Feb 28, 2024  
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Strategic Leadership, Nonprofit & Community Leadership Concentration, Ph.D.

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Admission Criteria and Degree Requirements

All applicants must first satisfy the general application requirements of The Graduate School as described for prospective graduate students.

The School of Strategic Leadership Studies requires applicants to have a master’s degree from an accredited institution. The school welcomes applicants from any area or discipline, but applicants should have completed an introductory statistics course and an undergraduate financial accounting course. Other background course work may be required depending upon the student’s concentration.

To Apply

For information about the application process, an online application form and instructions, create an account via the Applicant Center at http://www.applyweb.com/apply/jmug/index.html. All application materials are uploaded through this website.

Required Materials

A master’s degree from an accredited institution is required for all applicants. In addition, the School of Strategic Leadership Studies requires all prospective applicants to submit evidence of the following:

  • GRE or GMAT scores.
  • official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.
  • a brief (250 words) statement of purpose that identifies the applicant’s reason for applying, intended field of concentration and long-range career aspirations.
  • three (five preferred) years of full-time equivalent work experience.
  • a current resume that details the applicant’s relevant job experience.
  • three personal evaluations (including at least one from a current or former direct supervisor).
  • two scholarly samples that demonstrate the applicant’s ability to conduct research.

The program highly recommends that applicants communicate with the school prior to submitting their application. Prospective students should contact the school to set up a phone discussion or in-person meeting to fulfill this requirement. Per conversation with the Educational & Student Support Specialist, an in-person meeting or phone conversation will be scheduled with the program director.

Application Deadlines

The application deadline is March 1 for fall admission (preferred) for the postsecondary analysis & leadership, nonprofit & community leadership, and organizational science & leadership concentrations. October 1 is the deadline for spring admission for the postsecondary concentration. Incomplete applications are not considered. Applicants are responsible for assuring all materials have been received by reviewing their status online in the Applicant Center. To check on the status of references, contact ssls@jmu.edu. All other application materials can be viewed by logging on to the Applicant Center.


James Madison University offers an innovative doctoral program in Strategic Leadership Studies with three specialty concentrations:

  • Postsecondary Analysis & Leadership
  • Nonprofit & Community Leadership
  • Organizational Science & Leadership

This program emphasizes business principles, accountability, and leadership theory and applications, which are all areas of reform that national groups have touted as important for new organizational, nonprofit and higher education leaders. Students will be instructed in the broader visionary perspectives necessary for effective leadership. The program emphasizes practical applications grounded in sophisticated research skills needed for data-based, innovative decision-making in current and future practice.

The leadership course work encompasses models, theories and processes which are tested through application to situations faced by practicing leaders. The capstone leadership course requires an externship. In addition to leadership course work, students enroll in clusters of courses centered on research methodology including: measurement; statistics and accountability; business administration; managerial finance and accounting for decision-making and control; and a specialty concentration of organizational science & leadership, postsecondary analysis & leadership, or nonprofit & community leadership. Students in all concentrations study strategic management and advanced leadership dynamics.

Nonprofit & Community Leadership

The nonprofit & community leadership concentration includes coursework in civil society and the nonprofit sector, nonprofit organizational issues, governance of nonprofit organizations and philanthropy and resource development.

Required Courses

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