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Leadership Specialization Doctor of Philosophy in Business Management

School of Business and Technology

Lead Businesses Toward Success

Gain the advanced leadership skills needed to teach and consult in business. Capella’s online PhD in Business Management, Leadership degree is designed to help you draw from multiple leadership approaches and build productive relationships to strengthen organizations. You’ll develop leadership qualities by building skills in systems thinking, critical thinking, creative thinking, reflective thinking, and statistical thinking, so you can lead with confidence in your own expertise. 

At a Glance

  • Online & In Person
  • 11 Core Courses
  • 5 Specialization Courses
  • 3 Residencies
  • Comprehensive Exam
  • Dissertation

Classes Start April 8th

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.

$50 Application Fee (waived w/promo SPRING)

What You’ll Learn

Gain Perspective

Evaluate the historical and theoretical bases of leadership through a multidisciplinary lens to develop leadership perspectives.

Develop Your Views

Develop a personal view of leadership with an emphasis on connections to others in the organization and community.

Study New Worldviews

Study how mechanistic and living systems worldviews affect a leader’s perspective of the organization and decisions.

Think Innovatively

Use multiple ways of thinking, including creative thinking, reflective thinking, and systems thinking, to make decisions.

Stay Ahead of Trends

Study literature and emerging trends in advancing leadership theory or practice.

Be a Research Master

Master academic research, writing, and critical-thinking skills.

Our Unique Doctoral Structure

Our PhD in Business Management, Leadership program is designed to remove roadblocks for you and demystify the dissertation process. This unique approach centers on supporting you in three ways: through program structure, a dedicated faculty and support team, and online resources. To help generate momentum toward graduation, you’ll begin your dissertation early in the program. Our faculty, support team, and online resources will help guide you every step of the way.

PhD in Business Management, Leadership Program Features

Our program offers additional benefits you might be interested in.

$5,000 Quarterly Tuition Maximum

Maximize your courseload–take six or more credits per quarter and pay just $5,000*.

A Flexible Courseload

Capella’s online learning model offers you the ability to take one to three courses per quarter, giving you more schedule control.

*Cost of each residency is included in the $5,000 quarterly tuition maximum; travel, lodging, meals, and other expenses are not included. Books, supplies, and other fees may apply. Tuition subject to change. 

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 original learning format offers extra structure for those who want it. We'll set the schedule, you meet 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
$953 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.

Employer & Association Discounts

If your employer or organization is a partner with Capella, you may be eligible for a tuition discount.

Reduce Your Tuition with $5K

Enroll in your doctorate degree, apply for the scholarship, meet eligibility requirements, and receive up to $5K.

Accredited & Recognized

Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Accreditation and recognitions provide the assurance we meet standards for quality of faculty, curriculum, learner services, and fiscal stability. See all of our accreditations and recognitions

PhD in Business Sample Courses

The online PhD in Business Management, Leadership curriculum centers around leadership, research, strategy, technology, and ethics. The program includes dissertation research seminars which allow you to get an early start on your dissertation.

Show course with description
BMGT8610 *
Leadership Theory and Practice in a Global Environment

Learners in this course evaluate leadership theories and practices in diverse cultures from a historical and theoretical basis using a multi-disciplinary lens. Learners also develop expanded leadership perspectives and practices, enabling them to assure the viability of their organizations in a dynamic global business environment. Prerequisite(s): PhD in Business Management learners must have completed or be concurrently registered in WRIT7086. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
BMGT8612 *
Leadership as Personal Practice

Learners in this course focus on analyzing scholarly literature and emerging research trends in relational leadership. The course also emphasizes theories and models of leadership, which support a shift from hierarchical leadership to inclusive and collaborative leadership. Finally, learners assess personal barriers and facilitators to inclusionary leadership and apply theories and models to personal practice. Prerequisite(s): WRIT7086. DBA learners who start on or after January 1, 2018, must have completed BMGT8110. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
BMGT8614 *
Leading the Organizational System

In this course, learners explore leadership practice in complex and dynamic environments. Learners use systems thinking and organizational theory to analyze leadership practice within the framework of organizational systems and evaluate the role of systems thinking in organizations to develop innovation in complex environments. Finally, learners apply these concepts to leadership practice. Prerequisite(s): DBA learners must have completed BMGT8610, BMGT8612. PhD in Business Management learners must have completed WRIT7086. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
BMGT8616 *
Leading Dynamic Systems with Multi-Dimensional Thinking

Learners in this course synthesize multiple ways of thinking to support effective leadership decision making. By integrating critical, creative, reflective, systems, and statistical thinking, learners develop leadership qualities that allow them to apply their insights to current models and perspectives in order to envision a future with improved organizational patterns and outcomes. Prerequisite(s): DBA learners must have completed BMGT8610, BMGT8612. PhD in Business Management learners must have completed WRIT7086. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
BMGT8618 *
Advancing Leadership Theory

Learners in this course focus on analyzing scholarly literature and emerging research trends in leadership. The course is designed to help learners develop as independent researchers while constructing research questions, synthesizing literature, and selecting appropriate methodologies. For PhD in Business Management and PhD in Organization and Management learners only. Prerequisite(s): PhD in Business Management learners must have completed BMGT8610, BMGT8612, BMGT8614. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits

Leadership Insights

PhD in Business Management vs. Doctor of Business Administration

Two doctoral programs focused on business. What are the differences, and which one is right for you?

PhD in Leadership Professional Paths

Here are just some of the career options you could explore with our online leadership doctoral degree.

Related Job Titles to Explore*

  • Adjunct or part-time faculty
  • Business researcher
  • CEO, COO, CLO, president, director
  • Consultant
  • Dean or associate dean of a business program
  • Executive-level management
  • Full-time faculty
  • Leadership development manager/director
  • Research director

Related Employment Settings to Explore

  • Community college
  • Consulting firm
  • Corporation
  • Government—local, state, federal
  • Land-based or online college or university
  • Non-governmental organization
  • Nonprofit organization
  • Public and private education
  • Varies based on consulting client

*These are examples intended to serve as a general guide. Some positions may prefer or even require previous experience, licensure, certifications, and/or other designations along with a degree. Because many factors determine what position an individual may attain, Capella cannot guarantee that a graduate will secure any specific job title, a promotion, salary increase, or other career outcome. We encourage you to research requirements for your job target and career goals.

Other Programs to Explore

Is this program close to what you need, but maybe not a perfect fit? The programs below might be interesting. Check them out to find one that suits your academic and professional goals.

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.