Your browser does not support JavaScript! or JavaScript is currently disabled.

Professional Studies in Education Specialization Doctor of Philosophy in Education

School of Education

Gain Advanced Skills to Influence Education Methods

Become a leader by analyzing and challenging current theories and practices to effect change in providing education to adults. Capella's online PhD in Education, Professional Studies in Education degree prepares you to excel as educators and leaders in various settings—K-12, adult education, health care, military, or government. Customize your program to build on previous knowledge and experience by choosing coursework and research topics most interesting or relevant to your current position or career aspirations.

What to Expect

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

Classes Start April 9th

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.

Admissions Requirements » | $50 Application Fee

What You’ll Learn

Make a Positive Impact

Develop effective, efficient educational processes and systems to engage learners in academic and professional settings.

Lead Change Processes

Provide leadership by analyzing and challenging current theories and practices.

Explore Learning Theories

Conduct high-quality, scholarly research about education and training in professional and business settings.

Program Features

Our program offers additional benefits you might be interested in.

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
$707 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 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

In our PhD in Education, Professional Studies in Education program, you’ll focus on the foundations of theory, practice, and research. At the same time, you can personalize your program through elective courses that align to your goals and aspirations.  

Dissertation Research Seminar

Allows you to work extensively on your dissertation topic, methodology, literature review, and research plan from the beginning of your program. 

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. 

Dissertation Mentors

During your dissertation, you’ll be matched with an experienced mentor who will help you stay on track to completing your degree.

Some of the courses you will take:

Course Number Course Title
ED7818 The Future of Teaching and Learning: Issues for the Educational Leader
ED7311 Theory and Methods of Educating Adults
ED8112 Educational Research Methods
ED7590 Critical Thinking in Adult Education

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.

Doctoral Advising

A doctoral degree takes special effort. It's why we offer expert support at every step to keep you moving forward toward your goal.

Relevant Blog Posts

Whether you’re considering a return to school, exploring new career paths, or seeking ways to improve your job performance, the Capella Blog has relevant articles to support your goals.

Quick Guide to EdS, EdD, and PhD Degrees

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

Closing the Achievement Gap Begins with Teachers

School of Education dean Amy Smith talks about her career path, what brought her to Capella, and her plans for closing the achievement gap.

Move Forward in Your Career

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

Related Job Titles to Explore*

  • Adjunct or part-time faculty
  • Assessment coordinator
  • Curriculum specialist
  • Director of education
  • Distance learning specialist
  • Full-time faculty
  • Program coordinator

Related Employment Settings to Explore

  • Adult education program
  • Alternative program
  • Community college
  • Government—local, state, federal
  • Health care
  • Land-based or online college or university
  • Military
  • Nonprofit organization
  • K-12 school district
  • Private school system
  • State agency

*These examples are intended to serve as a general guide.  Many factors determine what position an individual may attain, and Capella can’t guarantee a graduate will secure any specific job title.

You May Also Be Interested In

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.