Doctor of Philosophy in Community College Leadership

For general inquiries about the program, please contact edleadership@colled.msstate.edu.

Program Overview

The Ph.D. degree program in Community College Leadership is designed to prepare professionals for leadership positions in community colleges. The degree program is designed to prepare the next generation of community college leaders. The program consists of courses in history and philosophy of the community college, leadership and organizational theory, leading and managing a community college, and research and statistics. The program is offered through the Center for Distance Education and is fully online.

We are currently accepting applications thru March 1st, 2022 for the summer 2022 cohort.

Admission Criteria

To be eligible for admission to the program, the applicant must hold a master’s degree from an accredited institution, meet the basic requirements specified for graduate students at Mississippi State University, have at least 1 year of full-time equivalent work experience in a community college setting and current employment in higher education, and demonstrate academic proficiency based on the following indicators. A grade point average (GPA) of 3.40 on a 4.00 scale is required for all graduate-level credit hours completed. The deadline for summer admission is March 1st . Select students will be asked to come to Starkville for an on-campus interview and writing sample.

A complete admission packet includes the following:

• Application to the graduate degree program;
• Statement of purpose of 500-1000 words, inclusive of reason(s) for wanting in the program, research interests, and career goals and aspirations;
• Names and contact information for three references;
• GRE scores that are five years old or less; 
• Official transcripts from each college or university attended; and
• Current curriculum vitae


Core Courses27
CCL 8113Community College History/Philosophy 
CCL 8123Community College Finance 
CCL 8233Community College Legal Issues 
CCL 8333Community College Administration 
CCL 8283Leadership in Community College Administration 
CCL 8353Applications of Organizational Theory and Behavior in Community College Leadership 
CCL 8153Human Resources 
CCL 8343Community Development and Resources 
HED 8673Planning and Instit Research in Higher Ed 
Research Courses14
EPY 6214Educational and Psychological Statistics 
EPY 8214Advanced Educational and Psychological Statistics 
EDF 9373Educational Research Design 
EDF 9453Introduction to Qualitative Research in Education 
Dissertation20
CCL 9000Dissertation Research /Dissertation in Educational Leadership (hours and credits to be arranged; minimum of 20 hours required) 
Total Hours61