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Adult Education Specialization Doctor of Education

School of Education

Inspire Adult Engagement in Innovative Learning

If you’re interested in leading adults in classrooms or businesses, or developing adult leadership programs, Capella has the program for you. Our online Doctor of Education, Adult Education degree gives you the tools to create innovative learning programs in settings such as colleges, universities, corporations, nonprofits, and governmental education organizations.

We base our curriculum on current industry knowledge and standards. Coursework helps you strengthen your inquiry, analysis, communication, decision-making, and leadership skills to address critical, real-world problems.

At a Glance

  • Online
  • 9 Core Courses
  • Capstone

Classes Start January 7th

Ready to get started? We’re ready for you. Chat with an enrollment counselor or apply now to take the first step on the journey toward your future.

$50 Application Fee (waived w/promo WINTER)

What You’ll Learn

Create Effective Learning Processes

Evaluate information literacy and technology to provide the most effective teaching methods to meet adult learners’ needs.

Engage Adult Learners

Foster a climate for change and innovation that helps adults embrace and actively participate in learning.

Promote Higher Education

Lead in establishing an organizational culture that embraces adult learning for a variety of settings, from university to corporations.

Inspire Lifelong Learning

Promote critical thinking and reflective practice to engage adults in lifelong learning.

Direct Innovative Programs

Develop adult education programs that promote traditional inquiry and evidence-based decision-making.

25 Years of Online Doctoral Experience

With over 25 years of experience in online doctoral education, we understand the unique needs of doctoral students, and have designed our programs to meet those needs. We've structured our programs to help you reach your goals and obtain critical skills—with our expert faculty, support teams, and online resources to help guide you every step of the way.

EdD in Adult Education Program Features

Our program offers additional benefits you might be interested in.

Graduate Certificate

As part of your program, you can also earn two Post-Master's Certificates, including one in Adult Education Leadership.

Apply Research to Make an Impact

In lieu of a dissertation, Capella’s doctoral capstone allows you to use action research to solve a problem in your field.

Cost & Learning Format

Online education isn’t one-size-fits-all. We know you’re busy—you need a learning experience tailored to your life, not the other way around. Capella has learning and tuition formats to suit you, however you learn. 

Our original learning format offers extra structure for those who want it. We'll set the schedule, you meet the deadlines. 

  • Based on the quarter system; 1-3 courses per 10-week quarter
  • 1 semester credit = 1.5 quarter credits
  • Weekly assignments and courseroom discussions
  • Pay for what you take, price varies by courseload or term
$730 per credit, 64 total quarter credits, 0 max transfer credits

Get the Details

Speak with an enrollment counselor to get a personalized cost estimate for what you can expect to pay.

Ways to Save

At Capella, we believe your education is an investment in your future. It’s also an investment within your grasp. Your goals are achievable—there are more ways to save than you might think. 


Grants are federal education funds that never need to be paid back. 

Scholarships for New Students

Capella scholarships, available for qualifying students, aren't need-based and never have to be repaid.

Federal Work Study

This program provides part-time jobs to reduce your loan debt amounts. Talk to an enrollment counselor to learn more.

Accredited & Respected

Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Accreditation and recognitions provide the assurance we meet standards for quality of faculty, curriculum, learner services, and fiscal stability. See all of our accreditations and recognitions

EdD in Adult Education Sample Courses

Our EdD, Adult Education coursework focuses on the leadership and management proficiencies that successful educational professionals should demonstrate.

Support to Reach the Finish Line

Our doctoral curriculum is designed to give you dedicated support early in your program—so you can be confident in the steps to completing your degree.

Capstone Mentors

For the culminating project of your doctoral degree, you’ll be paired with a knowledgeable mentor to help you along the way.

Doctoral Capstone

Develop your project, write your findings, and demonstrate your use of evidence to improve outcomes or resolve a gap in the field.

Some of the courses you will take:

Course Number Course Title
EDD8330 Adult Learning Theory and Practice
EDD8332 Program Planning and Evaluation in Adult Learning Settings
EDD8334 Leading and Managing in Adult Learning Settings and Contexts
EDD8336 Current Issues and Challenges in Adult Learning and Development

Faculty & Support

You’re never going it alone at Capella. Our dedicated faculty and support teams are waiting to guide, help, and advise you through every step of your educational journey.

Enrollment Counselors

These folks are superstars. We hear it from our students (and grads). They’re here to help find a program fit and set you up for success.  


Our distinguished faculty members hold top credentials in their fields. They’re here to teach the knowledge and skills you’ll need, now.

Writing Support

These skilled communicators offer free tutoring services and multiple resources to sharpen your writing skills.

Disability Services

Need help, accommodations, or accessible technology? These advocates will make it happen. 

Adult Education Professional Paths

Here are just some of the career options you could explore with our online doctoral degree in adult education.

Related Job Titles to Explore*

  • Academic affairs vice president
  • Full-time adjunct, or part-time faculty
  • Community college president
  • Dean
  • Director of training and development
  • Curriculum director
  • Director of school improvement
  • District assessment coordinator
  • District teacher development coordinator
  • Program director

Related Employment Settings to Explore

  • Adult education program
  • Alternative school
  • Charter school
  • Community college
  • Continuing education program
  • For-profit institution
  • Governmental education agency
  • Land-based or online college or university
  • Military education
  • Nonprofit organization
  • K-12 public or private school
  • Technical college

*These are examples intended to serve as a general guide. Some positions may prefer or even require previous experience, licensure, certifications, and/or other designations along with a degree. Because many factors determine what position an individual may attain, Capella cannot guarantee that a graduate will secure any specific job title, a promotion, salary increase, or other career outcome. We encourage you to research requirements for your job target and career goals.

Other Programs to Explore

Is this program close to what you need, but maybe not a perfect fit? The programs below might be interesting. Check them out to find one that suits your academic and professional goals.

Ready for the Next Step?

Learning online doesn't mean going it alone. Help is here. From faculty, coaches, advisors, and more. Plus a supportive community of students who are as passionate about their careers as you are about yours.