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Capella University's online PhD in leadership degree program enables you to draw from multiple leadership approaches to fortify an organization’s viability. Designed for students who wish to become scholars — with the skills and knowledge to teach, consult or lead — this program’s curriculum centers around leadership, research, strategy, technology, and ethics.

In addition to your online courses, you’ll complete 3 residencies, each of which includes a 4-day weekend experience. The aim of these energizing residencies is to instill insights and knowledge that will prove invaluable throughout your PhD studies and beyond.

You'll also have the opportunity to participate in Capella's international experience. This optional trip is designed to provide multinational networking, increased cultural literacy and global operations learning experience.

Affordable: By maximizing your courseload each quarter, you can save time and money. Students taking six credits or more per quarter, pay a $5,000 flat-rate tuition maximum or $925 per credit, up to six credits. Explore more ways to save.

Flexible: Enjoy greater control and the ability to take one to three courses per quarter, with Capella’s online learning model. Calculate My Costs & Graduation Date

Credible: Capella is an accredited and nationally recognized university. Our academic offerings are professionally-aligned and many are accredited. Our collaboration with the reputable Wall Street Journal opens up an additional pool of knowledge, which can help you excel in your career.

The Building Blocks of Your PhD

In your PhD in Leadership program, you will begin work on your dissertation immediately. Our curriculum begins with programs of research to help you determine your topic and incorporates credit-bearing dissertation research seminars with assistance blended into coursework. Expert faculty, research methodologists, and advisors provide the right assistance at the right time, when you need it. Each facet of your education builds on the others to take you seamlessly through your program and to your goal of a PhD.

View a sample course sequence to understand program timing and see how your coursework, dissertation research seminars, comprehensive exams, and dissertation all fit together.

To learn more about this program, request more information and we will match you with an enrollment counselor who specializes in your area of study.

Capella and The Wall Street Journal: A collaboration that works for you

Capella University has teamed with The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) to offer business students full digital access to the most timely, relevant business news, enhancing your academic experience and giving you a competitive edge in your career.

The annual Capella Business Leader Award, sponsored by WSJ, helps inspire our students to reach their potential. Each year, three eligible business students are recognized as business leaders and given the opportunity to visit Wall Street, the epicenter of U.S. business.

Degree Outcomes

With your PhD in Leadership from Capella, you'll evaluate the historical and theoretical bases of leadership through a multi-disciplinary lens to develop leadership perspectives which ensure the viability of the organization in a dynamic global environment. You'll also learn to integrate multiple ways of thinking including creative thinking, reflective thinking, statistical thinking, critical thinking, and systems thinking, to inform leaders' decision making. Discover specifically what you'll learn — and how you can apply it.

View full learning and career outcomes report for this program at

People with Doctoral degrees in Business from Capella earn an average of $42,000 more per year than people who only hold a Master's degree.

GE Salary Project Update

Career Outcomes

Common jobs with an online PhD in Leadership include business researcher, consultant, executive-level management, leadership development manager/director or research director. Potential workplaces include consulting firm, corporation, government, land-based or online college or university, public/private education or nonprofit organization.