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 fall and spring 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)
  • Standardized Test Scores (GRE or MAT or GMAT)
  • Application Fee

*Additional application requirements may exist for international applicants

For more information on any of these requirements, please visit our Admissions FAQ page.

(202) 994-5835
Associate Professor
(571) 553-3763
Associate Professor
(202) 994-7188
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

Dr. Maria Cseh, GSEHD alumna Dr. Anne Lackritz (Ed.D., Human & Organizational Learning), and co-author Dr. Donald Wise published an article entitled, "Leadership coaching: a multiple case study of urban charter school principals' experiences" in the February 2019 issue of Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnerships in Learning.

GSEHD alumnus Dr. Larry Hughes (Ed.D., Human and Organizational Learning) was appointed to the Texas Physician Assistant Board for a term set to expire on February 1, 2025 by Texas Governor Greg Abbott. The board issues physician assistant licenses to qualified individuals to practice in the State of Texas. Dr. Hughes is currently a zone vice president of operations at 7-Eleven, Inc.

Dr. Shaista Khilji and GSEHD alumna Dr. Kelly Harper Pumroy (Ed.D., Human and Organizational Learning) were featured in the GW Today article "Women Engineers Demonstrate Resilience, Adaptability in Career Development." The article discusses the findings from their article “We Are Strong and We Are Resilient: Career Experiences of Women Engineers” which was published in the the journal Gender Work and Organization.

Dr. Neal Chalofsky co-authored a chapter on well-being and meaningful work with GSEHD alumna Dr. Elizabeth Cavallaro (Ed.D., Human and Organizational Learning) in the Oxford University Handbook of Meaningful Work. The chapter is entitled: "To Have Lived Well: Well-Being and Meaningful Work."

GSEHD doctoral student Chilanay Safarli (Human and Organizational Learning) from Azerbaijan collaborated with GW's International Services Office (ISO) to organize the Azerbaijani Cultural Celebration at the GW Museum and Textile Museum. GSEHD doctoral student and ISO Director Jennifer Donaghue (Higher Education Administration) offered the welcome remarks. Azerbaijani Ambassador to the United States, Elin Suleymanov and Chairman of the State Committee on Work with Diaspora, Fuad Muradov gave speeches as well. The event included a presentation about the Azerbaijani culture by Chilanay and GW student Yashar Aliyev, an opportunity to taste Azerbaijani food, a dance performance by children from Azerbaijani School at Georgetown, and a chance to see the Azerbaijani carpet exhibition at the Textile Museum.

The event was covered by Azerbaijani media.