Jul 20, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Organizational Leadership (DProf)

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John R. Goss, III, Professor of Research, Organizational and Leadership Studies

Bowman Building, Office 216B; (540) 678-4447; jgoss@su.edu

Advanced study in Organizational Leadership at Shenandoah University offers learners the opportunity to think deeply, examine thoughtfully and understand theoretically the challenges and potentials that exist in institutions of public trust. This program is unique among doctoral programs in its emphasis on the application of theory to real-world problems and lived experiences through an individualized program of study guided by six competency-based outcomes organized into six academic modules, plus a concentration and a capstone product.

The DProf is a low-residency, student-centered, inquiry-driven, problem-oriented opportunity to explore challenges of leadership and build the skills to move organizations forward.  It is built on an interdisciplinary leadership and research core, designed to appeal to professionals in institutions of public trust such as nonprofit service-oriented or community-based, public and private sector organizations, and higher education professionals. The flexibility in design across all coursework allows for optimal learning in one’s specific area of interest.

A minimum of 60 credits is required in this program of study. The program is organized around a core of leadership and research competencies (both theoretical and applied), complemented by the learner's concentration within the field.

Admissions Requirements

International students seeking F-1 (student) visas are not eligible to apply to this program due to limited number of credit hours offered per term and the challenge of meeting visa requirements.

Applications for the DProf are accepted for Fall and Spring semester admissions.

  • Applicants should have a minimum of 3.5 GPA in any previous graduate degree.
  • Essay summarizing intentions and proposed focus of study within the program (no more than 5 pages) addressing the following (realizing this is a preliminary plan and subject to revision):
    • What you hope to study in this program.
    • Why you hope to study it in this program (the benefits of such study).
    • A general outline of topics/interests that will guide this study.
    • In the end, how will this study allow you to better contribute to society?
  • Applicants must submit all graduate transcripts.
  • Applicants must submit a one-page resume.
  • Applicants must contact and schedule an interview with the head of the DProf program.
  • Applicants must submit three recommendations: two from someone who can address the applicant's academic/critical thinking abilities and one from a professional who knows the applicant's ability in the chosen field of concentration.

Transfer Credits

  • The DProf is a 60-credit degree program. Up to 15 transfer credits are permitted; transfer credits are approved in consultation with the program director and the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. Transfer credits will be applied only to the concentration component of the program.
  • Applicants who have earned clinical or professional doctorates (e.g., in the health professions) may apply this degree to meet the concentration requirements (12 credits)
    • Applicability of previously-earned clinical or professional doctorates or graduate professional certificate programs should be discussed with the program head prior to making application
  • Credits earned at SU as a non-degree graduate student may be applicable to this program to satisfy the concentration
  • Students may use graduate courses taken at a regionally accredited institution as possible transfer credit.
    • Applicability of previously-earned graduate professional certificate programs should be discussed with the program head prior to making application
  • Only grades of “A” or “B” are transferable.

Program Requirements

Program Core

LST 835:  Foundations of Study in Organizational Leadership:  Applications and Research (4 credits)

LST 845:  Organizational Change and Transformation Analysis and Leadership (4 credits)

LST 820 Doctoral Summer Residency (2 credits) (repeatable:  minimum twice.  Total 4 credits)

LST 855:  Synthesis and Integration of Content (4 credits)

Total: 16 credits

Research Core

RST 830:  Understanding Quantitative and Qualitative Research (4 credits)

RST 840:  Applying Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods to Understanding the Field (4 credits)

RST 890:  Readiness for and Proposing of Capstone Research (3 credits)

Total: 11 credits


Twelve (12) graduate credits of approved coursework comprising a concentration.  Guidelines for concentrations are commonly accepted field/profession/discipline defined knowledge areas germane to the student’s professional and/or academic objectives and are determined jointly by the student and the academic advisor, informed by the student’s professional and/or academic objectives.

Total Credits: 18

Capstone Research: 15 credits (minimum)

A minimum of 15 credits must be earned within the time to degree.

Total Credits: 60 (minimum)

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