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Concentration: Adult and Lifelong Education

Degree: Doctor of Philosophy
Program: Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development
in Department of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development (ELPHD)
Delivery Method: On Campus

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The Adult and Lifelong Education concentration with the Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development is unique in its emphasis on serving the spectrum of both formal and informal adult learning organizations, and its inclusion of administrative, instructional and technology-related leadership within a practitioner preparation program. Based on a land-grant, Research Extensive University, the department reflects the tripartite commitment to quality instruction, research scholarship and service outreach.

If you are interested in applying for this concentration, please use the Apply Now button. If you have any questions, please contact us at

Concentration Description

The Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development with a concentration in Adult and Lifelong Education, is one-of-a-kind as its primary commitment is to part-time students who are full-time working professionals. Full-time students are eligible for consideration to receive full funding through scholarships, fellowships and research and teaching assistantships, which allow our students to work with top faculty on cutting-edge projects. To meet the needs of full- and part-time students, most courses are offered once a week during late afternoon or evening hours. Some courses are regularly available during summer sessions and weekends and through distance education technologies.

Applications for admission are submitted through the Graduate School. We accept students from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds.  To qualify for admission, applicants must have a master’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education in any field.  International applicants must also have a TOEFL score of 100 or higher.  Admission decisions are based on several criteria, including undergraduate GPA, work history and interest in the field.

Admission Requirements

Please note: If you are currently enrolled in a master’s degree program in our College of Education and are interested in pursuing a Ph.D., you must formally apply to the program through the Graduate School.

  • Completed online application, department application form, resume and non-refundable application fee
  • Unofficial transcripts of all post-secondary education
  • Statement of interest including summary of your proposed program goals and desired future outcomes upon program completion
  • North Carolina residency form if claiming for tuition purposes
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores for international students
  • GRE scores are NOT required for Ph.D. applications
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
  • Personal Statements should address applicant’s interest in the field of adult education, relevant past experiences, motivations, and future research and professional career goals

All doctoral degrees in the College of Education require a minimum of 72 graduate credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree. Most doctoral programs in the College of Education require a minimum of 60 graduate credit hours beyond an approved master’s degree.


This course of study for the Adult and Lifelong Education concentration is applicable to Ph.D. students admitted from Fall 2016 to the present.  Course descriptions can be found in the university course catalog.

This program area of study requires a minimum of 60 credit hours beyond a Master’s degree.


Our Faculty

Duane Akroyd

Susan Barcinas
Associate Professor

M. Jayne Fleener

Chad Hoggan
Associate Professor

Paul Umbach