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Program Overview

Program Overview

Become a valued resource to the professional community. Leadership is a highly desired and needed skill in today’s workforce, and Lipscomb University aims to equip professionals to become those leaders. 

Our Ph.D. in Leadership and Policy is designed to produce graduates who have highly developed skill sets. You will graduate with an exceptional ability to organize substantial amounts of information, research subjects broadly, independently manage and bring to successful fruition complex and in-depth projects, and an ability to adapt to changing environments. 

While this degree is housed in the College of Education (COE), it is open to a variety of fields and expertise. There are two guided elective subject areas for this degree, based on your experience. These are:

  • Education
  • Public Service (begins August 2024)

Program Outcomes

Students in Lipscomb University’s Ph.D. in Leadership and Policy will be prepared for high-level careers in leadership and service across a range of professional sectors. This interdisciplinary studies degree equips professionals who can pursue challenging high-level tasks requiring advanced knowledge, training, and rigor, and to do so with the highest levels of integrity, ethical understanding, and behavior.

Admissions Requirements

Admissions Requirements

We are eager to get you started on your journey toward a Ph.D. in Leadership and Policy. The current admission requirements are:

  • Completed online application
  • $50 application fee
  • Official transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation (including a professional recommendation)
  • Two written personal statements on the following topics:
    • Journey of faith and spiritual development
    • Purpose Statement for pursuing Ph.D. in Leadership and Policy
  • Current resume
  • Writing assessment
  • Interview with doctoral faculty committee

Transfer Credit 

A maximum of 15 hours of post-masters coursework may be transferred toward direct-equivalent courses in the Ph.D. Program. Additionally, the following guidelines for Ed.S. coursework apply:

  • Approved leadership courses that are 600 level or higher within an Ed.S. in Educational Leadership Program may be transferred toward the Leadership Concentration (up to 15 hours).
  • Only six post-masters hours may be transferred toward direct-equivalent courses in the research sequence and only if earned within the 5 years prior to enrollment in the Ph.D. program.



Once enrolled in Lipscomb’s Ph.D. in Leadership and Policy program, you will follow a set schedule to take 63 credit hours of courses. This includes the core requirements, guided elective courses in leadership and policy, as well as research-focused curriculum.

Fall 2023

  • Full Term On-campus: EG 8473 Global Perspectives in Leadership (Core, 3)
  • Term I Online: EG 7403 Ph.D. Seminar I (Core, 3)
  • Term II Online: EG 8403 Ph.D. Seminar II (Core, 3)

Spring 2024

  • Full Term On-campus: EG 7213 Qualitative Research (3)
  • Term I Online: Leadership Elective Course (3)
  • Term II Online: Policy Elective Course (3)

Summer 2024

  • Full Term On-campus: EG 8453 Global Perspectives in Policy (Core, 3)
  • Domestic or International Travel Experience
  • Term I Online: Leadership Elective Course (3)
  • Term II Online: Policy Elective Course (3)

Fall 2024

  • Full Term On-campus: EG 7433 Statistics for Social and Behavioral Science (3)
  • Term I Online: Leadership Elective Course (3)
  • Term II Online: Policy Elective Course (3)

Spring 2025

  • Full Term On-campus: EG 8213 Advanced Methods in Quantitative Research (3)
  • Term I Online: Leadership Elective Course (3)
  • Term II Online: Policy Elective Course (3)

Comprehensive Exam Stage Begins

Summer 2025

  • Full Term On-campus: EG 7173 Applied Research Seminar (3)
  • Term I Online: Leadership Elective Course (Capstone, 3)
  • Term II Online: Policy Elective Course (Capstone, 3)
Comprehensive Exam Stage must be completed prior to taking EG 8013

Fall 2025

  • EG 8013 Dissertation Research I (3)

Spring 2026

  • EG 8023 Dissertation Research II (3)

Summer 2026

  • EG 8033 Dissertation Research III (3)

Additional Semesters

EG 8041 Extended Research (as necessary)

Tuition & Aid

Tuition & Aid

Lipscomb University is committed to making our first-class education as affordable as possible. For students earning their Ph.D. in Leadership and Policy, the tuition is approximately $953* per credit hour.

With various scholarship and financial aid programs available, your out-of-pocket cost of attendance can be much lower. Learn more about your financial aid options.

*Note: The graduate tuition rates may increase annually, effective each summer semester.

Ed.D and Ph.D.

Ed.D and Ph.D.

Watch to learn about the important differences between the two options and choosing a doctoral program that meets your personal and professional goals.

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Learn more about the Ph.D. in Leadership and Policy program.

Ph.D. in Leadership and Policy

The Doctor of Philosophy in Leadership and Policy is an interdisciplinary degree designed to help prepare you for high-level careers across a range of professional sectors. Watch our video to learn more.

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Tennessee Administrative Licensure

Tennessee Administrative Licensure

Administrative Licensure in the State of Tennessee is option is for experienced educators with the required years of teaching experience and who already possess a masters or Ed.S. degree.

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Applying for Admission

Applying for Admission

Lipscomb University has a competitive review process for application to either the Ed.D. or the Ph.D. program. Watch the video to learn more about applying.

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Why Earn Your Ph.D. Degree at Lipscomb University?

Master's Degree Option

Admitted Doctoral Students may earn a Master of Science in Leadership and Policy Studies along the way toward this Ph.D. in Leadership and Policy Studies. Students who do not complete the research course sequence or dissertation may still be allowed to earn the master's if they successfully complete the required coursework.

Faculty Support

Throughout your journey toward a Ph.D., it's important to have a support network. Our expert faculty with real-life experience will guide and mentor you as you work on your dissertation and gain skills to succeed in your field.

Nashville, TN

A big city. An even bigger opportunity. We consider Nashville, Tennessee, an extension of our classroom, and as a leading city in many industries, that means you’ll gain experience and insight you won’t find anywhere else.


Years to complete

Our Faculty

  • Trace Hebert headshot

    Trace Hebert

    Associate Provost for Research and Graduate Studies

    Trace Hebert serves as Associate Provost for Research and Graduate Studies. He has been at Lipscomb University since 2010 as the Director of the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) Program and...

    Meet Trace Hebert
  • Tessa Sanders headshot

    Tessa Sanders

    Assistant Director for Ed.D. On Campus Cohorts

    Prior to joining Lipscomb, Contessa Sanders served as an educational consultant in cities such as Detroit Mich., New Orleans La., Charlotte N.C., Fort Lauderdale Fla.. In Nashville, Tenn., she served...

    Meet Tessa Sanders
  • Emily Mofield headshot

    Emily Mofield

    Assistant Professor

    Emily Mofield, Ed.D., is an Assistant Professor of Education serving as Lead Faculty for the Gifted and Advanced Academics Graduate Program and teaching in the Ed.D. Program for Learning Organizations...

    Meet Emily Mofield
  • Deborah Boyd headshot

    Deborah Boyd

    Dean Emerita, Professor, College of Education

    Deborah Myers Boyd's experience in education includes teaching and leadership spanning prekindergarten through doctoral levels. Currently dean emerita of the Lipscomb University College of Education, she served as dean of...

    Meet Deborah Boyd
  • Debi Hoggatt headshot

    Debi Hoggatt

    Assistant Professor

    Deborah Hoggatt completed her undergraduate work in Michigan. She later earned her master's degree in Human Development at Wayne State University, and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Oakland University....

    Meet Debi Hoggatt
  • Alice Nie headshot

    Alice Nie

    Assistant Professor

    Alice Nie began her career in education in New York working with English language learners. Since then, she has taught both domestically as well as internationally in countries including Saudi...

    Meet Alice Nie
  • Robin Cayce headshot

    Robin Cayce

    Assistant Professor

    Dr. Cayce is an Assistant Professor with Lipscomb University in the Learning Organizations & Strategic Change Doctoral Program within the College of Education. Additionally, she leads coursework in the Educational...

    Meet Robin Cayce
  • Lance Forman headshot

    Lance Forman

    Associate Professor

    Lance Forman served for 13 years in the Metro Nashville School District as an elementary teacher, assistant principal, and executive principal prior to joining the College of Education in 2017....

    Meet Lance Forman

Career Paths

University Faculty

Educators work in higher education as faculty or in administrative roles such as program directors, deans, vice presidents, and presidents. Their job duties vary depending upon the role they fill, but leadership and research expertise is key to success in these roles.

Nonprofit Director

Nonprofit Directors work as liaisons between the board and staff to discover and provide resources for growth, as well as pinpoint areas to incite change.

Policy Director

Policy Directors bear the responsibility of analyzing, implementing and directing policies for a variety of organizations in accordance with regulations and impact.

Public Service

Professionals in the Public Service field work to preserve the quality of life and environments through policies and regulations at various levels from local to federal government.

Organizational Leadership

Individuals in Organizational Leadership positions make decisions that impact an organization in its entirety, from the initial point of contact offices like HR to high level efficiencies.