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Organizational and Community Leadership

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Organizational and Community Leadership

The doctoral program in Organizational and Community Leadership is offered on the OU-Tulsa Schusterman Campus. The primary emphasis of the program is on understanding complex community problems at the individual and organizational level while developing research-based solutions.  Students will interact with nationally recognized faculty from many different disciplines.  Coupled with content learned in the program courses and the vast academic resources of OU, this new program will allow students to develop innovative, interdisciplinary, and scholarly solutions to complex social problems in ways that build knowledge and improve the areas we serve. Currently, the program is focused on the areas of public policy, advocacy, and the nonprofit sector; organizational and administrative leadership; and interpersonal dynamics.

The doctoral program offers students an exceptional education that is flexible enough to support a wide range of career paths. Our doctoral degree program provides students with the opportunity to develop the type of skills in research, evaluation, and data analytics that will support a wide variety of professional and academic interests, whether they are to pursue a career in academics, or to immediately seek meaningful employment in the contemporary workplace. 

This program is designed to produce organizational and community leaders who can assume positions in academia, as well as industry and government. In a rigorous but cooperative and congenial atmosphere, high-quality researchers are trained to contribute to the body of knowledge in public and nonprofit administration, community or organizational psychology, as well as to disseminate and apply evidence-informed knowledge.

The doctoral program provides research training by means of a curriculum that requires students to be involved in research beginning with their first enrollment and continuing every semester thereafter.

Areas of Specialization

Three areas of specialization in this program include:

  1. Policy, advocacy, and the nonprofit sector 
  2. Organizational and administrative leadership
  3. Interpersonal dynamics

In addition to these specializations, researchers in the program also work in one or more integrative, cross-cutting specialties: public administration, social work, human relations, psychology, organizational dynamics, and educational leadership.

Degree Program Requirements

To complete the Ph.D. program in Organizational and Community Leadership, a student must complete 90 hours of coursework beyond the bachelor’s degree. The individual student, in consultation with a faculty advisory committee, will design a unique course of study that reflects the student’s interests and career goals. Successful completion of all coursework, the Ph.D. general exams, and the dissertation is required for the Ph.D. 

The coursework for the degree consists of:

  • Up to 30 credit hours of a completed Master’s degree from an accredited U.S. University;
  • 18 credit hours in the core competencies.
    • Policy, Advocacy, and the Nonprofit Sectorǂ (3 hours)
    • Organizational & Administrative Leadershipǂ (3 hours)
    • Interpersonal Dynamicsǂ (3 hours)
    • Research Methods coreǂ (9 hours)
  • 9 credit hours minimum of electivesǂ 
  • 3 credit hours in OCL 6813 Prospectus Development
  • 30 credit hours (minimum) of *OCL 6980 Research for Doctoral Dissertation

ǂ Course must be selected in consultation with the student’s doctoral advisory. These can include OCL 6990 Independent Study.

Program of Study and the Advisory Conference Report (ACR)

Continuous involvement in directed or independent research is expected to be a part of the student’s program of doctoral study. The department has no language requirements, but a student’s Advisory Committee may recommend the development of competence in other areas of study (e.g., statistics, mathematics, qualitative research methods, public administration, psychology) of potential benefit to the student’s particular professional development and interests. Successful completion of all coursework, the Ph.D. general exams, and the dissertation is required for the Ph.D. 

A vital part of the doctoral training program in organizational and community leadership includes consistent engagement in professional training assignments. Doctoral students are expected to be engaged in a training assignment each term. These assignments vary according to the needs and professional aspirations of the student. They are designed to supplement the more formal coursework by a variety of pre-professional activities such as assisting in research, teaching, etc., under faculty supervision. The training assignment increases in responsibility as the student progresses. The amount of time required of the student varies from 10–20 hours per week, depending upon level of progress, the type of assignment, etc. The purpose of these assignments is to train the student in some of the types of activities that the student will ultimately be engaged in after the degree is received.

A student’s progress toward the Ph.D. degree is evaluated annually. Additionally, first-year students are evaluated after the first semester. The purpose of these evaluations is to provide feedback to the student and to assess the student’s proficiency based on academic coursework, progress in research, and potential for significant contributions to a profession.


How to Apply? [Major Code: D750]

The application for admission must include:

  1. Completed application for admission to the OU Graduate College (online)
  2. Personal Goal Statement
  3. Research Interest Statement
  4. Professional Resume’ or CV
  5. Three letters of recommendation from persons familiar with the applicant’s scholastic and leadership potential.

Finalists may be asked to submit a writing sample of a significant research paper. Program faculty may elect to interview applicants.

Students will be recommended for admission to the program only if there is a program faculty member available to serve as the student’s academic advisor and chair the student’s advisory committee and dissertation research work. 


For more information, contact: 

Jody Worley, Ph.D.

Doctoral Program Coordinator; Graduate Liaison
4502 East 41st Street Tulsa, OK 74135

Office: 1H26

Recruitment Services

Student Enrollment Center
(918) 660-3318