College of Education

PhD in Leadership Studies

  • Degree offered: PhD
  • Fall admissions only
    For application deadlines and instructions, visit: How to Apply
  • Additional admission requirements: Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), or Miller Analogies Test (MAT); Three additional professional letters of recommendation from professors or employers.  The recommendation letters should be submitted by the same individuals who complete the recommendation form included in the standard Graduate College application; A current resume or curriculum vita;Statement of Purpose: In two double-spaced pages explain how earning a Ph.D. in Leadership Studies fits in with your academic/professional and personal goals; describe one or two of the key research topics that you may want to investigate as part of your research agenda; and discuss a key leadership lesson you have learned from your leadership experiences within or outside your profession; Master's or J.D. from a college or university recognized by a regional or general accrediting agency; Minimum cumulative Grade Point Average of 3.50 (on a 4.00 scale) in all graduate coursework; At least five years of professional work experience at the executive or managerial level; Interview: After initial review of all applications, the most qualified candidates will be invited for a group interview with the Leadership Studies faculty.]
  • Department Chair: Dr. Comfort Okpala, (336) 285-4365,

Program brochure


 "Where we are preparing Tomorrow’s Leaders for a New World."

The Department of Leadership Studies and Adult Education course work currently offers an interdisciplinary PhD degree. Our students represent a wide array of disciplines from both public and private sectors.

For information regarding application and admissions, contact the Graduate College at: (336) 285-2366 or contact us directly at: (336) 256-2342. 


The Leadership Studies program of the Department of Leadership Studies and Adult Education (LSAD) 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.

The interdependent world that we are currently living in has brought new societal challenges. Challenges ranging from educational inequality, health disparities, economic collapse, the erosion of families and communities along with a plethora of additional challenges that are negatively impacting diverse populations. At this critical juncture leadership studies offers a new and exciting way to address these societal challenges. As an interdisciplinary field of study scholars in leadership studies are poised to create new knowledge and innovative solutions to the most pressing problems confronting the world. As a prospective student in the leadership studies program we are excited about the possibility of engaging you in cutting edge research that will prepare you for leadership roles as a scholar-practitioner.

Should you decide to pursue your doctoral studies at North Carolina A&T State University you will become part of an historical legacy that has forged the way for a more just and humane world. The Greensboro Four, along with other trailblazers such as Reverend Jesse Jackson distinctly set the tone for the type of leadership that is needed to address contemporary societal challenges. As the only historically Black college and university to offer a Ph.D. in Leadership Studies we are committed to creating a new paradigm in leadership studies. We are even more excited about the possibility of having you become a member of the Aggie tradition and we look forward to helping you maximize your full potential as we “Prepare Tomorrow’s Leaders for A New World”.

Leadership Studies and Adult Education