Organizational Leadership

Doctor of Philosophy in Education
  • Overview
  • Course Information
  • Tuition
  • Benefits

Strong leadership is required in any educational institution. NCU’s PhD in Organizational Leadership specialization examines theories of leadership in education, corporate, government or community organizations. Under the guidance of NCU’s professors who all hold doctoral degrees, you will concentrate on developing skills to forge alliances, build confidence and inspire a shared vision with members of a team. You will explore issues and resolutions in contemporary organizations, and have the opportunity to contribute new knowledge in the field. Our graduates teach at the university level, focus on research, or work for an organization with an interest in organizational leadership.

General Degree Requirements

The PhD Program may be completed in 60 semester credit hours. However, up to an additional 15 credit hours will be allowed as needed to complete the dissertation research. If the program is not completed in 75 credit hours, the student will be dismissed from the program.

Completion Period for Doctoral Degrees

Northcentral University allows 7 years to complete all doctoral programs of 60 credits or less. Normal time to complete varies depending upon course take rate and credits transferred.

Certification and Licensing

The School of Education serves educational leaders by providing online graduate studies in education to reach worldwide populations. The PhD program is designed to reach national and international markets and does not purport to provide licensure or certification in any particular state or country.

PhD Degree Requirements

Admission to the doctorate programs at NCU requires a master's degree from an accredited institution. PhD students are also required to demonstrate competency in specific subject areas prior to enrolling in any of the specialization or elective courses.

Foundational Competencies for PhD Program

  • Graduate Level Statistics Competency - PhD students are required to complete a Statistics in Education Research Course, EDU8003, and also EDU8006, Advanced Educational Statistics.
  • Competency in Research Writing Skills - PhD students are required to show competency in writing skills for research purposes through their Northcentral University graduate coursework before being assigned to any dissertation courses. Students will be required to take EDU8001, Advanced Scholarly Writing, to improve APA formatting skills and to address advanced writing and research skills as necessary.
  • Computer Competency - PhD students are required to use appropriate computer skills that are necessary in writing a dissertation. Students must be able to prepare documents using advanced word processing skills (e.g., creation of tables and figures, headers and footers, page breaks, tables of contents, hanging indents, etc.). In addition, students need to use computer programs for the statistical analysis and presentation of data (e.g., Excel, SPSS). The oral defense normally requires a computer-based presentation by the candidate (e.g., a PowerPoint presentation).

Course Length

All new students enrolling in the PhD in Education program are automatically enrolled in courses that are eight weeks in length. All eight-week courses are indicated by a "-8" (dash eight) at the end of the course code.

See below for specialization courses specific to this program. To learn more, fill out the request information form below or view the course catalog.

Course Code


Course Description


Conflict Resolution and Mediation

Leaders must become adept at interpreting conflict and identifying options that result in a favorable outcome for all stakeholders. Constructive responses and mediation skills developed through a focused effort to understand communication patterns, interpersonal relationships, and communication skills can produce successful conflict resolution. Theory, self-reflection and enhancement of conflict skills, cultural understanding, structure, and practice of collaborative and mediated negotiations are emphasized.


Building Organizational Capacity

There are numerous definitions for the phrase "capacity building" within educational and leadership literature. For the purpose of this Doctoral level course, the term "building organizational capacity" will be used to describe a parallel universe, where both the students’ capacity and the organization's capacity must be developed to achieve organizational goals. Students will analyze their own organization to assess internal and external capacity, reviewing all tangible and intangible portions of the organization to understand their individual and collective impact on achieving maximum effectiveness and productivity. Simultaneously, students will also critically evaluate their own role within the organization as it relates to building capacity.


Leadership for Excellence

In this course students will deepen their philosophy of leadership which serves as the foundation for applying the knowledge and skill sets acquired through their specialization and degree program. The development and implementation of leadership concepts, applications, and frameworks to drive leadership performance for excellence are highlighted. The continued and increasingly successful application of the knowledge, tools, skill sets, and perspectives that have been learned will also be emphasized.


Theory and Practice of Organizational Leadership

In this course, students will examine in-depth leadership theories and their applications in current organizational settings. This course incorporates the student's experiences and observations regarding leadership from their personal and professional experiences and current work setting. Topics include: leadership principals, ethical leadership, organizational culture, and reflective practice.


Ethical Leadership

In this course, students gain a deep understanding of the complexity of moral dilemmas through critical analysis and application of ethical principles, as leadership is not an event, but a process that takes time. Interpersonal dynamics operating within an organizational structure and the systemic nature of such structures is examined. Students examine their own ethical profile, and how it impacts their communication with individuals and groups. This process includes oral, print, and electronic communications.


Leader as Coach

In this course, students will examine coaching principles and theories along with their applications in leadership roles. This course incorporates the student's experiences and observations regarding leadership from both personal and professional environments. Topics include: competencies for coaches, coaching theories, assessment models, and case study analysis related to coaching.


Executive Leadership in Nonprofit Organizations

In this course, students will examine the principles and practices of executive leaders in non-profit organizations. This course incorporates assessing leadership challenges, strategic planning, organizational capacity, fiduciary responsibilities, marketing and communication, and developing a SWOT analysis.

At Northcentral University, we pride ourselves in being completely transparent when it comes to tuition and fees. If a cost is not included in our Cost Per Course Tuition Rate, we let you know up front. Currently, the only additional cost above your program rate* is books. Learn more about the NCU’s PhD in Education costs below:

  • Per credit cost: $1,129
  • Per 3 credit course cost: $3,387
  • Program cost: $68,090
  • Average book cost per course: $110
  • Application Fee: $0
  • Learning Management Fee (one-time per program): $350
  • Registration Fee: $0

Click here to learn more about payment and financing options.

*Program rates are subject to change and generally increase at the start of each calendar year.

Total program costs reflected are calculated based on standard degree program credits exclusive of the program’s potential evaluation track. The actual cost of a program is determined based upon the program and track the student enters, transfer credits if any, and other unique student factors.For more information: please contact Admissions or refer to the catalog.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned about our students, it’s that they are motivated and ambitious—but they are also busy! At Northcentral University, we’ve designed our education experience to work with you, not against you, so you can achieve your academic goals without sacrificing the quality, flexibility and support you need to be successful.

To learn more, request information or call 1-866-776-0331 to speak with an enrollment advisor today. We offer new courses every Monday of the year so you can get started when it’s best for you.