PhD Program Details

A PhD program for leaders of today and tomorrow

Hamline’s PhD program is uniquely designed to meet the challenges facing today’s leaders. Solving today’s problems is no longer something that can be done in isolation. Instead, leaders across the community must come together to achieve the best results. That’s why Hamline’s program intentionally prepares you to work across all sectors.

Degree requirements

The information below will give you an overview of the cadence of course and dissertation work through the program. The academic bulletin contains more detailed information about the curriculum and course descriptions.

Explore courses

Year one (three courses)

Fall: Theory and Practice of Organizational Leadership (4 credits)
Spring: Research Methods I (4 credits)
Summer: Elective course (4 credits)

Year two (three courses)

Fall: Research Methods II (4 credits)
Spring: Public Policy and Advocacy (4 credits)
Summer: Elective course (4 credits)

Year three (three courses)

Fall: Research Methods III (4 credits)
Spring: Critical Issues in Change Leadership (4 credits)
Summer: Elective course (4 credits)


Dissertation I (4 credits)
Comprehensive Exam

After Dissertation I and Comprehensive Exam

After you complete Dissertation I and your Comprehensive Exam, you can proceed at your own pace through the following:

Dissertation II (2 credits)
Dissertation III (2 credits)
Proposal Defense
Dissertation IV (2 credits)
Dissertation V (2 credits)
Final Defense

Elective course subject areas

Public administration


As the culmination of the program, PhD candidates take a comprehensive qualifying exam and write a dissertation addressing a critical issue. Students have a choice of either a single research analysis and case study or three related publishable papers.