73 Credit Hours


Innovation connects creative processes with organizational and social realities. The program develops advanced capabilities in innovation processes across a diverse array of contexts including business, government, education, social movements, science, health, and technology. Students in this degree may choose to focus areas such as intellectual property, business transformation, innovation processes, machine learning, and artificial intelligence (see the course offerings for additional options). Students will learn skills specific to leading innovative teams, and how to manage the delicate balance of hierarchical and distributive leadership structures to yield innovative outcomes.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Graduates will demonstrate a detailed knowledge of innovation theories, processes, and practices in the US and globally
  • Graduates will demonstrate a mastery of the analytical and methodological tools needed to evaluate and conduct research in the area of innovation
  • Graduates will demonstrate the ability to design and conduct original research in the area of innovation
  • Graduates will demonstrate an ability to communicate their disciplinary knowledge and research outcomes to diverse audiences including teaching students
  • Graduates will demonstrate an ability to assess ethical issues and apply ethical theories and practices in their professional context.

Admissions Requirements

  • Completed application
  • Master's degree or equivalent from an accredited institution
  • Current resume
  • Writing sample or purpose statement
  • Official transcripts from previously attended institutions
  • No GMAT or GRE required

Degree Requirements

  • The maximum time limit to complete the program is seven years or 150% of the credits, whichever the student reaches first.
  • A minimum of 37 credit hours must be completed at CU.
  • Up to 50% of the required credit hours can be transferred into the program.
  • Graduation is contingent upon the completion of 73 hours of prescribed courses with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 and no more than one C. Students must complete all coursework, pass the written comprehensive examination, and successfully write, present, and defend their dissertation.
  • Continuous enrollment (a minimum of one course per semester) is required Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters.
  • In the event of extenuating circumstances, a PhD student may request in writing one Leave of Absence of up to two semesters. A PhD student who remains inactive for longer than two semesters must reapply to the program. Special accommodations will be extended for military deployments. The LOA does not “stop the clock” on the 7-year time limit for degree completion.