CHICAGO • ONLINE-BLENDED
Doctor of Philosophy, Organizational Leadership
Businesses large and small increasingly recognize the critical distinction between a manager and a leader—between someone who merely assigns tasks, and someone who paints a vision and then inspires employees to work effectively toward achieving it. Organizational leadership professionals work in both for-profit and nonprofit settings, helping to clearly define and communicate organizational objectives and strategy, ensuring that business processes are as efficient as possible, building trust and bolstering morale, and helping each employee grow professionally and contribute meaningfully to advancing an organization’s mission. Curriculum includes coursework in leadership, research, ethics, interpersonal dynamics, and a range of electives to support each student’s unique career goals—preparing graduates to apply the principles of psychology and leadership theory in a broad range of settings, to more effectively lead individuals and organizations to success. Graduates are able to select, implement, and manage appropriate leadership methodologies to meet individual, group and organizational needs in non-profit and for-profit settings.
This is a non-licensure, post-masters, 60 graduate semester hour, three year degree. This post-master’s program is offered in a unique format tailored to the needs of busy working professionals. Students take two courses at a time each semester, meet face-to-face once a month on Saturday and Sunday with online work between face-to-face sessions, and progress through the program in a “cohort” fashion (i.e., with the same group of fellow students in each of their classes for the duration of the program).
Students engage in two brief residencies (roughly three and a half days each) at our Chicago campus—providing an opportunity for face-to-face interaction and networking with fellow students from around the globe who bring a wealth of diverse leadership experiences and perspectives. At the first residency, which occurs during year one of the program, students meet with their personal faculty mentor and engage in focused seminars aimed at helping them formulate their dissertation topics and prepare for the research process. At the second residency which takes place in year three, students focus on completing their dissertations and associated processes. Students are required to pass a competency exam and complete a dissertation.
Application to The Chicago School’s Organizational Leadership doctoral program is open to any person who has earned a master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in psychology, the behavioral sciences, organizational discipline or other related field, and who meets other entrance requirements.
It is preferred that candidates have had three or more years of work experience prior to admissions. The Graduate Record Examination is not required for admissions. Students are also required to write a 500 word statement on leadership and what leadership means from both a personal and a professional perspective, as well as a statement of their research interests. Additionally, applicants will be required to submit a current Résumé/curriculum vitae, highlighting relevant work, volunteer, and research experiences.
Candidates need foundational courses in statistics, psychology, and organizational behavior, as well as a master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. Foundational courses must be completed in addition to standard program requirements and may affect program length and cost. Students with skills development needs must begin their required skills development coursework at the first available opportunity. Prerequisite skills course grades are not included in grade point averages, but their semester/term-credit hours are included in calculations for satisfactory academic progress. See Satisfactory Academic Progress.
Based on meeting these requirements, selected candidates will be invited to interview for further consideration of their application. Please see the application for detailed instructions and information regarding application requirements. Applications must be submitted with the $50.00 (USD) application fee in order to be evaluated.
TOEFL or IELTS, International Credentials, and International Students
TOEFL or IELTS: If English is not the primary language, the student must submit official TOEFL or IELTS scores with the application (TOEFL School Code: 7161). International students who received a master’s degree from a regionally accredited United States institution are exempt from this requirement. The minimum scores are : TOEFL – 550 paper based, 79 internet based; IELTS – 6.5.
ELS Educational Services, Inc.: The Chicago School is a cooperative member of ELS Educational Services, Inc. which provides intensive English language programs. Students who have successfully completed ELS course 112 may be considered for admission in lieu of the TOEFL or IELTS.
International credentials: Applicants with international credentials must obtain and submit an official “course-by-course” evaluation through an evaluation agency such as World Education Services (www.wes.org) or Educational Credential Evaluators Inc (www.ece.org). In addition to the agency evaluation, all official graduate and undergraduate transcripts must be submitted.
International students: International students residing in the United States may not be eligible to obtain an F-1 visa and, thus, may not enroll in this online program.
After the initial review of all application materials, and if the Admission Committee so recommends, the candidate will be invited for an interview either face to face or via electronic means (i.e., telephone, webinar, Skype) with members of the faculty. Interviews are by invitation only and mandatory for full consideration. Post interview, the candidate will be notified of the Admission Committee’s decision regarding his or her application. The Chicago School does not share information or provide any feedback regarding admission decisions.
If a student is offered admission and in order to secure a place in the incoming class, a non-refundable tuition deposit of $250 will be required by the deposit deadline indicated in the offer of admission. The non-refundable deposit will be applied in full toward the student’s tuition upon enrollment.
Transfer of Credit
Prior graduate course work, if within the area of study, may be eligible for transfer or waiver of credit. Students accepted to the program may petition by submitting a Transfer of Credit Request Form and all required documentation. The decision to accept transfer credit is solely that of the school, which reserves the right to require satisfactory performance on an examination before awarding a transfer of credit. Transfer of credits is subject to the following conditions:
- Transferred course credit is restricted to graduate level courses from a recognized, regionally accredited (or comparable international college or university) graduate degree granting institution.
- Transfer of credit is not granted for practicum or internship.
- Transfer of credit is granted only for courses in which the grade obtained was a “B” of higher. Pass/Fail grades are not eligible.
- No credit will be transferred for coursework more than 10 years old.
- All coursework being submitted for transfer credit evaluation must have been completed prior to matriculation into The Chicago School.
- Students will be charged a transfer of credit fee for each credit hour of transfer credit awarded.
- Internal transfers do not pay the transfer course fee.
- No more than 12 hours of semester hours of credit for course work may be transferred unless approved by the program director.
A course that does not meet the specific content requirements of an existing TCSPP elective course may be accepted as transfer credit as an elective if the course supports the required competencies and learning objectives of the program and meets the following conditions:
- The course must meet all other requirements for transfer credit.
- The course must be at the equivalent degree level.
- Approval by the Department Chair for the transfer credit and documentation of this approval is required.
Waiver of Courses
An international student, who has completed a course(s) that, in the judgment of the program director, is equivalent to a required course at The Chicago School, may apply for the course to be waived.
In addition, any student (domestic or international) with previous graduate course work who has already received the maximum transfer credit may request a waiver of additional course work to be completed at The Chicago School.
Students may seek a waiver for a total of 12 credit hours taken in another doctoral program upon approval of the department.
Matriculated students must be continuously enrolled in the program until graduation unless granted an approved leave of absence. The program requires attendance during the fall, spring, and summer semesters. Each student must take a minimum of six semester hours of course work in the fall, spring and summer semesters, unless the student has fewer than the required number of hours of course work remaining or is on an approved leave of absence. Satisfactory progress semester hours may not include waiver or transfer credit hours. A student must maintain satisfactory academic progress by complying with the following requirements:
Credit Hours per Year:
Organizational Leadership program students must complete at least 18 semester hours of credit each year during fall, spring, and summer semesters.
The Organizational Leadership doctoral program is 3 years in length. Students must complete all requirements within 5 years.
No residency requirement for on-ground.
Students engage in two brief residencies (roughly three and a half days each) at one of our campuses—providing an opportunity for face-to-face interaction and networking with fellow students from around the globe who bring a wealth of diverse leadership experiences and perspectives. At the first residency, which occurs during year one of the program, students meet with their cohorts and faculty members and engage in focused seminars aimed at helping them formulate their dissertation topics and prepare for the research process. At the second residency which takes place in year three, students focus on completing their dissertations and associated processes. Students are required to pass a competency exam and complete a dissertation.
Field Experience Requirements
Students must have access to an organizational environment that will be available for use in research and reference for course work.
All requirements for the Organizational Leadership Doctoral Program, including the competency exam and dissertation, are designed to be completed within the designated program length. Program duration may not exceed five years, depending on point of entry. Students must be in good standing in their program for the doctoral degree to be awarded and have completed all of their degree requirements before the degree can be conferred. Students who meet the following requirements are eligible to graduate:
- Satisfactory completion of all program required credit hours
- Cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or higher
- Successful completion of comprehensive exam
- Successful defense of the dissertation and submission of bindable copy
Upon completion of all requirements and after final grades are posted, a degree audit will be conducted to verify degree completion. The degree is then conferred, posted to the transcript, and a diploma is issued.
Students must complete the Petition for Program Completion through the Office of Student Services in order to have their degree conferred, diploma issued, and to participate, if desired, in the annual commencement ceremony. The petition must be submitted by the end of the third week of the semester in which a student expects to meet the program requirements for the degree. Students who will complete their requirements in the upcoming summer term, and wish to participate in the annual commencement ceremony must submit the Petition for Program Completion in the spring term by the deadline indicated on the graduation page of the website.
* Detailed information regarding petitioning and commencement can be found on the website.
The Department of Psychology offers a Ph.D. degree in Organizational Leadership. This program examines field of psychology from an organizational leadership perspective. It is intended to develop professionals who can apply knowledge about principles of psychology and leadership to work more effectively with specific populations. The program includes coursework in leadership, research, ethics, interpersonal dynamics, and a range of electives to support each student’s unique career goals—preparing graduates to apply the principles of psychology and leadership theory in a broad range of settings, to more effectively lead individuals and organizations to success. Graduates are able to select, implement, and manage appropriate leadership methodologies to meet individual, group and organizational needs in non-profit and for-profit settings.
- Students will assess the theoretical frameworks and scientific bases of organizational leadership appropriate at the doctoral level for a specific individual, group, or organizational situation.
- Students will evaluate the impact of diversity and cultural issues in the field of organizational leadership.
- Students will identify and demonstrate the ethical and professional conduct requirements governing the field of organizational leadership within an organization or location.
- Students will apply essential leadership theory and skills to improve learning and performance in a variety of organizational populations.
Ethical and Professional Behavior
Students are expected to engage in all graduate work, including but not limited to course work, field placement and scholarship, with a high degree of integrity and professionalism. It is essential that students approach professional working relationships, collegial relationships, and client/partner-contact with respect. Further, students are expected to adhere to the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct as well as the “evolving universal code of ethics” (Gauthier, 2005). Students who choose to seek employment in the field of psychology shall not work beyond their level of competence and shall not use titles governed by credentialing statutes and/or regulations unless authorized by the relevant jurisdictional authority. Students who fail to comply with ethical and professional behavior guidelines are subject to department remediation and/or referral to the Student Affairs Committee for disciplinary action and possible dismissal.
Program Delivery Options and Learning Format
Students engage in two brief residencies (roughly three and a half days each) at one of our campuses—providing an opportunity for face-to-face interaction and networking with fellow students from around the globe who bring a wealth of diverse leadership experiences and perspectives. At the first residency, which occurs during year one of the program, students meet with their personal faculty mentor and engage in focused seminars aimed at helping them formulate their dissertation topics and prepare for the research process. At the second residency which takes place in year three, students focus on completing their dissertations and associated processes. Students are required to pass a competency exam and complete a dissertation.
Students will meet face-to-face one weekend a month (Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.) for class. Additional coursework will occur through an online format during the weeks between face-to-face meetings.
This program is designed to be completed in three years. A maximum of five years from start date will be allowed for completion of the dissertation and all required coursework.
Prior to beginning the dissertation coursework, students are required to pass a competency exam.
Study in the Organizational Leadership doctoral program culminates in completion of the competency exam and the dissertation.
At the end of year two, students are required to complete the course OL 620 Competency Examination. This course is a measurement of the students’ mastery of the program competencies: research, leadership, human diversity and ethics, and intervention. Upon completion of the competency exam, students may proceed toward completion of their dissertation.
Completion of the dissertation is an essential aspect of Organizational Leadership students’ academic experience and professional education. It provides the school the opportunity to evaluate the student’s ability to apply Organizational Leadership theory and research and to think critically and creatively about relevant research issues in organizational leadership.
For the dissertation, an original empirical study is required and must be approved by the Institutional Review Board. The dissertation committee has a minimum of three committee members including the chair, reader, and research consultant or subject matter expert. The Chicago School has established specific milestones with measurable rubrics to evaluate successful dissertation completion.