Leadership Psychology Doctorate (PsyD)

Request Information The Leadership PsyD Program is a highly interactive and outcome oriented program where students attain their 98-credit doctorate degree within four years for full-time and six years for part-time work. As the world is changing more quickly than ever before, our program focuses on in-depth skill building and problem-based learning experiences so that graduates will be equipped to effectively develop and steward organizational systems, teams and executive-level individuals within the context of uncertainty and change.  The program is built on multidisciplinary concepts drawn from the psychology of human behavior, organizational development, business, sociology and education. Students engage deeply in learning how to address organizational and leadership challenges through assessment, diagnostic models, interventions, and evaluations. Our program provides a diverse platform for students to understand leadership, followership, organizations as systems, and to deploy the best and most contemporary research and practice approaches to address 21st century challenges. Examining complex issues through the lens of Leadership psychology gives our students a unique understanding about how leaders mobilize resources for change. It examines how those who support leaders, who are leaders themselves, or who are followers can create the change, in large and small systems, needed in today's world.

This four-year applied Leadership Psychology doctoral program  is taught both online and with three in-person residencies in the Fall, Spring and Summer in Boston and is delivered in a cohort model.

Letter from the Program Director

Kathryn StanleyThe Leadership Psychology doctoral program began in the Fall of 2012. We will graduate our first cohort this Spring of 2016.  I am proud to be leading this program as well as teaching and designing courses for it since it's inception. The content delivered over the the entire program is a tightly woven mix of competencies. These competencies combined allow our graduates to become leaders of positive change, effective interventionists at the individual, team and systems level, and effective leaders.

The applied focus ensures that we are not teaching theory for theory sake.  A comment I hear frequently from our students working in the field is, "I learned this last night and was able to apply it today at work."  This is the point - to teach what matters and is relevant so that our graduates go away with not only a full tool kit but mental models and ways of thinking and being that allow them to apply their tools to a diverse set of organizational circumstances.  Last, know that by joining our Leadership Psychology PsyD program you are joining a vibrant global community of leaders and organizational change practitioners. We actively maintain relationships with our alumni who have formed the Alumni Alliance in 2010.

Kathryn Stanley, PhD
Director,  Leadership PsyD Program
Chair, Organizational & Leadership Psychology Department

Mission and Vision

The mission of the PsyD Program in Leadership Psychology is to prepare individuals to function as doctorate level professionals to function as change agents and leaders for business and organizations. 

The vision for the Leadership PsyD program is to build an international community of students and alumni by offering the program to regional cohorts, e.g., West Africa or Europe. This global community will include leaders who have been assisted by our students doing practicum work as well as be a resource for ongoing professional development and work for our alumni.

Scope of Practice

Organizations must be staffed with leaders and individual contributors who have a new set of skills. Students will graduate equipped to:

  • Provide effective leadership for desired change
  • Understand systemic and strategic dynamics affecting the organization
  • Be knowledgeable in cutting-edge methods of leading change
  • Consider the needs and perspectives of relevant and diverse global stakeholders
  • Be self-aware and able to utilize insights into “self” to sensitively and adroitly interact with multicultural competence 
  • Act with awareness of the social, cultural, and ethical dimensions of their work as organizational development practitioners and change agents to make change for the better
  • Make change happen for the greater social good in a wide array of roles, communities, industries and geographies.

Who This Program is For

This program is for current and aspiring managers, consultants, and other individuals, with an average of 10 years of work experience, who want to exercise leadership, create lasting and positive change, or create followership.  The program is designed to accommodate working professionals who work in varying contexts from all over the world.  Ninety percent of our students work full-time and represent five different continents. We also have many students who are also raising families while they go through the program. The Leadership PsyD Program is geared toward working professionals looking to build and/or enhance careers in:

  • Organizational Development 
  • Leadership Training and Development
  • Human Resources
  • Talent Management
  • Executive Coaching
  • Change Management
  • Management Consulting
  • Leaders in Mental and Community Health 

Career Oppportunities

Leadership psychologists work within organizations and as external practitioners in any number of roles and titles including: Leadership Development Specialist (manager, director, etc.), Executive Vice President, Senior Talent Manager, Organizational Development Practitioner, Learning and Development Manager, Culture Change Leader, Talent Acquisition Specialist, Executive Coach, Human Resources Business Partner, Training and Development Specialist, Facilitator, Team Development Specialist, among others. They apply psychological principles of human behavior to intervene and assist leaders in human systems to improve productivity and the quality of work life. Many serve as leaders and consultants in human resources / talent management capacities who help organizations with strategic staffing, training, employee development, and employee morale and retention plans. Others work as systems consultants in the areas of leadership development, team building, strategic planning, quality management, and facilitating organizational change.

Career Outlook

Studies show that corporate and entire industries are quickly embracing psychology as instrumental to improving performance and efficiency of managers.

  • 19% increase in career opportunities by 2024.
  • The educational investment is well worth it with a national average annual salary of 104,570.**


Podcast Series: Leadership

Podcast 1 Kathryn Stanley