Doctor of Philosophy


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Adult Education 

The Ph.D. program in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Adult Education prepares individuals concerned with the research, teaching and learning of adults. Our courses and experiences provide employed individuals with continued professional development and new skills for those intending to enter adult education as a field of study. 

The typical student pursuing an advanced degree in adult education is a full-time professional who is attending school on a part-time basis. Students tend to have three major areas of variance: 1) setting, 2) subject area, and 3) role. These areas change for each person, creating an extreme assortment of students to be served by one degree program.


The setting is typically the institution or agency in which the student is employed or seeking employment. Students tend to come from a variety of settings — including both educational and non-educational areas.

Subject Area

Each student's area of specialty is subject centered. Most of the time, this may be related to his/her undergraduate degree, but it is not limited to that area. Students within adult education tend to emphasize a particular subject area based on their specific job requirements.


The student's role relates to the particular job responsibilities in which he/she performs at their place of employment. Students are generally in one of three major roles: 1) a learning facilitator; 2) a program developer; or 3) an administrator.

The Ph.D. is a research degree acquired on the basis of evident proficiency and distinct achievement in a specific field. Students must demonstrate the ability to do original, independent investigations with the ability to produce new knowledge.