2024 Best Online PhD in Organizational Management Programs

By Dr. Brianna Anderson
Edited by Briana Sukert
Updated on July 8, 2024
Edited by Briana Sukert
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A PhD in Organizational Management allows you to dive deeply into the psychology and science of organizations.

Best Online PhD in Organizational Management Programs

Effectively managing an organization requires specialized knowledge of many subjects, including economics, human behavior, philosophy, and risk management. A doctorate degree in organizational management can allow you to develop expertise in these topics and other relevant disciplines. You can also research issues in organizational management and produce original scholarship.

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If you want to develop innovative solutions for the biggest challenges facing organizations today, pursuing an online PhD in Organizational Management could be a strategic professional decision.

Universities Offering Online Doctorate in Organizational Management Degree Programs

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.

Bowling Green State University

Bowling Green State University offers a Doctorate in Organization Development and Change. The program requires the completion of 61 credit hours. Most of the program can be completed online, but students are required to attend some weekend residencies on campus in Ohio. Most students take at least 3 years to complete the program.

Bowling Green State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Cabrini University

Cabrini University offers a Doctorate in Organization Development and Change. The program requires the completion of 70 credit hours and usually takes 3 years to complete. Students attend most classes online and asynchronously, but students must do a weeklong residency during their first semester. Students must also attend monthly weekend sessions either on campus or virtually.

Cabrini University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Capella University

Capella University offers a DHS in Leadership and Organizational Management. The program requires the completion of 60 credit hours. Each course is 10 weeks long. Virtual experiences allow students to get hands-on experiences. Students must complete a keystone and a capstone course. In addition to core and specialization courses, students get to choose three electives.

Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Colorado State University

Colorado State University offers an online program for a PhD in Organizational Learning, Performance, and Change. Parts of the courses are online, but students are expected to meet for classes in Denver two Saturdays each month. Students enter with a cohort and stay with that group for the duration of the 4 year degree program. To graduate, students must complete a thesis.

Colorado State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Colorado Technical University

Colorado Technical University offers an online Doctor of Management in Organizational Development and Change. The program is offered online but does have a residency component. Students can potentially finish the 100 credit program in just 3 years. There are multiple start dates offered. To graduate, students must write a thesis, but it is built into the required credit hours.

Colorado Technical University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Liberty University

Liberty University offers a PhD in Organization and Management—Leadership. The program requires the completion of 60 credit hours, which can potentially be done in just 3 years. Students can complete their work entirely online, and all courses are asynchronous. Each course is 8 weeks long, and there are eight start dates spaced throughout the year. Courses are presented through a Christian lens.

Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Notre Dame Maryland University

Notre Dame of Maryland University offers a PhD in Higher Education Leadership for Changing Populations. The program is offered entirely online with no residency requirements. There are multiple start dates offered each year. To graduate, students must complete 48 credit hours and a dissertation. Current occupational therapists may follow the program’s Occupational Therapy track.

Notre Dame of Maryland University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Saybrook University

Saybrook University offers an online program for a PhD in Managing Organizational Systems. The program is mostly online but does require two 5 day residences each year. To graduate, students must complete 60 credit hours. The program can usually be completed in 4 to 5 years when taking three courses each semester. The curriculum consists of courses like Leading and Developing the 21st Century.

Saybrook University is accredited by the Senior Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Sullivan University

Sullivan University offers an online program for a PhD in Management. The program is entirely online with no residency requirement. Classes are offered in quarters. Students are paired with a faculty advisor from the beginning of their coursework. The program can usually be completed in 2 to 4 years. Students can choose from one of four concentrations.

Sullivan University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Walden University

Walden University offers a PhD in Management. While earning their doctorate, students may also earn a Master of Philosophy in Management. Students are assigned a Doctoral Degree Coach to help them plan and succeed through each step of their degree. The program offers six specializations or allows students to design their own.

Walden is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Online PhD in Organizational Management Programs

Woman taking Online PhD in Organizational Management

A PhD in Organizational Management degree online is an advanced degree that examines how complex organizations operate and manage resources.

Through coursework and research, you can learn methods and theories from many fields, such as environmental sciences, law, and organizational psychology. Organizational management involves coordinating, leading, and refining processes to help organizations meet their goals efficiently. This field focuses closely on the human side of organizational operations.

For example, an organizational manager’s responsibilities may include:

  • Creating policies and guidelines for departments
  • Designing and leading training programs
  • Giving constructive feedback about employee performance
  • Making ethical decisions about operations
  • Overseeing financial planning
  • Resolving team conflicts
  • Studying ways to streamline operations

When you pursue a doctorate degree in organizational management, you can study many challenging and interesting topics, such as:

  • Business ethics
  • Business law
  • Conflict management
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Industrial psychology
  • International relations
  • Macroeconomics
  • Management theories
  • Sociology
  • Statistical analysis
  • Sustainable corporate practices

Because this advanced degree covers a broad range of topics, graduates may find employment in various industries and organizations.

Many PhD holders obtain academic and research-related positions. Beyond academia, a doctorate in organizational management can help prepare you to work in organizations of all sizes. Some graduates may manage a sprawling multinational corporation or help a small startup improve its operations. You might also choose to pursue employment in government agencies or nonprofit organizations.

Some PhD holders start businesses and consulting companies. Employers that often seek people with expertise in organizational management include:

  • Colleges and universities
  • Consulting firms
  • Financial institutions
  • Insurance carriers
  • Manufacturers
  • Marketing agencies
  • Medical facilities
  • Retailers
  • Technology developers

Possible career paths for professionals with a PhD in Organizational Management include:

  • College professor
  • Compensation manager
  • Corporate consultant
  • Entrepreneur
  • Healthcare manager
  • Human resources manager
  • Operations manager
  • Organizational change manager
  • Organizational management researcher
  • Public sector administrator
  • Education administrator

A PhD in Organizational Management is a versatile degree that can give you the flexibility to pursue many career paths. Whether you want to work in academic research or obtain a more hands-on position within an organization, a doctorate can help you advance your qualifications.

Organizational Management Careers and Salaries

Organizational Management Careers and Salaries

An advanced degree in organizational management can open the door for many exciting career opportunities in academia, research, and other fields.

There are positions for organizational management professionals in a range of industries, including marketing, business, education, finance, healthcare, government, and nonprofits. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are the median salaries of some careers related to organizational management.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers $133,380
Financial Managers $131,710
Compensation and Benefits Managers $127,530
Human Resources Managers $126,230
Training and Development Managers $120,130
Medical and Health Services Managers $101,340
Administrative Services and Facilities Managers $99,290
Top Executives $98,980
Postsecondary Education Administrators $96,910
Postsecondary Teachers $79,640

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that many of these positions will experience average or faster than average growth over the next ten years.

In fact, employment for management occupations overall is expected to grow by 8%, which is faster than average. Because a doctoral program in organization management helps students gain advanced expertise and skills, a PhD may help you qualify for more lucrative and senior positions.

You may increase your job options and potential salary by choosing a graduate program that offers internship, networking, and publication opportunities.

Organizational Management PhD Curriculum & Courses

People taking Organizational Management PhD, working together

Graduate programs in organizational management offer advanced courses in many fields. Degree requirements and faculty research specializations shape each program’s curriculum, so no two schools will offer identical classes.

You may have the opportunity to take courses like these:

  • Change Theory and Practice: This course prepares you to plan and execute sustainable change within organizations and deal with obstacles that may arise during transitional periods.
  • Conflict Resolution: You’ll learn practical strategies and theoretical concepts that will help you foster collaboration and navigate conflicts within organizations.
  • Ethical Leadership: This course covers ethical challenges in organizations, logic, and reasoning to help you make moral decisions as an organizational leader.
  • Foundations of Leadership: You can hone your leadership skills and gain a deeper understanding of current challenges faced by organizational leaders.
  • Leading Effective Teams: You’ll gain a thorough understanding of team-based leadership approaches and theories, including ways to empower employees and provide feedback to teams.
  • Managing Human Resources: You’ll study theoretical approaches to strategically managing human resources, current issues in the field, and human resource ethics.
  • Organizational Communication: You can develop communication skills that will help you coordinate teams and address audiences in an organizational setting.
  • Quantitative Research Methods: This class prepares you to conduct research by providing an overview of empirical research, experimental design, and statistical methods.
  • Risk Management Process and Practice: You’ll examine risk management principles and learn quantitative and qualitative methods to analyze risks.
  • Women, Leadership, and Power: You’ll explore how contemporary challenges, gendered power dynamics, and underrepresentation impact women’s roles as organizational leaders.

Some graduate programs allow you to complete independent studies, internships, and research apprenticeships. These opportunities can bolster your resume and help you to develop additional areas of expertise in organizational management.

Admissions Requirements

Man preparing requirements for Organizational Management PhD

To enroll in a graduate program in organizational management, it’s necessary to meet certain criteria. Admissions requirements vary between schools, but you will often be required to provide some of these materials when applying:

  • GRE or GMAT scores (only some schools require them)
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Resume
  • Personal statement
  • Official school transcripts

Some PhD programs require a masters degree, while others will accept a relevant bachelors degree. Schools may also require you to have several years of work experience working in organizations. It’s a good idea to research each program’s requirements before applying.


University offering Organizational Management PhD

Colleges and universities can undergo an external review process to receive regional accreditation. This credential demonstrates that a higher education institution meets acceptable quality standards.

Enrolling in a PhD program from an accredited school has many advantages. For instance, some grants and federal student loan programs only provide financial assistance to students at accredited institutions. You will likely receive a higher quality of education at an accredited school as well.

In addition, some employers require candidates to hold an accredited degree. You can check a school’s accreditation status by visiting the US Department of Education’s website.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Organizational Management PhD Financial Aid

Pursuing a doctorate in organizational management can be a strategic career investment, and you can explore financial aid options that may reduce your upfront expenses.

Federal and state governments offer several forms of financial assistance to eligible applicants. The US Department of Education provides subsidized and unsubsidized loans for graduate students. You may also qualify for grants and scholarships. Your doctoral program may also offer financial aid to qualified students. For instance, some colleges provide tuition waivers or paid research assistantships to select students.

If you plan to work during your graduate program, your current employer might also provide professional development funding that you could use to pay for your degree. You can visit the Federal Student Aid website to explore some of your financial aid options.

What Can You Do with a PhD in Organizational Management?

Financial Manager working with the accounting staff

A PhD in Organizational Development can open the door to a variety of careers. For example, a doctorate may qualify you for a range of academic positions.

Some PhD graduates teach college classes in organizational management, research organizational psychology and science, or work in an administrative role. Others seek employment in consulting firms, corporations, government agencies, healthcare service providers, nonprofits, and other organizations.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates that many relevant managerial positions, especially in the financial and healthcare sectors, will experience faster than average job growth over the next several years.

How Long Does It Take to Get a PhD in Organizational Management Online?

Woman pursuing PhD in Organizational Management online

An online PhD in Organizational Management typically takes 3 to 5 years to complete. Many programs require you to complete 60 to 75 credit hours. You may be able to complete fewer hours if you enter with a master’s degree and have transferrable graduate credits.

Most PhD programs require you to produce an original dissertation. The time it takes you to finish the degree can vary depending on how long it takes you to conduct research and write your dissertation. If your doctoral degree doesn’t require a dissertation, you may be able to complete it in 3 years if you enroll full-time.

What’s the Difference Between a DBA vs. PhD in Organizational Management?

You can choose to pursue a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) or a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Organizational Management. Here are a few key differences between the two degrees.

DBA in Organizational Management PhD in Organizational Management
  • A professional degree focused on applying knowledge in business settings
  • Often has part-time options for people working a full-time job
  • Helps prepare students for managerial positions in organizations
  • A research degree centered on producing original scholarship
  • Usually a full-time degree
  • Primarily prepares students for an academic career

If you’re interested in conducting research and studying theory, a PhD can help you gain the appropriate tools.

What’s the Difference Between a PhD in Organizational Management vs. Organizational Leadership?

A PhD in Organizational Management and a PhD in Organizational Leadership have similar titles, but they have slightly different focuses.

PhD in Organizational Leadership PhD in Organizational Management
  • Centers on developing strategies to help organizations meet goals
  • Emphasizes decision-making and leadership skills
  • Prepares students to assume leadership positions, like chief executive officer and chief financial officer
  • Focuses on managing the organizational processes needed to achieve goals
  • Covers many skills, like financial planning and streamlining operations
  • Prepares students to take on management roles in organizations

An organizational management doctorate may allow you to gain a broader skillset than a leadership degree.

Is a PhD in Organizational Management Worth It?

Human Resources Manager discussing with the HR team

Yes, a PhD in Organizational Management is worth it for many students. All industries need skilled experts with advanced knowledge of ethics, law, and other organizational management subjects. A doctorate in this area of study can prepare you for a diverse array of careers.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects positive job outlooks for managerial positions in many areas, including healthcare, higher education, and human resources. Overall, management occupations are expected to see 8% job growth over the next ten years. Jobs in this field typically require strong interpersonal and management skills.

If you enjoy developing new ideas, helping people collaborate more effectively, and improving processes, then you may find an organizational management career challenging and rewarding.

Getting Your PhD in Organizational Management Online

Man getting his PhD in Organizational Management Degree online

Much like an online masters in organizational management degree program, an online doctoral program in organizational management can help you launch or advance a career in academia, the corporate world, a government agency, or a range of other industries.

You can develop research skills and gain knowledge of many topics, including business ethics, communication, leadership, and risk management. With a PhD, you can help develop organizational change management techniques that allow organizations to implement improvements and meet new goals. You could also produce cutting-edge research on organizational science.

If a doctorate in organizational management sounds like a good fit for you, you can begin your doctoral journey today by exploring accredited universities.

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