Doctor of Philosophy in Community College Leadership


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We are currently accepting applications for the summer of 2021 until March 1st

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 core courses of study in leading and managing in the community college, interdisciplinary courses, and courses in research and statistics. The program is offered through the Center for Distance Education.

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



Program of Study

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 
CCL 9000Dissertation Research /Dissertation in Educational Leadership (hours and credits to be arranged; minimum of 20 hours required) 
Total Hours61

In addition to successfully completing at least four applied research courses, students are expected to demonstrate competency in research skills in one of two ways:

  1. submit a research paper to a peer reviewed journal, or
  2. present a research paper at an annual meeting of a region