PoliciesAll doctoral students are subject to university policies governing graduate students. These policies are contained in the current ULV Catalog.

Non-discrimination Policy

The University of La Verne is a coeducational university organized as a corporation under the laws of the State of California. Its purpose is to provide education and training to prepare its students to meet the responsibilities and duties of life effectively. No discrimination because of race, religious creed, color, gender, national origin, ancestry, physical handicap, medical condition, marital status, sexual orientation, or age shall apply to the enrollment of any student, any member of the faculty or staff, or the election of any officer or trustee of the university.


Our Covenant affirms we are a learning community that comes together to co-create relevant knowledge. Our commitment to co-create our learning requires that we all be present and participate fully in all activities. For successful practicums, learning group experiences, webinars, and seminars, everyone’s ideas, feedback, and support are needed. In addition to your attendance at these meetings, it is an expectation that you respect the group and the leader by being on time.

In fairness to colleagues and to maximize learning, please do not ask to be excused from all or part of a practicum, learning group meeting, research seminar, or webinar. Your attendance is essential and required. If you have an emergency (such as death in the immediate family or personal illness) and must miss part of a required meeting, it is your responsibility to meet with your arena faculty and contract for making up the time and work. Faculty may require that you attend outside sessions related to the content missed which may require additional expense. Please note that students may be dropped from the semester at the faculty’s discretion if a pattern develops of missing all or part of required meetings.

Group Work and Webinars

Students work in small teams to discuss readings, engage in simulations, and experience theory through strategically designed group activities. Group sessions and webinars are laboratories in which students can explore ideas, challenge assumptions, and apply leadership theory and concepts. It is an expectation that students respectfully listen to the voices of others and share their own opinions and values. Group work and webinars are part of the requirement to achieve program competencies. Therefore, it is essential that you attend and participate in good faith in all group sessions. Students who develop a pattern of inappropriate participation or non-attendance during learning groups, other group work, and webinars may be dropped from the program at the faculty’s discretion.

Written Work

Good scholarly writing is a foundational skill for leaders and for successfully completing ULV’s Doctoral Program. Scholarly writing reflects clear, logical, and concise thinking. It is expected that all assigned papers be approached with thoughtful consideration and be thorough in their completion. Students are expected to present solid content, good flow and transition between paragraphs, coherent ideas, and full answers to the questions asked. Students should convey their message in a professional manner using appropriate grammar, syntax, punctuation, and spelling. In other words, all papers must be thoroughly proofed, error free, and submitted on the required due date.

The ULV Doctoral Program adheres to APA 6th edition guidelines; therefore, unless otherwise specified by faculty, all papers should be submitted in correct APA format. When an assignment is submitted in paper format, bind the papers so they lay flat. Please do not use plastic covers or binders. When assignments are submitted electronically, they must be in Microsoft Word as specified in the technology requirements. All assignments must include a cover page. (See a sample cover page online for the appropriate format.)

Assignments that have weaknesses and do not meet the assessment criteria receive an NC (No Credit). Assignments receiving an NC must be rewritten and reassessed before credit is given. If the rewrite does not meet the assessment criteria, faculty may give a student a no credit grade for the course and drop him/her from the course, or they may grant a second rewrite, typically granted only in the first year of the program. During the second and third year of the program, it is expected that students at all times submit high levels of scholarly writing. Under certain circumstances, faculty may grant an additional rewrite, but in no case more than one. When submitting revised papers, be sure to attach the original document along with its previously graded assessment sheet.

It is expected that students show academic progress and growth throughout the program. If a student develops a pattern of late or incomplete work or continues to submit assignments that do not meet the assessment criteria, upon review by the faculty, he/she may be disqualified from the program.


There are two components to the program—the Organizational Leadership component (36 units) and the Research component (18 units). A student may elect either Credit/No Credit or a Letter grade (A, B, F) for the 36 units of the Organizational Leadership component. All courses in the Research component are Credit/No Credit.

Research Component (Credit/No Credit)

The first four research courses (684, 686, 687, and 688) include a Research Seminar as part of the course requirement. Students must complete all work and the associated Research Seminar to receive credit.

Third year students enroll in Dissertation Research 698 A-B for 6 units. Students continue to receive an IP in these courses until they complete their dissertation or reach the eight-year time limit. To stay active in the program after completing course work in the third year, students must enroll in continuous registration each semester until they complete the degree.

Organizational Leadership Component (Credit/ No Credit or Letter Grade)

The ULV Doctoral Program consists of three arenas:

  • Personal/Interpersonal arena – year 1
  • Team arena – year 2
  • Organizational arena – year 3

To receive credit for the courses associated with an arena, students must complete all (100%) of the competencies for the arena. By University policy, grades are issued by semester; therefore, if students do not complete all the competencies for an arena within the semester, an INC is given in all courses associated with that arena. Students have one semester to complete the competencies and clear the INC. By University policy, an INC automatically turns to NCR (no credit) after one semester. Students failing to meet this policy will be reviewed by the faculty and may be disqualified from the program.

In order to continue to the next semester, students must complete 80% of the competencies in a semester. Students will be given 2 weeks after the last Practicum of the semester (January for fall semester and July for spring semester) to meet the 80% requirement. Otherwise, he/she may not continue until the following year when all competencies are complete.

Additional information for students who select the letter grade option

To complete the doctorate, students must maintain a B (3.0) average or better (equivalent to Credit). Therefore, completing the competencies gives students a Credit or a B grade for the courses associated with the arenas. Students desiring an A grade for a course must exceed the normal expectations for a credit grade. Work that receives an A grade must reflect learning and application that go beyond the expected coursework. A spirit of imagination and scholarship should be evident, rather than more of the assigned projects or fieldwork activities. Following are the specific requirements and process for the A grade:

Requirements and Process for an A Grade

  1. The A project extends and deepens the learning in the coursework. For example; additional research, a higher level application of concepts, a case study, independent investigation of a topic, or a field study in a particular area of interest are possible approaches.
  2. The A project is clearly related to the arena of study for the semester.
  3. The expected time commitment for the A grade is approximately 40 hours per semester in addition to the time required for a credit/no credit grade.
  4. Within the first 4 weeks of each semester, students propose their project for the A grade to their Arena Faculty.
  5. Within a week after acceptance, students complete and sign a contract that delineates the purpose of the project, the learning outcomes, description of the project, form of documentation, and due date. The Arena Faculty also signs the contract. Attached is the “Agreement for A Grade” form.
  6. The project will be documented in the form appropriate for the learning, such as a paper, pamphlet, presentation, workshop, etc.
  7. The project and documentation must be completed by the last day of the semester in which it was contracted and must meet the assessment criteria in the contract.

Process: Contract with your Arena Faculty on what you intend to do beyond the required competencies to earn an A grade. This contracting must be completed by the end of the first Practicum for the semester in which you intend to exceed the normal expectations. The contract must be completed by the end of the semester in which it was negotiated. You will need to turn in your selection of CR/NCR or letter grade option. Note: Students receive only “Credit/No Credit” assessments for all research courses.

Continuous Enrollment

Students who have completed all program components at the conclusion of three years of full-time enrollment are required to enroll in a noncredit continuation course each semester. The tuition for this course is a set fee, included in the university fee schedule. This requirement is applied each semester until the granting of the degree or withdrawal from the program.

Advanced Study Certificate

All students who successfully meet the program competency standards and maintain a grade point average of at least 3.0 for all required leadership themes and research courses are eligible to apply for the Certificate of Advanced Study in Organizational Leadership. Dissertation research courses are not required. The certificate is offered in lieu of the doctorate degree.