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Leadership Specialization Doctor of Philosophy in Business Management

School of Business and Technology

Overview

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 pay a $5,000 flat-rate tuition maximum when talking six or more credits, or $925 per credit when taking up to five credits.

Flexible

Enjoy greater control and the ability to take one to three courses per quarter, with Capella’s online learning model. 

Accredited

This specialization is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs (ACBSP).

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.

Dissertation Research Seminars: Your Roadmap to Success

Dissertation research seminars are designed in an optimized, sequential format that allows you to work extensively on your dissertation topic, methodology, literature review, and research plan from the beginning of your program. The experiences give you the time and resources to focus on your project as you build the skills and confidence required to steadily move toward your goals.

Each dissertation research seminar begins with an online course, including modules, assignments, and assessments. Next in the process is an in-person residency experience, followed by completion of a final assessment and development of a preparation plan for your next dissertation research seminar track.

When it comes to your dissertation research seminar requirements, timing is key. Your coursework builds the foundation for your dissertation research seminar and your experience at residency will keep you on track in your program. Your dissertation research seminar tracks are scheduled so you can create quality work and complete all tasks for each track before moving on to the next one. On time completion of the three dissertation research seminar tracks can significantly decrease your time to graduation and overall cost of your degree.

What You’ll Learn—and When

Find out how each track fits into your overall program plan by viewing a sample course sequence.

Track 1

Goals:  Throughout the course, you’ll focus on identifying a theory, topic, and research problem appropriate for your specialization. In track 1, you must also complete PhD dissertation milestone 1 (Research Ethics Education). Following the weekend residency, you’ll complete a final assessment that demonstrates track 1 learning outcomes. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

Track 2

Goals: Throughout the course you’ll apply skills necessary to develop a research question and to select an appropriate dissertation topic. In track 2, you’ll complete PhD dissertation milestone 2 (Topic Approval). Following the weekend residency, you’ll complete a final assessment that demonstrates track 2 learning outcomes. Prerequisite: BMGT-R8921 or BMGT-R8925. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

Timing: Find out how each track fits into your overall program plan by viewing a sample course sequence.*

Track 3

Goals:  Throughout the course, you’ll apply the research skills necessary to develop a methodological design, sampling plan, and strategy for data analysis. In track 3, you’ll complete PhD dissertation milestone 5 (Research Plan Approval). Following the residency, you’ll complete a final assessment that demonstrates track 3 learning outcomes. Learners must complete track 3 prior to beginning the comprehensive examination. Prerequisite(s): BMGT-R8922 or BMGT-R8926. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

Dissertation Research Seminar Competencies

As you advance through the dissertation research seminar tracks, you will gain mastery in each of these critical areas:

Scholar-Practitioner Development

Identify and cultivate the skills required to professionally execute your research design.

Research

Develop questions that align with an identified problem, study existing literature, propose research methodology, analyze data, and apply ethics and academic integrity to research.

Critical Thinking

Apply advanced critical thinking skills to synthesize ideas and concepts from previous research, as well as guide and support new research methods and designs.

Scholarly Communication

Cultivate academic communication skills in verbal and written interactions necessary to advance scientific research.

Residency Costs and Financing

Residency is part of the three-credit dissertation research seminar and follows the per credit pricing of the program. Included are academic sessions, as well as continental breakfast, lunch, and snack breaks on each full day of the in-person residency. Additional costs include airfare, lodging, evening meals, and miscellaneous personal expenses.

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.

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.

Detailed Program Information

Get all the details about cost, courses, requirements, and more.

Download the GuidedPath Specialization Guide »

Classes Start October 9th

Ready to get started? We’re ready for you. Chat with an enrollment counselor or apply now to take the first step on the journey toward your future. 

Admission Requirements »  | $50 Application Fee

Cost & Learning Format

Online education isn’t one size fits all. We know you’re busy—you need a learning experience tailored to your life, not the other way around. Capella has learning and tuition formats to suit you, however you learn. 

Our online-learning format that guides you along. You pay per credit; we set the deadlines. 

  • Based on the quarter system; 1–3 courses per 10-week quarter
  • 1 semester credit = 1.5 quarter credits
  • Weekly assignments and courseroom discussions
  • Pay for what you take, price varies by courseload or term
$925 per credit $5K Quarterly Tuition Max, 90 total quarter credits, 12 max transfer credits

Get the Details

Speak with an enrollment counselor to get a personalized cost estimate for what you can expect to pay.

Ways to Save

At Capella, we believe your education is an investment in your future. It’s also an investment within your grasp. Your goals are achievable–there are more ways to save than you might think. 

Transfer Credits

We can accept many transfer credits from regionally accredited schools. 

Learn about Transfer Credits »

Employer & Association Discounts

Many employers and organizations partner with Capella to offer tuition discounts. Talk to an enrollment counselor to learn more. 

$30 Million in Scholarships Available

Capella scholarships, available for qualifying students, aren’t need-based and never have to be repaid. 

View Capella Scholarships »

Sample Courses

Some of the courses you will take:

Course Number Course Title
BMGT8610 Leadership Theory and Practice in a Global Environment
BMGT8612 Leadership as Personal Practice
BMGT8614 Leading the Organizational System
BMGT8616 Leading Dynamic Systems with Multi-Dimensional Thinking
BMGT8618 Advancing Leadership Theory

Faculty & Support

You’re never going it alone at Capella. Our dedicated faculty and support teams are waiting to guide, help, and advise you through every step of your educational journey.

Enrollment Counselors

These folks are superstars. We hear it from our students (and grads). They’re here to help find a program fit and set you up for success.  

Faculty

Our distinguished faculty holds top credentials in their fields. They’re here to teach the knowledge and skills you’ll need, now. 

Doctoral Advising

A doctoral degree takes special effort. It's why we offer expert support at every step to keep you moving forward toward your goal.

Dissertation Mentors

During your dissertation, you’ll be matched with an experienced mentor who will help you to succeed. 

Ready for the Next Step?

Learning online doesn't mean going it alone. Help is here. From faculty, coaches, advisors, and more. Plus a supportive community of students who are as passionate about their careers as you are about yours.