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PhD in Organizational Development and Leadership

Reach the peak of graduate studies in leadership with the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Organizational Development and Leadership from the Golden State College. This doctorate in organizational development will demonstrate your ability to assess organizations by relying on research and evidence. You will also develop your ability to anticipate the impact of strategic initiatives and organizational change. Then you will pursue more advanced courses with research, statistics, and measurement, as you work toward your dissertation. This PhD in organizational development is designed with the working professional in mind, as many of the concepts and theories learned can be practical to your current or future career.


In your PhD in Organizational Development and Leadership, you will create your own development solutions and evaluate them based on human performance technology. You will also evaluate diversity in organizations as a competitive advantage. Your coursework includes discovery and applications in areas such as performance management, organizational change, employee motivation, executive coaching, ethics, and more. When you graduate with the PhD in Organizational Development and Leadership you will be able to:


Design research applicable to individuals, teams, and organizations using evidence-based methods and principles of ethical psychological research

Assess the influence and impact of social, emotional, and cultural dynamics on organizational strategy, innovation, learning, growth, and competitive advantage

Create evidence-based systems and strategies associated with organizational performance, structure, and development, human performance, behavior and learning, and growth and innovation

Evaluate concepts, skills, and initiatives that are fundamental to the ethical practice of diverse and multicultural organizations and organizational leaders

Appraise the complexity of organizational development systems and functions as an effective change agent through implementation of evidence-based interventions and psychological research in complex, multicultural teams and organizations

Assess the impact of organizational development policies, practices, strategic initiatives, innovation, and change processes in teams and organizations

Design appropriate organizational learning and development solutions influenced by principles of human performance technology and industrial and organizational psychology

Apply leadership skills that are appropriate for a variety of complex, multicultural team and organizational settings


Program Requirements

Total number of credits: 62 credits

Core Course Requirements: 30 credits

Research Course Requirement: 3 credits

Capstone and Dissertation Course Requirements: 11 credits

Specialization Course Requirements: 18 credits


To be awarded the PhD in Organizational Development and Leadership, you must complete the program coursework of 62 credits with a 3.00 minimum cumulative grade point average. You will need to complete three (3) non-credit In-Residence Workshops.* You will also need to complete all dissertation requirements.** 

*For the PhD in Organizational Development and Leadership, you are required to attend three In-Residence weekend workshops. 

**As a requirement for graduation from the Golden State College with a degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), each student must complete and successfully defend a dissertation. The purpose of the dissertation is to ensure that the student has mastered the ability to pursue a systematic investigation, which examines significant issues or problems. The dissertation requirement is also designed to contribute to the student's knowledge, skills, and research expertise. Students choose a topic that addresses carefully chosen research questions that the student then investigates with quantitative or qualitative research, with a meta-analysis, or with a program design or program evaluation. Prerequisites, timelines for completion, and attendance requirements for dissertation, as well as a detailed explanation of each step in the process, are described in the Dissertation Handbook.

The PhD in Organizational Development and Leadership includes 10 core courses, plus one (1) elective research course, six (6) specialization courses, and a capstone seminar. The coursework leads up to your doctoral dissertation, which includes two (2) dissertation planning courses as well as five (5) units of the dissertation course. All of your organizational development courses are instructed by experienced faculty members who all have earned doctorates themselves. Their experience in the field allows them to develop and deliver a high-quality education to you.   


Core, Research, Capstone, and Dissertation Course Requirements: (44 credits)


Note: you must select either RES 7415 or RES 7440 to fulfill the Research Course Requirement. 


Doctoral Capstone

DOC 8770 Doctoral Capstone Seminar


Organizational Leadership

ORG 7101 Assessment Tools for Organizational Leadership

ORG 7102 Advanced Seminar: Leadership & Management

ORG 8510 Advanced Seminar: Leading Organizational Change

ORG 8511 Advanced Topics in Performance Management

ORG 8518 Professional & Business Ethics in Organizational Leadership



RES 7105 Scholarly Argument I

RES 7110 Scholarly Argument II

RES 7400 Research Design & Methods - Quantitative

RES 7402 Advanced Tests & Measurements

RES 7410 Research Design & Methods - Qualitative

RES 7415 Advanced Statistics

RES 7440 Advanced Study in Qualitative Research

RES 8910 Dissertation Planning I

RES 8912 Dissertation Planning II

RES 8990 Dissertation

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