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 69 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 8724 Creating and Planning Doctoral Research

Research methods

EDUC 8120 Group Comparison Designs and Analyses
EDUC 8122 Qualitative Research Methods
HOL 8720 Seminar: Applied Research in Human and Organizational Learning
HOL 8722 Seminar: Advanced Issues in Human and Organizational Learning

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


24 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
  • 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
Visiting Assistant Professor
(202) 994-5760
Associate Professor
(571) 553-3787
Transformation Begins Here

Learn more about the Doctorate in Human and Organizational Learning program located on campus (202-994-3023).

In the News

GSEHD alumna Dr. Anne Lackritz (Ed.D., Human and Organizational Learning) received Honorable Mention for the AERA Division A (Administration, Organization, & Leadership) Outstanding Dissertation Award, selected as one of three awardees out of twenty-eight nominations. Dr. Maria Cseh served as her dissertation chair for "Leadership Coaching: A Multiple-Case Study of Urban Public Charter School Principals' Experiences."

GSEHD alumna Dr. Mari Campuzano (Ed.D., Human and Organizational Learning) was one of two finalists selected out of 33 nominations across the university for the Graduate Student Employee of the Year Award at the Excellence in Student Life Awards. She was nominated for the award by Dr. Julia Storberg-Walker. The nomination highlighted Dr. Campuzano's outstanding contributions during her time as a graduate student assistant at GSEHD in terms of reliability, quality of work, initiative, professionalism, and contribution to her employer.

GSEHD doctoral candidate Andrea Scott (Human and Organizational Learning) received 1st Place in the "Economics, Policy and Society" category for graduate presenters at the GW Research Days for her poster "Understanding the Experiences of Growth-Oriented Women Entrepreneurs: A Portraiture Study."

GSEHD alumnus and GW Associate Dean of Students Dr. Tim Miller (Ed.D., Human and Organizational Learning) will be leaving GW after 16 years to become the next Vice President for Student Affairs at James Madison University (He has also taught as an adjunct professor in GSEHD's Organizational Leadership and Learning program.) Dr. Miller has two degrees from JMU (bachelor's and master's). He will begin his role there on June 1, 2018.

Faculty, students, and alumni presented their research at the National Conference of the Academy of Human Resource Development. Presenters included: Dr. Maria Cseh, alumna Dr. Anne Lackritz (Human and Organizational Learning), doctoral candidate Oliver Crocco (Human and Organizational Learning), former doctoral student Wei Wang (Human and Organizational Learning), Dr. Ellen Scully-Russ, Dr. Neal Chalofsky, alumnus Dr. Ralph Soule (Human and Organizational Learning), alumna Dr. Danielle Dimitrov (Human Resource Development), doctoral student Selena Barlow (Human and Organizational Learning), alumna Dr. Emily Morrison (Human and Organizational Learning), doctoral student Leslie Kirsch (Human and Organizational Learning), doctoral student Terri Hinkley (Human and Organizational Learning), doctoral student John DeForest (Human and Organizational Learning), and doctoral student Cindy Dupree (Human and Organizational Learning).