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Ph.D. in Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education

What is HALE?

Consistently ranked in the nation's top-10 higher education programs, the Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education (HALE) doctoral program prepares some of the strongest, most well-equipped leaders in higher education. The innovative HALE curriculum challenges students to critically analyze the current research, develop their instruction and pedagogical approach, and discover ways to advance the field of higher education.


Our Community of Scholars

With one of the largest higher education departments in the country, HALE students encompass a wide range of backgrounds, expertise, and research interests. Some students choose to attend the program full-time, while others enroll part-time and continue their professional employment. All students are welcome in HALE, as we believe this diversity adds to the strength of our community. As the field of higher education is broad and far-reaching, future graduates must be prepared to address a multitude of issues. We believe the best preparation for the future is learning from one another today.

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Points of Distinction


With 15 faculty members, we are one of the largest faculties devoted to the study of higher education in the world.

This Program By the Numbers

Credit Hours
Average Time to Degree
Average Cohort Size

The hallmark of my HALE doctoral experience was the opportunity to learn and grow alongside a supportive and diverse cohort and world-class faculty. I emerged a stronger scholar-practitioner with a holistic understanding of the higher education landscape.

Erin Carter, Ph.D. ('17)

The Center for Higher and Adult Education

In association with the HALE program, the Center for Higher and Adult Education serves as a research hub for innovation and the advancement of higher education. Students and faculty are invited to fully participate in the center’s efforts further policy and international work in postsecondary education. The center also provides funding and support to students for various professional endeavors, including internships, externships, conference attendance, and publication.







Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education (HALE) and Student Affairs Administration Information:
Erickson Hall
620 Farm Lane Rm 423
East Lansing, MI 48824-1034
Tel.: (517) 353-5187
Fax: (517) 884-1392