Community College Leadership (PhD)

Education that works. Leadership that makes a difference.

Community College LeadershipDo you want to pursue a leadership role in the community college setting? Are you dedicated to the mission and philosophy of community colleges? This online doctoral program is for you!

This online community college leadership program's curriculum was developed in conjunction with current community college leaders. You will learn about workforce development, student issues, and the community college role in higher education, and be prepared to serve in key leadership positions in community colleges around the nation.


Why Community College Professionals choose ODU


The typical program of study contains four parts including core coursework in community college leadership, a research component, electives, and the dissertation.

Internship/Experiential Learning
All students are required to complete one internship/experiential learning course. Students who do not have a minimum of three years of senior administrative experience in a community college will also be required to take a second internship/experiential learning course. It is expected that each student completing an internship will work with a senior level community college administrator or an educational leader who works with community colleges or adult learning organizations.

Summer Institute in Norfolk, Virginia
In early June, first and second-year doctoral students come to campus for the two-week "Summer Institute", a time of intensive coursework and preparation for the dissertation process. In addition to completing the class sessions for two courses, students get to know faculty members and begin developing professional relationships and life-long friendships with other students. These relationships and preparation work help to support students throughout the dissertation process.

Prior course work is assumed in statistics, student development, workforce development, and leadership theory. If this assumption is not met, then additional course work will be added to the candidate's graduate program of study.

Please see the department's web pages for more information. A Long Range Schedule (PDF) is also available to help you plan your education.

Calculating Cost

Graduate Distance Learning Tuition Classification Cost per credit hour
Virginia residents (with Virginia domicile) $437
Students living outside of Virginia $456
* In Virginia but without Virginia domicile $1089

Rates are effective Fall 2014 and subject to change. Please visit ODU's main Admission & Financial Aid web site for complete tuition details, including fees and deadlines.

For questions about domicile or “in-state” status as it applies to tuition rates, please click here.

Community College Leadership Careers

The program is designed for those currently working in community colleges who want to increase their knowledge and leadership opportunities in areas such as:

  • Curriculum
  • Finance
  • Leadership & Administration
  • Policy Development
  • Workforce Development

Admission Information

  • A completed master's degree in an appropriate discipline from an accredited university. Degrees that are equivalent to a master's degree such as L.L.B., J.D., and D.D.S. are also acceptable.
  • A minimum GPA of 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale) overall for the master's degree and in the major area of study in the master's degree.
  • Minimum of 1000 overall total score on the GRE with a minimum of 500 on both the verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE. Prospective students must score a minimum of 4.5 on the analytical writing portion of the GRE. GRE scores expire after five years; however, candidates who have completed the exam prior to five years before the application deadline may submit those scores for consideration if the scores meet the minimum expectations and they are provided from an official source such as a transcript or form provided by the Educational Testing Service. Old Dominion University reserves the right to determine what is an "official source." These scores are minimums; other portions of the total application package will be considered for admission.
  • A 1500 word statement of your academic and professional goals with an emphasis on how the Ph.D. degree in Community College Leadership will contribute to the achievement of the stated goals.
  • Three letters of reference from sources capable of commenting on the applicant's readiness for advanced graduate study. At least one of these letters must be from a senior-level administrator in a community college.
  • An interview with program faculty.

An Admissions committee composed of Educational Foundations and Leadership faculty and a Community College representative employed at the executive level will review all applications. Any representative from the home campus of an applicant will excuse himself or herself from participation in consideration of that applicant.

These details and prerequisites can be found on the department's web pages.

Learning Environment

Courses in this program will be offered in these technologies:

Online synchronous: Access course material online from any location and participate in live, regularly scheduled online class meetings.

Practicum / Internship: A practicum or internship is a required part of this program.