Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership with a Concentration in Higher Education Leadership

For general inquiries about the program, please contact Dr. Danielle Molina at

Program Overview

The Higher Education Leadership (HED) concentration is designed for experienced professionals in higher education environments interested in leading and managing various aspects of colleges and universities, state higher education agencies, foundations, and related associations.

Admissions Timeline
  • Priority Deadline for Fall 2023 Applications WITH a Graduate Assistantship - February 1, 2023
  • SAHE Graduate Assistantship Insight Days (On-Site, Face-to-Face) - TBA
  • SAHE Graduate Assistantship Insight Days (Virtual) -  TBA
  • Regular Deadline for Fall 2023 Applications - March 1, 2023

Applications received between March 1 and August 2, 2023 may still be considered for Fall 2023 based on availability of Graduate Assistantships still vacant after the initial interviews (if applicable) and/or space remaining in the cohort at the time of application.

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, and demonstrate academic proficiency based on the following indicators.

  1. Grade point average (GPA) of 3.40 on a 4.00 scale on previous graduate degree(s);
  2. Three letters of recommendation;
  3. Statement of purpose;
  4. Evidence of three years of Higher Education work experience;
  5. Resume; and
  6. Interview

For additional information concerning application procedures, Graduate Assistantships, and our annual visit days for prospective graduate students (GA Insight Days), please visit SA Insight Days.

SA Insight Days


17Required Courses
Select a minimum of 5 of the following:
 EPY 6214 Ed & Psych Statistics   
 EPY 8214 Adv Ed & Psych Stat   
 EPY 9213 Adv Anal in Ed Research   
 EPY 9263 Applied Research Seminar   
 EDF 9373 Ed Research Design   
 EDF 9463 Qual Data Collection   
 EDF 9473 Qual Data Anal & Pres in Ed   
12Major Required Courses (Educational Leadership)
 EDA/HED 8223 Seminar in Admin   
 EDA/HED 9293 Educational Leadership   
 EDA/HED 8353 Applications of Theory   
 EDA/HED 8383 Ethical Decision Making   
12Major Required Courses (Higher Education)
 HED 8123 Org & Gov in HE   
 HED 8683 Policy in Higher Education   
 HED 8623 Diversity, Globalization, & the College Student   
 HED 8633 History of Amer HE   
12Major Elective Courses
Select four of the following:
 HED 8673 Planning & Inst Research   
 HED 8133 Curriculum & Instruction   
 HED 8523 Student Development Theory   
 HED 8643 Adv Legal Issues in Higher Education   
 HED 8653 Higher Education Finance   
3 to 6Additional Course(s)
 HED 8613 Academic Scholarship in HE   
 CCL 8113 History/Phil of CCL   
20Dissertation Research
 HED 9000 Dissertation Research   
 HED 9000 Dissertation Research   
 HED 9000 Dissertation Research   
 HED 9000 Dissertation Research