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    The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
  Apr 25, 2024
2022-2023 Student Handbook and Academic Catalog 
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2022-2023 Student Handbook and Academic Catalog [Archived Catalog]

PhD Organizational Leadership

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Anaheim - Chicago - Los Angeles - Dallas -Washington D.C. - Online 

Program Overview

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. They ensure that business processes are as effective and efficient as possible, build trust, bolster morale, and help 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. 

Program Philosophy 

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology offers a PhD 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.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program students will be able to:

Professional Practice

  • Produce written documents that are well researched, cited, and organized for easy reading and understanding. Students will be able to deliver presentations targeted to business and academic audiences.
  • Describe and apply effective practices within the field of Business Psychology or Organizational Leadership. 


  • Explain and build upon the role that individual and group differences play in the workplace (e.g., race, gender, age, national culture, cognitive style, socio-economic status, job title/power and etc.). Students will be able to demonstrate cross-cultural competence and operate within a framework of global diversity.

Professional Behavior

  • Demonstrate personal integrity and ethical behavior in professional practice.
  • Form effective professional relationships based on attitudes and communication skills that foster trust, open dialogue, and collaboration, regardless of differences in background, education, position in the organization, points of view or other personal characteristics


  • Cite the theoretical knowledge and research integral to their fields of study. Students will be able to describe the philosophies of science underpinning their field’s theoretical knowledge and research. Students will be able to apply published research to the development of new areas for scholarly study. Students will be able to design and conduct research studies. Students will be able to analyze and interpret the data produced by research.
  • Analyze and evaluate the work of others, including probing for more information, searching for logic flaws, and creating alternative solutions to problems.

Admission Requirements

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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.  If prior coursework does not include at least one course in undergraduate statistics and one psychology course, applicants should refer to the progression requirement policy section below.

It is preferred that candidates have had three or more years of work experience prior to admission.  The Graduate Record Examination is not required for admission.  Applicants 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 vita, highlighting relevant work, volunteer, and research experiences.

Applicants must submit official transcripts from all schools where a degree was earned. It is recommended that transcripts are submitted from all schools where credit was received to enhance their applications.

For Distance Learning Students: In additional to the admission criteria, it is recommended that students have access to a computer that is less than three years old, a broadband or Internet connection, and the Microsoft Office Suite including Word, Excel, and Outlook and, at minimum, the following computing skills:

  • A basic level of comfort with Internet technology
  • The ability to open and attach files from and to email
  • The ability to send and receive email
  • The ability to save documents

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.

PhD Organizational Leadership Progression Requirements

This program requires applicants to have successfully completed at least one (1) foundational course in statistics, and one (1) foundational course in psychology or organizational behavior with a grade earned of ‘C’ or better by the end of their first semester (second online term) of study.  Students who have not done so through previous coursework must successfully meet this progression requirement through one of the following options:

  • A grade of “C” or higher in TCS 390 Introduction to Statistics and TCS 380 Introduction to Psychology
  • A grade of “C” or higher in a comparable course at The Chicago School
  • A grade of “C” or higher in a comparable course at another regionally accredited institution

Applicants accepted who have not successfully completed one (1) foundational course in statistics and one (1) course in psychology or organizational behavior will be required to register for applicable TCS courses in their first ground semester or online term. All students must meet this progression requirement by the end of their first semester (second online term) of study. Students who do not successfully fulfill this requirement will not be allowed to register in any future coursework in the program of study until this requirement is met. Extensions can be granted by the Program Chair or designee when extenuating circumstances prevent completion of the requirement in the specified timeframe.  Requests for an extension must be submitted in writing to the Program Chair for consideration.

Applicant Notification

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology reviews applications on a rolling basis. Once review begins, complete applications will be considered by the Admission Committee and applicants will be notified regarding the admission decision. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology 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.

Articulation Agreements

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology has established agreements between The MA Psychology and the PhD Organizational Leadership program to allow qualified students to enroll in doctoral level courses while completing thier master’s degree that will then count toward the doctoral degree.  Click on this link  for details.

Degree Completion Requirements

  • Successful completion of 60 credit hours of coursework
  • Successful completion of dissertation
  • Successful completion of Competency Examination
  • Attendance at two residences that are three and a half day each (online students only)


The following policies are located under Academic Policies and Procedures : Academic Calendar, Admissions Requirements, Attendance, Satisfactory Academic Progress, Service Learning, and Transfer Credit/Course Waiver. Click the link above for detailed information.

Residency Requirements (Online Students Only)

Online students are engaged 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, students meet with their cohorts and faculty members and engage in focused seminars.  At the second residency, students participate in their competency exam.

Field Experience Requirements 

Students must have access to an organizational environment that will be available for use in research and reference for course work. 

Ethical Guidelines

Students are expected to engage in all graduate work, including but not limited to course work, research, 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.

Competency Examination

Every student is required to pass a Competency Examination (CE). The aim of this assessment exercise is to evaluate the student’s knowledge of theory, research, and practice. This is also an opportunity to assess the student’s ability to demonstrate this knowledge and skill in simulations in order to judge his or her abilities as a future organizational leader. The Comprehensive Examination is taken at the end of the student’s second year in the doctoral program


Completion of the dissertation is an essential aspect of a 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 an issue in the field.

The dissertation should clearly and concisely demonstrate the student’s command of the research in a specific area of Organizational Leadership. In the dissertation, the student will critically evaluate and synthesize relevant research and theory in the topic chosen for study. The student’s dissertation Committee is responsible for determining the appropriateness and acceptability of the dissertation proposal and for final approval of the dissertation.

The Curriculum

Intensive course work that balances theory and practice culminates in completion of the competency exam and the dissertation. Students entering post-master’s must complete 60 graduate semester hours of study:

Required Core: 54 credit hours

Electives: 6 credit hours

Program Total

Ph.D. Organizational Leadership: 60 credit hours


Choose six hours of elective courses:

Extension Courses

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