Skip to content

Executive Leadership Ph.D.

Contact Me

As the Director of the Executive Leadership Ph.D. in Management, I’d be glad to answer any questions you have about the program. Please email me at I look forward to corresponding with you!

Kristin Scott
Professor, Management
412N Wilbur O. and Ann Powers Hall
The Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business
Clemson University

Executive Leadership Ph.D.

Program Information

Program Mission

We develop strong leaders who will use research-based strategies to inspire people and positively transform organizations and communities.

Why Clemson's Executive Leadership Ph.D.?

The Executive Leadership Ph.D. program within the Department of Management at Clemson's Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business is led by top researchers who deliver an innovative portfolio of courses to take your executive career to the next level. Our unique program takes a "deep dive" into leadership to enable you to pursue a research agenda fueled by your interests in solving real issues and inspiring meaningful change.

We take an evidence-based approach to leadership with the intent to produce thought leaders who excel at intellectual, interpersonal and strategic pursuits in an ever-changing, multicultural environment. Graduates of the program are qualified for faculty positions in academic settings where they can share their knowledge with future business leaders. Additionally, graduates may return to the industry and utilize advanced research techniques to transform organizations as well as apply innovative solutions to complex business problems.

The Executive Ph.D. Difference

The Executive Leadership Ph.D. at Clemson is different from most traditional executive doctoral programs in that we intentionally ensure our students gain exposure to and demonstrate competency in conducting high-quality research. Through qualifying exams, working one on one with faculty in advanced research practicums to produce publishable work and completing a comprehensive dissertation, students gain the necessary skills to lead rigorous research projects both within and outside of academia.

Program Structure:

Year 1: Declarative and Foundational Knowledge

Year 2: Procedural Knowledge - Putting Research into Action

Year 3: Dissertation Demonstration of Research Mastery and Application for Problem Solving


The program is offered in a hybrid format with virtual class meetings and 3-day residencies three times per semester (9 per year) and is designed to be completed in 3 years over a total of 9 semesters while attending fall, spring and summer terms.

  • Core curriculum covers organizational behavior, strategic management, entrepreneurship and a comprehensive spectrum of research methods courses that are taught by senior researchers in these fields.
  • Leadership Curriculum covers individual, team, cross-cultural and strategic leadership theory and content.
  • Students complete a year-long research practicum with the intent to publish research at the practicum's conclusion.
  • Doctoral dissertations are conducted one-on-one with a faculty research advisor.
  • Curriculum Overview and Structure
    Timeline Semester Course
    Summer Philosophy of Science Bootcamp
    Year 1 Fall Quantitative Methods 1
    Strategic Management Seminar
    Research Methods
    Spring Quantitative Methods II
      Organizational Behavior Seminar
      Organizational Theory
    Summer Qualitative Methods
        Leading Self
        Social Influence, Creativity, Innovation
    Year 2 Fall Data Analytics
        Leading Teams
      Advanced Research Practicum I
    Spring Advanced Research Topics
    Leading Start-ups
    Advanced Research Practicum II
    Summer Leading Across Cultures
    Leading Organizations
    Advanced Research Practicum III
    Comprehensive Exam (June)
    Year 3 Sign up for Teaching Workshops & Complete six out of the nine resource segments (via weblink):
    Fall Dissertation I
    Spring Dissertation II
    Summer Dissertation III
  • Residency Schedule 2022 - 2023
    Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    Semester Date Program
    Fall Aug. 25-27 Welcome/Orientation and Philosophy of Science Bootcamp
    Sept. 22-24 Residency 1
      Oct. 27-29 Residency 2
      Dec. 1-3 Residency 3
    Spring Jan. 19-21 Residency 1
      March 2-4 Residency 2
      April 20-22 Residency 3
    Summer May 18–20 Residency 1
      June 8-10 Residency 2
      July 13-15 Residency 3
  • Residency Schedule 2023 - 2024
    Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    Semester Date Program
    Fall Aug. 24-26 Welcome/Orientation and Philosophy of Science Bootcamp
    Sept. 14-16 Residency 1
      Oct. 19-21 Residency 2
      Dec. 7-9 Residency 3
    Spring Jan. 18-20 Residency 1
      Feb. 29-March 2 Residency 2
      April 18-20 Residency 3
    Summer May 16-18 Residency 1
      June 27-29 Residency 2
      July 25-27 Residency 3
  • Admissions

    Application Deadline: October 1 for Early Admission (Priority); February 1 for Regular Decision for Fall enrollment. Applications will be considered after the early admission priority deadline of October 1, provided space is available. NOTE: in the application portal, this program is listed as "Ph.D. in Business Administration," then select the concentration in Executive Leadership.


    • Extensive industry and managerial experience.
    • Keen understanding of current challenges faced by organizations and leaders.
    • Proven leadership, astute critical thinking, and excellent written and verbal communication.
    • Distinguished academic record with a master's degree or higher from an accredited university.
    • Statement of Purpose (why you are applying to this program)
    • GMAT or GRE is not required.
    • Mandatory participation in Research Workshop

    Application Checklist:

    Research Workshop: (mandatory) is a one-day event held in October for early admission candidates and February for regular decision candidates, where applicants will be introduced to organizational science research and theory and asked to complete a short research assignment.

    Apply Now
  • Cost and Assistance

    The cost, if completed in three years, is $167,000. Required books, software and materials are included in the cost of the program. Students are responsible for travel, lodging and meals except for residency lunches, breaks and occasional receptions during residencies.

    Financial aid is available in the form of student loans. For more information on this option, please contact the Office of Student Financial Aid on the University's main campus via phone at 864-656-2280 or by email.

    *These fees are subject to increase at the discretion of the University or Board of Trustees. If either mandates a change in the fee, the change typically occurs in July of each year in conjunction with state budget decisions.

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Is there a part-time version of the program available?
    No, this is a full-time, three-year, research-focused program.

    Is there a marketing, finance, or operations track?
    No, our program focuses on leadership. Courses will be focused on leading individuals, teams, organizations and cross-cultural scenarios along with a range of research methods classes to support research in these areas.

    Can I teach while I am in the program?
    Typically, no, you will not teach during the first two years of the program. If you are meeting program research and academic requirements, you may have the option to teach in your third year. In addition, there will be classes, workshops and relevant resources available to develop your teaching skills.

Contact Me

As the Director of the Executive Leadership Ph.D. in Management, I’d be glad to answer any questions you have about the program. Please email me at I look forward to corresponding with you!

Kristin Scott
Professor, Management
412N Wilbur O. and Ann Powers Hall
The Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business
Clemson University

Department of Management
Department of Management | 418 Wilbur O. and Ann Powers Hall, Clemson, S.C. 29634