2022-2023 Academic Catalog

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Program Overview

Leadership is in demand in every type of organization and in every country throughout the world. Graduate degrees in leadership are adaptable to a variety of careers in for-profit, non-profit, publicly held and government organizations. These specialized degrees are designed for professionals who want to take on leadership roles in their profession, association or their own business. Leadership majors are at a unique advantage because the skills learned and mastered are universally appreciated and highly desired. Concordia University Chicago’s graduate programs in leadership focus on knowledge and enlightened perspectives about innovative leadership practices. The overarching curriculum focuses on knowledge management, decision-making, conflict and change management, communication, and different and unique approaches to leadership.

Concordia-Chicago offers Ed.D./Ph.D. Degrees in Leadership with the following specializations:

Academic Information

Transfer of Credit

Graduate work beyond the student's initial master’s degree, satisfactorily completed at a Concordia University System institution, may be transferred toward meeting the requirements of the doctoral program to the extent that they satisfy specific course and/or experience requirements or electives for specific doctoral specializations.

Graduate work beyond the student's initial master's degree, satisfactorily completed at other regionally accredited institution(s), may be accepted toward doctoral degree programs upon approval of the student’s GPS advisor, division chair and dean of the college.  

Graduate courses transferred must have a grade of B or higher and must have been earned no more than 8 years prior to admission to the doctoral program.  Transfer credit with a grade of P (Pass) will not be accepted.  Transfer credit may not exceed 50% of the credit required for the degree/program.

Successfully Completed Credit Hours

Graduate courses with a passing grade (A, B, C, or P) are considered to be successfully completed. Courses with a grade of D+, D, D-, F, W, I, NP or U are not considered to be successfully completed.

Time Limits

Completion of the doctorate is expected within eight years of the date of entrance into coursework. Extensions on this time limit may be requested by the student through the GPS advisor and are subject to dean consideration and approval.

Applicants for the doctoral program who desire more information regarding specific course requirements, comprehensive examinations, dissertation, etc., should consult the Doctoral Program Handbook.

Comprehensive Examination

Students must have successfully completed all coursework with a CGPA of 3.0, submit the required Intent to Take Comprehensive Examination Form and register for the examination. The comprehensive examination is a major step that leads to candidacy in the doctoral program.

Upon successful completion of the comprehensive examination the student may apply for doctoral candidacy by submitting the Application for Admission to Candidacy for final approval by the dean of the respective college. Doctoral candidacy must be achieved before the dissertation process begins.


Students must complete original dissertation research as approved by the dissertation committee. According to the Higher Learning Commission approval, Ed.D. candidates may conduct research in their place of employment or at external sites; Ph.D. dissertation research samples and participants must go beyond a candidate’s place of employment to include a wider scope of influence and investigation, grounded in a theoretical framework. Please consult the Collegial Cloud in Blackboard for specific procedures related to the dissertation. 

Upon completion of the nine required hours of dissertation coursework, candidates must maintain continuous enrollment with DISS-8000 Dissertation Supervision until program completion.

The following steps are required toward the conferral of the degree after the end of the term:

  1. Complete any revisions requested by the dissertation committee.
  2. Submit the dissertation for professional copy editing. More information on Concordia-approved copy editors is available upon request.
  3. Upload the dissertation to ProQuest for publishing.

Program Procedures for Doctoral Students

  1. Communication: All email communication from doctoral students with Concordia University Chicago faculty, program advisors, division chairs, Division staff, dissertation committee members and other University business must be sent from the student’s Concordia University Chicago email address.
  2. Program Advisor: Doctoral advising is comprehensive and engages students in thinking about and planning for all elements of the program. Each cohort program has its own program advisor. Students will work directly with the program advisor in consultation with the Division of Research and Doctoral Programs for all procedural issues related to the doctoral program. Specific issues related to academic program requirements, transfer credits, changes in the approved program plan must be directed to the appropriate Concordia University Chicago division chairperson.
  3. Satisfactory Progress: All students will be monitored for satisfactory academic progress at the following points: comprehensive examination, dissertation proposal defense and dissertation defense. Students are considered to be making satisfactory progress if the grade-point average is 3.0 or higher, all deficiencies have been removed and appropriate progress is being made toward meeting the standards. Students not making satisfactory progress will be placed on academic probation.
  4. Continuous Enrollment: Doctoral students must be registered at all times to maintain continuous enrollment in the Doctoral Program. Students who have completed all required coursework must be enrolled in DISS-8000 Dissertation Supervision until program completion.
    Any time a student needs to take a temporary hiatus from coursework of the dissertation, he or she must initiate a Stop Out request. Stop Out status indicates that no coursework is being taken. Doctoral Stop Out eligibility, guidelines, time limits and requirements are available from the student’s program advisor. Stop Outs must be approved by the college dean.
  5. Comprehensive Examination: Application for the exam occurs upon completion of coursework with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Please review the Collegial Cloud in Blackboard for specific procedures related to the comprehensive examination.
  6. Doctoral Candidacy: Doctoral candidacy occurs upon successful completion of the comprehensive examination.
  7. Dissertation: Students must complete original dissertation research as approved by the dissertation committee. Once dissertation work is begun, candidates must be continuously enrolled until program completion. After the completion of the required nine semester hours of DISS-7010 Dissertation I, DISS-7020 Dissertation II and DISS-7030 Dissertation III, candidates enroll in DISS-8000 Dissertation Supervision to maintain continuous enrollment in the program. Please consult the Collegial Cloud in Blackboard for specific procedures related to the dissertation.
  8. Graduation: An “Intent to Graduate/Complete” form must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar by the deadline for the term of the anticipated conferral of the degree.  Requirements toward the conferral of the degree include the completion of dissertation revisions requested by the committee, a dissertation professionally copy edited, and the dissertation uploaded to ProQuest five (5) weeks after the defense.