Ph.D. in Global Leadership and Change

The Tiffin University Global Leadership and Change Ph.D. degree is designed with a curriculum to appreciate the challenges and tremendous opportunities within today’s cross-cultural work environment. Practitioners in leadership roles in today’s business and educational settings have frequently been ignored by the traditional delivery of Ph.D. programs and the extensive residency requirements within these programs. Tiffin University’s program is offered utilizing an online format and contains limited residency requirements. The interpersonal approach of faculty engagement allow students to work independently, but never alone.

Adult professionals are an underserved group in the area of doctoral studies. Working adults who wish to pursue a Ph.D. while continuing their careers will be served by a program that is built with them in mind. While they often work in an environment where knowledge is the new economic currency, they have often been excluded from gaining comprehensive knowledge within higher education. The Tiffin University program will invite students to pursue their Ph.D. studies while working in a management or academic capacity within the business and/or educational environment.

Degree completion

Based on variance within the completion of dissertation research, the average completion timing is estimated at 3.5 - 4.5 years. Students have up to six years to successfully defend a dissertation and may petition for a seventh. Based on demonstrated academic ability, students may request to take an additional course during any term. The online program will assist students in the balancing of personal, professional and educational needs.

Academic services

While Ph.D. students typically work independently, the Tiffin University program makes a commitment that our students never work alone. Tiffin University employs three full-time librarians, with one designated specifically as the eLibrarian, from ALA-accredited institutions who support our library resources and services. These librarians are available through email, text, chat and one-on-one appointments to support student needs. They also work to provide course supplements, research guides and weekly research webinars. Each student is assigned a faculty advisor and the graduate advising department assigns a second advisor. Annual academic progress letters are sent to each student to review their progress and develop planning for each new year. Faculty and staff are responsive and actively engaged in student success and achievement.

Admission requirements

Both the GRE and MAT testing was developed to assist in graduate level program admission consideration. A master's degree or a minimum of 30 credit hours of graduate level coursework is required. Based on the post-graduate nature of the Tiffin University Ph.D. program, no standardized testing is required. Other criteria and submission elements are evaluated for admission decisions.

Residency requirements

Residencies are two-day gatherings of active Ph.D. students on the Tiffin University campus. Students will be required to attend three residency events as a degree requirement. The third residency involves the development and submission of a paper or presentation proposal for an academic conference, under the direction of a faculty member. Students will be required to attend the conference of submission regardless of final status of the submission. Ph.D. faculty members will attend these conferences and assist in student engagement related to the conference activities.

Potential Residency Activities

  • Keynote speakers from leading authors of global leadership theory research
  • New student orientation that will address Moodle and class scheduling, a Q & A session and a discussion on potential student difficulties, etc.
  • Library database access and advance academic database research strategies
  • Program policies and process (scheduling, annual academic process, etc.)
  • Basic research terminology and design element review
  • Strategies for Ph.D. level coursework and program completion
  • Specific qualitative or quantitative research seminars for advance training
  • Conference presentation and scholarly publishing training for Ph.D. students
  • Faculty networking
  • Research interest breakout sessions with faculty and development of individual student dissertation topics
  • Upcoming opportunities for conference participation
  • Mock dissertation defense and an actual “live” dissertation defense as program develops

Graduation Requirement

  • Complete a minimum of 60 doctoral credit hours of coursework
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.25 and a grade of B or higher in all program coursework
  • Completion of all three residency requirements
  • Successful defense of dissertation

The curriculum design for the Tiffin University Ph.D. Global Leadership and Change program features important components of global leadership and specific dissertation skillset elements. The curriculum is developed within a “scaffolding” approach to course content that ensures student development of specific dissertation abilities that will be utilized by students when completing their dissertation (total 60 hours).

Research Core
RES 710: Academic Writing
RES 720: Qualitative Research Methods
RES 722: Quantitative Research Methods
RES 730: Statistical Modeling
RES 810: Research Prospectus Seminar
RES 820: Research Methods and Design (pre-dissertation)

Content Core
GLC 710: Leadership and Change Theory and Practice
GLC 715: Strategic Management Analysis
GLC 720: Organizational Theory and Design
GLC 725: Marketing Strategy: Concepts and Practice
GLC 730: Economic Analysis for Leaders
GLC 735: Ethics and Sustainability Issues
GLC 740: Change, Innovation and Entrepreneurial Motivation
GLC 745: Digital Cultures and Social Media
GLC 750: Communication Theories and Issues
GLC 755: Global Leadership Theory and Practice
GLC 810: Human Resource Development
GLC 815: Advanced Topics in Global Leadership Research
GLC 820: International Leadership Experience

Dissertation Core
DIS 895: Dissertation Proposal Development
DIS 896: Dissertation Research and Completion (as needed)

This is a sample course sequence to illustrate course offerings for this major. Consult the official Academic Bulletin for detailed registration and advising information.

Online – Offered in two terms per semester with classes starting August and January

Leadership and Change Theory and Practice (GLC 710)

The course focuses on global leadership and change theory and knowledge that is relevant to leadership practice. The course presents leadership and management theories/concepts that have emerged over the past several decades within the global environment. It provides students the opportunity to apply these theories through case analysis and to enhance personal skill development through self-assessment exercises. Included in the course are identification of current leaders and leadership as well as contemporary global perspectives on change, ethics, networking, coaching, organizational culture, diversity, learning organizations, strategic leadership and crisis leadership. Theories and applications of knowledge of cross-cultural behaviors in the organizational setting include individual, group and institution processes.

Academic Writing (RES 710)

This course will develop the skills needed to successfully write in the academic environment. The student will learn to do research and develop ideas that are supported by the existing academic literature. The purpose will be for the student to learn how to convey evidence-based meaning concerning complex ideas or concepts in the areas of global leadership and change. Emphasis will be in the format of academic writing, including use of the third-person perspective, a clear focus on the research problem under investigation and precise word choice. It will also emphasize the application of APA format to the academic writing process.

Qualitative Research Methods (RES 720)

The purpose of this course is to compare qualitative research methods to quantitative research. The student will demonstrate how qualitative research must and can be conducted with the same intellectual and methodological rigor as is quantitative research. Qualitative research content will feature solid epistemological and theoretical foundations in philosophy (phenomenology, hermeneutics) composed of various schools of thought, notably grounded theory and ethnomethodology. It leads to very concrete research methods, such as various forms of interviews, participant observation methods, case studies, focus groups and more. Actual case studies will be used in the course.

Quantitative Research Methods (RES 722)

This course requires students to become familiar with the characteristics, language and logic of qualitative research. The emphasis will be on the appropriate selection, application and interpretation of both parametric and non-parametric hypothesis tests while understanding the nature of the basic linear regression model and its statistical underpinnings. Basic assumptions will be developed. A component of this course is to understand the available techniques for quantitative data analysis by the reading and evaluation of research methods of articles within the students’ areas of interest and to recognize and assess quality and rigor in evaluating a quantitative research study. Actual case studies will be part of this course and the challenge of reliability and validity in cross-cultural research will be discussed.

Change, Innovation, and Entrepreneurial Motivation (GLC 660)

Students examine change processes, innovation, entrepreneurship, barriers to change, successful structures and strategies aimed at improving the total organization. Theoretical and practical orientation to the strategies organizations use to create and sustain industry-changing innovations are examined. Elements of the course explore global perspectives of strategic organizational change and innovation opportunities. This course explores how the multinational organizational depends critically on its technological and related skills to achieve strategic innovation and change objectives. Students become familiar with theories and models which focus on effective change. Students have the opportunity to examine and apply practical tools for individual and organizational change through case studies and class projects. Key elements of the course include globalization, individual and group behaviors, organizational culture and change, systems thinking, innovation, entrepreneurial motivations and social responsibility.

Current and Future Student Impact

Graduates are prepared to join organizations in the following groups:

  • Community Colleges
  • Consulting Firms
  • Corporations
  • Government – federal, state and local positions
  • Land Based Universities
  • Nonprofit Organization
  • Online University Programs
  • Private and Public Educational Organizations

Common position and job titles to include:

  • Adjunct or part-time faculty
  • Business consultant
  • Chief executive officer
  • Curriculum specialist
  • Dean or associate dean of a business program
  • Director
  • Entrepreneurial business owner
  • Full-time faculty
  • Private equity fund researcher
  • Program coordinator

**Not an exhaustive list


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    Louisville, Colorado

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