Montana State University

Doctoral Degree Specialization- Ed. D. "Adult Education"

Note: There is currently a Moratorium on this area of specialization and students are not being admitted to this area.

This Ed. D. specialization is for persons who work within programs of adult education in contexts other than higher education institutions. Community education, religious education, workplace training and development, adult basic education, adult literacy, health and wellness education, and many other types of adult education programs need professionals who understand their adult education core functions and their adult learners. This focus complements one's content expertise with adult education function skills and adult learner awareness. A minimum of 51-60 credit hours is required.

Students wishing to enter this specialization need to recognize that 18 credit hours must be selected from other areas of the program, other departments, or universities (a maximum of 9 credit hours can be transferred into MSU) to strengthen their program of study.


Students who wish to work with adult students in higher education institutions will be well served by the Ed. D. "Higher Education Administration" or "Higher Education Academics" (Teaching) foci. Students who do so would be well advised to take EDLD 504 Teaching and Learning in Adult Education to enhance their knowledge base. Students with a M. Ed. focused on adult education will not be eligible for admission to this program of study.

Adult Education Core Courses (6 Credit Hours)

  • EDLD 501 Foundations of Adult Education (3)
  • EDLD 504 Teaching and Learning in Adult Education (3)

Adult Education Specialized Courses (12 Credit Hours from the following)

  • EDLD 511 Program Planning and Assessment (3)
  • EDLD 513 Resource and Program Management (3)
  • EDLD 529 Post Secondary Distance Delivered Education (3)
  • EDLD 509 Issues and Trends in Higher Education (3) Or other courses that add to the area of interest
  • EDLD 537 Institutional Research and Assessment (3)

Electives (18 Credit Hours)

Graduate level courses may be selected from within the program, other departments, or universities that will strengthen the student's program of study. These courses need to be selected in consultation with the chair.

Statistics and Research Courses (10 Credit Hours beyond the masters)

  • EDCI 502 Educational Statistics II [EDCI 501, or equivalent, is a prerequisite] (3)
  • EDCI 507 Qualitative Educational Research (3)
  • EDCI 607 Quantitative Educational Research (3) [EDCI 506, EDCI 502 or equivalent are prerequisite courses]
  • EDCI 500 Dissertation Design Seminar (1)

Dissertation (14 Credit Hours)

  • EDLD 690 Doctoral Thesis (14)


Students with no professional experience working in adult education are expected to provide evidence of having gained such experience. This should be done prior to completing the dissertation or they must register for a three-credit adult education internship (EDLD 576) in addition to all of the above course requirements.

The M. Ed.

For students completing a M. Ed., admission to the Ed. D. will be contingent on the student's professional history and ambitions, academic record, and A&HE's ability to offer the student a new, academically challenging, comprehensive course of study. Students who complete the M. Ed. focus on "Adult Education" are not eligible for the Ed. D. "Adult Education" focus.

Program Plan Changes

The student may make limited changes to the above-described program plan with the chair's approval.