Organizational Leadership

Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration
  • Overview
  • Course Information
  • Tuition
  • Benefits

Strong leaders are made not born, and well-trained leaders are needed in every industry. In our interdisciplinary PhD in Organizational Leadership specialization, you will strengthen your knowledge of business and management practices, while examining what drives overall success in a company, institution or agency. You will explore topics in technology management, conflict resolution, organizational negotiations, cultural diversity and community relations, and analyze field-specific problems and solutions. NCU graduates typically secure leadership roles in a variety of fields including, business administration, human resources, non-profit administration, diversity management, labor relations, psychology and sociology.

General Degree Requirements

Admission to a doctoral program at NCU requires a master's degree from an accredited institution.

The PhD program may be completed in 60 credits. Up to an additional 15 credit hours will be allowed as needed to complete dissertation research. The University may accept a maximum of 12 semester credit hours in transfer toward the doctoral degree for graduate coursework completed at an accredited college or university with a grade of "B" or better.

Completion Period for Doctoral Degrees

Northcentral University allows 7 years to complete all doctoral programs of 60 credits or less. Normal time to complete varies depending upon course take rate and credits transferred.

Foundational Competencies for DBA Programs

  • Graduate-Level Research Methods Competency - PhD students are required to complete BTM8102, BTM8103, BTM8104, BTM8106, BTM8107, BTM8108 and BTM8109 at Northcentral.
  • Graduate-Level Statistics Competency - PhD students are required to complete BTM8107 Statistics II at Northcentral.
  • Computer Competency - Doctoral students are required to have computer skills necessary for completing a dissertation. Students must be able to prepare documents using advanced word processing skills (e.g., creation of tables and figures, headers and footers, page breaks, tables of contents, hanging indents). Students must use computer programs for the statistical analysis of data (e.g., SAS). Students must produce a computer-based presentation (e.g., PowerPoint) for their dissertation oral defense.

See below for specialization courses specific to this program. To learn more, fill out the request information form below or view the course catalog.

Course Code


Course Description


Conflict Resolution and Mediation

Leaders must become adept at interpreting conflict and identifying options that result in a favorable outcome for all stakeholders. Constructive responses and mediation skills developed through a focused effort to understand communication patterns, interpersonal relationships, and communication skills can produce successful conflict resolution. Theory, self-reflection and enhancement of conflict skills, cultural understanding, structure, and practice of collaborative and mediated negotiations are emphasized.


Building Organizational Capacity

There are numerous definitions for the phrase "capacity building" within educational and leadership literature. For the purpose of this Doctoral level course, the term "building organizational capacity" will be used to describe a parallel universe, where both the students’ capacity and the organization's capacity must be developed to achieve organizational goals. Students will analyze their own organization to assess internal and external capacity, reviewing all tangible and intangible portions of the organization to understand their individual and collective impact on achieving maximum effectiveness and productivity. Simultaneously, students will also critically evaluate their own role within the organization as it relates to building capacity.


Leadership for Excellence

In this course students will deepen their philosophy of leadership which serves as the foundation for applying the knowledge and skill sets acquired through their specialization and degree program. The development and implementation of leadership concepts, applications, and frameworks to drive leadership performance for excellence are highlighted. The continued and increasingly successful application of the knowledge, tools, skill sets, and perspectives that have been learned will also be emphasized.


Theory and Practice of Organizational Leadership

Leadership theory spans academic disciplines and draws as much from artistry of relationships as it does from writings and reflections of leadership as an applied science. Students of leadership gain as much from the experiences of others, as they do from studies of attributes of successful leaders and organizations. Through coursework, course readings, case analyses and personal reflection, students will examine in-depth leadership theories and their applications in current organizational settings. This course incorporates the student's experiences and observations regarding leadership from their personal and professional experiences and current work setting.


Ethical Leadership

Leadership is not an event, but is a process that takes time. In this course, students gain a deep understanding of the complexity of such moral dilemmas through critical analysis and application of ethical principles. Both hypothetical and real ethical scenarios and decisions will be critically considered and discussed with the focus on the student building practical decision making skills in the organizational environment and the understanding the criteria by which the soundness of those decisions are to be judged. Interpersonal dynamics operating within an organizational structure and the systemic nature of such structures is examined. Students examine their own ethical profile, and how it impacts their communication with individuals and groups. This process includes oral, print and electronic communications.


Leader as Coach

As organizations are increasingly required to be innovative, leaders are called upon to use a broader repertoire of skills to maximize internal human potential. Coaching skills and the theories from which they derive draw upon such interdisciplinary fields as organizational development, humanistic psychology and dialogue and systems theory. Through coursework, course readings, case analyses, field experience and personal reflection, Doctoral students will examine in-depth coaching principles and theories along with their applications in leadership roles. This course incorporates the student's experiences and observations regarding leadership from both personal and professional environments.


Executive Leadership in Nonprofit Organizations

According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, the United States has more than 1.4 million nonprofit organizations. Although the focus of public charities and private foundations ranges widely, one truth applies to every organization: to be successful the leader must meet the challenges of leadership and governance to ensure that the organization’s mission is fulfilled. The challenges are significant; however, an effective leader accepts the mission and strategically focuses on building the services that meet members’ needs. The leader creates a culture that motivates and rewards volunteers, and also applies proven, dynamic management practices to achieve success. In this course you will explore and apply the principles of executive leadership in the non-profit sector.

At Northcentral University, we pride ourselves in being completely transparent when it comes to tuition and fees. If a cost is not included in our Cost Per Course Tuition Rate, we let you know up front. Currently, the only additional cost above your program rate* is books. Learn more about the NCU’s PhD in Business Administration costs below:

  • Per credit cost: $1,129
  • Per 3 credit course cost: $3,387
  • Program cost: $68,090 - $71,477
  • Average book cost per course: $110
  • Application Fee: $0
  • Learning Management Fee (one-time per program): $350
  • Registration Fee: $0

Click here to learn more about payment and financing options.

*Program rates are subject to change and generally increase at the start of each calendar year.

Total program costs reflected are calculated based on standard degree program credits exclusive of the program’s potential evaluation track. The actual cost of a program is determined based upon the program and track the student enters, transfer credits if any, and other unique student factors. For more information: please contact Admissions or refer to the catalog.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned about our students, it’s that they are motivated and ambitious—but they are also busy! At Northcentral University, we’ve designed our education experience to work with you, not against you, so you can achieve your academic goals without sacrificing the quality, flexibility and support you need to be successful.

To learn more, request information or call 1-866-776-0331 to speak with an enrollment advisor today. We offer new courses every Monday of the year so you can get started when it’s best for you.