Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Educational Leadership

Prepares students for a future in faculty and research positions surrounding K-12 education.

Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership principles discuss subjects.

About this program

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Educational Leadership prepares candidates for faculty and research positions in higher education.

  • Ph.D. candidates receive advanced skill development in leadership, research, and organizational development. 
  • Candidates may also examine leadership from the perspective of other disciplines (i.e., political science, sociology, etc.).
  • Students with a Mississippi AA or AAA administrative license will receive AAAA certification by the Mississippi State Department of Education upon successful completion of the Ph.D. Program.


How can the Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership help your career?

The Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership prepares students for advanced administrative practice or advanced support roles in the public or private sector. Graduates from this program have become principals of large schools and superintendents of school districts.

Alumni have also secured great jobs in the public sector, like

  • Faculty positions at universities
  • Research and accountability directors for school districts
  • Human resources or finance officers in school districts
  • Positions in state departments of education

Private sector opportunities include educational consulting, research and policy centers, and professional development.

Read on to learn how the Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership can open up new opportunities for your future. 

On this Page…

    Program Information

    Program Type

    Doctorate Program

    Area of Study



    4 years


    Ph.D. in Education

    Program Location


    Required Credit Hours


    Ph.D. in Educational Leadership (K-12)

    The Ph.D. in Educational Leadership (K-12) empowers graduates to become dynamic leaders and researchers poised to enact meaningful change surrounding K-12 education.

    The Ph.D. in Educational Leadership (K-12) requires the following courses for a minimum of 72 credit hours.

    To complete the Ph.D. in Educational Leadership (K-12), students must complete:

    • 15 hours of Research Component courses
    • 24 hours of Educational Leadership Component courses
    • 15 hours of approved electives
    • 18 hours of Dissertation

    Research Component Courses (15)

    • EDRS 601 Educational Statistics I
    • EDRS 605 Educational Research I
    • EDRS 701 Educational Statistics II
    • EDRS 704 Qualitative Research
    • EDRS 705 Advanced Quantitative Research Methods OR EDRS 706 Applied Qualitative Research Methods

    Educational Leadership Component Courses (24)

    • EDFD 609 Cultural Context in Education
    • EDLD 630 Organization-Environment Interaction
    • EDLD 694 Human Resource Development
    • EDLD 700 Administrative Theory
    • EDLD 721 Leadership and Management
    • EDLD 730 Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Leadership
    • EDLD 750 Organizational Improvement
    • EDLD 756 Internship (Required)

    Approved Electives (18)

    Students must complete 15 hours of electives. Nine hours of those electives must be taken outside of the School of Education and nine hours must be taken inside of the School of Education. 

    Dissertation (18)

    • EDLD 797 Dissertation- 18 semester hours after comprehensive exam

    Other Academic Requirements

    • All doctoral students must complete a minimum of 36 hours of coursework in residence at the University of Mississippi. All courses in the leadership core and EDRS 605, 701, 704, 705, and 706 must be taken in residence.
    • A written comprehensive examination encompassing the leadership core, research, and area of specialization is taken upon completion of coursework. After passing the comprehensive examination, students must enroll for at least 3 hours of dissertation credit in two of the three semesters each year and must earn at least 18 hours of dissertation. Students must complete a dissertation prospectus and must complete and orally defend the dissertation.

    For specific questions, students are encouraged to contact the Graduate Program Coordinator.

    Students applying to the Ph.D. in Educational Leadership (K-12) must meet the following requirements. Students must have:

    • Hold a completed master's degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education
    • Minimum two years full-time experience working as a certified teacher or administrator
    • Have at least 3.0 GPA on all previous graduate work applicable to the doctoral program
    • Exhibit proficient writing skills on Goals Statement
    • Evidence of leadership potential
    • Three letters of references
    • Successful interview


    To properly complete the application process for admission, students must submit all application materials before the following deadlines:

    • Fall application deadline: June 1
    • Spring application deadline: October 1
    • Summer application deadline: March 1
    Professor of Educational Leadership, Angus Mungal

    We're here to help!

    If you have any questions about the Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, don't hesitate to reach out!

    Dr. Angus Mungal

    Graduate Program Coordinator for Educational Leadership

    Next Steps

    Explore Affordability

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    Apply to the University of Mississippi

    Are you ready to take the next step toward building your legacy?