Top 10 Online Doctoral Programs in Leadership 2016

Top 10 Online Doctoral Programs in Leadership 2016Our list of the Top 10 Online Doctoral Programs in Leadership is a broad ranking which takes into account accreditation and general reputation. With the increased presence and acceptance of online Ph.D. programs throughout the U.S., prestigious institutions and many state schools are now offering online degrees with more frequency. The doctoral degree in Leadership has become more common throughout the country. We rank Leadership programs here, including organizational leadership programs as well as other types of leadership degrees including ones in education. With many emphases being offered at various institutions, it may be difficult to find a degree that suits a student’s purposes. This list provides a list based on reputation that we hope will help guide decisions in picking a top tier school. The schools that made the list were accredited.


In constructing the list, a number of sites were used for research including U.S. News and World Report, The National Center for Education Statistics, and The Guide to Online Schools.

1. Colorado State UniversityColorado State

Colorado State University offers an online doctorate in Higher Education Leadership. Within this program, the student begins with a cohort and ideally finishes their program with the same students. Cohorts consist of 10-12 students. Most of the program is delivered online but there are six day summer residency requirements which take place in July. Colorado State University is nationally ranked at #127 and their online education programs are ranked at #78 nationally by U.S. News and World Report. The program is 60 credits total and tuition is $848 per credit units. Colorado State is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, a Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges.

2. Regent UniversityRegent

Regent University offers an online doctorate in Organizational Leadership. The program is multidisciplinary but is housed in the Business department. The program is 60 credit hours long including 12 credits for the dissertation. Regent also employs a cohort model so that students do not feel isolated from one another given their distance from one another. The program also boasts face-to-face instruction in order to promote autonomous learning. U.S. News and World Report ranks Regent’s program at #46. Regent University is a Christian University. Tuition is $995 per credit hour. Regent University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

3. University of New EnglandUniversity of New England

University of New England offers an online doctorate in Educational Leadership. The program is completed entirely online and has no residency requirements. The Educational Leadership doctorate’s purpose is to train leaders that are capable of innovation and change. The program is 51 credit hours and has no GRE requirement. University of New England is ranked regionally at #83 and the online Education programs are ranked at #100 by U.S. News and World Report. Tuition is $820 per credit hour. The University of New England is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (NEASC CIHE).

4. University of the CumberlandsUniversity_of_the_Cumberlands_seal

University of the Cumberlands offers an online doctorate in Leadership. The leadership doctorate is housed in the education program. The program prepares leaders for community organizations, within the realm of educational institutions, and businesses. University of the Cumberlands is regionally ranked at #87 and the online program is ranked at #148 by U.S. News and World Report. Tuition is a very reasonable $375 per credit hour, making it one of the more affordable programs in our top 10. University of the Cumberlands is accredited by the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

5. Indiana Wesleyan UniversityIndiana_Wesleyan_University_(seal)

Indiana Wesleyan University offers a doctorate in Organizational Leadership. The mission of the program is to provide a “Christ-centered, innovative and challenging” doctorate. The program is offered online, but students can also take onsite classes in blended format. There are cohort groups in order to produce a sense of community among students. There are three residencies per year at various locations. Online only students can opt for virtual residencies if needed. Indiana Wesleyan has a regional ranking at #30 by U.S. News and World Report. The program is 60 credit hours and tuition is $815 per credit hour. Indiana Wesleyan University is by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

6. St. Thomas UniversitySt Thomas

St. Thomas University offers an online doctorate in Leadership and Management housed in the Education department. The degree attempts to train students for leadership in education, the military, business, government, healthcare, and nonprofit sectors. Students go through the program in cohorts and the degree can be completed in three years. St. Thomas University is regionally ranked at #63 by U.S. News and World Report. The program is 60 credit hours and tuition is $912 per credit hour. St. Thomas University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

7. Concordia University Chicagoconcordia univrsity chicago

Concordia University Chicago offers an online doctorate in Organizational Leadership housed in their Education department. The expressed program objectives are to instill in students a knowledge of leadership theory, appreciation of leadership history, research, implementation and evaluation, provide an ethical framework for effective strategic decision making and organizational forecasting, and ability to analyze trends. U.S. News and World Report ranks Concordia University Chicago at #75 regionally. Tuition is $709 per credit hour. Concordia University Chicago is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

8. The Chicago School of Professional Psychologychicago-school-of-professional-psychology-squarelogo

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology offers an online PhD in Organizational Leadership. The course work includes studies in human diversity and ethics, research strategies, strategic change management, team-building, organizational interventions, interpersonal dynamics, leadership methodologies, and a range of electives. CSPP is ranked at #50 in our Top 50 Schools Offering Online PhD Programs 2015-2016. There are two residencies required during the course of the program which are three and half days long on their Chicago campus. The program is 60 credit hours and tuition is $1,310 per credit hour. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

9. Capella UniversityCapella

Capella University offers an online doctorate in Business Management with an emphasis in Leadership Specialization. The program is a hybrid program with online components, in person residencies, comprehensive exams, and a dissertation. There are three residencies required during the course of the program. The program has partnered with The Wall Street Journal to give students digital access to news and business information. Capella University is a for-profit institution and tuition is $728 per credit hour. Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

10. Johnson UniversityJohnson University

Johnson University offers an online doctorate in Leadership Studies. The program emphasizes a number of aspects of leadership studies including individual and personal systems, organizational systems, global systems, and research. There are also four concentrations for the degree which include Educational Leadership, Organizational Leadership, Philosophy and Theology of Leadership, and Missional Leadership. Johnson University is a non-profit Christian institution and tuition is $440 per credit hour with 60 credit hours to complete the degree. Johnson University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.