Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) in Leadership Psychology

This four-year professional Leadership Psychology doctorate program has been designed with the input of national and international leaders. The full-time program is entirely online with the exception of an annual 4-day residency in both fall and spring in Boston and is delivered in a cohort model.

Why a PsyD Degree in Leadership Psychology

The world is changing more quickly than ever before. Today there is a call for leaders who can mobilize resources and make change across domains for socially constructive outcomes. Leadership is an art and science framed upon the foundation of understanding human behavior and psychology. Our program provides a diverse platform for students to understand leadership, followership, and to deploy the best research and practice approaches to address 21st century challenges in Health Care, Education, NGO's and High-Technology.  Current students are also pursuing specializations in Government, Higher Education, Business, and Superintendent Leadership.

Who Is This Program For

This program is for current and aspiring managers, consultants, and other individuals, with on average 10 years of work experience, who want to exercise leadership, support leadership change, or create followership. Qualified applicants to the doctoral program in Leadership Psychology are those whose prior graduate level training encompasses one or more of the following foundations for the study of organizational leadership:

  • A background for understanding a particular organizational context for leadership (e.g., political science, or management, or education wherein the applicant learned about organizations/institutions and about how those organizations/institutions either serve society or are served by society)
  • A background for understanding a perspective on human behavior that can be applied to the study of organizational leadership (e.g., literature, philosophy, psychology, sociology)
  • A background for understanding the methodological skills of organizational leadership research (e.g., statistics, social sciences) with an emphasis in methodology

Applicants are expected to demonstrate excellent written communication ability as well as a mastery of the foundational skills essential for the study of the Psychology of Leadership. In preparing the application essay, applicants are encouraged to consider and reflect on one or more of the following leadership attributes:

  • Advocacy – The ability to be an effective spokesperson for an organization; taking initiative in making use of both formal and informal opportunities to communicate organizational achievements as well as needs; 
  • Decisiveness – The ability to make decisions and willingness to stand by those decisions even when faced with resistance; 
  • Communication and Human Relations – Skill in communicating effectively with a broad array of personnel; demonstrated interpersonal sensitivity to the needs and interests of others; 
  • Motivation – Skill in motivating others in order to generate support for important tasks; the ability to effectively lead a group toward the completion of its work; being driven by a personal desire to succeed—both as an individual and for the unit; 
  • Organizational Ability – The ability to mobilize resources for constructive change; a methodical approach to facilitating the work of the work of others; 
  • Personal Energy – The demonstration of enthusiasm for his/her organization and for the role held in that organization; the commitment of ensuring sufficient time to tasks in order to meet demands and deadlines; 
  • Persuasion – The ability to convince others of the value of one’s positions; 
  • Problem Analysis and Judgment – The ability to realize when one has insufficient information and the inclination to seek out additional information in a purposeful manner; the practice of basing opinions and beliefs on reliable and verifiable facts, with the weight of these opinions and beliefs being generally held to demonstrate intelligence, wisdom, common sense; the ability to balance individual interests with institutional needs; 
  • Reflection – Engaging in the practice of regularly seeking feedback on performance and regularly engaging in reflective self-assessment to determine effectiveness and needs/opportunities for improvement.
What Is Included
  • 4-year- full-time and 6-year part-time doctoral program.
  • 68 credits total with accepted master degree in an allied field.
  • Must complete a 150-hour practicum and doctoral project in the last year.

A PsyD Degree in Leadership Psychology provides students with

  1. foundation in principles of leadership and leadership psychology theory,
  2. knowledge to perform as organizational leaders, and
  3. skills sufficient to both inquire into the nature of and contribute to the field of organizational leadership.

Year One: You are introduced to the theory and practice of leadership and leadership psychology.

Year Two: Focuses on research methodology training and more advanced leadership theory and practice. Experts in the fields of leadership research and qualitative methodology will demystify these topics and provide a solid grounding in leadership and leadership psychology research.

Year Three: Brings you into the field more deeply and will include an examination of your own leadership style and specialization. Experts in the field of leadership research and qualitative methodology will train students in leadership and systems assessment.

Year Four: This is your internship year (150 hours under the supervision of an expert in your area of interest) coupled with the completion of your doctoral project.

Schedule subject to change.

Where Does It Take Place

 Blended Program. Primarily online with a four-day residency in both the fall and spring in Boston is required annually and a weekend-in-residence (WIR) in the second semester is strongly recommended.

When Is It Offered

 Entry into the program is in the Fall (August).

Career Outlook

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

  • 26%* increase in career opportunities by 2018 – a rate that could mean there will not be enough trained professionals
  • The educational investment is well worth. The mean salaries ranges from $70,012 in academic settings to $117,670 in business and management.**

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, www.bls.gov/ooh/

**As reported in "2009 Income and Employment Survey Results for the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology," Charu Khanna and Gina J. Medsker, Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO)