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Postsecondary and Adult Education Specialization Doctor of Philosophy in Education

School of Education

Be a Leader in Higher Education

Expand your qualifications to teach at the college level. Our online PhD in Education, Postsecondary, and Adult Education degree prepares you to lead in a variety of post-secondary education settings, including adult education, distance education, continuing higher education, health care education, community development, and military education. You'll study major theories of adult learning, the needs of the multicultural adult learner, the development of effective learning communities and environments, critical analysis, program and curricular evaluation, and best practices. 

At a Glance

  • Online & In Person
  • 6 Core Courses
  • 6 Specialization Courses
  • 5 Elective Courses
  • 3 Residencies
  • Comprehensive Exam
  • Dissertation

Reduce Your Tuition by $10,000

Enroll in a qualified program, apply for a $10K scholarship, and meet the eligibility requirements.

Apply Now »

Classes Start April 8th

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 SPRING)

What You’ll Learn

Educate Adult Learners

Create processes and teaching methods that engage and educate adults.

Create New Knowledge

Perform relevant, high-quality, scholarly research to empirically investigate ways to solve a real-world problem.

Become a Leader

Provide vision and direction in adult-serving post-secondary education and community settings.

Maintain Ethics

Uphold professional ethical standards and socially responsible behavior.

Our Unique Doctoral Structure

Our PhD in Education, Postsecondary and Adult Education program is designed to remove roadblocks for you and demystify the dissertation process. This unique approach centers on supporting you in three ways: through program structure, a dedicated faculty and support team, and online resources. To help generate momentum toward graduation, you’ll begin your dissertation early in the program. Our faculty, support team, and online resources will help guide you every step of the way.

PhD in Education, Postsecondary and Adult Education Program Features

Our program offers additional benefits you might be interested in.

Professionally Aligned

Our curriculum is designed around recognized, professional standards in the field of higher education. 

Become a Scholar-Practitioner

Gain advanced skills in critical thinking, problem-solving, and research.

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, 92 total quarter credits, 16 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. 

Transfer Credits

We can accept many transfer credits from regionally accredited schools.

Grants

There are a variety of need-based federal grants available to help pay for tuition and costs.

Federal Work Study

Part-time jobs sponsored by the U.S. government are available to help you reduce loan debt.

Accredited & Recognized

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

PhD in Education Sample Courses

Coursework in our PhD in Education, Postsecondary, and Adult Education program focuses on current theory and research in adult education. It includes instructional models and assessment strategies—all built around increasing achievement in adult learners. The program includes dissertation research seminars which allow you to get an early start on your dissertation.

Show course with description
ED7314
International and Multicultural Perspectives in Postsecondary and Adult Education

In this course, learners develop the international and multicultural skills and understandings necessary to become culturally competent adult educators in their specialization. Learners define cultural competence for their professional role, learn to address the needs of diverse learners, foster intercultural learning in the classroom or other educational settings, and develop strategies for incorporating relevant international and multicultural perspectives into their curriculum, instructional activities, and assessments. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
ED7716
Faculty Leadership

Learners in this course assess the role of educational leadership in higher education. Learners examine faculty leadership, explore ways to build effective relationships and lead ethically, and assess leadership effectiveness based on theory and self-reflection. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer or prior learning assessment.

4 quarter credits
ED8446
Curriculum Development and Teaching Strategies for Adult Learning

This course focuses on the evaluation and development of curriculum for adult learners. Learners in this course incorporate trends, theories, models, various instructional strategies, and technology as employed in designing 21st-century learning. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer or prior learning assessment.

4 quarter credits
ED7312
Teaching Adults

This course presents best practices of higher education teaching. Learners evaluate multiple teaching models and strategies and their underlying theoretical and research bases. Learners also examine cultural influences on teaching and learning; identify ways to incorporate technology into the teaching-learning process; and assess their teaching dispositions and educational philosophy. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits

Postsecondary and Adult Education Career Insights

Quick Guide to EdS, EdD, and PhD Degrees

Compare advanced degree options for K-12 educators, including Doctor of Education and Education Specialist degrees.

Quick Guide to Advanced Degrees for Careers in Higher Ed

Compare advanced degree and certificate program options for higher education administrators and professionals.

Postsecondary and Adult Education Professional Paths

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

Related Job Titles to Explore*

  • Adjunct or part-time faculty
  • Full-time faculty
  • Director of grant writing
  • Academic affairs vice president
  • Dean
  • Provost
  • Community college president

Related Employment Settings to Explore

  • Adult education program
  • Community college
  • Continuing education program
  • Corporation
  • Land-based or online college or university
  • Military education
  • Vocational school

*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.