Organization & Leadership Doctoral Program

Preparing leaders who serve schools, community and social agencies, government, and non-profit institutions in a regional and international world.

Offered In

San Francisco's Main Campus

The Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) in Organization and Leadership is a unique program for working professionals who see themselves as educational leaders transforming their organizations through a learning perspective.

The Organization and Leadership (O&L) Doctoral program is comprised of 60 credits of study beyond the master's degree and culminates in the completion of a doctoral dissertation.

Program Delivery

To meet the needs of working professionals, the program follows a schedule of alternate weekend classes that convene nine times a semester (Friday evenings and all day Saturdays). See our Teaching Weekend schedule.

Course Details

The doctoral program consists of 60 credits of study including the required and elective courses as outlined below.

See O&L and General Education course descriptions in the School of Education section of the USF General Catalog online.

General Education Core | 12 credits

All School of Education Doctoral students complete four courses in Research and Foundations. The section on General Education has information on the requirements for doctoral students.

Required O&L Department Curriculum | 9 credits

  • O&L 750 - Organizational Theory: Applications and Implications (3)
  • O&L 751 - Leadership Theories (3)

Choice of one of the following:

  • O&L 754 - Schools, Community and Society (3)
  • O&L 763 - Race, Diversity and Higher Education (3)
  • O&L 766 - Ethical Organization (3)

Specializations and Professional Interests | 21 credits

Students are assisted on an individual basis by a faculty adviser in making course choices based on their areas of interest. Students have the option to change faculty advisers at any point in the program as their specific interests develop. Directed studies are opportunities to explore particular interests with a student-selected faculty member. Instructors for a particular directed study may or may not be the student's adviser.

The department offers several focus areas:

  • K-12 and Administrative Services Credential Program
  • 21st Century Leadership
  • Higher Education Leadership

In addition, each semester there are special topics offered. Some examples include:

  • Principles of Organizational Change
  • Mentoring and Networking Skills
  • Communication and Effective Leadership
  • Research Trends in Organization and Leadership
  • International Development and Leadership

Electives | 9 credits

Elective credits offer another opportunity for each student to pursue individual intellectual and professional interests. In making selections, students may choose;

  • O&L courses
  • courses from other School of Education departments
  • or approved courses from the University at large

For information on available elective courses, please see the School of Education section of the USF General Catalog.

Dissertation Development, Research and Writing | 9-12 credits

Dissertation support is provided by the student's dissertation chair. A close relationship develops between each student and his or her chair. Students are advised to consider their own intellectual and professional interests as well as the background and expertise of each faculty member in the process of making this choice. The dissertation chair may or may not have been the student's original adviser.

  • O&L 709 - Dissertation Proposal Seminar (3)
    • The essentials of developing a model proposal for the research project leading to a dissertation. Specific components of a good proposal, analysis of research proposals, and student research projects.
  • O&L 790 - Dissertation Proposal Development (1-3)
    • Directed proposal development in consultation with dissertation committee.
  • O&L 791 - Dissertation Research and Writing (1-3)
    • The design, preparation, and writing of the dissertation research study in consultation with the dissertation committee. Advanced to candidacy required.

Contact Info

School of Education

Monday–Friday 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

2130 Fulton St.
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 422-5467