Graduate (Ed.D.) | Spalding University Catalog

Graduate (Ed.D.)

The Spalding University Ed. D.: Leadership Program offers an interdisciplinary, practical doctoral degree that prepares organizational leaders in a variety of fields with the knowledge and skills to advance for-profit and not-for-profit organizations with rigorous cutting-edge research and collaborative study to impact the world of policy and evidence-based practice. The program’s integrated and flexible format for instruction promotes best practices in business, social services, the arts and higher education for advanced-degree students. It offers applicable, dynamic learning to transform participants into mindful, ethical leaders who are exemplary practitioners of organizational research, extraordinary team builders, and drivers of change and innovation.

This 60-credit hour program of full-time study culminates in a terminal degree. Students take ten 6-credit-hour hybrid courses and complete a capstone project focused on creating and executing an original leadership study based on the knowledge and skills they have gained in their doctoral coursework and designed to complement Spalding University’s mission to “meet the needs of the times” by contributing to contemporary leadership scholarship. The program is intended to be competed in 2 years. Participants take two courses, consecutively, during each fall and spring semester and one course in early summer.

Key features of this program are that it: 

  • Encourages students to cultivate personal excellence:  Participants engage in study that is of practical and immediate relevance, researching and analyzing contemporary leadership issues for their final project
  • Offers an accelerated course delivery model that combines the convenience of on-line learning with weekly synbchronous sessions
  • Complements instruction with presentations by   organizational leaders who offer real-world learning opportunities 
  • Mission-Driven:  Participants engage with a program that is rooted in Spalding University’s core mission of inspiring a diverse community of learners to meet the needs of the times through championing quality learning, diversity and ethical leadership.

A master’s or professional degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a GPA of 3.0 or higher is a prerequisite for admission. Standardized test scores from graduate school entrance exams are not required for admission. However, TOEFL scores are required for those for whom English is a second language. Additional admission requirements include:

  • Completion of a Spalding University application and payment of a $30.00 non-refundable application fee.
  • Submission of official transcripts from all previously attended institutions of higher education. Applicants must have a transcript from each institution they have attended, even if for only one credit hour of coursework and even if that credit hour appears on another transcript as a transfer credit, sent directly to Spalding University.
  • An virtual interview with a program representative
  • Two letters of professional recommendation 
  • Current resume or CV
  • A writing sample, academic paper preferred, or a written critique of a journal article (supplied upon request by the program)

If the candidate is currently enrolled in a master’s degree program, they may still apply with the understanding that no doctoral class may be taken until the master's degree is officially completed.


Program Requirements
Program requirements include:

• Completion of the program’s ten 6-credit-hour courses
• Maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher
• No more than one C final course grade is permitted
• An approved capstone project
• Submission-ready scholarly article that describes and discusses the student’s approved capstone project and findings
• Successful virtual oral defense of findings from the student’s capstone project research.

All 60 credit hours in the Ed.D. in Leadership Program must be taken at Spalding University.

Two grades of C, or one grade of F, will result in automatic dismissal from the program and the University. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in all courses must be maintained. No grades below the grade of C will be accepted as transfer credit in any graduate program.


Program Learning Outcomes

Upon Completion of This Program, Graduates Will:

  • Demonstrate expertise in incorporating and applying interdisciplinary, diverse and global leadership best practices, which will enhance the ability of their organization to compete in a diverse, transnational environment.
  • Apply insights gained from courses and studies to address diverse and global workplace challenges in the age of accelerations.
  • Leverage interdisciplinary cohort collaboration and team-building skills to become exemplary leaders.
  • Create an interdisciplinary culture of risk taking, change and critical and creative thinking that will propel their organization to engage employees in continuous organizational improvement.
  • Align employee actions with organization goals and objectives through effective communication and accountability measures.
  • Demonstrate diverse leadership skills for effective employee engagement, recruitment, and retention.
  • Establish a competitive advantage by embracing and identifying a variety of technological solutions to organizational challenges.
  • Identify, articulate, and logically argue leadership issues from diverse perspectives, including their own, and identify and analyze the underlying leadership issues at the root of specific organizational problems.
  • Apply multidisciplinary teaching techniques to transform thinking, behavior, and workplace performance.
  • Complete and successfully execute all components of a Capstone Committee-approved capstone project. 


Program Sheets
Doctor of Education: Leadership