Learn To Lead From All Levels.

This advanced program from the University of Sioux Falls shapes practitioners into transformational leaders, ready to lead positive change within their respective fields. The Doctorate in Leadership provides an interdisciplinary perspective of ethical leadership, informed by and aligned within USF's Christian liberal arts tradition.

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USF’s Doctorate in Leadership program is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. All 60 credits of the degree are newly designed specifically for this program and will be taught by USF instructors. The curriculum is built into modules of Responsible Leadership, Institutional Leadership and Visionary Leadership.

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Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission to the Doctorate in Leadership, applicants must:

  • Possess a master's or equivalent professional degree.
  • Complete an online application
  • Provide two (2) recommendation forms submitted electronically. (See application for details. These should be from individuals in the applicant's professional and/or academic network.) 
  • Provide a writing sample: An academic paper from the applicant’s most recent degree.  
  • Provide a current writing sample: Personal Statement essay
    • The Personal Statement provides the Admissions Committee with an opportunity to learn about your research interests and desire to pursue a doctoral degree. The USF Doctorate in Leadership follows a Dissertation in Practice model which is an applied research study in one's professional context. In 750-1,000 words, the goal is for you to share your "why" of pursuing the USF Doctorate in Leadership. In doing so, describe a researchable problem within your professional context, why this problem is of personal interest, and how you might address the problem. This problem may be the topic you pursue for your Dissertation in Practice, but you are not required to pursue it. Since this statement is part of the application, display your best writing. Please submit to doctorate@usiouxfalls.edu as a double-spaced PDF.
  • Interview
  • Have earned a GPA of 3.0. (most recent degree)
  • Note: No GRE required.

Important Annual Dates & Deadlines

Important Dates

  • April 15: Priority Application Deadline
  • May 30: Classes begin

Something For Everyone

Embark on a meaningful academic journey with the USF Doctorate in Leadership, where our doctoral students come from diverse sectors such as K-12 and higher education, business, banking, ministry, nonprofits, healthcare and government. Students continue working full-time while applying their learning to the fields and vice-versa. Throughout the program, students write a Dissertation in Practice, taking a current problem of practice and seeking to solve it. Join us at USF, where leadership takes on new dimensions, and your journey towards becoming a scholarly practitioner begins.

Be In-Demand

Built on the foundation of ethical leadership, students will acquire in-demand skills such as:

  • Strategic Planning
  • Effective Communication
  • Data Analysis
  • Research Methodology
  • International and Intercultural Perspectives
  • Financial Acumen

Flexible Learning Options

USF’s Doctorate in Leadership is built for full-time working professionals.

Starting in May 2024, the Doctorate in Leadership program has even more flexibility! We will offer a "dual modality" experience for on-campus classes.

Students will have the option to join synchronously via Zoom, or in the classroom on campus -- expanding your opportunity to connect with individuals from across the nation in a way that works for you. Additionally, some courses will be fully online with remote meetings.

The 10-semester program includes two, one-week campus residency experiences during the second and third summers of the program. This intensive experience allows for a deep dive into dissertation writing and leadership development -- and some guaranteed fun in the heart of Sioux Falls!

Cohort Model

Discover a unique strength within the USF Doctorate in Leadership program: the invaluable opportunity to learn not just from professionals in your industry, but also from diverse disciplines. This cohort approach not only enriches your learning experience, but also provides consistent support.

Benefit from the collective knowledge of your cohort and the unwavering guidance of our dedicated USF faculty and staff, ensuring you have a professional network to propel you towards your goals.

Next Steps

Want to know what it's really like to be a Cougar? Visit campus and discover for yourself USF's academic, spiritual and social community.

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