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Course Advice

With the assistance of an adviser and guidance committee, doctoral students plan a program of study tailored to meet their educational needs and professional goals.

Students in the HALE doctoral program will enroll in a minimum of 45 credit hours, not including at least 24 dissertation research credit hours. In addition to the following program requirements, candidates must satisfy all college and university graduation requirements.

Curricular Structure:

Core Courses - Required of all HALE doctoral students (15 credits)

  • EAD 960 Proseminar in Postsecondary Education (3)
  • EAD 970 Organization and Administration in Postsecondary Education (3)
  • EAD 968 Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum in Postsecondary Education (3)
  • EAD 967 Policy Development and Analysis in Postsecondary Education (3)
  • EAD 966 Students in Postsecondary Education (3)

Required Inquiry Courses (12-13 credits):

  • CEP 930 Educational Inquiry (3)
  • CEP 932 Quantitative Methods in Educational Research (3)
  • A 900-level course in advanced qualitative methods approved by the student's guidance committee (3-4)
  • EAD 995 Research Practicum in Educational Administration (3) This course is to be taken after the student has completed the three inquiry courses referenced above.

Electives (18 credits):

Eighteen additional credits in Educational Administration courses (800 level or above) which deal with issues of postsecondary education. 


Of the eighteen credits, 9 credits are in advanced HALE seminars that deal with issues of postsecondary education and are appropriate for the student's interests.


With the approval of the Guidance Committee, the remaining 9 credits of electives should include courses taken to deepen study in a manner that complements the student's required HALE coursework. Courses can be taken in any university department or unit.

Dissertation Research (minimum 24 credits; maximum 30 credits)


Degree Completion Requirements:

The comprehensive examination, the dissertation proposal, the dissertation research project, and the final dissertation defense are all hallmark experiences of the HALE doctoral program.

Note: The program must be completed within eight calendar years. There is also a residency requirement: at least six credits in two consecutive semesters must be earned on the MSU campus. With approval of the College and the student's guidance committee, a maximum of 9 semester credit hours may be transferred into the HALE program. These credits may be from a graduate program at another university or from graduate courses taken as a Lifelong Education student at Michigan State University prior to official admission into the doctoral program.