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.

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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 HOL >