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Degree Offered

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Strategic Leadership Studies - See Concentrations

"As a Strategic Leadership program graduate, I have truly become an empowered agent of change that the world desperately needs. My Ph.D. from James Madison University’s School of Strategic Leadership Studies has positively transformed me, my current and future career trajectory, and my finances."

-Stephen W. Lambert, Ph.D. (2014)

20 percent get job promotions
Full or part time options available


The strategic leadership studies program emphasizes business principles, accountability, and leadership theory and applications, which are all areas of reform that national groups have touted as important for new educational, nonprofit and higher education administrators. Students will be instructed in management principles and in the broader visionary perspectives necessary for effective leadership. The program emphasizes practical applications grounded in sophisticated research skills needed for data-based, innovative decision-making in current and future practice.

The leadership course work encompasses models, theories and processes, as well as applications. The capstone leadership course requires an externship. In addition to leadership course work, students enroll in clusters of courses centered on research methodology including measurement, statistics, and accountability; business administration such as managerial finance, accounting for decision-making and control, and other management courses. Students choose a specialty concentration of nonprofit and community leadership, organizational science and leadership, or postsecondary analysis and leadership. Students in all concentrations study strategic management, advocacy and volunteerism strategies and principles, and advanced leadership dynamics.

  • Nonprofit and Community Leadership
  • Organizational Science and Leadership
  • Postsecondary Analysis and Leadership
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