Doctor of Philosophy in Global Leadership and Change (PhD)


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Program Description

Pepperdine University GSEP does not offer full scholarships. You can read more about the available opportunities for new students here. Pepperdine University GSEP also offers graduate assistance, teaching assistance, and research assistance opportunities. GSEP does not provide tuition reimbursements.

Introducing our new Ph.D. program: Doctor of Philosophy in Global Leadership and Change

The Doctor of Philosophy in Global Leadership and Change program prepares students to become visionary leaders, as well as agents of change in creating new directions in strategy and policy. This program was specifically designed for individuals who are focused on research. Graduates of the program are likely to hold positions in NGOs, think tanks, higher education, healthcare, military leadership, federal and state government, and other organizations.

Program Overview

Our Ph.D. program focuses on leadership theory within local and global organizations, organizational behavior, qualitative research and analysis, and transforming organizations in the global community. Students will establish new methods of analysis, resulting in creating new knowledge via original research.

Program Benefits:

  • Designed for the working professional, with classes that are 40 percent online and 60 percent face-to-face
  • Provides an environment for faculty mentorship and close peer interaction, since this highly selective program is capped at 18 students
  • Taught by faculty who have renowned academic credentials and strong professional expertise
  • Access to prominent global experts
  • Developed specifically to create and shape new, innovative directions in research
  • Conveniently located at our West Los Angeles Graduate Campus, which is close to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and just off the 405 freeway

Key Facts

  • Program Length / Units + Dissertation Units: 4 years average / 66 units + (2 units per term until completion of dissertation)
  • Unit Costs: The Ph.D. in Global Leadership and Change program includes courses charged $1,550 per unit at the EdD level and $1,840 per unit at the Ph.D. level.
  • Start Term: Fall
  • Campus Location: West Los Angeles (Please note that your campus of choice cannot be guaranteed. Campus offerings are contingent upon availability and subject to change.)

Admission Deadlines:

  • We are no longer accepting applications for our Ph.D. 2018 Cohort. Please contact Earl Hardy, Enrollment Services Officer at 310-568-5772 to discuss alternative routes to enroll in our 2019 Cohort.
  • The program kicks off with a Community Building Workshop and Orientation at the West Los Angeles Graduate Campus in August. Classes begin in September.
  • Once an application is complete, it is reviewed for admission. We do not wait for the deadline to review your application. For applications which are received after the deadline, students will be accepted on a space-available basis. This program is capped at 18 students.

Admission Requirements:

In an effort to process your application quickly, we only accept electronic application materials.

To apply for this program, please submit:

  • Your application for admission with a nonrefundable processing fee.
  • Official student transcripts from the accredited colleges or universities that awarded your baccalaureate and master's degrees via one of the following approved companies:
    • National Student Clearinghouse
    • Parchment
    • Please request all transcripts to be sent to
  • A verified record of academic written and presented research.
  • Three recommendations using our Recommendation Form. The recommendations should attest to your academic and professional character, and your leadership experience and potential. Your recommenders should email the completed forms to
  • A Statement of Purpose (1,000-2,000 words) addressing such topics as your view of leadership, ability to create followers, propensity to take risks, evidence of a purposeful research agenda, perseverance and demonstrated achievements, future career, and life objectives, and reasons for pursuing a Ph.D. program, emailed to
  • Scores from the Graduate Record Examination (General Test: verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing sections). The GRE must have been taken within the last five years.
  • Your professional CV or resume emailed to
  • A personal interview with a program director or designee for qualified applicants who apply to the program.
  • (Optional) If your baccalaureate or master's degree GPA is lower than 3.0 or you're seeking an exception to our GRE or TOEFL test requirements, please fill out our Exception Request Form and email it to

A personal interview with the program director is required for all qualified applicants.

A writing sample and/or critical thinking assessment may be assigned to a candidate before potential admission at the discretion of the program director

Current GSEP EdD students, and EdD alumni who have graduated in the last seven years may transfer up to 39 EdD units to the Ph.D. in Global Leadership and Change program. The final decision of transfer is recommended in conjunction with a committee appointed by the program director which includes committee members and the director of student success, or designee. This committee will make the final recommendation to the Admission Office based upon analysis of official transcripts, syllabi, and other relevant material submitted by the candidate.

Last updated Nov 2019

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About the School

The Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology is part of a pioneering tradition. We value academic excellence, innovative leadership and work that serves the greater good.

The Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology is part of a pioneering tradition. We value academic excellence, innovative leadership and work that serves the greater good. Read less
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