Core Courses

All students must complete the four core classes (12 credits). These classes must be completed before a student applies for candidacy. Students must apply for candidacy before they enroll in their 22nd credit; they must finish the candidacy process before they finish their 28th credit.

The core classes are all offered during the summer term. Two are offered in the fall term, and the other two offered in the spring term. The following is the list of the four core classes:

  • DPLS 700 Leadership Theory (3 credits)
  • DPLS 701 Organizational Theory (3 credits)
  • DPLS 703 Global Issues & Policy Analysis (3 credits)
  • DPLS 720 Principles of Research (3 credits)

Ethics Courses

Students must complete two ethics courses (four credits). One of these courses must be DPLS 745 Leadership & Personal Ethics. Students may choose their second course from the following course list:

  • DPLS 746 Leadership and Applied Ethics (2 credits)
  • DPLS 747 Leadership and Classical Ethics (2 credits)
  • DPLS 748 Leadership and Feminist Ethics (2 credits)
  • DPLS 749 Leadership and Eco Ethics (2 credits)

Research Courses

Currently, students must complete 15 credits of research courses. They are:

  • DPLS 722 Quantitative Data Analysis (3 credits)
  • DPLS 723 Qualitative Research Theory and Design (3 credits) (Students must complete DPLS 720 Principles of Research before enrolling in DPLS 722 or 723.)
  • DPLS 730 Proposal Seminar (3 credits)

Elective Courses

Individually Directed Study

Students/candidates may take up to 12 credits of individually directed study. These topics will be developed with a pre-candidacy or dissertation advisor. The first 1-3 credits taken under this category begin with the 760 designation. Each ensuing set of credits will be numbered consecutively from that (e.g., DPLS 761, 762, etc.) It is recommended that students/candidates confer with their advisor and consider how these credits and the course names fit with the student/candidates ‘cognate' emphasis. These credits will be reflected on the student/candidates transcripts under the name selected for the individually directed coursework (e.g., Indigenous Leadership Practices). Grades will not be posted until the end of the semester in which the student is engaged in the individually directed study. To initiate this process, students/candidates must acquire and fill out the Application for Individually Directed Study form (also found in the DPLS office and Office of the Registrar). This form requires signatures from the advisor, instructor, chair of the department, and the Dean. Grading for DPLS 760 credits is Satisfactory/Not Satisfactory.

Online Courses & Mentorship or Internship

Students enrolled in the doctoral program may complete an internship/field experience or mentorship as an elective by registering for one to three hours of DPLS 766. Students must discuss this with their advisor/chair and get approval before taking part in a mentorship or an internship. For internship or mentorship credit, students must submit a proposal at the beginning of the course and attach it to the Application for Individually Directed Study form marked for DPLS 766. A report or project must be submitted at the end of the internship/mentorship to complete the course. For internship credit, the proposal may be to gain experience in another work setting or to complete a work project that will require the application of DPLS coursework. For mentorship credit, the proposal should describe the purpose of the mentorship, identify the mentor, and explain how the mentorship will enhance leadership abilities in the personal, organizational, or global dimensions. In both cases, the proposal should show that the student will be challenged in some way and explain how it will be related to their DPLS coursework. Proposals must be submitted to the instructor who will be the “professor of record.” At the end of the internship/mentorship, the student will submit a report and/or products developed as a result of the experience to the “professor of record.” The grading mode for this course is Satisfactory/Non-satisfactory. A maximum of three credits of internship/mentorship is permitted.

In addition, no more than three credits can be taken in an online course or through an internship or mentorship.

Elective Courses

The total number of required credits equals 31, leaving 29 credits as electives. Students satisfy the liberal arts component of the degree through electives. Courses that have a title of “Leadership and…” have an especially strong emphasis in the humanities and enhance interdisciplinary thinking about leadership. The stipulations regarding these 29 credits are that:

  • 14 of the 29 elective credits must be on-campus courses;
  • 15 of the electives can be taken off-campus (does not include the dissertation credits);
  • Of 15, maximum of 12 individually directed credits or transfer credits;
  • Of 15, maximum of 12 online or 3 mentorship credits;
  • In addition to the 15 off-campus electives credits, 6 have to be dissertation credits (DPLS 735, and DPLS 736). DPLS 737 is permitted only after 60 credits have been completed.

Note: The 15 units in the above section can be taken in any of the below configurations:

  • 12 individually directed study, 3 online;
  • 9 individually directed study, 6 online;
  • 9 individually directed study, 3 online, 3 mentorship; or
  • 12 individually directed study, 3 mentorship


Transfer Credits

Click here for more information.



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Course Catalogue & Descriptions

All course descriptions may be found here.


Course Planning Guide

Click here for the Course Planning Guide. The Course Planning Guide is a short form that will help you track your progress in the program.

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