A cohort of 25-30 students is admitted at the same time as a result of a rigorous application and screening process. Members of each OL cohort must take their program courses (except for the elective) together as a group as each course is offered. Six cohorts are now in progress with the sixth having begun in the fall of 2010.

The University of Oklahoma has established the following minimum qualifications for admissions into the doctoral program. Meeting these qualifications does not guarantee admission into the OL program but rather is used to generate a pool of applicants who meet all necessary requirements.

The most qualified students will be selected from this pool for interview and then final evaluation for admission to the cohort program. The University of Oklahoma retains the prerogative to determine whether applicants are qualified for admissions to the program. The minimum qualifications are:

  • an earned master's degree from a regionally accredited university
  • at least a 3.4 GPA for graduate course work attempted
  • demonstrated potential to complete scholarly work and meet the rigors of a doctoral program
  • propensity to work in groups in an intensive academic environment
  • personal and professional goals compatible with, and likely to be met through, the degree program
  • excellent oral, written, and electronic communication skills
  • research interest congruent with the expertise represented within the core faculty group
  • Millers' Analogies Test (MAT) or Graduate Record Exam (GRE) results (not more than five years old).

The doctoral dissertation is the final and most important component of the series of academic experiences that culminate with the awarding of the doctoral degree. Three major functions are fulfilled by the dissertation experience:

  • Dissertation must be of original research, making a contribution to the existing body of knowledge.
  • Research will demonstrate the candidate's mastery of research methods.
  • Dissertation will demonstrate the student's ability to address a significant intellectual problem arriving at a successful conclusion.

Following sufficient coursework to adequately prepare the student and aided by the major professor, the student will select a dissertation topic, preferably early in the program of study. The initial enrollment in 6980 (Research for Dissertation) must be for at least two credit hours. Following the initial enrollment in 6980, each student must then maintain continuous enrollment through the University in at least two credit hours of 6980 during each term while working on and completing his or her research. Students have up to five years to complete their doctoral dissertation and present their defense.


The strength of the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in Organizational Leadership is that the curriculum is tailored to meet the needs of the students and to take advantage of the research strengths of on-campus faculty.  As with all interdisciplinary graduate degree programs at the University, this program is under the authority of the Graduate Dean and the Graduate Council. A representative curriculum for the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in Organizational Leadership is listed below. Changes to this curriculum may be made as a result of the continual quality review conducted by the Graduate Dean and the doctoral steering committee.

Course NumberCourse Title

XXXX 6980


A minimum of 90 semester hours of credit, including the master’s degree, are required for any doctoral degree offered by the University of Oklahoma. Students who enter the program must have earned a master’s degree from a U.S regionally accredited university. The degree must consist of at least 30 graduate semester hours with a graduate grade point average of at least 3.40 on a 4.0 grading system.

All students will complete at least 60 hours of credit with the University of Oklahoma in order to fulfill the requirements for this interdisciplinary doctoral program. Students whose master’s degrees include more than 30 hours must still complete the required 60-hour curriculum. As a general rule, transfer credit will not be accepted as part of the required semester hours beyond the master’s degree requirement.

Credit Hours from Master's Degree — 30

Credit Hours from doctoral Curriculum — 45

Credit Hours for Grad 5990 — three

Credit Hours for Dissertation 6980 — 12

Total Hours — 90

The curriculum uses a model that has the following components and characteristics:

  • Students develop competencies to understand, design, conduct, and evaluate research by taking a series of 3-credit courses in research tools and methods.
  • An interdisciplinary core is presented as the major component of 3-credit hour courses from the following academic disciplines: communication, economics, leadership and policy studies, educational, psychology, human relations, political science, organizational management, organizational dynamics, research methodologies, and statistical analysis.
  • Through independent study and research, students focus their studies on a specific area of interest in the degree program.
  • Students begin formulating ideas for their dissertations early in the program and continue to refine them throughout the degree process.
  • Students’ progress through the degree requirements as a cohort group (all students proceeding through the classes together as one group) with two exceptions; two elective courses and the completion of dissertation hours are performed individually.
  • Strong advising and mentoring guide the students throughout their programs to ensure the development of top professionals and scholars. A major professor guides and oversees each student's studies. A five-person committee guides the student through the dissertation process.

Students in the program accomplish a core set of goals and objectives, as listed below, and additionally pursue individually-tailored outcomes. Students explore and are able to apply learning related to the following areas:

  • leadership and influence strategies applied to public administration, education, corporate, and community service sectors
  • the process of human interaction in persuasion, free speech, argumentation, and social change
  • listening, public speaking, group discussion, and interviewing
  • the effects of communication environments and organizational designs on small group and organizational communication
  • contemporary economic theory and methodology as applied to national and international problems and issues
  • the roles and responsibilities of administrators and supervisors in solving organizational, educational, and training problems
  • the contributions of training, organizational development, individual differences, career development, and continuing education to the understanding and solution of organizational problems
  • the applications of quantitative and qualitative research methods in a variety of research designs to organizational issues
  • contemporary human relations problems facing leaders in diverse organizations; e.g. racism, sexism, poverty, and human rights
  • management of diversity in the workplace
  • multiculturalism and its impact on all types of organizations
  • use of print and on-line sources to include the Internet to locate resources
  • organizational structure, processes, and behaviors in a wide variety of organizational and administrative contexts
  • tools and techniques used in managing information in a variety of organizations through the use of automated data processing systems.
  • the role of values and ethics in contemporary organizations.

The interdisciplinary doctoral program will be delivered in Europe using an integrated system of on-site intensive seminars, delivery at a distance, and on-campus residency sessions.  

Onsite: The doctoral cohort will be supported by the delivery of the onsite seminars at centrally located Kaiserslautern, Germany, to accommodate the geographical dispersion of the student population within Europe. In general, all students in the cohort will progress at the same rate and finish their coursework together.

Each doctoral course is scheduled as a semester class with the onsite component for each class being delivered in an intensive format (i.e., two consecutive weekends). Pre- and post-seminar course work is completed individually or in collaborative work groups supported by distributive technologies.

Students will receive the course syllabus and information to order course materials prior to the beginning of each semester via the New College website. A schedule with dates and times for courses will be provided to students annually.

At a Distance: Onsite delivery is supported by the integration of several distance delivery technologies. Those media may include CD-ROM, Internet websites, computer-mediated discussion, and interactive video/teleconferencing. Electronic mail provides a critical, interactive link between the students and their professors, individual doctoral advisors, committee members, and one another. Students must have and maintain Internet connectivity and personal electronic mail access. Each student will be provided an OU email address, which should become the preferred email address for all university and course communication.

Residency:  Students are scheduled for four on-campus residency periods. The first and second residency periods are devoted to course work, research, advisement, and interaction among the cohort and between the doctoral candidates, their committees, and the University community. The first two residency sessions will be for 30 days during the summer semester. The remaining in-residence sessions will be devoted to the completion and defense of the dissertation and will be scheduled individually. The time and length of these additional remaining residency sessions vary but typically range between four and ten days. Additional in-residence periods may be required depending upon the time it takes to complete the dissertation, as well as research and/or collaborative activities, and requirements of the students major professor and committee. Adjustments to this schedule may occur based on Graduate College requirements and ongoing assessments of student progress.

When the coursework is nearly completed and all tools of research have been completed with a grade of B or better, the student prepares for the General Examination. The General Examination is intended to test the student's mastery of a number of related fields as well as capacity for synthesis, sound generalization, and critical analysis ability.

The doctoral dissertation is the final and most important component of the series of academic experiences that culminate with the awarding of the doctoral degree. Three major functions are fulfilled by the dissertation experience: (1) it is a work of original research that makes a contribution to existing knowledge; (2) it demonstrates the candidate's mastery of research methods and tools of a special field(s); and (3) it demonstrates the student's independent ability to address a significant intellectual problem and arrive at a successful conclusion. Aided by the major professor, the student should select a dissertation topic early in the program. After the General Examination, the student will focus primarily on dissertation research activity.

The initial enrollment in 6980 (Research for Doctor's Dissertation) must be for at least two semester hours. Following the initial enrollment in 6980, each graduate student must maintain continuous enrollment through the University in at least two semester hours of 6980 during the spring and fall semesters while working on and completing their research. If the student is engaged in year-round dissertation research activity including communication with major professor and use of university resources (library, computing, communications, ets.), then 6980 enrollment during the summer semester is also appropriate. Students have up to five years to complete their doctoral dissertation and present their defense. In addition to the two semester hours of enrollment per term, students must also return to campus annually to meet the in-residence requirement as dictated by the Graduate College.

The oral defense will be conducted in residence on the Norman campus after completing all coursework, the General Examinations, and approval from the student's committee.

The University has specifically created a faculty group to directly support the doctoral cohort. This program infrastructure ensures the responsiveness, advisement and program oversight necessary to promote student success in a rigorous research-based doctoral program.  The functions of the faculty steering committee and core group are briefly described below.

Doctoral Steering Committee: Co-chaired by the Dean of the Graduate College and the Dean of the College of Continuing Education, this committee provides for the quality oversight of the program and has the following major responsibilities:

  • conduct admission screening
  • review curriculum and recommend changes as appropriate
  • monitor program quality
  • monitor individual student progress and that of the cohort as a group
  • recommend appropriate actions in student cases of academic deficiency

Academic Director: A senior, tenured faculty member of the University of Oklahoma will serve as Academic Director.  In addition to this person serving on the Steering Committee, this person will be responsible for overall academic coordination of the program, communication with faculty, and serving as liaison between the cohort and the institution.

Doctoral Core Faculty Group: The core-faculty is comprised of tenure-track professors who meet all the University's qualifications for mentoring doctoral students. These criteria include having published significant research contributions in their respective discipline. The faculty group is responsible for:

  • teaching the program courses
  • serving on student dissertation committees
  • serving as student major professors
  • providing student academic and research advisement
  • monitoring academic integrity and programming quality


The Graduate College is responsible for periodic review of the academic performance of graduate students.

All graduate students are required to maintain an overall 3.00 graduate GPA. Students falling below a 3.00 will be notified by letter that they have been placed on academic probation. Students placed on academic probation will be evaluated each semester.

Students on probation who fail to attain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00 will be denied further enrollment after the probationary period. Students will be denied further enrollment when they are placed on any type of probation for the third time. A doctoral student who earns nine credit hours of C, D, and/or F will be disenrolled.

Students earning two or more credit hours of unsatisfactory (U) in one semester or summer session will be placed on academic probation for the next two enrollments. Earning two or more credit hours of U during this probationary period will be grounds for dismissal from an academic program. Students may be placed on probation a second time and recover if no additional U grades are earned during the probationary period.

Students who arrive late for class violate the University of Oklahoma policy on the total number of teacher-student contact hours required for award of graduate credit in the intensified teaching format. Students who arrive late miss lecture material and decrease their class participation thereby affecting their learning and course grade.

The instructor initiates a grade change by filing a Faculty Request for Grade Change form with the college under which the course was taught.

Candidates for graduate degrees should apply for graduation early during the term graduation is anticipated. If the graduation request is not received during the first week of the semester, graduation may be delayed until the following semester. All graduation forms are available from your local Site Coordinator.

All OU Europe students, regardless of where they took their coursework, are encouraged to participate in the Norman campus spring commencement exercises.

Degrees are formally conferred at the spring commencement and in absentia at the end of each fall and summer semester. All diplomas are mailed to students following the official graduation date. The degree and date of the diploma are entered on the student's permanent academic record. The date of graduation for each term is the last day of examinations in the fall, the date of commencement in the spring and the last day of classes in the summer.

Should a student complete all requirements for graduation and apply for the degree at a time other than the end of a semester or summer session, the student can submit a written request to the Graduate College for a certified "Letter of Completion." This letter states that the student is eligible for the degree as of the date when the requirements for the degree were completed.

A doctoral student who enters the University of Oklahoma program with a masters degree is expected to pass the general examination within four calendar years of the student's first graduate registration. A doctoral candidate is expected to complete all the degree requirements within five years after passing the general examination.

Information about students and former students gathered by the University of Oklahoma is of two types:

  1. directory, and
  2. confidential.

While the University fully acknowledges the student's rights of privacy concerning this information, it also recognizes that certain information is part of the public record and may be released for legitimate purposes. With these considerations in mind, the University of Oklahoma adopts the following policy concerning the release of information contained in student records:

Directory Information

Information that routinely appears in student directories and alumni publications may be freely released.

Confidential Information

This is all other information contained in the student's educational record and can be released only upon the written consent of the student with the following 10 exceptions:

  • Other school officials within the educational institution who have legitimate educational interests.
  • Officials of schools to which the student seeks to transfer.
  • The Comptroller General of the United States, the HEW Secretary, the administrative head of an educational agency or State educational authorities.
  • In connection with a student's application for, or receipt of, financial aid.
  • State and local officials or authorities to which such information is specifically required to be reported under State statute adopted prior to November 17, 1974.
  • Organizations or educational agencies conducting legitimate research, provided no personally identifiable information about the student is made public.
  • Accrediting organizations.
  • Parents of a dependent student upon proof of dependency as defined by the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. (Parents of international students are excluded.)
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena; provided that the educational agency or institution makes a reasonable effort to notify the student of the order or subpoena in advance of compliance.
  • In connection with an emergency when such information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other persons.

Confidential information shall only be transferred to a third party, however, on the condition that such party will not permit any other party to have access to the information without the written consent of the student.


At the beginning of each semester, students will automatically be enrolled in the scheduled classes for that semester. Notification of enrollment will be sent to the student's OU email address. The only potential problem area is when students begin to enroll in elective credits.

Please contact Chad Manos at (405) 325-1959 or email him at chad.manos@ou.edu when registering for these classes to an ensure that proper procedures are followed.

This Doctoral program has been specially designed for a cohort group. Consequently, students may not withdraw from a course. If an emergency arises in which the student will not be able to attend a class session, the student should contact the Academic Director immediately. The Academic Director is the final authority in approving class absence. Remember that if you miss a class entirely you can be disenrolled from the program.

Grades will be posted to student records at the end of each semester. Grades awarded in the Graduate College are A, B, C, D, F, S, U, I, W, and X. The Graduate College Bulletin contains complete descriptive grade information. The following explanations apply only to those courses that are approved for Advanced Programs graduate credit:

S = Satisfactory

Neutral in the computation of GPA

Signifies work of B quality or better

Only passing grade accepted for special problems, individual research, and directed readings courses

 U = Unsatisfactory

Neutral in the computation of GPA

Indicates that no credit is given for work undertaken

W = Withdrawal

Neutral grade assigned if student is passing at the time of withdrawal

F = Failure

Assigned if student is failing at the time of withdrawal

Awarded no credit hours or grade point

Calculated into the cumulative GPA

AW = Administrative Withdrawal

Neutral grade assigned if the student is involuntarily withdrawn by the institution during the designated semester for disciplinary or financial reasons or inadequate attendance

D = Indicates failure - no credit toward a graduate degree

Coursework receiving a grade of D cannot be used to satisfy prerequisite requirements and/or requirements for certificates

X = Satisfactory Progress

Neutral grade to be used only for thesis and dissertation research courses numbered 5980 and 6980 and for the thesis and dissertation equivalent courses numbered 5880 and 6880

I = Incomplete Work

Neutral grade that the instructor will use to indicate to the student what must be done to complete the course and set a time limit appropriate to the circumstances. The time allowed may not exceed one calendar year. If by the end of the year the student has not completed the course, the grade of I will become permanent on the student's record. After a grade of I has become permanent, a student may re-enroll in the course. Credit for courses in which a student has received an I at the University of Oklahoma cannot be transferred from another institution. The foregoing time limitation concerning removal of an incomplete does not apply to graduate research and certain graduate problems courses.

Transcripts are available at any time during the semester at no cost to the student. All requests for transcripts should be submitted in writing to Registration and Records, The University of Oklahoma, 1700 Asp Avenue, Norman, Oklahoma 73072-6400 or faxed to (405) 325-7273.

OU Europe Main Office
Phone: 011-49-(0)631-750-07415
Email: apeuadmin@ou.edu


There is a range of communications media that will be used to provide responsive interface between staff, faculty, and students.

OU email will be the primary means of communications for administrative support. There will be two forms of email communication:

Personal: Personal correspondence is addressed to a specific member of the faculty or a student. This mode is best used to address issues that involve circumstances pertaining to one individual rather than the cohort group. A list of key email addresses are provided below.

Group: Much of the information exchanged or issues discussed are of interest to the entire PhD Cohort Group. A listserv will be established for the cohort.

Each student will be provided an OU email address, which should become the preferred email address for all university and course communication. The use of personal email addresses often results in lost or incomplete communications.  Most email systems provide for "forwarding" options, which may accommodate personal preferences for email communications.

Students are welcome to contact staff and faculty using more traditional communications. Fax, telephone numbers, and mailing addresses may be obtained by contacting the Europe office at apeuadmin@ou.edu. We strongly encourage the use of email as a way of tracking and dating the receipt of materials.

There are provisions for part of some courses to be delivered using distance technology. The Canvas software system allows for asynchronous instructional delivery and discussion between students and faculty and among students. Students will be trained in the use of the appropriate software before its implementation.

We pride ourselves in providing quality educational experiences supported by excellent customer service. Our goal is to prevent problems by constantly being attentive to the needs of our students. Sometimes, however, unforeseen problems occur. Our commitment to you is to expeditiously resolve each issue. To help us provide that personal service, please immediately communicate any problems. The following list of contacts will help you determine who is the person who can resolve each specific problem. Email is generally the best mode of communication. Primary responsibilities are assigned as follows:

Dean Randall Hewes, Graduate College hewes@ou.edu

Dr. Kirby Gilliland, Academic Director kirby@ou.edu

Dr. Karen Thurston, Academic Advisor thurston@ou.edu

Mr. Rodney Clark, Advanced Programs Associate Directorrodclark@ou.edu

Mr. Chad Manos, Enrollment Coordinator chaddles@ou.edu

Dr. Peggy J. Lerner, Director OU Europe apeuadmin@ou.edu

Ms. Teri Bonilla, OU Europe PhD, Site Director apeuadmin@ou.edu