Doctor of Education, Organizational Leadership Studies concentration

Campus Locations Boston, Charlotte, Online, Seattle
Also available 100% Online No
Other Format(s)
Credits Required for Graduation 60
Entry Terms Fall Quarter, Winter Quarter
Meets International Visa Requirements No


The Doctor of Education (EdD), Organizational Leadership Studies concentration positions experienced leaders to assume greater responsibilities within their organizations. Designed for leaders working in educational, government, health care, military, not-for-profit, for-profit, and management consulting organizations, this concentration combines theory, research, and practice to develop individuals who can effectively manage and lead change in today’s fast-based, global environment.

The interdisciplinary curriculum offers a strong foundation in leadership, culture, learning, change, communications, systems, and strategy. Students conduct and apply doctoral research to develop real-world answers to the leadership challenges facing 21st century organizations.

Throughout the course of the program students:

  • Review contemporary leadership theory and models emphasizing recent conceptualizations, such as adaptive, relational, distributed, complexity, and global leadership to refine their personal leadership knowledge, skills, and abilities
  • Examine key models of organizational culture to build their own capability to understand and interact with different societal and organizational cultures across the world
  • Enhance their ability to think systemically by developing the required competencies to create cultures and structuring processes for learning in their organizations
  • Explore classical and modern theories of organization and design a forward-thinking organization creating all components, including vision, mission, strategy, structure, and processes
  • Use both seminal and current theoretical approaches of organizational communication to investigate the dynamic interplay between communication processes and human organizing
  • Examine seminal and modern group dynamics research to assess group processes and to stimulate group development inside their organizations
  • Investigate topical consulting strategies and organizational assessment tools and conduct an organizational diagnosis to gain a comprehensive understanding of the models, variables, and perspectives used to understand complex organizational processes
  • Integrate organizational power theory, research, and practical diagnostic tools to systematically identify and evaluate the political processes and behaviors at play inside their organizations

Upon successful completion of this program, graduates have the capacity to contribute new knowledge to leadership scholarship and become positive forces of change.

PLEASE NOTE: Degree requirements differ for North Carolina students. For more information, please visit the Northeastern University-Charlotte website

Interested in Learning More?

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The Northeastern University EdD program is also offered in Hong Kong through a partnership with the professional program management team at Kaplan Higher Education. Learn more about the Northeastern Doctor of Education in Hong Kong.


Please note: Students who started this program prior to Fall 2016 should follow the curriculum reflected on their DegreeWorks audits via the self-service tab of their myNEU portal.  Please consult your advisor with any questions.

PLEASE NOTE: Degree requirements differ for North Carolina students. For more information, please visit the Northeastern University-Charlotte website

Required Foundation Courses (12 q.h.)

EDU 7209 Introduction to Doctoral Studies 3 q.h.
EDU 7202 Transforming Human Systems 3 q.h. 
EDU 7214 Changing Conceptions of Learning and Human Development: Research and Practice 3 q.h.
EDU 7210 Leadership Theory and Research 3 q.h.

Organizational Leadership Studies Concentration Courses (15 q.h.)

EDU 7278 Organizational Theory and Design  3 q.h. 
EDU 7277 Organizational Learning and Systems Thinking 3 q.h.
EDU 7275 Contemporary Models of Leadership  3 q.h. 
EDU 7272 Global Perspectives of Organizational Culture 3 q.h.
EDU 7276 Organizational Communication: Institutional and Global Perspectives 3 q.h.

Required Research Courses (9 q.h.)

EDU 7280 Fundamentals of Research 3 q.h.
EDU 7281 Research Design 3 q.h
EDU 7282
EDU 7283
Proposal Development—Quantitative
Proposal Development—Qualitative  
3 q.h.

3 q.h. 

Elective Courses (12 q.h.)

Students take additional courses from any concentration. Electives offered within the Curriculum, Teaching, Learning, and Leadership concentration are not limited to but include:

EDU 7222 Community Engagement  3 q.h. 
EDU 7230 Current and Emerging Practice in STEM Education  3 q.h. 
EDU 7241 International Research & Practice in Curriculum 3 q.h.
EDU 7243 Doctoral Seminar in Curriculum Leadership 3 q.h.
EDU 7245 Urban Education  3 q.h.  
EDU 7251 Student Engagement in Higher Education 3 q.h. 
EDU 7254 Postsecondary and Institutional Public Policy 3 q.h.
EDU 7257 The Urban University in the United States 3 q.h. 
EDU 7259 Doctoral Seminar in Higher Education Administration: Special Topics 3 q.h. 
EDU 7260 Comparative International/Global Higher Education 3 q.h.
EDU 7264 Educating Global Students: Issues and Practices 3 q.h. 
EDU 7266  Contemporary Issues in Community Colleges 3 q.h. 
EDU 7267  Community College and Learning Communities 3 q.h. 
EDU 7268 Community College Leadership 3 q.h.
EDU 7287 Faith-Based Education in Democratic Society 3 q.h.
EDU 7288  Faith, Ethics, and Leadership in Education  3 q.h. 
EDU 7289  Global Perspectives for Faith-Based Leadership  3 q.h. 
EDU 7274 Doctoral Seminar in Organizational Leadership & Communication 3 q.h. 
  Doctor of Education Advanced Graduate Credit up to 9 q.h.

(A maximum of 9 quarter hours of graduate- or doctoral-level credit obtained at another institution may be awarded as Advanced Graduate Credit.)

Doctoral Thesis Courses (12 q.h.)

EDU 8796 Thesis Proposal and the Internal Review Board 0 q.h.
EDU 8797 Thesis Data Collection, Initial Analysis, and Management 0 q.h.
EDU 8798 Thesis Data Analysis and Presentation 0 q.h.
EDU 8799 Thesis Findings and Discussion 12 q.h.
Each thesis course is three billable hours and confers part-time status. The full 12 quarter hours of academic credit would only be awarded upon successful completion of a student's doctoral thesis.

Required minimum credit hours: 60 q.h.

Admissions Requirements

Please note that these requirements have been updated for the Summer 2012 start term.

Below are the official Admissions Requirements for this program.

  • Online application
  • Academic transcripts: Official undergraduate and graduate degree documentation
  • Admission statement: Respond to both questions separately and stay within the prescribed word limits. The ability to demonstrate clear, succinct, well-reasoned writing is essential.

    1. From among the most significant issues in education/organizations today, what specific problem of practice are you interested in investigating during your doctoral study? (1,000 - 1,200 words)
    • Describe the problem of practice
    • Explain why you want to investigate it
    • Provide a strong rationale for the significance of the problem

    2. How have your previous research, work, and life experiences prepared you for the Northeastern University doctoral program in education? (300 - 400 words)

    Please be aware that the University's academic policy on plagiarism applies to applicant's statement of purpose.
  • Minimum work experience: Three years in a related field
  • Professional resume: Must summarize work and education history, include an outline of your educational/academic skills with examples such as research and teaching experience, affiliations, publications, certifications, presentations, and other professional skills.
  • Faculty recommendation: Must be from a faculty member in your previous graduate program who can attest to your readiness for doctoral work. If you are no longer acquainted with a faculty member, please choose a professional who can speak of your academic capabilities to engage in doctoral level research and writing. Recommendations should be presented as a letter attached to the general recommendation form.
  • Two professional recommendations: Must be from individuals who have either academic or professional knowledge of your capabilities, a supervisor, mentor, or colleague. It is preferred that one letter of recommendation come from your current employer and/or supervisor. Recommendations should be presented as a letter attached to the general recommendation form.
  • Proof of English language proficiency: ONLY for students for whom English is not their primary language: English language proficiency guidelines
  • More information about advanced graduate credit.

For general admissions information and recommended admissions deadlines, Graduate Admissions.

All requirements must be received prior to review.


Estimated total tuition for this program is $47,820.00.

Tuition for individual courses is based on the number of quarter hours. Most courses are 3-6 quarter hours. See Graduate Tuition Rates for details.

Use our Tuition Calculator below to see if transfer credit or tuition reimbursement from your employer could reduce your total tuition.

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Please note: The estimated total tuition is based on tuition rates for Academic Year 2017-18 and does not include any fees or other expenses. Some courses and labs have tuition rates that may increase or decrease total tuition. Tuition and fees are subject to revision by the president and Board of Trustees at any time.

*A maximum of 9 quarter hours of graduate- or doctoral-level credit obtained at another institution may be awarded as Advanced Graduate Credit to the Doctor of Education program.

Summer Residency

The summer residency offers doctoral students an intense and collaborative learning experience encompassed in a weeklong required format. In addition to participating in a summer course, students are engaged throughout the week in a series of stimulating presentations, seminars, workshops, and events. Some of the highlights of the summer residency include:

  • Panel discussions comprised of established scholar-practitioners who dissect timely and critical issues in education
  • Exciting student-to-student and student-to-faculty networking activities
  • Special workshops that center on doctoral research skill building
  • Thought-provoking presentations that showcase current doctoral student research

Learning Outcomes

Program Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Specialized Knowledge
    Draw upon the expertise of the academy to develop sophisticated inquiry about their problems of practice, apply appropriate theoretical frameworks to enhance their understanding and description of the problems, and employ research tools to examine the local problem of practice.
  2. Broad and Integrative Knowledge
    Use knowledge, theory, and research to identify, articulate, and then collaboratively inquire and address problems of practice within communities of practice.
  3. Applied and Collaborative Learning
    Work collaboratively within their own organizations to identify challenges, attending in particular to how different interpretations and descriptions of the problem and approaches to the change cycle might embody liberation through action.
  4. Civic and Global Learning
    Creatively address significant problems of practice in collaboration with others using inquiry informed by observation, multiple perspectives, research, and theory toward improving the human condition.
  5. Experiential Learning
    Articulate and address educational problems through the employment and development of research tools, theoretically sound analysis, and the resulting action plans, all within the context of thoughtful leadership models.

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    Apr 10, 2017 (6- and 12-week classes)
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