Illuminating the nature of leadership

No matter where you completed your master's degree, James Madison University's Ph.D. in Strategic Leadership Studies program prepares you to conduct high-level inquiry into leadership’s sources and dynamics – especially as they relate to non-profit/community organizations, institutions of higher education and corporate/industrial entities.

Our on-campus evening program sets you up to succeed, whether your goal is as lofty as the corner office at a Fortune 500 company or as basic as research and teaching. 

You will acquire not only the vision necessary to become a more effective leader yourself but also a thorough grounding in principles of quantitative, interdisciplinary study that can lead to systemic change.

The program is now recruiting for the next wave of leadership scholars and practitioners to begin class in Fall 2025.

Email us at with any questions or to meet one-on-one with a program advisor. We're eager to hear about your leadership research passions and experiences.


Classes begin August 2025 in-person on James Madison University's campus.


66 credit hours + 100 hour externship


Application open October 1, 2024 through February 1, 2025

Headshot of Hunter Swanson

“It was challenging to be a full-time employee and a part-time student, but the program allowed me to settle in at a steady pace. Over time, my knowledge of leadership and my research skills expanded exponentially - and so have my opportunities for professional development.” - Hunter Swanson (‘22Ph.D.) Associate Director, Center for International Education, Washington & Lee University

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