Best Online Doctorate in Organizational Leadership Programs 2024

Do you see yourself as an influential leader? An online doctorate in organizational leadership leads to C-level roles with high earning potential.
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Updated on April 1, 2024
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  • Organizational leadership is the key to success for any business or organization.
  • A doctorate in organizational leadership hones your skills for high-level positions.
  • Organizational leadership jobs potentially make up to $283,000 per year.
  • BestColleges research shows that the average total cost of an online Ph.D. is $23,293 per year.

Do you see yourself as an influential leader in the workplace? As someone who can recognize a problem, find a solution, and communicate the plan to fix it?

All you need are the qualifications, and you could be a CEO someday. If that's what you want for your future, then an online doctorate in organizational leadership might be the best fit.

Here's how to get started:

  • Explore this page to determine whether this path is the right choice for you.
  • Check out the top-ranked online doctorate in organizational leadership programs, as well as our sponsored programs.
  • Request more information from schools you're interested in to find the best fit for your schedule, pocketbook, and career goals.

Featured Online Doctorate Degrees in Organizational Leadership

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

The Top Online PhD in Organizational Leadership Programs

We use trusted sources like Peterson's Data and the National Center for Education Statistics to inform the data for these schools. BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site. from our partners appear among these rankings and are indicated as such.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Best Online Doctorate in Organizational Leadership Programs 2024

Vanderbilt University

  • Nashville, TN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $2,245

Out-of-State | $2,245

Credits to Graduate: 54

Vanderbilt's online Ed.D. in leadership and learning in organizations combines theoretical and practical focuses in exploring strategies for navigating organizational change. It aims to help mid-career professionals with at least three years of relevant work experience build proficiencies to help them advance to leadership positions. The curriculum is tailored for versatile cross-industry relevance.

Coursework emphasizes three leadership competencies: data analytics, learning and design, and organizational development. Requirements include a capstone experience and three campus residencies. Students typically graduate in 3-4 years.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$54,840
Out-of-state
$54,840
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$51,600
Out-of-state
$51,600
Retention Rate
97%
Acceptance Rate
7%
Students Enrolled
13,796
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
11% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Best Online Doctorate in Organizational Leadership Programs 2024

Johnson University

  • Knoxville, TN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $715

Out-of-State | $715

Credits to Graduate: 60

Johnson's online Ph.D. in leadership studies offers working professionals the unique opportunity to combine leadership development with faith-based learning. The interdisciplinary curriculum covers community service in a Christian context. Secular components emphasize individual, organizational, research, and global leadership.

This flexible, fully online program offers six elective tracks, which function as concentrations. Options include educational, ministry, missional, organizational, philosophical, and theological leadership.

Johnson offers scholarships based on need, academic potential, and leadership potential — these can help offset the cost of tuition. The program is also an official candidate for ACBSP accreditation.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$17,384
Out-of-state
$17,384
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$9,285
Out-of-state
$9,285
Retention Rate
68%
Acceptance Rate
81%
Students Enrolled
942
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

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Why Should You Get an Online Doctorate in Organizational Leadership?

Whether you want to be a better leader, systematically transform your workplace, or take on executive roles, a doctorate in organizational leadership can improve your career.

Benefits of a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership

  • Advance to senior leadership roles.
  • Increase your earning potential.
  • Improve your leadership skills.
  • Become an expert in your field.

Reasons to Get Your Doctorate in Organizational Leadership Degree Online

  • Balance work and school.
  • You are a strong self-motivator.
  • Save time on commuting.
  • Learn from convenient locations, such as home.

Is an Online Doctorate Degree in Organizational Leadership Worth It?

Yes. A doctorate in organizational leadership leads to executive-level roles that increase your earning potential. You'll gain high-level knowledge of assessing and solving organizational challenges in many professional settings. Examples include businesses, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and higher education institutions.

What Can You Do With a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership?

A doctorate in organizational leadership hones your skills for becoming an influential leader at any business or organization. You can apply these skills — such as assessing organizational challenges or setting large-scale goals — to nearly any setting, from nonprofits to government agencies.

Careers in Organizational Leadership

The potential roles vary in scope, depending on your experience, strengths, or preferences. For example, you could become the chief executive officer of a cutting-edge tech research company. Or you could become a strategic organizational consultant for a nonprofit organization.

  • C-Level executive
  • Director of leadership development
  • Nonprofit director
  • Organizational development specialist
  • Senior human resources manager
  • Organizational developmental director
  • Succession planning manager
  • University administrator

How Much Does an Online PhD in Organizational Leadership Degree Cost?

The average total cost of an online Ph.D. is $23,293 per year, according to BestColleges research. It's cheaper than the average cost of Ph.D. programs, which is $32,846 per year.

But the final cost might range from $93,000-$186,000, depending on when you complete the Ph.D. Some students finish in four years, while others take up to eight.

Average Cost Per Year for Ph.D. Program

Tuition
$16,526

Non-Tuition Related Expenses
$16,320

Total Cost
$32,846

Total Cost of a Ph.D.

(4-8 Years)
$131,000-$263,000

Source: BestColleges

How Long Does It Take to Get an Online Doctorate Degree in Organizational Leadership?

It takes between 4-5 years to complete most online doctorates in organizational leadership programs, depending on whether you enroll full time or part time. If you enroll part time, it may take up to seven years to graduate. Most programs consist of 50-65 credits.

Required Course Credits
50-65*

Field Study Requirements (Y/N)
Yes*

*Depending on your program and specialization

Common Concentrations for a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership

Many doctoral programs also feature concentration opportunities, allowing you to focus on an area of the field that interests you. These can include:

  • Minus

    Educational Leadership

    This concentration prepares you for leadership roles in curriculum development settings, K-12 schools, and colleges. In this program, you combine concepts related to organizational leadership with educational theories.
  • Minus

    Missional Leadership

    This concentration trains you specifically for faith-based leadership roles. You focus on spirituality, faith, and community within organizational contexts and settings. You can pursue roles as senior pastors and nonprofit CEOs.
  • Minus

    Healthcare Leadership

    In this concentration, you explore the relationship between healthcare workers and administrators. Courses focus on addressing organizational challenges across healthcare settings.
  • Minus

    Entrepreneurial Leadership

    This concentration examines business from an international perspective. You learn new methods to develop the economy and promote innovation within business. You also learn how to weigh risks in a variety of situations.
  • Minus

    Global Consulting

    This concentration prepares you to pursue specialized leadership roles working on a global scale, such as military leaders. Throughout the program, you develop intercultural communication skills and learn how to conduct business across different cultures.

How Much Money Can I Make With a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership?

You can make up to $264,000 with a Ph.D. in organizational leadership, according to Payscale data from Jan. 2023. The average base salary is $90,000.

Ultimately, pay will vary based on your experience level, role, field, and industry. For example, a professor in postsecondary education made a median annual salary of $78,880 in May 2021, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Meanwhile, the median salary for a chief executive officer was $179,520 in 2021, according to the BLS.

Salaries for Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership

Average base salary
$90,000

Highest-paying wage
$264,000

Source: Payscale

Everything Else You Need to Know About Doctorate in Organizational Leadership Degrees

What is organizational leadership?

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Organizational leadership is a management approach to leading, motivating, and unifying people within an organization. It involves setting goals, establishing milestones, and communicating the organization's mission to employees.

A good organizational leader is someone who can combine business understanding and people skills to guide an organization to achieve its goals.

How do you get a Ph.D. in organizational leadership?

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The admission requirements for a doctorate in organizational leadership vary. But you typically need:

Doctoral programs take between 4-8 years to finish and include core coursework and elective courses. You'll likely need to meet certain grade requirements, such as maintaining a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA.

At the doctoral level, you must often complete a dissertation, as well.

What's the difference between a Ph.D. and an Ed.D. in organizational leadership?

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There are two general differences between the doctoral degrees. A Ph.D. is an earned research degree, so you'll need to develop hypotheses that expand the knowledge of organizational leadership. An Ed.D. uses research but focuses more on complex organizational problems and learning the skills to resolve them.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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