Department of Education

Graduate Programs Website:

Department Head

Dr. Jayne Downey
213 Reid Hall
406-994-3120 Email:

Graduate Program Assistant

Maggie Secrest
215 Reid Hall
406-994-6786 Email:

The Department of Education's graduate offerings are divided into three units: Curriculum & Instruction, Educational Leadership, and Adult & Higher Education. Master's (M.Ed.) and Doctoral (Ed.D.) programs are offered in all three areas. In addition, the Adult & Higher Education program offers the College Teaching Certificate, the Curriculum and Instruction program offers the Library Media Certificate, and an Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree is available in Educational Leadership only. Additional degree requirements are listed in each program's section.

For information on graduate programs, please contact the appropriate Program Leader:

Adult and Higher Education

This program offers the Master of Education and Doctor of Education in Adult & Higher Education to admitted students who have varied academic field/discipline and professional backgrounds. Students focus on the theory, research, and informed professional practice in either higher education (academics or administration) or student affairs.

Program faculty research foci include student development and student affairs, institutional research and assessment, scholarship of teaching and learning, faculty roles and responsibilities, K-20 student educational trajectory and higher education outcomes, particularly for students placed at risk, comparative and international higher education, and administration and leadership in higher education.  In most cases the diversity of learners and institutions represented in adult and higher education is addressed, and students are encouraged to develop specialization via course assignments. Required courses vary by degree and background of the student. Refer to the Adult & Higher Education handbook located at: for additional and current information regarding courses offered and schedules.

Coursework is divided into two categories: required and electives, and research and statistics. Doctoral students must conduct research and write an original theory-based dissertation. Courses are offered with working students as a target group and are generally offered evenings and weekends.  Many courses are offered as hybrid courses with a combination of face-to-face and distance delivery.  Some courses are offered 100% online.

The Adult & Higher Education Program also offers a Certificate in College Teaching to develop and promote exemplary teaching among graduate students, aspiring faculty, and current faculty wanting to enhance their teaching skills. The goal of the certificate is to make individuals more competitive in the job market as instructors and faculty members at colleges and universities. A total of 12 credits of course work are required to earn the College Teaching Certificate. Participants may enroll in the program either Fall or Spring.

Curriculum and Instruction

The program in Curriculum & Instruction offers a Master of Education and a Doctor of Education. The Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree is designed to meet the needs of elementary and secondary classroom teachers, subject matter specialists, subject area supervisors, curriculum coordinators, and educational scholars and researchers. The Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree has three options: the Professional Educator, Educational Research, and Technology Education.

The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree is designed to prepare graduates to assume positions in college and university teacher education programs.  Graduates will develop the rich knowledge base in educational theory and practice needed to conduct research and engage in service to the greater education community.  The program offers multiple opportunities to engage in college teaching, research grounded in cutting-edge educational issues, and collaborative activities in diverse educational settings including faculty from other disciplines.  Refer to the Curriculum and Instruction website located at: for additional and current information regarding courses offered and schedules.

The Department also offers the School Library Media Graduate Endorsement program. This totally online program is offered through the Montana State University Extended University. It consists of 21 semester credits (7 courses). The program is for teachers who want to add an endorsement in K-12 Library Media to a teaching license or take courses for certification in Library Media. Information for this program is located at:

Educational  Leadership

The Educational Leadership program offers a Master of Education, an Education Specialist, and Doctor of Education. Those students completing the degree requirements for the M.Ed. will also have met the academic requirements necessary for a Montana Class III Administrative license with a K-12 Principal Endorsement.  Those students completing the degree requirements for the Ed.S. or Ed.D. will also have met the academic requirements necessary for a Montana Class III Administrative license with a Superintendent Endorsement. Certification requirements of other states may be incorporated into the programs. An internship or field experience is required as a part of the M.Ed. and Ed.S. degree programs. Furthermore, understanding and applying research is an integral part of all of the degree programs. For additional information, please review the Educational Leadership program web pages within the Department of Education website at:

The Educational Leadership program at Montana State University is nationally accredited by Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) as well as by the Montana Board of Public Education.  The focus of the program is to prepare K-12 school principals and school superintendents to effectively serve Montana communities and rural communities throughout the Northern Plains and Northern Rocky Mountain region of the United States.

All options in the Educational Leadership program are offered using a combination of delivery methods. Online courses are delivered completely via distance technology and blended courses use a combination of distance delivery and face-to-face meetings. The structure of the course will determine the delivery methods employed.  For example, the M.Ed. principal preparation coursework is delivered almost completely online using distance delivery methods during the school year while its summer courses are blended with two weeks of face-to-face instruction.  On the other hand, the Ed.D. program courses are usually blended such that the class meets for face-to-face instruction one weekend a month and online during the weeks in between meetings.