Doctor of Philosophy in Community College Leadership

For general inquiries about the program, please contact Dr. Katie Oswalt at

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.

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 15th, and October 15th for Spring admission. Select students will be asked to come to Starkville for an on-campus interview and writing sample.

A complete admission packet includes the following:

  1. Application to the graduate degree program;
  2. Statement of purpose of 500-1000 words, inclusive of reason(s) for wanting in the program, research interests, and career goals and aspirations;
  3. Names and contact information for three references;
  4. Official transcripts from each college or university attended; and
  5. Current curriculum vitae

Program of Study

Core Courses 27
CCL 8113 Community College History/Philosophy  
CCL 8123 Community College Finance  
CCL 8233 Community College Legal Issues  
CCL 8333 Community College Administration  
CCL 8283 Leadership in Community College Administration  
CCL 8353 Applications of Organizational Theory and Behavior in Community College Leadership  
CCL 8153 Human Resources  
CCL 8343 Community Development and Resources  
HED 8673 Planning and Instit Research in Higher Ed  
Research Courses 14
EPY 6214 Educational and Psychological Statistics  
EPY 8214 Intermediate Educational and Psychological Statistics  
EDF 9373 Educational Research Design  
EDF 9453 Introduction to Qualitative Research in Education  
Dissertation 20
CCL 9000 Dissertation Research /Dissertation in Educational Leadership (hours and credits to be arranged; minimum of 20 hours required)  
Total Hours 61