Doctor of Arts in Leadership

Franklin Pierce University has suspended the Doctor of Arts in Leadership studies program. Although current DALS students will be able to finish the program by November 2015, no new students will be admitted.

You have proven yourself as a professional. Are you ready to challenge yourself as a leader?

American StudiesThe Doctor of Arts in Leadership program at Franklin Pierce University enables students to develop insight into the theory and practice of leadership and exemplifies the University’s liberal arts mission in educating leaders of conscience. Interdisciplinary in nature, research and study in the program blends together the arts, humanities and social sciences in a liberalizing course of study that builds on the varied backgrounds and careers of admitted students.

The program is especially accommodating to mid-career professionals in fields as diverse as education, business, law enforcement, health services, the non-profit sector, government, and the arts, among others. The program helps students realize better ways of exercising leadership-agency for change within institutions and communities. Many students are attracted to this doctoral program to enhance their existing career, or as part of their preparation for a new career, typically teaching or administration in higher education settings.

Most courses are offered in a hybrid format (combination of online and in-class instruction). Classes meet four times per term on Saturdays or Sundays; other weeks coursework is conducted online. Additional courses are offered in short residencies or online. Four 12-week terms are offered annually. The program is designed to be completed in three to five years; completion time depends on the number of courses taken per term (one or two) and time spent on the dissertation. Classes meet in Manchester, Lebanon, and Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Most students live in the New England states.

Program Admission

A master’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university is required for admission, as is an interview with a faculty member. Prospective students submit an admission portfolio, which includes a personal essay, three references and transcripts from all previously attended colleges and universities. Students who hold the Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) from Plymouth State University or Fitchburg State University will have six prescribed courses transferred into the program upon matriculation. The transfer of any other post-master’s coursework from other institutions is on a case-by-case basis. Students are admitted in each term and prospective students are advised to submit complete admission portfolios a minimum of eight to ten weeks in advance of the term start date. Although prospective students are invited to visit class meetings, only fully admitted students are allowed to take courses in the program.

About the Doctor of Arts Degree

Like the Ph.D. and Ed.D., the D.A. is an academic degree of the highest level and is offered by several U.S. universities and abroad. The degree was originally developed to extend the study of the liberal arts to the doctoral level, foster interdisciplinary scholarship and prepare recipients for teaching at the college level.

The Franklin Pierce Doctor of Arts in Leadership builds upon and extends this tradition. In contrast to the Ph.D., the D.A. degree is not designed to prepare researchers, although research is important part of our program. In contrast to many Ed.D. programs, our focus is not on specific administrative functions and skills, but toward a broader understanding of leadership theory and practice.

Want to Know More?

DA Leadership Program Guide

Download the Doctor of Arts in Leadership program sheet for more information or view the College of Graduate & Professional Studies academic catalog for specific degree requirements and course information.


Franklin Pierce University
College of Graduate & Professional Studies