Doctorate in Human and Organizational Learning

The Human and Organizational Learning program offered in Washington, DC is designed to provide professionals with a foundation in relevant theories, concepts, and practices towards facilitating change initiatives and in becoming more effective leaders and decision-makers. Our students come from a variety of sectors including business, health care, military, education, federal agencies, hospitality, social services, IT and manufacturing. Approximately 25% of our students are international students. The multicultural and diverse composition of the student population provides both local and global networking opportunities.

The Human & Organizational Learning curriculum focuses on organizational issues such as strategic change, transformational leadership, individual and group learning processes, organizational development, and global and international issues. In addition to completing the required coursework, students work with an advisor to create an individually designed program around their research interests.

    Convenient Schedule: All classes are offered on weeknights - once per week, in 15-week sessions during the Summer and Fall semesters, allowing for students to continue working full-time while attending graduate school. Weekday evening classes allow for students to apply what they learn in their workplace the next day.

    Customized Plan of Study: The format is tailored to meet individual needs, allowing students to develop a personal plan of study. Students choose elective courses to create an individually designed program around their area of interest with options in organizational development and change; individual and collective learning processes; or, global HOL. Electives may include some courses within other departments at GW or within the Washington Metropolitan Area Consortium of Universities.


A minimum of 60 credits for students as well as and successful completion of a comprehensive examination.

Main Campus Program

Core Courses

HOL 8700 Foundations of Human and Organizational Learning
HOL 8701 Theory, Research, and Practice in Adult Learning and Development
HOL 8703 Human Systems Change
HOL 8704 Leadership Theory, Research, and Practice
HOL 8720 Seminar: Applied Research in Human and Organizational Learning
HOL 8722 Seminar: Advanced Issues in Human and Organizational Learning
HOL 8724 Creating and Planning Doctoral Research

Research methods

EDUC 8120 Group Comparison Designs and Analyses
EDUC 8122 Qualitative Research Methods

Three credits from the following:

EDUC 8100 Experimental Courses
EDUC 8130 Survey Research Methods
EDUC 8131 Case Study Research Methods
EDUC 8140 Ethnographic Research Methods
EDUC 8142 Phenomenological Research Methods
EDUC 8144 Discourse Analysis
EDUC 8170 Educational Measurement
EDUC 8171 Predictive Designs and Analyses
EDUC 8172 Multivariate Analysis
EDUC 8173 Structural Equation Modeling
EDUC 8174 Hierarchical Linear Modeling
EDUC 8175 Item Response Theory
EDUC 8177 Assessment Engineering


15 credits in elective courses selected in consultation with advisor


HOL 8998 Predissertation Seminar
HOL 8999 Dissertation Research (minimum 12 credits needed to complete requirement)

Successful completion of comprehensive exam required
Approved dissertation proposal required

Career Outlook


Students graduate from the program prepared to lead in multiple settings. Our recent graduates include:

  • Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Capitol One
  • Chief of Civilian Talent Development , US Army
  • VP Global Learning & Leadership, Marriott
  • Chief Learning Officer, Deloitte
  • Director, Leadership Coaching, Center of Excellence
  • Instructional Design Leader, IBM
  • Leadership Instructor, US Air Force

Find challenges solved with innovation and well executed strategy, and you will find a GSEHD HOL leader.


Program Entry: Fall, Summer
Prerequisites: Master's Degree
Campus: Foggy Bottom, Washington, DC Campus

Application Requirements

  • Online Application
  • Resume
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Interview
  • 2 Letters of Recommendation (academic and/or professional)
  • Transcripts (unofficial)
  • Application Fee

*Additional application requirements may exist for international applicants
For more information on any of these requirements, please visit our Admissions FAQ page.

We encourage you to submit your application as early as possible. The first deadline for the Fall 2022 semester is November 1, 2021. Please contact the admissions team with any questions.

Associate Professor
(571) 553-3763
Associate Professor
(202) 994-8649
Associate Professor
(571) 553-3786
Associate Professor
(571) 553-3787
Transformation Begins Here

Learn more about the Doctorate in Human and Organizational Learning program located on campus (202-994-0491).

In the News

GSEHD alumnus Dr. Russell Robinson (Ed.D., Human and Organizational Learning) was named on the 2020 list of "Top 100 Global Employee Engagement and Experience Influencers" by Inspiring Workplaces. Dr. Robinson is the founder of Amplified Research.

Dr. Shaista E. Khilji delivered a keynote at PWiC's (Pakistani Women in Computing) GetHired 2020 virtual event. Her talk was entitled, "Who do I want to be? Learning to lead humanistically."

Dr. Maria Cseh, together with colleagues from the University of Pécs, Hungary, organized an international research conference on the “The Future of Work and STEM Education in a Global Context” and also presented in the conference. The title of her presentation was, “The role of Human and Organizational Learning in STEM Education.” The conference was supported by the European Union, co-financed by the European Social Fund in the framework of the Human Resources Development Operational Programme [HU], 2014-2020

GSEHD alumna Dr. Stephanie Erwin (Ed.D., Human and Organizational Learning) published an article entitled, "Haze gray but never again underway: The veteran borderlands" in the journal New Horizons in Adult Education & Human Resource Development.

Dr. Andrea Casey served as an invited scholar and facilitator for the Cognition in the Rough workshop at the annual conference of the Academy of Management held August 7-11. Originally scheduled for Vancouver, this year’s conference was virtual with more than 1,500 sessions and 7,224 attendees. Cognition in the Rough is an annual session focused on helping scholars develop research papers. In addition, Dr.

For more information, please request information or contact our admission office at or 202-994-9283.