Quick Facts

Delivery: Onsite

Credit Hours: 90

Admissions: TBA

Delivery: Cohort format to military ID cardholders in Europe

Degree Locations


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.

Required HoursArea
30From Master's Degree
45From Doctoral Curricuum
ThreeFrom Directed Reading
TwelveDissertation Hours
Total Hours 

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 three-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 insure 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.

Goals and Objectives

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.

Method of Program Delivery

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 on-site 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 course work together.

Each doctoral course is scheduled as a semester class with the on-site component for each class being delivered in an intensive format (i.e., two consecutive weekends). Pre- and post-seminar coursework 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 this website. A schedule with dates and times for courses will be provided to students annually.

At a Distance: On-site delivery is supported by the integration of several distance delivery technologies. Those media may include CD-ROM, 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.

General Examination

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.

Oral Defense of Dissertation

The oral defense will be conducted in residence on the Norman campus after completing all course work, 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