EdD in Organizational Change and Leadership online

EdD in Organizational Change and Leadership online

EdD in Organizational Change and Leadership online

The USC Rossier School of Education offers a Doctor of Education (EdD) in Organizational Change and Leadership online (OCL online), designed for leaders who are looking to drive systemic change in their organizations.

These leaders include individuals looking to grow in their respective industry, as well as those who currently hold or are seeking leadership positions across a variety of industries, including colleges and universities, private firms, nonprofits, and government organizations.

Delivered through a blend of online collaboration, class sessions, coursework and real-world experiences, this EdD online program allows students to continue working full time while building the skills that will distinguish them as leaders in their organizations.

In the program, you will:

  • Explore how learning occurs in formal and informal workplace settings.
  • Examine effective strategies for facilitating organizational learning.
  • Learn to create systems that produce more effective organizations.

Learn More About the USC Rossier OCL online Program

Request more information to speak with an Admissions Counselor today.

OCL online Overview

Our EdD in Organizational Change and Leadership program is an online doctor of education focused on motivating and supervising others, assessing organizational priorities, and driving innovation through new technologies. Students will complete most coursework online and will attend an annual immersion weekend held on the USC Los Angeles campus. The OCL online program culminates with a dissertation in practice.

Two Program Paths

Students with master’s or terminal degrees

43 units of coursework
< 3 years to complete

Students without master’s degrees

60 units of coursework
< 4 years to complete

Students who hold a master’s degree or terminal degree (e.g., Ph.D. or professional doctorate) may be admitted with advanced standing and required to take only 43 units in order to complete the program. Master’s degrees and terminal degrees with a scholastic record of a 3.0 GPA or higher are considered eligible.

Learning Design and Technology (LDT) Graduate Certificate

Students enrolled in the 60-unit program of study have the option to be awarded a Learning Design and Technology graduate certificate for coursework completed in LDT program. The LDT graduate certificate equips students with the skills to significantly improve learning and performance outcomes in their professional setting. This certificate is awarded at the end of term 3 in the 60-unit program path, upon completion of the 17 units required to advance into doctoral degree courses. The University-recognized academic certificate is designed to demonstrate completed coursework in a specialization and to support career advancement on the path to an EdD degree.

We Prepare Leaders

The OCL online curriculum prepares leaders to facilitate conditions that create more effective, adaptable and competitive organizations across a number of sectors.

Upon completion of the OCL online program, you will be equipped with the experience and expertise to:

  • Use principles and practices of learning and motivation to supervise others.
  • Drive innovation through technology-enabled and blended-learning formats.
  • Organize and deploy organizational resources, especially human and financial resources, to attain organizational goals.
  • Gather and interpret qualitative and quantitative data to assess the status of organizational priorities.
  • Create a culminating dissertation in practice that demonstrates effective application of the program’s theories and concepts.
  • Assess and reflect upon your own skill as a leader and the performance of your team(s) and organization, and then modify your strategies as needed based on those data.


The OCL online curriculum is structured around three important themes:

Leadership: Mastering key skills such as creating environments of inclusion and transparency, and establishing and communicating widely shared visions and goals
Problem-Solving: Strengthening evidence-based decision-making, the effective use of data, and program evaluation and assessment
Reflection: Contemplating the mission, process and outcomes of specific learning initiatives


Advanced Standing (43 units)

Students with a regionally accredited master’s degree or terminal degree who are admitted with advanced standing are required to take 43 units in order to complete the program.

Traditional Track (60 units)

Students who do not have a master’s degree but have substantial work and leadership experience will be required to complete the full 60 units of coursework over four years.

On-Campus Immersion

While coursework for this online doctorate in education program is completed through a blend of online assignments and real-world experiences, students are required to attend annual immersion weekends held on the USC Los Angeles campus.

This immersion experience will give students the opportunity to meet their classmates and professors face to face and complete various collaborative learning exercises designed to build essential leadership skills.

Dissertation in Practice

This online EdD program culminates in a dissertation in practice in which students demonstrate effective application of the program’s theories and concepts. Students demonstrate problem-solving skills by collaborating with an organization of their choosing to assess its status against a specific goal that aligns with the organization’s mission and vision.

Students will investigate the causes that have prevented the organization from reaching this goal; create a strategic plan for achieving the goal, in consultation with other members of the organization and any relevant research literature; and propose an integrated action plan to address these causes, as well as an evaluation plan to assess the effectiveness of that action plan.

Apply Today to Join Our Next Cohort

The final deadline for the May 2024 cohort is February 26, 2024.

Where an EdD Can Take You

Many of our alumni who earn this EdD degree online can be found in leadership roles across a number of private and public industries.

Colleges and Universities

  • Higher education administrator
  • Athletic director
  • Associate professor

Private Firms and Nonprofits

  • Manager/executive director
  • Human resources director
  • CEO

Government Organizations

  • Police chief
  • Planning director
  • Finance director

Learn more about what you can do with an EdD in Organizational Change and Leadership.

Take the First Step Toward Driving Meaningful Change in Organizations Today

Learn more about earning your USC Doctor of Education online.

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