Open Search
Open Navigation
female teacher of PhD in Leadership standing in front of the class

PhD in Leadership

Two schools, working together for one powerful program. 

Offered at these campuses

Need additional help or information?

Request Info

Doctorate in Leadership Overview

If you are searching for a respected and accredited graduate school, you've come to the right place. In this unique doctoral program, you will reap the benefits of the collaboration of two esteemed colleges: the California School of Management and Leadership (CSML) and the California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP). Throughout the leadership program in California, you'll explore a comprehensive lineup of theoretical, strategic, and organizational studies from the perspective of two distinctly different disciplines.

How would you describe your strategic leadership style? Are you the leader you want to be? In this graduate program, you'll explore different leadership types, such as authentic, transactional, transformational, cross-cultural, and others, and will define and refine your own leadership skill and style. You'll study the cultural, organizational, and behavioral aspects of global leadership, from both a theoretical and a practical perspective. You'll also learn in your PhD leadership studies how truly great leaders attract followers, and do their part in coaching those followers in success. By the time you have graduated from the PhD program and earned your graduate degree, you will have further developed your unique leadership skill and philosophy and be prepared to apply it to make your mark in the world as an organizational leader or educational leader.

If you're ready to learn more about the theories and application of great leadership, this in-person doctoral program provides a challenging curriculum taught by top faculty members. During your PhD leadership studies, you'll study alongside and network with colleagues and peers who will help you hone your leadership skills and prepare you to make an impact and shape tomorrow's leaders by your example. As a student of the PhD program you'll learn essential leadership skills that will help you reach your personal and professional goals.


Which Business Program Is Right For Me?

Take the Quiz


Program Highlights

Hands-on Experience

Practical Training Throughout the program. You will participate in gaining hands-on experience throughout the program. As you learn about your specific area of leadership role and interest, you can apply that knowledge to real-world projects within your own organization, working on consulting projects, or solving real issues for partner organizations.

Cohort Model

A collaborative environment that provides you with ample opportunities to network and develop meaningful relationships, gain valuable insights, sharpen your abilities for a leadership role alongside individuals who share similar interests and goals. 

Increased Impact

By networking within your cohort, you'll share invaluable and unique experience and insights that will advance your expertise in strategic leadership. This education and experience, where you explore various educational leadership courses, visions, skills, models and methods, puts you in the position to make a powerful impact in organizational development and societal change.

Accelerated Timeline

An accelerated timeline allows for the higher leadership program to be completed in three to four years. You'll begin with two years of leadership studies and coursework, then move on to your dissertation research, which typically takes one to two years to complete. Since classes are in the evenings and on weekends, you can work while you learn.

Practical Training (CPT)

Practical training is required and intended to develop professional and applied practice related skills and expertise in the student’s program through a variety of work and learning experiences which could involve supervised practical training and/or applied client projects. Learn More


The graduate studies program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs or ACBSP, a well-respected accrediting body recognized across the country for its leading authority in the field of business education. 


Faculty members are some of the most highly qualified and experienced individuals in their respective fields. They bring a unique combination of global leadership and practical knowledge to the classroom, preparing doctoral students to be adept in organization development relevant in various industries and sectors. 


A Message from the Program Director

Cory Scott, Assistant Professor and Program Director, California School of Management and Leadership



Learn About Admissions Requirements 




Get to Know Our Diverse Faculty 



Doctoral Degree Information

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Students in the PhD ground program are required to participate in curricular practical training as part of their experiential learning throughout the program. Practical training is intended to develop professional and applied practice related skills and expertise in the student’s program through a variety of work and learning experiences which could involve supervised practical training and/or applied client projects. This is required throughout the academic program from start on Day 1 to program completion. Domestic students can contact the CSML Professional Development (CPD) Coordinator directly for guidance. International students must apply for authorization for Curricular Practical Training to the Designated School Official (DSO).


CSML CPT Application Process for International Students

  1. Obtain a job offer letter from your employer. The offer letter needs the following: 
    1. To be on company letterhead  
    2. Start and end date. (For example: CPT start date is 10/17/22, End date is 08/20/2023) 
    3. Include specific duties to perform, office location, direct supervisor name and contact number. 
    4. State that it is a part-time position 
    5. Include the following statement: “employer agrees to cooperate with the school in achieving the curricular purposes of the employment/training” 
  2. Complete the Application for CPT and the Advisor Verification Form for CPT. These forms are located on the student portal: 
  3. Email your offer letter and the 2 forms to your Program Director/Faculty Advisor at Alliant. 
  4. Once they have signed the forms, please follow up and email  The DSO is the one who will give you the authorization to start working. 
  5. Also, if it is your first time in the USA, you will need to go to the Social Security Administration office to obtain a social security number, this process can take 2 or more weeks. Your employer will need your social security number for you to work. So please start the process as soon as possible. For the address of local Social Security Administration offices, see: 


California School of Management and Leadership (CSML) has received accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) for its leadership PhD programs, doctorate in business administration (DBA), MBA, and MS in data analytics programs.

ACBSP accreditation certifies that the teaching and learning processes offered within CSML programs meet the rigorous educational standards established by said accrediting body, which is a leading specialized accreditation body for business education across the country. ACBSP’s mission is to promote continuous improvement and recognize teaching excellence through its recognition of business education programs throughout the world. Learn more here.


Links and Downloads

School Performance Fact Sheet  


Frequently Asked Questions


What should I expect the dissertation process to be like?

The dissertation process for the doctorate in leadership program will occupy the final year-and-a-half of your curriculum. Starting in your 11th term, you will first begin your dissertation work while completing your leadership internship. Then from your 12th term, through your final 18th term, you will focus solely on the research, development, and completion of your dissertation before its ultimate presentation before an academic review board. The doctoral dissertation process accounts for 12 of the 60 credits in this program, and is done at the rate of a single dissertation class per term, starting at Term 11.


What scholarship and financial aid options are available to me?

Private and public scholarships can help you meet the cost of your education, and Alliant offers institutional scholarships for many of our students. Learn more about these scholarship opportunities here. Additional financial aid is available for those who qualify in the form of loans, grants, federal work study, and military aid. Learn more in our Financial Options Guide.


When does the PhD in Leadership degree program start?

The leadership program is offered as an eight-week term program and is open for enrollment during each of those respective enrollment periods. You can find a copy of our eight-week term academic calendar here.


How long does it take to complete the degree program?

The doctorate degree is a 60-credit program and typically takes three years to complete, across 18 terms. 

If you're ready to earn your higher education in leadership theory, our university will teach you the skills you need for your future career. Whether you choose our in-person or online program, we can guarantee that you'll be studying applicable core courses through a challenging curriculum that’s taught by our top faculty members. Some leadership studies covered in our core courses touch on organizational leadership, education leadership, cross cultural and international management, and ethics in organizations. At Alliant we provide our students with the skills, knowledge, and confidence they'll need when taking on leadership roles in the future.

Alliant student testimonial

Studying at Alliant connects you to a supportive research/scholar community that values diversity and inclusion.

Leila Naderi
PhD in Leadership Alumna

Why Alliant

At Alliant, our mission is to prepare students for professional careers of service and leadership and to promote the discovery and application of knowledge to improve lives. We offer an education that is accredited, focused on practical knowledge and skills, connected with diverse faculty and alumni, and aimed at the student experience.

Learn More



CSML is a business management school that trains you to have a competitive edge in the technology and quantitative fields. CSML offers management and leadership degrees where you can learn to guide and mentor the next generation of professionals and make your mark as an innovator in the modern business world.


student holding a coffee

Start on your path to impact today