Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.
The Doctor of Education degree programs in Educational Leadership and Curriculum and Instruction are designed to accommodate the active life of practicing professionals who wish to assume leadership roles in K-12 settings. The programs are a blend of theory and practice designed to prepare school leaders who can work effectively in solving real issues of school improvement. The Doctor of Education degree requires a minimum of 85 semester hours (including a dissertation and research hours) above the master’s degree. A cohort-based program will require students to be continuously enrolled once they have been admitted. The doctoral program consists of three stages: (1) Advanced Leadership and Practicum Stage (40 hours), (2) Leadership Cohort/Cognate/Research Design Stage (33 hours), and (3) Dissertation Stage (12 hours).
Admissions, Maintenance, and Graduation Requirements
Each applicant for admission to the Doctor of Education degree program must submit to the Dean of the Graduate School (P. O. Box 4029, Clinton, MS 39508) a complete dossier consisting of the following:
- An application for admission with all information required.
- A $35.00 application fee (non-refundable; must accompany application).
- One copy of all official transcript(s) from previous collegiate work (associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and education specialist’s), and any transferable graduate credit. A minimum GPA of 3.25 is required on master’s, or specialist’s, degree work from a regionally accredited institution of higher learning.
- All applicants who have earned an education specialist degree in educational leadership and are seeking the Class AAAA Standard Educator License must provide a photocopy of their Class AAA Standard Educator License issued from the Mississippi Department of Education. All applicants who have earned a master’s degree in education and are seeking the Class AAAA license must provide a photocopy of their Class AA license. Applications will not be processed without this documentation.
- Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test scores earned within the last five years must be submitted directly from Educational Testing Services to the Graduate Office. Application packets without scores on the verbal, quantitative, and writing sections will not be processed. A verbal score beginning in the range of 146-150 or greater (equivalent to 400-450) and a quantitative score beginning in the range of 140-141 or greater (equivalent to 400-450), or a score within these ranges on either section and a score of 2.5 on the writing assessment of the GRE General Examination, is required. The verbal and quantitative scores will not be combined.
- A minimum of five (5) years of documented educational experience.
- A minimum of two (2) years of documented experience in a leadership role.
- An essay of not more than 750 words on the reasons for seeking the Doctor of Education degree and a summary of personal and professional goals.
- Three (3) letters of recommendation from professionals who can evaluate the candidate’s potential for success as an educational leader.
- Portfolio of candidate’s work as a professional educator.
Written notification will be provided to each candidate as to his/her admission status.
Doctoral Program Review Committee
The Doctoral Program Review Committee will review the applications of all candidates. The committee will review only applications that are complete and submitted within the required time frame. The committee will select candidates to be interviewed by a panel of faculty members in the Department of Teacher Education and Leadership. After a full review of the application packet and the structured interview, the committee will recommend regular admission, provisional admission, or rejection. A candidate provisionally admitted into the program must complete any designated criteria before gaining regular admission. In no case will a candidate be allowed to proceed beyond six (6) semester hours of course work without successfully completing all requirements for admission. The Dean of the Graduate School will notify the applicants in writing of their admission status. Admission to the Doctor of Education program at Mississippi College is selective. A maximum of 20 students will be admitted to the Leadership Cohort/Cognate/Research Design Stage each spring semester.
Cognate Course Work
The cognate should represent coursework that supports the candidate’s doctoral program. Twelve semester hours of coursework will compose the cognate area. One course, EDU 7601 - Comparative Philosophies of Education , is required with 9 semester hours of coursework to be selected by the candidate and his/her doctoral advisor. These courses must show unity and they must be taken at the graduate level. These courses may be a part of another graduate degree at the University.
At the completion of all required coursework, students will sit for a written comprehensive examination in their major field. Students who do not pass the comprehensive exam will be required to complete additional work determined by the doctoral committee. Students may repeat the comprehensive examination only once. Upon successfully completing the comprehensive exam, students may be admitted into the dissertation phase of the program.
The residency requirement provides the doctoral candidate the opportunity for a time of continuous study and interaction with the professional faculty at the University. The residency requirement may be satisfied by completing 3 full-time semesters with continuous enrollment once the candidate has been admitted into the doctoral cohort (Stage 2).
The dissertation is the capstone experience for the Doctor of Education degree candidate. The research topic will be selected by the candidate and his/her advisor and will be related to the interest and work of the candidate. Dissertation committee members, along with the dissertation chair, will guide the research of the candidate. Using knowledge gained in the doctoral core coursework and appropriate research methodologies, the candidate should produce a document exhibiting solutions to real-world educational problems. A total of twelve (12) semester hours of dissertation work must be completed. All coursework must be completed the semester prior to defending the dissertation. In EDU 8880 a grade of PR (In Progress) will be awarded each semester until the disseratation is complete. During the final semester when the dissertation is complete a grade of Credit (CR) or No Credit (NC) will be awarded. Students must enroll in three semester hours of EDU 8880 during the semester they expect to defend their dissertation.
Candidates will receive clearance for graduation after successfully completing the following:
- All coursework in the Doctor of Education program with a minimum GPA of 3.25.
- Written and oral comprehensive examinations.
- An approved dissertation.
- Successful defense of the dissertation.
All requirements for the Doctor of Education degree program must be completed within seven (7) years from the semester of initial enrollment. Candidates may apply for an extension of this time limit with the Dean of the Graduate School and the Dean of the School of Education. Five (5) years is the maximum age for coursework other than dissertation and research hours.
A maximum of six (6) semester hours of graduate credit completed above the master’s level at another institution may be transferred into the doctoral program. The hours will be evaluated by the Chair of the Department of Teacher Education and Leadership. Exceptions may be appealed to the Dean of the School of Education and the Dean of the Graduate School.