PhD/EdD, Leadership: Organizational Leadership Specialization
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Become an Organizational Leader with a PhD or EdD from Concordia University Chicago

Business continually evolves. With continuing innovations in technology and process improvement, today’s organizational leaders need relevant expertise in business theory and strategy to succeed. For students looking to earn a graduate organizational leadership degree online, Concordia University Chicago offers two innovative degree options from a university of distinction.

The online EdD and PhD in Leadership: Organizational Leadership Specialization programs prepare graduates with the knowledge and skills needed to excel in the modern business world. Whether you choose to pursue a PhD or EdD, both programs focus on producing ethical leaders who understand what it takes to operate a successful organization in the 21st century.

Online PhD in Organizational Leadership
  • Theoretical and abstract
  • Research-focused
  • “Big-picture” approach
  • 67 credit hours
Online EdD in Organizational Leadership
  • Practical and applicable
  • Action-based
  • Focused approach
  • 61 credit hours

The online EdD/PhD in Organizational Leadership curriculum includes:

  • Contemporary leadership theory with a focus on strategy
  • Strategic planning and forecasting
  • Innovative change initiatives
  • Organizational diagnostic strategies
  • Purposeful reform interventions

Graduates who earn their organizational leadership degree online can expect to create an immediate impact on the future of their organization. They will have the skills and knowledge needed to assess and implement change and development initiatives as well as reform efforts.

Prepare for Organizational Leadership with an Online EdD or PhD from Concordia University Chicago

Concordia University Chicago offers a variety of specialized degrees in many industries, including healthcare, business, education and human services. The online EdD/PhD in Organizational Leadership program is designed for professionals who aspire to take on influential leadership roles in their organization or who plan to work in academia and educate the future business leaders of tomorrow.

Among the topics covered in the doctorate of organizational leadership online degree program are:

  • Research-Based Decision Making
  • How to Become a Leader Who Is a Trainer, Mentor, and Coach
  • Leader Development: Cultivating, Sustaining and Renewing the Organization
  • Leadership Communication and Decision-Making
  • The Pursuit of Leadership Excellence
  • Critical Issues in Leadership
  • Leadership Theories and Professional Practice
  • Developing the Organization’s Human Capital
  • Leading the Knowledge Enterprise
  • Promoting and Leading Change
  • Strategic Forecasting and Planning
Degree Program Specifications

The online PhD in Organizational Leadership program requires 67 credit hours of coursework, including a comprehensive exam and dissertation. The EdD program has two less research courses and a total of 61 credit hours. All online courses are eight weeks in duration.

Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission into the online PhD/EdD in Organizational Leadership program at Concordia University Chicago, students must have earned a master’s degree with a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA. Prospective students must complete the free online application and submit all required admission materials:

  • Objective Statement – Write a brief statement outlining your education and career goals and explain how earning an organizational leadership degree online from Concordia University Chicago will help you fulfill those objectives.
  • Official Transcripts – Provide one official, sealed transcript from each institution that has granted you a degree.
  • Graduate Exam Scores – Submit an official copy of your current Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT) scores. (Test results must be dated within the prior three years). There is no minimum score required to be accepted.
  • Letters of Recommendation – Send two letters of recommendation from individuals who are able to comment on your academic proficiency, professional competencies, personal character and potential for doctoral study.
  • Professional Resume – Provide a copy of your resume or curriculum vitae, including relevant work experience, degrees, certifications, and skills.
  • Writing Sample – Submit a paper that demonstrates your ability to write in a scholarly manner at a level typical of graduate work. A paper from your master’s program would be most appropriate. This sample should approach, but not exceed, five pages in length.

International applicants may be required to submit additional supporting materials, such as proof of English language proficiency and a foreign transcript evaluation from an approved credentialing service. For full requirements, visit the Admission & Tuition page. 

There is no application fee to apply for the online PhD or EdD program at Concordia University Chicago.

PhD/EdD, Leadership: Organizational Leadership Specialization: 61-67 Credit Degree Program


Organizational Leadership Specialization

Semester 1

Business Communication & Organizational Behavior

MBAA 6305      3 credit hours 

Examination of theories relating to organizational performance such as interpersonal behavior, organizational culture, team dynamics, power, leadership, and conflict. Stresses fundamental communication principles and techniques for effective writing and speaking in diverse business situations.

Intermediate Financial Accounting I

MBAA 6310      3 credit hours

Analyze how accounting meets information needs of various users by developing and communicating information useful for external decision making. Builds on basic accounting by taking a more in-depth look at the theory and practice of accounting.

Semester 2

Intermediate Financial Accounting II

MBAA 6315      3 credit hours

Analyze how accounting meets information needs of various users by developing and communicating information useful for external decision making. Builds on basic accounting by taking a more in-depth look at the theory and practice of accounting.

Financial Management of NFP Organizations

MBAA 6320      3 credit hours

Semester 3

Audit Theory and Practice

MBAA 6325      3 credit hours

Examines the auditing environment, with emphasis placed on developing skills for performing financial audits. These skills include planning the audit, testing internal controls, substantive and analytical testing, audit sampling and drawing conclusions from results. Topics include planning for materiality and audit risk; evaluating effectiveness of internal controls; reporting weaknesses to management, ethics and AICPA Code of Professional Conduct, and audit opinions.

Advanced Accounting

MBAA 6330      3 credit hours

Semester 4

Federal Income Taxation

MBAA 6335      3 credit hours

Current laws relating to income realization and recognition, exclusions from income, business and personal deductions, credits from tax, business and personal gains and losses, depreciation, accounting periods and methods, and alternative minimum tax. Basics of tax research, understanding how to analyze difficult tax questions and interpret tax law changes and professional and ethical standards of the preparer.

Corporate Taxation

MBAA 6340      3 credit hours

Applies many of the basic principles learned in Federal Income Tax to the dealings of corporate taxpayers and their shareholders. Overview of corporate tax, ethical stewardship, transactions in the life of a “C” corporation, Subchapter S, and other forms of business organizations. Basics of the taxation of corporate mergers and acquisitions.

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Organizational Leadership Specialization

Semester 1

Leadership Theories and Professional Practice

LDR 7000      3 credit hours 

In this course, students explore and examine contemporary and classical leadership theories and their application to a variety of professional settings; students assess and evaluate organization’s leadership platform, policies and professional practices.

Organizational Change

EDL 7140      3 credit hours

Application of change theory to large and small organizations. Leadership strategies for successful change implementation.

Semester 2

Policy Analysis

EDL 7211      3 credit hours

Educational policy-making at the macro (national, regional and state) and micro (local and institutional) levels. Selected educational policies.

Research-Based Decision Making

EDL 7120      3 credit hours

The analysis of the methodological and statistical components of existing research data to enhance and facilitate the educational decision making process. Particular attention is given to applications regarding issues of educational policy.

Semester 3

Leadership: Politics, Power and Applied Ethics

OLDR 6820      3 credit hours

In this course students will examine the ethical dilemmas of leadership, the foundations and context of moral choice and the moral implications of decision making. In doing so, the purpose is to make visible the ethical challenges and decision criteria facing leaders, the role of politics and power in organizations and the leader’s ability to promote and infuse organizational ethics and integrity into the culture.

Quantitative Analysis

Semester 4

The Leader as Trainer, Mentor, and Coach

OLDR 6800      3 credit hours

This course is designed to provide students with an overview of the methods used by leaders to approach training, coaching and developing their organizational workforces. Faced with the constant of change and ever increasing global competition and pressures, organizations must find ways to develop the individuals, teams and leaders in their organizations if they are to remain relevant and competitive in today’s marketplace. Students explore various means that can be used for development including various forms of training, mentoring and coaching. Ethical issues as they relate to development and coaching are also examined.

Philosophical and Theoretical Foundations of Leadership

FPR 7011      3 credit hours

Study of the philosophical and theoretical foundations of education and leadership, including analysis of the aims and goals of education, processes of attainment, content and curriculum, and the socialization function of education, schooling and complex organizations. Develop an understanding of the intersections between theory/philosophy, ethical perspectives and the development of policy, practice and institutions. 

Semester 5

Developing the Organization’s Human Capital

LDR 7010      3 credit hours

In this course, students examine and explore human resources policies and practices; administrative supervision strategies and effective communication techniques; job performance, employee development and deployment, diverse work force, employment law, training and development, harassment and health issues, and disabilities and discrimination.

Promoting and Leading Change

LDR 7030      3 credit hours

Effective change leadership requires an understanding of the basic principles and practices underlying innovation, change processes and sustainability in organizations. The focus of this course is initiating, implementing and ensuring continuation of change as a key leadership challenge. Various change theories and principles are examined with an emphasis on the leader’s role in capacity building, creativity, organizational strengths and style. Participants are encouraged to develop a more situated and experience informed approach to change in the organizational front lines.

Semester 6

Leadership Communication and Decision-Making

OLDR 6830      3 credit hours

This course is designed to provide students with an overview of the key elements of communication and decision-making in 21st century organizations. Current, relevant and timely resources are explored to provide students with opportunities to analyze elements and functions of communication and decision-making. Significant emphasis will be on effective communication skill sets and competencies utilized in organizational communication and decision-making in the current global milieu, working in both real-world and virtual environments.

Qualitative Research

RES 7700      3 credit hours

An examination and application of qualitative research approaches with focus on research design, the role of the researcher, data collection and analysis, and writing from a qualitative perspective.

Semester 7

Agents of Change
Leader Development: Cultivating, Sustaining, and Renewing the Organization

OLDR 6810      3 credit hours

This course is designed to provide an opportunity for exploration and critical examination of self in the context of leadership development and proficiency. The organizational leader is viewed as the lead learner whose responsibility is to cultivate, shape and sustain the development of the organization and personnel. Emphasis is placed on the practice of self-reflective leadership grounded in established theory and principles. Students are encouraged to self-assess and articulate their own generative capacities, professional renewal initiatives and leadership legacy. Purpose, intention and actionable plans for leadership growth and development are encouraged.

Career Outlook for Organizational Leaders

An EdD or PhD in Leadership with a specialization in Organizational Leadership prepares graduates for a wide variety of jobs. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates employment of managers and executives will grow 8% by 2026, resulting in over 800,000 new managerial jobs, including more than 190,000 in the top executive ranks.

Salaries for business managers and executives vary widely depending on the position and location. However, BLS data reveals that the median annual pay for top executives was $183,270 as of May 2017, and the top 10% earned upwards of $208,000 per year.

Earning your EdD or PhD in Organizational Leadership online from Concordia University Chicago prepares you for administrative, consulting and educational roles that require expertise in organizational leadership. If you aspire to become a leader in your field, this online doctorate program can be the first step on your journey to achieving that dream.

Tuition & Financial Aid

If there is no interruption in your course of study at Concordia University Chicago, you are guaranteed there will be no increase in tuition rates. Contact us to confirm the current tuition and fees for the online EdD/PhD in Organizational Leadership. Students who enroll in the online program as a degree candidate are eligible to apply for federal financial aid.

Active-duty military service members, veterans and eligible dependents can take advantage of financial programs available to assist in paying for a college education. For more information, please visit our website.

Contact Information

Lori McGill-Sarago
Concordia University Chicago
Student Recruitment Manager


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