Doctor of Philosophy in Ethical Leadership (Ph.D.)


Ethical leaders foster a positive environment and productive relationships to maximize others’ potential through exceptional self-awareness, an understanding of group dynamics, and a foundation for implementing organizational effectiveness strategies. The Doctor of Philosophy in Ethical Leadership (Ph.D.) creates a foundation for this by combining ethical principles and leadership theories for practical application within diverse working environments. It is ideal for working professionals who seek to enhance their ability to practice ethical leadership and infuse ethical principles and theories in management, planning, design, evaluation, research, and policy development across a variety of organizational and community settings.

The program offers a project-based, cross-disciplinary curriculum, and a broad spectrum of learning experiences to meet individual student needs and to develop a diverse and scholarly community of learners. Students within the program maintain careers within management, government leadership, public service, higher education, business, healthcare, non-profit corporations, and school administration (principals, directors, and supervisors).


Career Trajectory

  • Business executives and managers, and directors and supervisors in non-profit organizations, management consultants, planners, and policy advisors
  • School administrators, principals, consultants, directors, and supervisors
  • Federal, state, local government administrators
  • Learners aspiring to serve as presidents, vice presidents, deans, senior higher education administrators, or professors


Program Highlights

  • Maximum Accessibility – Fully online courses with intensive residencies to establish professional networking opportunities
  • Economic Benefit – An affordable price point well below our national competitors provides quality without financial burden
  • Pace of the Program – Full-time working professionals can complete the program within three (3) calendar years
  • Rolling Admissions – Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis for to ensure for convenience of start date
  • Ease of Application – A personalized admissions advisor is provided to every prospective student ensuring consistent and timely communication, while not requiring a standardized test (e.g., GRE, GMAT, etc.) to create ease for the applicant
  • Transfer Credits Accepted – Up to 18 credits beyond a master’s degree can be accepted accelerating program completion
  • Relational – Nationally renowned faculty members work with students to be adaptive to the complications of work, family, and personal obligations



Tuition per Credit Hour Technology Fee per Course Program Tuition
Tuition $700 $100 $44,000


Starting Coursework

The Doctor of Philosophy in Ethical Leadership offers six start terms throughout the year. Contact the Office of Graduate Admissions to learn more (see information below).

Admissions Process

Admission to the Doctor of Philosophy in Ethical Leadership program requires each prospective student to submit the following materials for evaluation:

  • A completed and signed university Application for Admission
  • Official accredited college and/or university baccalaureate and master’s transcripts

Program Student Learning Outcomes

  • Respond to the changing needs of diverse organizations
  • Lead and manage private corporations, public organizations, educational institutions and systems, and nonprofit agencies
  • Develop leadership, change management, and innovation strategies for maximizing team dynamics and key performance indicators across their organizations and within each of the people they work with
  • Demonstrate ethical behaviors and complex problem-solving capacity aligned with designing and implementing organizational effectiveness strategies and assessment and evaluation initiatives critical for effective practice


The Ph.D. program requires 60 credits of doctoral coursework beyond the master’s degree, including 33 core course credits, 15 specialization course credits, and 12 doctoral research credits.

Doctor of Philosophy in Ethical Leadership Requirements – 60 Credits (Each Course is 3 Credits) Core Courses– 24 Credits

  • ELI 801 Theory and Practice of Leadership
  • ELI 804 Leadership for Crisis & Change
  • ELI 805 Strategic Leadership & Globalization
  • ELI 807 Ethics & Governance
  • ELI 809 Innovation & Leadership
  • ELI 813 Leading a Learning Organization
  • ELI 814 Cross-Cultural Relations
  • ELI 817 Communication & Influence

Specialization Courses – 12 Credits

  • DEL 801 Interpersonal Leadership
  • DEL 802 Moral Imagination & Decision-Making
  • DEL 803 Complex Problems
  • DEL 805 Leadership in Action

Research Courses – 12 Credits

  • DEL 804 Assessment & Evaluation
  • RES 819 Research Methods
  • RES 820 Quantitative Research
  • RES 821 Qualitative Research

Doctoral Research Courses (Dissertation & Action Research Options) – 12 Credits

  • DIS 900 Doctoral Research Proposal
  • DIS 901 Doctoral Research I
  • DIS 902 Doctoral Research II
  • DIS 903 Doctoral Research III


Residency Requirements

Residency courses provide an opportunity for students, community leaders, industry professionals, policymakers, and university administration and faculty to participate in structured face-to-face workshop style sessions facilitated at St. Thomas University over a three-day period. These sessions create added depth, collaboration, and community creating the foundation for an enhanced education experience. Residency courses are a hallmark of the blended approach to education. Residencies are key components of the following courses:

  • DEL 801 Interpersonal Leadership
  • ELI 805 Strategic Leadership & Globalization
  • ELI 809 Innovation & Leadership
  • DIS 900 Doctoral Research Proposal


Graduation Requirements

Candidates must maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 to remain in academic good standing and must complete all required courses with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 to graduate. Candidates must successfully complete and defend their doctoral research requirements.


Additional Information

Information relating to the program and courses is available by contacting the Ph.D. in Ethical Leadership Program Director, Carolynn Komanski, Ph.D., at All graduate admissions inquiries should be sent to our Graduate Admissions Guru (information listed below).



Office of Graduate Admissions
Phone: 305-928-2865