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Pepperdine | Graduate School of Education and Psychology

EdD in Organizational Leadership

Program Overview

Cost: $1,720 per unit
Units: 51 units + 2 units per term until completion of dissertation
Terms: Fall
Length: 3.5 years
Location(s): West Los Angeles, Irvine
Format: Evening, Online-Hybrid

Make an Impact as an Organizational Leader

The Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership program prepares students to work in a wide variety of leadership roles and to transform organizations for optimal success and growth. This program is ideal for current leaders looking to expand their career path and rising executives who would like to advance their academic and professional goals.

This cohort-based program employs the practitioner-scholar model of doctoral training in which academics, clinical training, and research are conjoined. Through rigorous coursework and experiential learning, students gain advanced knowledge in the theory and practice of leadership, learning, and policy. Required national and international trips are woven into the program, providing students with a global perspective on leadership and policy. This program culminates in a doctoral dissertation.

Program Learning Outcomes +

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Quick Facts

  • #2EDOL Program
  • 1International Trip
  • 1Policy Trip
  • $10,000+Scholarships Available

Program Benefits

  • Prestigious doctoral program at the #46-ranked university in the US committed to the highest standards of academic excellence and Christian values.*
  • Pepperdine's Graduate School of Education and Psychology generously offers $5,500,000 in scholarships every year, with the majority of students receiving some form of financial assistance.
  • Recognized as #2 doctoral program with an emphasis on leadership and organizational development by Leadership Excellence And Development Awards for 2018
  • No GRE or any other standardized tests required. We offer an equitable admission process that considers your ability and commitment to succeed rather than test scores.
  • Two program formats: Traditional and Global Access (60 percent face-to-face/40 percent online).
  • Global Access hybrid format is ideal for working professionals to take advantage of the best features of both face-to-face and online modalities. The online portion provides flexibility, while the classroom component offers an enhanced experience, a personalized/hands-on approach, relational interaction with peers, and increased quality of learning.
  • Robust online modules feature engaging synchronous and asynchronous learning experiences.
  • Face-to-Face classes are conveniently located on our West Los Angeles Graduate Campus, close to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), and just off the 405 freeway.
  • Relevant and emerging field with strong projected employment growth and attractive earning potential.
  • Nationally-recognized faculty of scholar-practitioners with exemplary academic achievements, professional expertise, educational experience, and scholarly credentials.
  • Cohort model designed to build upon leadership skills, peer support, and lifelong relationships with colleagues
  • Small class sizes and a low faculty: student ratio provides a supportive learning environment, meaningful student-faculty interactions, and long-term professional and personal relationships.
  • Extensive Pepperdine alumni network creates influential connections with more than 110,000 professionals.

* U.S. News & Report, Best Colleges Rankings, National Universities

Tuition and Scholarships

Pepperdine GSEP generously offers $5,500,000 in scholarships every year, with the majority of students receiving some form of financial assistance. An incoming GSEP student is eligible to be awarded up to $10,000 in Pepperdine scholarships.*

Total tuition $101,480
GSEP scholarships available -$10,000
Total tuition after GSEP scholarships $91,480
*GSEP scholarship amount is based on data from the 2019-2020 academic year and only includes new incoming students who received aid from Pepperdine within GSEP programs. Does not include other external forms of financial aid.


Do I need a Master's degree to apply to this program?

Yes, all applicants must have a master's degree from a regionally accredited college or university. We do not require that applicants have a master's degree in a specific field; we take a holistic approach to application review.

If you are currently pursuing your master's degree, you can still apply for the program as long as your degree is posted before the doctoral program begins in the fall.

What is the required GPA?

We ask that candidates have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA from both their master's and baccalaureate programs; however, we review all applications holistically for individuals who show potential for success in our program. If you are concerned about your GPA you are welcome to include a brief "GPA Statement of Explanation" with your application.

Do I have to take a standardized test (ex. GRE, GMAT or MAT)?

Please refer to the Application Requirements webpage.

When is the application deadline?

Please see our Application Deadline webpage for current information.

When does the program start?

This program only begins in the fall of each year. We accept applications throughout the year. There is a mandatory three-day High Performance Workshop in August for all accepted students.

Will I be able to apply my EdD/PhD towards a post-doctoral program?

Pepperdine GSEP and the University of Florida's Warrington College of Business have partnered together for the Bridge to Business Post-Doctoral Program. This 5-month program is an online hybrid with one weekend per month at Hough Graduate School of Business in Gainesville, FL.

The Bridge to Business Post-Doctoral Program prepares and qualifies graduates for teaching and research centers in AACSB accredited schools in the world and can attain Scholarly Academics (SA) status.

Pepperdine GSEP is offering a $6K scholarship for students and alumni who enroll. Please contact your enrollment officer for details and conditions.

What does rolling admission mean?

We begin reviewing applications at the start of each calendar year. Once an application is complete, it typically takes 4-5 weeks to receive an admissions decision.

If an application is received after the deadline, it will be reviewed on a space-available basis. If the program is full, the applicant will be considered for the following year.

Is there an interview process?

Yes. Qualified applicants with completed applications will be invited to participate in a phone interview with one our faculty members. A brief writing sample may also be required.

How long does the program take to complete?

The first two years of the program are dedicated to completing coursework. Following coursework, all students are required to complete their comprehensive exam and dissertation in order to graduate.

On average, students complete the program in 3.5- 4 years, but students have up to 8 years to complete their entire program.

I am an international applicant. What additional admission requirements do I need to submit?

Applicants who attended schools outside the United States are required to submit certified transcripts in English. Submitted transcripts must include a cumulative grade point average (GPA on a 4.0 scale, A = 4.0) that has been evaluated by a NACES member credential service (www.naces.org) such as the World Education Services, Inc. (www.wes.org) or the International Education Research Foundation (www.ierf.org)

If you have not completed your bachelor's degree at the time of application, submit a current transcript. Upon degree completion, you are required to provide official transcripts in a sealed envelope prior to enrollment.

Mailing Address:
Pepperdine Graduate School of Education and Psychology Admissions
6100 Center Drive 5th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90045, USA

International applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit a minimum passing score of 550 on the Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL). The computer-based TOEFL test requires a minimum passing score of 80. Information concerning the availability of this test in foreign countries can be obtained by contacting TOEFL, Educational Testing Services, Princeton, NJ 08540, USA or online at www.toefl.org. As an alternative to the TOEFL, you may submit a score of at least 6.5 on the IELTS exam. You can find out more at www.ielts.org

How much does the program cost?

Please visit our Financial Aid page for current information on program costs, financial aid, scholarships, and grants.

Our financial aid award packages can consist of Colleagues grants, federal direct loans, and departmental scholarship. To be eligible for the most amount of aid, we encourage all applicants to submit their FAFSA applications.

When are the policy trips?

Actual dates vary by year.

The national policy trip takes place in the second summer of the program in Washington DC or a similar location. The international destination varies.

Where is the program offered?

Our Traditional Programs (face-to-face) are located at our West Los Angeles Graduate Campus. Our Global Access Program is a 60% face-to-face and 40% online blended program with weekend face-to-face sessions two weekends per semester at our West Los Angeles or Irvine Graduate Campuses.

When are classes held?

Traditional Format classes in West Los Angeles meet once a week on Thursday and on occasional Friday evenings and Saturdays.

Our Global Access Program classes are online with face-to-face meetings for two weekends per term in West Los Angeles or Irvine. For more specific details, contact the Admissions and Recruitment Team at gsep-recruitment@pepperdine.edu.

What is the difference between an EdD and a PhD?

The PhD is research focused and the EdD is oriented toward educational practice and the application of theory and research. Both degrees require dissertation.

What kind of job opportunities will be available to me once I graduate from this program?

Most graduates seek executive positions with various private and nonprofit organizations, as well as post-bacccalaureate teaching positions and consulting.

How can I learn more about this doctoral program?

You are welcome to attend one of our formal in-person or online information sessions.

If you are unable to attend an information session, you are welcome to connect with the Admissions and Recruitment Team at gsep-recruitment@pepperdine.edu to schedule a personal consultation.

Contact Us

Cathy Liao

Enrollment Officer
Recruitment and Admissions
Pepperdine University
Graduate School of Education and Psychology