Admission to The University of Southern Mississippi's graduate programs in educational leadership and school counseling is selective. Regular admission is contingent on having graduated from a college or university accredited by a recognized regional accrediting agency. In addition, the department's Admission Committee recommends admittance only for those applicants whose academic background, work experience, demonstrated leadership, and communication skills meet the challenging demands of graduate programs in educational leadership. In evaluating applications, the admission committees utilize separate criteria in each degree program offered.
- Certification/ licensure in education field
- Documentation of a minimum of three years of successful teaching experience
- Three letters of recommendation: one from the immediate supervisor; plus two additional letters from persons qualified to assess the applicant's readiness for graduate study
- GPA on previous graduate degree
- GRE - Verbal, Quantitative, Writing (within past 5 years) official scores
- Writing exam
- Letter of Intent
Supplementary material may be submitted at the student's discretion or may be requested by the admissions committee.
Members of underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.
Plan of Study
Students must submit their signed, official Plan of Study form to the Graduate School by the end of the second semester they are enrolled. The Plan of Study forms are available at www.usm.edu/graduateschool/planofstudy.php - click on the "Plans of Study" link.
A minimum of 12 hours of research tool(s) are required. Check with department chair for specific requirements.
Research and Scholarly Integrity Education (RSIE)
All graduate students must complete CITI training modules required by the Graduate School and their departments the first semester they are enrolled in graduate school. The RSIE policy and training information are found on the Graduate School web page –www.usm.edu/graduate-school. Contact the Integrity Assurance Program Manager at (601) 266-5997 or www.usm.edu/orix if you have any questions regarding the policy of training information.
Students must meet the residency requirements specified in this Bulletin.
Admission to Candidacy
Admission to candidacy should be submitted the semester prior to graduation and must be approved by the student's graduate committee upon
- completion of an approved program of studies;
- satisfaction of the research tools/statistics requirement;
- completion of the residency requirement;
- completion of the comprehensive examination; and
- completion of an approved dissertation prospectus.
Continuous Enrollment Requirement: Students must meet the requirements specified in the front section of this Bulletin for continuous enrollment.
Application for Graduation
Graduation is based upon
- successful defense of the completed dissertation;
- meeting the departmental and university deadlines for submitting the completed dissertation;
- a minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA;
- completion of approved coursework with no grade lower than C; and
- passing the comprehensive exam.
Students accepted into the program pursue either a building level or district level plan of study depending on their educational certification. The building level program is for students who are currently not certified/licensed as educational administrators. The district level program is for students who are certified/licensed as educational administrators. The doctoral program requires a minimum of 60 semester hours beyond the master's degree, inclusive of the dissertation and proficiency in statistics. The student's doctoral committee will approve the selection of required courses and electives and, in order to secure breadth and depth in the student's preparation program, may require more than the minimum number of hours of graduate credit.