PhD in Adult Learning

Thesis-based, on campus degree

The PhD in Adult Learning program is informed by a rich heritage rooted in a commitment to human, community and social development. As a hub of interdisciplinarity, the focus of graduate studies within this specialization is on adult learning and adult education. Our graduate students draw from multiple and diverse contexts and interest areas, which include: traditional post-secondary and continuing education; business and industry; NGOs; community development and international organizations.

Program Information for Current Students

Please refer to the University Calendar to view official program requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy degree.

In addition to the requirements of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, Graduate Programs in Education requires that students be available on campus for the first two years of their program.

a) Educational Research 700A and 700B;

b) Additional 9 units of 700-level thesis-based courses in research methods (excluding EDER 707, 708, 709, 710, 711 and 712);

c) Additional graduate courses or seminars as required by the student's specialization.  Courses may be selected from any 700-level Education Research courses:

  • Adult Learning requires 6 units which must focus on Adult Learning.

Course requirements

You can view current Graduate Programs in Education course schedules by visiting the PhD homepage.

Graduate courses from other departments, faculties, or universities may be taken to partially fulfill your degree requirements. Approval from your supervisor and the unit in question are required to take these courses. Please ensure that your Graduate Program Administrator in Graduate Programs in Education receives written confirmation of these approvals. 

Time Limit

Expected completion time for full-time students is four years with a maximum completion time of six years.

Supervisory Assignments

A supervisor is normally appointed at the time of admission.

Doctoral Procedures Checklist

At the beginning of program:

  • Register for an eID to access myUCalgary. Keep your eID and password confidential.
  • Accept your Offer of Admission in the online Student Centre.
  • Activate your UCalgary IT account and e-mail. You will be expected to regularly check your UCalgary e-mail while in program.
  • Confirm your current e-mail address to your Graduate Program Administrator (see your Admission Letter for contact information). Please include your full name, UCID number, program, and specialization.
  • Connect with your supervisor to plan your program.
  • Initialize your registration.
  • Register for courses.
  • Check with the Faculty of Graduate Studies, Research Services, and SSHRC for possible research funding.
  • Attend orientation at the beginning of September!

Within 12 months:

  • Confirm the number of courses required for program completion with the supervisor.

Every May:

  • Submit your online Annual Progress Report form through your online Student Centre. Your progress report must be approved by your supervisor, and Graduate Program Director or designate.

Every 12 Months:

Within 15 months:

  • Consult with supervisor regarding the appointment of the supervisory committee. Complete the Appointment of Supervisory Committee form.

Within 28 months:

  • Request candidacy examination guidelines.
  • Complete all course work prior to the candidacy examination.
  • Submit a research proposal to the supervisory committee. If acceptable, this proposal is signed by the members of the supervisory committee and placed in the student's file.
  • Complete candidacy requirements and examination.

Within 4 to 6 years:

  • Have ethics application approved before collection of data.
  • Complete thesis and final oral examination.
  • Submit two unbound copies of the thesis to the Faculty of Graduate Studies along with the Thesis Clearance form.
  • Submit an Application for Degree through your Student Centre.
  • Attend convocation and celebrate!

Please visit our PhD homepage to view the current schedule of courses.

We encourage students to consult with their supervisor to select courses.

Contact Us


Administrative Questions?

Sylvia Parks, Graduate Program Administrator (GPA)


Academic Questions?

Dr. Patricia Danyluk, Academic Coordinator, PhD in Adult Learning,

Program details

Faculty of Graduate Studies

Visit the Faculty of Graduate Studies' homepage to see information for thesis-based students.