University of Charleston

University of Charleston

Doctor of Executive Leadership

  • duration

    3 Years 

  • format

    Online (annual one-week residence)

  • location


Program Overview

This program is for those seeking to maximize their executive value to organizations, communities, and institutions. The goal of the DEL program is to educate the next generation of senior-level leaders as scholars and practitioners who can integrate theory and practice into the discipline of leadership.  This rigorous program develops the skills needed in aspiring mid- and senior-level leaders who can then integrate theory with practice and extend the knowledge to a wide variety of industries or sectors. The DEL program is designed to train individuals in the effective use of business principles and leadership skills while providing skill development and understanding of a wide range of areas.

To be eligible for admission to the DEL, you need to have completed a master’s or first professional degree in any field from a regionally accredited institution.


In addition to the application (including a nonrefundable $75 application fee) prospective DEL students must submit:

  • A discussion paper of approximately 1,500 to 2,500 words (about five to seven double-spaced pages of 12-point type) in which you reflect on your motivation for pursuing the DEL and explain how the degree will help you explore your academic and professional interests and goals. You should also address the qualities and experiences you would contribute to a doctoral leadership cohort. The paper is an important part of the admission committee’s decision-making process.
  • A résumé or curriculum vitae. Your current résumé should include your education and work history, honors and awards, publications and presentations, research experience (if any), and participation in professional and community organizations.
  • Official transcripts. Official transcripts from all colleges and universities you have attended must be in a sealed envelope and sent directly to UC Admissions. If your degree is from a college or university outside of the United States, you should first contact the DEL program coordinator to determine whether a transcript evaluation is needed. If you are not a native speaker of English, you may also be required to submit a score from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
  • Two confidential recommendations, one personal and one professional. Download the application reference form Professional references can be from supervisors, colleagues or professors.


An interview with the admissions committee, conducted in person or by telephone, is required of all applicants. Once your application materials are received, a representative from the UC School of Business and Leadership will contact you for an admission interview.

Program Highlights

  • Program is designed to be widely applicable to those who want to maximize their executive value.

  • Online format with web conferencing and five-day annual residency at UC in Charleston, WV.

  • A professional research doctorate designed to develop senior-level leaders.

Program Outcomes

  • Learn How to Lead

    You’ll be equipped to ethically lead organizations to greater effectiveness and sustainability by understanding and implementing change, utilizing resources effectively, encouraging innovative solutions to problems, making timely judgments, developing collaborations and networks and facilitating team building for maximum effectiveness.

Additional Information

Meet the Team



Meet the Team



UC Faculty Staff
Kristen Dugan, DEL

Dean School of Leadership
Associate Professor and DEL Program Director