Master of Education in Adult & Higher Education

Program Objectives

There are three specialization options for the Master’s in Education (MEd): Adult Education, Student Affairs, and Higher Education. 

Adult Education

  • Community Education
  • Program Development
  • Workplace training and development

Higher Education

  • Entry-level general administrative positions in higher education
  • Program Development
  • Institutional Development

Student Affairs

  • Residence Life
  • Career Services
  • Leadership Development
  • Student Support Services

Program Flow

After acceptance, students are assigned a temporary advisor and should then meet with their assigned advisor. During the second semester of enrollment, students identify a graduate committee chair and committee members, establish and submit their program of study to the Graduate School, and clarify plans for the comprehensive examination or master's thesis. Near the completion of coursework, students write the comprehensive examination. Students writing a thesis will not be required to write a comprehensive examination. 


Each masters student's committee must consist of three members. The chair and one other member must be from the Adult and Higher Education faculty. The third committee member must have academic credentials in the area of the student's program of study and be approved by the Head of the Department of Education and Dean of The Graduate School.


Students should carefully select their chair after thorough conversations with members of the Adult and Higher Education faculty. The graduate committee chair will give strong leadership and approval regarding the balance of the committee's potential membership. The committee, as a whole, is subject to the approval of the Head of the Department of Education. The chair will facilitate program approval, comprehensive exam planning and clarification. Chairs and members of a student's committee are subject to change. In addition, revision to the program of study can be made during the course of study with the chair's approval.

Comprehensive Examinations

Near the end of completing coursework, MEd students will complete a written comprehensive exam or a Master's Thesis. Students are expected to demonstrate mastery of the program of study and the ability to interact with the research in that area.  The substantive content of the written exam questions will be determined by the chair in consultation with the committee. Students may be required to meet with the committee to provide oral clarification of their written responses.

If completing a masters thesis in lieu of a comprehensive exam, you will need to discuss thesis credit requirements with your graduate committee chair by the second semester. Students should refer to the Graduate School's web page at: and the Department of Education Graduate Handbook at for more detailed information on comprehensive exams.

Mode of Course Delivery

All specializations in Adult and Higher Education are offered in a variety of modalities including face-to-face in-person courses, synchronous and asynchronous online learning, and a combination of both.  

Contact Information

Dr. Bryce Hughes, Associate Professor and Program Leader

Dr. Carrie Myers, Professor

Dr. Sweeney Windchief, Associate Professor

MEd in Adult and Higher Education Options:

Application Process for the MEd in Adult and Higher Education 

Applicants are required to complete the online application and submit the following documentation via the Graduate School Online Application System

  1. Completed Graduate School Application
  2. Academic Transcripts – Applicants must provide official transcripts verifying all Bachelor's Degree coursework (as well as a confirmation of bachelor’s degree earned) from the applicant's certifying university.  Unofficial transcripts may be uploaded during the application process. Official electronic transcripts may be emailed directly from the Institution to or  Transcripts may also be mailed to the Department of Education Graduate Programs Office, 215 Reid Hall, PO Box 172880, Montana State University, 59717. Transcripts from a degree awarded through MSU do not need to be provided. NOTE: We require an undergraduate and graduate GPA of at least 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale). Transcripts will be evaluated for rigor and academic fit. 
  3. Personal essay – The suggested length is 2-3 pages, double-spaced. Briefly describe your background, prior professional and leadership experience, why you are interested in our program, and how you plan to use your degree.
  4. Resume/Curriculum Vitae
  5. Three (3) professional references – The letters of recommendation should be from individuals qualified to assess your ability and potential as a graduate student and/or be able to attest to your work ethic and professionalism. References from relatives are not acceptable.
  6. For International Applicants ONLY: Please visit the Graduate School International Application Process website for application submission information. 

Application Deadlines

Below is the deadline by which all application materials for the MEd in Adult and Higher Education must be submitted via the online application system. Students matriculate into the MEd program fall or spring semester only.  Applications received after the deadline may be reviewed for acceptance on a case-by-case basis.

Fall Semester:  April 1st

Spring Semester: November 1st

* An early review deadline of February 1st has been set for those applicants wanting to be considered for Graduate Assistantships. Applications must be complete for an early review. A student must be accepted to an education program before requesting a Department of Education Graduate Assistantship.  Graduate Assistantships require students to work on campus 19 hours per week.  For further information regarding teaching assistantships visit webpage:

Admission Process

Complete applications will be reviewed and rated by members of the Graduate Admissions Committee who then convene to make final admission decisions. Once applicants are accepted, their applications will be forwarded to The Graduate School for final administrative processing.  Please note that the application review process will begin at the close of the application deadline and not before.

We hope that you are interested in our program!  We strongly suggest that you contact one of our faculty by e-mail or phone for further information and before applying. We would like to get to know you as early as possible. E-mail addresses of our faculty are listed on the Overview page.

Contact Information

Graduate Program Assistant
PO Box 172880, Reid Hall 215
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT 59717-2880 
Phone: 406-994-6786  Email: