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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

Classes Start November 5th

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.

Admission Requirements » | $50 Application Fee

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.

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

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

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

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.

Some of the courses you will take:

Course Number Course Title
ED7314 International and Multicultural Perspectives in Postsecondary and Adult Education
ED7716 Faculty Leadership
ED8446 Curriculum Development and Teaching Strategies for Adult Learning
ED7312 Teaching Adults

Relevant Blog Posts

Quick Guide to EdS, EdD, and PhD Degrees

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Quick Guide to Advanced Degrees for Careers in Higher Ed

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

Move Forward in Your Career

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.