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Adult and Higher Education

Develop into an innovative scholar-practitioner and transformational leader who solves complex problems in administration and education.

Master Adult and Higher Education Skills

By specializing in adult and higher education at USD, you will become a reflective leader and skilled educator whose practices and decisions draw upon the best available theory, research and experiential wisdom. Reflective decision-making engages administrators in cycles of thought and action based upon theoretical, ethical and professional knowledge. Our expert professors will offer mentorship as you design an individualized plan of study that emphasizes the administrative context and meanings that are most important to you.

Advanced degrees in Educational Administration and Leadership (EAL) prepare you for positions that include administrative and teaching positions in colleges and universities, junior and community colleges, hospitals, private industry and other adult training and educational settings.

Educate and inspire learners of all backgrounds with a specialization in adult and higher education from USD.


Degrees & Offerings

Educational Administration and Leadership: Adult and Higher Education (M.A.)

Master's with Specialization
  Vermillion Main Campus and Online

This master's degree will challenge you to explore core themes and content that will provide you with skills pertinent to both your professional and academic career objectives. The EAL program consists of 32-34 credit hours depending on which track (thesis/non-thesis) you choose. In addition to being offered on campus, the master's program is also offered online. Additionally, it is also offered in partnership with the Learning Resources Network (LERN).

Learn more about the educational administration and leadership program

View M.A. LERN Curriculum

Educational Administration and Leadership: Adult & Higher Education (Ed.D.)

Doctorate with Specialization
  Vermillion Main Campus

This doctoral degree develops education leaders to be effective school administrators by cultivating  change for the future. We encourage you to be a participant in the process, to choose directions and to make worthwhile contributions. The program requires a total of 90-95 credit hours and admits during the summer semester.

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Program Details

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Graduate Admissions

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Each program has unique application requirements and deadlines. Be sure and consult the graduate catalog for detailed program information. It will ensure your application and materials are complete and submitted on time. To learn more about the application process, visit how to apply.

Departments & Facilities

Explore the departments, facilities and centers that contribute to your education in educational leadership.
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Educational Leadership

Preparing education leaders to be effective school administrators.

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Tailor the Program to Your Career Goals

Graduate with a degree that reflects your passions and sets you apart.

USD's graduate degrees in EAL are unique in that you can craft the program to fit your interests and career goals. You'll learn from supportive and expert faculty in the Division of Educational Leadership, and you'll also take classes from other departments across campus to expand your skillset and knowledge. This unique structure provides a versatile and supportive climate that prepares students for effective participation in an information-rich society.


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Discounted Tuition for South Dakota Teachers and Vocational Instructors

Take advantage of the 50% reduced tuition program for current South Dakota elementary/secondary teachers and vocational instructors.

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One-of-a-kind Master's Degree Partnership

The combination of the USD curriculum and LERN institutes and courses allows working professionals to gain extensive knowledge in the area of adult and higher education, as well as to obtain practical tools that are applicable and beneficial to their organization. Earn your master's degree online through a highly-ranked and accredited institution.

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Hear from a USD Alum

Success story Marcia Hawk smiling.
I made the decision to pursue a degree in Educational Administration at USD because of its status as a research institution, the availability of online classes and the affordability. My experience has been nothing but extraordinary. The curriculum is designed to challenge students’ intellect by exposing them to the real issues of adult and higher education administration. You will indeed be challenged — but you will be prepared for the real world.

Marcia Hawk, M.A., Ed.D.

Intercontinental Hotels Group
Atlanta, Georgia

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