Department of Leadership Studies Features



The doctoral program in leadership studies prepares leader-scholars who--through their commitment to civic and community engagement, transformative research, and creative scholarship—work globally to maximize human potential.

 Program Overview

The Department of Leadership Studies (LEST) is an interdisciplinary doctoral program designed for those persons who desire to lead and conduct social and behavioral sciences research in the field of leadership. The emerging interdisciplinary field of leadership studies covers a wide range of academic disciplines such as psychology, sociology, history, political science, and religious studies, to name a few.  Our students come from diverse professional backgrounds such as business, engineering, law, industry, education, healthcare, the +military and community-based organizations.  The intellectual climate of the program is enhanced through (a) networking in the academy and (b) our partnerships and community networks that bring real-time academic, economic, political and social justice issues to campus and intentional connections for students in community-based initiatives grounded in scholarship and engagement principles.  The LEST curriculum requirement includes a minimum of 54 hours beyond the master’s degree, with 44 hours of coursework and 12 hours for dissertation research.  Additionally, students are expected to complete 12-hour track in one of the following areas: (a) Higher Education and Community Colleges, (b) African American Leadership, (c) Transformative Leadership for Civic and Community Engagement, (a) Leadership for K-20 Diversity and Educational Justice, and (e) Interdisciplinary Leadership Studies.  LEST’s goal is to produce leader-scholars who are critical thinkers and facilitators of leadership committed to democratic engagement.

Program Outcomes

• Goal 1:  Intellectual Climate - The Ph.D. program in Leadership Studies will contribute to intellectual climate through the utilization of community networks to enhance current day, real-time academic, economic, political, and social justice issues by bringing eminent leaders to campus to participate in discussions and community forums.  We will also intentionally connect and involve students in community-based initiatives that reiterate scholarship and engagement.

• Goal 2:  Excellence in Teaching, Research, and Engagement - The Ph.D. program in Leadership Studies will achieve excellence and recognition for high quality in teaching and learning, research, creative exchange, civic and community engagement.  We will produce leader-scholars who are critical thinkers and facilitators of leadership committed to civic and community engagement, transformative research, creative scholarship, and multicultural explorations.

• Goal 3: Resource Generation - The Ph.D. program in Leadership Studies recognizes that generating resources is critical to the stimulation of innovative scholarship, meaningful outreach and engagement, global impact and creative exchange.  In order to build capacity for sustainability, we will strategically strengthen relationships with current students and alumni as well as expand partnerships with foundations, agencies, businesses, and corporations. 

• Goal 4: Institutional Effectiveness - The Ph.D. program in Leadership Studies will create an environment that is accessible and welcoming to students, staff, faculty, alumni, and the greater community.  We will utilize best practices and technological enhancements to advance program effectiveness and efficiency.