  • Residency for the Traditional program is achieved through successful completion of the EDLS 9800 in the first semester as well as continuous enrollment until degree completion. For the Executive program, residency is achieved through continuous in the program until degree completion
  • Up to 9 credit hours of post-graduate coursework can be transferred in to the Cognate portion of the doctoral degree

Our Leadership Studies programs at Ashland University prepare students for a prosperous future in a variety of business and education settings. Request information today!

Traditional Doctorate in Leadership Studies -  Ashland, OH Campus

  • This program includes classes that are conducted year-round and in a hybrid format (online learning & face-to-face)
  • Core classes for are held at Ashland’s Main Campus in Ashland, OH
  • Core classes meet on Wednesdays from 5 pm - 8 pm, enabling students to work full time while completing their degree
  • Core classes are completed across seven semesters (28 months) with the remaining time devoted to the completion of the dissertation (varies depending on topic and depth of study)

Executive Doctorate in Leadership Studies - Ashland University Columbus, OH Campus

The Executive Ed.D. in Leadership Studies is an interdisciplinary doctoral degree for working professionals and practitioners who would like to complete their doctorate within a condensed time frame. 

Ashland University gives students who are looking for graduate programs in Columbus Ohio, the opportunity to complete their doctorate within two years through an executive delivery format that includes real-world action research. The Executive Ed.D. in Leadership Studies Program is designed to meet the needs of mid- to senior-level professionals who wish to extend their knowledge and expand their career opportunities.

  • The second cohort of Executive Doctorate in Leadership Studies students begins May 2020 at the Ashland University Columbus Center
  • Core classes meet two Fridays (4 pm-8 pm) and Saturdays (8 am-4 pm) per month, enabling students to work full time while completing their degree
  • Core classes are completed across five semesters (17 months) with the remaining time devoted to the completion of the dissertation
  • Residency in the Executive Doctorate in Leadership Studies program is completed by maintaining continuous enrollment in the program

Why earn your Doctorate in Leadership Studies at Ashland University?

  • Highly specialized curriculum helps you learn the skills employers seek
  • Cohort learning model allows you to grow, learn and connect with your classmates
  • Flexible hybrid learning enables you to mix online and on-campus classes to fit your schedule
  • Accelerated program allows you to complete your degree in less time

Mentorship Experience (Traditional Program Only)

Over a 12 to 15-month period, students receive the chance to work with a doctoral faculty mentor and complete an on-the-job component during your studies, where you work on a project designed to resolve important issues within your own organization. This research project will give you real field experience while delving into action-oriented research that allows you to plan, implement and evaluate your project’s success. 

Specialize in an Area that Interests You!

The cognate portion of our doctorate degree in leadership studies programs allows you to choose or build a specialization around an area of study that interests you while performing evidence-based research. The cognate portion consists of a minimum of 15 semester hours and will help you become an expert in your area of interest. Our advisors can help you make sure the courses you choose line up with personal and professional goals.  

Leadership Studies Course highlights

  • Becoming a Researcher
  • Quantitative Research Design
  • Qualitative Research Design
  • Human Capital and Public Policy
  • Leadership Theory
  • Organizational Behavior
  • And more!

Career opportunities

As a graduate of one of our Ed.D. in Leadership Studies programs, you will be better prepared for a variety of leadership studies jobs, including high-level administrative positions with P-12 schools, the government, business, colleges and universities, and certain private organizations. A doctorate degree in leadership studies could be the start to a prosperous future in business or education!

Our Leadership Studies programs’ graduates have continued their careers in a variety of areas and school districts, including school superintendents in the public and private sectors, college deans and professors, senior managers and business executives. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is a nationwide demand for leaders and administrators in a wide variety of fields.

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If you’re looking for a Doctoral Studies in Leadership program, then Ashland University has the right program for you! Learn more now!