Methodology for Fortune’s ranking of online doctorate of education in organizational leadership (Ed.D.) programs

BY Meghan MalasAugust 04, 2022, 12:54 PM
Illustration by Martin Laksman

Whether it’s a company, university, nonprofit organization, or a government—effective and ethical leadership means the difference between success and failure. Today’s leaders are faced with new challenges, which means they have to develop new solutions. Continued ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, political and social issues, and fluctuations in the economy are all factors people and institutions need to navigate. Therefore, strong, forward-thinking, and dynamic leadership is a must.

A doctorate of education (Ed.D.) in organizational leadership is a degree program for those seeking to elevate their leadership skills and develop new solutions for their team, organization, and industry. Professionals come to these programs from all types of occupations to research how to better their organizations and prepare their teams for obstacles that lay ahead.

The focus of these programs can include maximizing the benefit of modern technology by way of technical training in data analytics tools, as well as learning leadership strategies and tips through coursework and collaboration with peers. In an online Ed.D. in organizational leadership program, leaders are often applying what they learn in real-time as they can attend classes and work on their dissertations—all while still working.This is why Fortune is ranking online doctorate of education (Ed.D) in organizational leadership programs. In total, we ranked eight Ed.D. in organizational leadership programs.

Our final ranking is made up of three components: Selectivity Score, Success Score, and Demand Score.

Selectivity Score (66%)

The best Ed.D. programs have a top-notch curriculum taught by world class professors. That’s not all: They should also attract some of the brightest students. The post-graduation success (or lack thereof ) of those alumni helps to shape how the outside world will view that program. It’s also why Fortune put so much weight on the strength of a school’s incoming class.

To calculate the Selectivity Score, we first looked at the average undergraduate GPA of incoming students, and then we weighted the program’s acceptance rate. Simply put: Programs that are challenging to get accepted into attracted a stronger cohort of students.

Success Score (17%)

To hold programs accountable for their success, we measured one-year retention rates.

Demand Score (17%)

If programs aren’t successful, they won’t be able to continue to attract and graduate top students year after year. What’s more, a larger student body also means a larger alumni network. That’s why we measured the total size of a program’s most recent graduating class.