The Doctor of Philosophy in Leadership Studies (LEST) program is an interdisciplinary doctoral program designed for people 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.
- Secondary Educator
- Post-Secondary Educator
The following are needed in or to be eligible to apply for the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Leadership Studies:
- A master’s degree from a college or university recognized by a regional or general accrediting agency; Master's or J.D. degree with minimum cumulative Grade Point Average of 3.50 (on a 4.00 scale) from a college or university recognized by a regional or general accrediting agency.
- Interest in conducting research in leadership studies. Experience in a leadership or administrative capacity is preferred.
- A completed Graduate Record Exam (GRE) general test, or the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT), or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) as applicable to the discipline area of the student
- An applicant with their highest degree from a non-English-speaking country is required to complete the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination and obtain a score of 600 or higher on the written examination or 250 or higher on the computer examination
- Three (3) letters of recommendation from people who can speak to your likelihood of success in the doctoral program; at least one must be from a former professor.
- Writing sample (two pages and double-spaced) “Statement of Purpose” explaining the reason for pursuing the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Leadership Studies and the professional work experience or research interest in leadership studies.
- An applicant will be interviewed by an Admission Committee as part of the admission requirements, prior to the recommendation for acceptance into the program.
The LEST curriculum requirement includes a minimum of 60 credit hours beyond the master’s degree, with 48 hours of coursework and 12 hours for dissertation research and writing. Within the 48 hours is 18 hours in one of the following specializations: Organizational Leadership, Educational Leadership or Health Services Leadership. LEST’s goal is to produce leader-scholars who are critical thinkers and models of engaging and successful leadership.
Explore the curriculum guide.
For program-related questions:
Sydney D. Richardson, Ph.D., Chair/Associate Professor
Department of Leadership Studies, Adult Education, and School Administration
College of Education
For assistance with the admissions process:
The Graduate College
For assistance with the registration process:
Trevor Taylor, Student Services Coordinator
336-285-3798 or (888) 498-6752 (Toll-Free)
Toni McRae, Business Services Coordinator
336-285-3811 or (888) 498-6752 (Toll-Free)