Leadership and Policy, Ph.D.

The Niagara University Ph.D. program in leadership and policy is designed to prepare doctorate-level-qualified leaders who can implement systemic change to further organizational and community goals in international, cross-disciplinary and diverse contexts. The program offers an innovative and unique cohort model.

The Ph.D. program focuses on the mission of Niagara University in bringing social justice and empowerment of those most in need to the forefront of research and provides a course of study in which professionals from various disciplines become change agents. This Ph.D. degree program is designed to enhance the research and policy leadership acumen of practicing professionals who are already established in their respective career paths. It prepares them for an enriched life of research and scholarship.

The Ph.D. requires 60 credit hours beyond a master’s degree, with at least 48 of those credit hours completed at Niagara University. The program admits candidates who have evidence of scholarly work and who are established leaders.

The program consists of two key components:

  • the leadership and policy study core (30 credits)
  • the research study core (30 credits)

All candidates for the Ph.D. in leadership and policy complete required courses as cohort members and have the opportunity to work individually toward their dissertation topic. During the first year of study, cohort members fulfill the doctoral residency requirements by completing nine credit hours in the fall semester and nine credit hours in the spring semester. Candidates are required to maintain continuous enrollment in the program.

Requirements for Admission

The admission requirements for Niagara University’s Ph.D. program in leadership and policy are as follows:

  1. Master’s degree from an accredited college or university.
  2. Two years post-master’s professional work experience.
  3. GPA of 3.50 on a 4.00 scale.
  4. A professional writing sample consisting of one of the following:
    • Single-author, referred journal article or single-author conference paper.
    • Critical review of a book, article, video, etc. (750 words or more).
    • Chapter of a graduate thesis representative paper from a graduate class.
  5. Curriculum vita or professional résumé.
  6. A goal statement of at least 500 words that answers the question: “How will this doctoral program in leadership and policy address my future professional goals?”
  7. Personal interview: If distance is an issue, a phone or Skype-type Internet interview may substitute.
  8. Three letters of professional recommendation.
  9. Non-native English-speaking applicants must submit the results of Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

Required Courses

Leadership and Policy Core

Required Content Courses
ADS 710Org Theory, Dev & Strat Change3
ADS 720Politics & Eval of Policy3
ADS 730Org. Assess and Acctability3
ADS 740Ldrship in a Global Soc3
ADS 750Diversity in Organizations3
ADS 760Ethic Prac Ldrship & Pol3
ADS 770Eco/Fin Pol Ldrp in Global Soc3
Concentration Elective Courses
Select three graduate courses in concentration field of study.9
Total Credits30

Research Core 

Required Research Courses
ADS 805Research & Statistics3
ADS 807Inform. Systems Research3
ADS 810Research Seminar3
ADS 820Adv. Quantitative Research3
ADS 830Adv. Qualitative Research3
ADS 840Doctoral Seminar3
Required Dissertation Courses
ADS 850Ph.D. Dissertation3
ADS 852Ph.D. Dissertation3
ADS 855Ph.D. Dissertation3
Concentration Elective Course
Select one graduate course related to dissertation topic.3
Total Credits30

Requirements for the Completion of the Ph.D. Program in Leadership and Policy

In order to successfully complete the Ph.D. program and be awarded the degree, all candidates are required to:

  • Successfully complete all required and concentration elective courses
  • Successfully complete the comprehensive doctoral studies examination (including approval of dissertation proposal)
  • Successfully defend (public defense) and publish an approved research dissertation.