Doctorate in Human and Organizational Learning / Executive Leadership Programs

On the way to becoming change agents, leaders, facilitators of adult learning, and designers of learning environments, students are provided with two alternative paths to earn a Doctor of Education in Human and Organizational Learning (HOL) at the George Washington University (GW). This degree takes a multidisciplinary approach by focusing on the development of rigorous research skills that inform effective decision-making through scholarly practice to impact leadership change. The doctoral degree prepares learning professionals dedicated to positive growth to challenge assumptions through critical reflection, practice, and theory, and foster group and self-directed learning in people, organizations, and systems. The HOL Department is a two-time recipient of the Academy of Human Resource Development's "Outstanding Program" Award. It is the first program in this multidisciplinary field in the United States, having been established in 1958.

Typically, students earning this degree are working professionals who are in mid- or senior-level positions. They include directors, managers, consultants, and self-employed business owners from leading organizations of varying size and type (e.g., for-profit, government, military, non-profit, community based). Students bring a variety of educational backgrounds, with degrees in fields such as business, education, health and medical sciences, engineering, and technology. Students are encouraged to form learning communities to provide collective support, promote action learning, and model a learning culture.

The doctoral degree is delivered in the following two formats:

Executive Leadership Program (ELP)

For students seeking an executive format for their graduate studies, the cohort-based Executive Leadership Program (ELP) delivers classes one weekend per month at GW's Virginia Science and Technology Campus in Ashburn, VA. Of note, the ELP has a vital and active alumni network of nearly 800 senior leaders around the world.

Learn more about this program.

Human and Organizational Learning Program (HOL)

For students seeking the traditional semester format for their graduate studies, part-time or full-time enrollment is available and the program delivers classes on weekday evenings on GW's main campus in Washington, DC. In addition to completing the required course work with their peers, students work with their academic advisor to create an individually designed program around their areas of interest. In the past 40 years, the program’s alumni have served in senior leadership positions around the world.

Learn more about this program.

In the News

GSEHD alumni participated in the annual DCCPA Conference at GW:

  • GSEHD alumnus Dr. Tim Miller (Ed.D., Executive Leadership Program), Vice President for Student Affairs at James Madison University, was part of the "Vice President Panel Discussion" along with Cissy Petty, GW's Dean of the Student Experience, and others.
  • GSEHD alumnus Dr. Robert Snyder (Ed.D., Higher Education Administration) presented: "Helping Our Student Leaders to be Effective in Navigating Power and Influence to Achieve Their Goals and Objectives" based on his GSEHD dissertation.
  • GSEHD alumnae Christina Castiglione (Master's, Higher Education Administration) and Ellie Hansen (Master's, Higher Education Administration) presented: "Training and On-Boarding All Levels of Staff: Who, When, How, and Why."
  • GSEHD alumnus Dr. Andrew Sonn (Ed.D., Higher Education Administration) presented: "Research & Strategic Planning for Student Veteran Strength & Success."

Innovative Applications of Knowledge Discovery and Information Resources Management, edited by Dr. Susan Swayze with GSEHD alumna Dr. Valerie Ford (Ed.D., Human and Organizational Learning), has been published by IGI Global.
The volume contains 12 chapters segmented into three sections: (1) People and Technology Issues in the Twenty-First Century, (2) Knowledge Discovery and Learning, and (3) Perspectives on Information Resources Management. The book was written by 20 authors representing six countries. GSEHD chapter contributors include Dr. Jaehwa Choi, alumna Dr. Letitia Larry (Ed.D., Executive Leadership Program), alumnus Dr. Thomas Gronow (Ed.D., Human and Organizational Learning), doctoral candidate Tiina Rodrigue (Ed.D., Executive Leadership Program), and alumna Danielle Young (master's, Assessment, Testing, and Measurement). Although the publication is intended as a reference book marketed to libraries, the scope of this work underscores the interdisciplinarity of information technology and data science.

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