Why This Matters

  • 48% OF CHIEF EXECUTIVES NEED A COLLEGE DEGREE

    While there are CEOs who build their companies from start-ups and don’t require a college education, almost half of executive positions do. And with 26% of positions requiring only a master’s degree, a doctorate can make you more competitive in the job market.

  • 73 OCCUPATIONS REQUIRE A DOCTORATE DEGREE

    While job growth expectations are going to vary widely for CEOs and other top-level leadership positions depending on the industry, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that 73 careers require a doctorate or other professional degree. Most of these jobs are expected to experience average or above-average job growth.

  • AVERAGE SALARY OF $1,909 PER WEEK

    The BLS estimates that an average weekly salary of $1,909 per week is earned by those who hold doctorate degrees, while the highest-paid CEOs can make upwards of $200,000 per year or more.

Our Research

This list features some of the best online Doctorate in Organizational Leadership programs at top colleges across the country. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality for post-secondary institutions. The programs on our list have been accredited by reputable organizations, such as the Higher Learning Commission and Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, that assess the objectives, quality, and overall effectiveness of colleges and universities.

We evaluated each school’s program on tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation as well as the student resources provided for online students. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

Next, we compared this comprehensive list of online Doctorate in Organizational Leadership programs to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications like the U.S. News & World Report among others to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.

The Top 23 Online Doctorate in Organizational Leadership Programs

Top Doctorate in Organizational Leadership Programs 2023
01
Intelligent Pick
Concordia University at Chicago
01
Best for Experienced Professionals
Indiana Wesleyan University
01
Most Flexible
Liberty University
01
Best for Education Leadership
University of the Cumberlands
01
Best Ed.D. Program
NSU Florida Fischler College of Education
01
Best Tech School
Indiana Institute of Technology
01
Best for Professional Experience
Wilmington University
01
Best Christian Program
Johnson University
01
Best Hybrid Program
Southeastern University
01
Most Affordable
Valdosta State University
01

University of Southern California
01

Cornerstone University
01

Northcentral University
01

Touro University Worldwide
01

Franklin University
01

City University of Seattle
01

Chaminade University of Honolulu
01

Regent University
01

Eastern University
01

University of La Verne
01

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
01

Columbia International University
01

Adler University

What You Should Know About This Degree

Doctorate in organizational leadership programs focus on how to successfully build, manage, and lead a team to meet the company’s larger goals. Similar degrees such as Doctor of Business Administration or Doctor of Management can also provide this training and experience but may focus more heavily on specific areas.

Any program you’re choosing should be accredited either nationally or regionally. Specific accreditations to look for include the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

While it can take time to build the education and experience needed to obtain an executive-level position, many of these positions are in industries expected to experience above-average job growth. There is also a smaller applicant pool for these positions.

There are no specific certifications for chief executives, but depending on your industry, you may need to have a teaching or medical license or be certified in specific technology.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching online doctorate in organizational leadership programs:

  • Am I eligible for this program? Doctorate programs usually require a relevant master’s degree with a certain GPA, as well as years of work experience. Competitive programs may want to see a CV with published work, a portfolio, and letters of recommendation.
  • How long does it take to complete this online degree? How long it takes to complete an online doctorate in organizational leadership program depends on the number of credits required, whether you’re attending full-time or part-time, and whether a dissertation is required. The programs on our list range from 48 to 100 required credits and take an average of two to three years to complete if you’re attending full time.

Application and document submission deadlines are very important to keep track of. Also, since scholarships and grants are harder to find for doctorate-level positions — and often more competitive — you may want to talk to the financial aid office about the possibility of a teaching or research assistantship to help offset costs.