FAQs for Prospective Students

Hi there. You probably have a lot of questions about what it is like to be a member of the DPLS program. We have compiled a list of questions we hope will help you acclimate you nicely. In addition to the items below, more factoids and other news may be found on the DPLS blog.


1 . How Many Students Are in the Program?^

Approximately 100 students are enrolled in the DPLS program at any given time.

2 . How Many Years Will it Take to Complete the Program?^

The length of the program lies in the hands of each individual student. Some students go full-time, taking 2-4 classes in a semester, while other students take one class at a time or are summers-only students. To see a few suggested program tracks, please click here.

3 . What Does it Mean to be a Summers-Only Student?^

What we mean when we say "summers-only" is that some students opt to take classes during the summers only. Often, these students live out of town and travel to and temporarily live in Spokane during the summer term. While some students find a way to enroll in classes during the summers only, many "summers-only" students complete credits during the regular school year in the form of individually direct studies, online courses, or courses on campus. Moreover, given that the final completion of a doctoral program is the dissertation, all students should be expected to work on the dissertation year-round.

4 . When Do Classes Meet?^

Generally, all classes meet 6-10 p.m. with the exception of 8 a.m.-Noon on Saturdays. Refer to your syllabus for specific location and other details.

5 . Does DPLS Offer Online Courses?^

The DPLS program is an on-campus program. We do, however, offer two online courses (six credits) that students may enroll in if they choose. The guidelines for elective courses may be found here.

6 . Which Courses Am I Required to Complete?^

This course planning guide form will provide you with the criteria.

For an entire list of courses that the DPLS provides at one time or another, click here.

If we may, we have a few suggestions for your course schedule:

  • Take the core courses asap. These are DPLS 700, 701, 703 and 720. Not only do these courses provide the basis for your education, but they are required to begin your candidacy paper. But you must begin your candidacy paper before you complete/enroll credits.
  • Use as many individually directed study credits as allowed while writing the dissertation (which occurs after taking Proposal Seminar DPLS 730).

But it is up to you really - do what fits your schedule and stamina!

More coursework information may be found here.

7 . When I Submit My Application, Must I Decide Right Then Which Semester to Begin Classes?^

We recommend that applicants aim to apply to the DPLS program six months in advance of their desired start date. Please click here to view the application deadlines.

8 . What If I Do Not Have Academic References Since I Have Been Working a Long Time?^

We like to see two academic recommendations and one employer recommendation, but we are flexible.

9 . How Many Students are Allowed to Graduate Per Academic Year?^

Due to accreditation rules, the DPLS program may graduate a maximum of 19 students per year. More information may be found here.

10 . How Much Does Tuition Cost?^

For more information on tuition, books, etc., click here.

11 . Does DPLS or Gonzaga Provide Scholarships?^

DPLS provides graduate assistantships. For all other aid, please go to the Financial Aid website.

12 . Does DPLS Have Any Special Focus Areas?^

The doctoral program does not have any formal emphasis of research, but we can tell you what faculty members tend to focus on in their own research. These areas of focus include: servant-leadership, rapid assessment, leading in complexity, and feminist leadership. More information about each faculty member may be found here.

13 . With Whom or What is DPLS Affiliated?^

DPLS is affiliated with the International Journal of Servant Leadership and the International Leadership Association.

14 . How Large Are the Classes?^

Class sizes max out at 15. DPLS 730 Proposal Seminar maxes out at 8.

15 . What is the Faculty Advising Process Like?^

The student is assigned a pre-candidacy advisor on admission to the program. This advisor will aid the student to attain candidacy. Once candidacy status has been reached, the student will choose a dissertation faculty advisor (also known as a dissertation chairperson) who will work with the candidate to complete their requirements for graduation. Faculty members serve as a mentor to students, providing them encouragement and support along the journey to graduation. Faculty members are ready to support and guide students, but it is the responsibility of each student to seek the level and frequency of guidance desired.

16 . May I Sit In On a Class?^

Yes, prospective students are welcome to sit in on a class. To arrange this, please contact the DPLS Chair, Dr. JoAnn Danelo Barbour: barbourj@gonzaga.edu. Take a look at the DPLS academic calendar and then in your email to Dr. Barbour, please indicate a date or weekend in which you would like to attend a class(es). Dr. Barbour will arrange for you to attend a class(es) based on your preferences. Please try to allow at least a month for us to set it up; we recommend that you do not book flights until we have confirmed with you.

17 . May I Talk With a Real Live Student?^

Yes, prospective students are welcome to talk with a currently enrolled student. To arrange this, please contact the DPLS Program Coordinator, Marnie Broughton: broughton@gonzaga.edu.

18 . Must I Live in Spokane While Enrolled in the DPLS Program?^

About half of the students in the DPLS program live in Spokane and the rest live elsewhere. While most students tend to travel from the Western half of the United States, we have had students travel all the way from Florida, Hawaii, and Italy.

19 . I Plan to Travel to Spokane For My Classes. Where Do I Stay? Where Do I Eat?^

During the regular school year, there are no on-campus living arrangements for doctoral students, but there are a few, affordable arrangements through Gonzaga-affiliated organizations. More information about that housing can be located here.

Hotels within walking distance of the Tilford Building
Red Lion River Inn
Oxford Suites
Holiday Inn Express

Going a bit further into downtown Spokane

Davenport Hotel
Red Lion at the Park
Doubletree Hotel

Restaurants
Chipotle
Taco Time
Sonic Drive-In
Jack & Dan's
Jimmy John's
Pita Pit
C.I. Shenanigan's
Zola's

Grocery Stores
Main Market
Safeway

20 . May I Transfer in My Credits Received in Another Doctoral Program?^

More information about transferring credits can be found here.

21 . May I Audit a Course?^

You must be a registered Gonzaga University graduate student in order to audit a DPLS course, and registration in the course is required. No credit hours are earned and audited courses do not apply toward a degree. The "AU" grade is not an option for instructors. Students must register for this grade mode no later than the Registrar's drop/add date. Anyone who audits a course must have the permission of the instructor and will be expected to do all the required work.

22 . Where May I Work Out?^

Great question. All that reading and sitting in front of a computer is not helping our bodies. The Rudolf Fitness Center is located on the southeast side of campus west of the McCarthey Athletic Center (basketball arena), south of the Foley Library, and north of the Centennial Trail. Working out at the Rudolf Fitness Center, however, is not included in the price of tuition. Graduate and Law School student governing bodies opted for the optional membership fee of $150 per fall/spring or $30/summer semester to use the Rudolf Fitness Center.

There are also many gyms in the area. Current and former students report that they are members of the Spokane YMCA, Oz Fitness, U-District PT, Lila Yoga, and Yarrow Yoga.

23 . How Do I Get Tickets to Men's Basketball Games and Other Sporting Events?^

Fortunately, you do not have to pitch a tent to get tickets to men's basketball games. All it takes is standing in a line on a Sunday morning. Find the explicit instructions here. For all other sporting events, students may just show up the game the day of and enter the game for free. Remember to bring your student ID card.

24 . Are You on Facebook?^

We are! Here are a list of social media sites we are members of, plus other ways to interact with us and Gonzaga on the whole: