Program Overview

Adult and Higher Education track in the Education Department includes five degrees and certificates - the Master of Education, Education Specialist (EdS), Doctor of Education (EdD), Doctor of Education (PhD), and the College Teaching Certificate. The A&HE graduate program prepares students to work in and/or research both formal and nonformal educational opportunities beyond traditional Pre-K-12 settings.  Students in the program are be specifically focused on (a) college teaching and college students and their development, (b) higher education leadership, administration, and organization, (c) postsecondary institutional and program evaluation, assessment, and accreditation, and (d) comparative international and diverse postsecondary (e.g., Tribal Colleges) institutional contexts. Special attention is directed at underrepresented student groups and diverse learners within these foci areas. 

All options in the Adult and Higher Education are offered as a face-to-face on campus program. Most courses will be delivered using face-to-face instructional sessions blended with an online component. 

There are three specialization options for the Master’s in Education (MEd) degree: Adult Education, Student Affairs, and Higher Education. 

The Education Specialist (EdS) degree in Adult and Higher Education is a scholarly practitioner’s degree for graduate students who have earned their Master's degree and intend to work within a postsecondary setting or other adult and community educational areas. The degree emphasizes doctoral level coursework to prepare students for specialized administrative positions where original research is not an expectation.

There are two specialization options for the Doctor of Education (EdD) degree: Higher Education Administration and Higher Education Academics. The EdD in Higher Education Administration specialization is intended for individuals who will contribute to the administrative leadership within a range of diverse postsecondary settings. The EdD Higher Education Academics specialization is intended for individuals who will teach and provide academic leadership in the area of college teaching and learning within a diverse range of postsecondary settings. 

The Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD), Adult & Higher Education degree is designed for graduate students seeking faculty or research positions in higher education or positions within research organizations that require educational research in highly specialized disciplines. Progress through the degree provides students with opportunities to develop specialized disciplinary content and research knowledge along with scholarly experiences that provides the foundational knowledge and skills required for success as faculty in higher education and in research organizations. Specifically, the PhD program prepares students to develop knowledge and conduct research related to six (6) major areas of strength among our existing faculty: (1) Leadership and Policy Analysis, (2) STEM Education, (3) the K-20 Education, (4) Online and Distance Education Delivery, (5) Pedagogy and Teacher Preparation, and (6) Education Evaluation, Assessment, Research Design and Analysis. Special emphasis in these major research areas addresses topics specific to Montana including working with rural communities and Native Americans on state and other educational issues. Graduates of this PhD program in education will be well-positioned to directly and positively affect the data driven culture related to improving the K-20 educational systems. 

The Adult & Higher Education Program also offers a Certificate in College Teaching (CTC) to develop and promote exemplary teaching among graduate students, aspiring faculty, and current faculty wanting to enhance their teaching skills. The goal of the certificate is to make individuals more competitive in the job market as instructors and faculty members at a range of colleges and universities.

Select graduate programs in Adult and Higher Education are approved Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP) and Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) programs. To learn more, see the WRGP/WICHI page