Best Online Master’s in Adult Education/Learning Programs

Rank School Name Relative Cost Location Description
1 Texas A & M University-College Station 1/5 College Station, TX

The future, like today, requires leaders who can administer modern learning programs in a variety of settings. Texas A&M University's Department of Educational Administration & Human Resource Development strives to help students transform into the educational leaders of tomorrow. The school's master of science in educational resource development (specialization in adult education) equips students with the skills and knowledge needed to reach, teach, and inspire adult learners. EAHR graduates can be found from community centers to conference rooms.

Texas A&M's 37-credit program consists of 10 required courses and three electives, which include--but are not limited to--study areas such as health, literacy, and public service administration. A final exam is not required, though students are expected to keep a professional portfolio which they will present during their final semester. While courses are delivered via distance learning, prospective students of this online master's adult education program are required to visit the College Station campus to complete an interview and a written exercise. As part of the school's interview process, applicants must submit transcripts, a statement of intent, and three reference letters.

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2 University of Georgia 1/5 Athens, GA

Offered through the University of Georgia's College of Education, the school's master of education in learning, leadership, and organizational development provides a first-rate answer to the growing prevalence of working adults pursuing additional skills and training. UGA's LLOD program, comprised of 33 credits, prepares students to assist others in maximizing their potential. Armed with a framework of theory, research, and practice, graduates emerge with the skills necessary to compete for a multitude of adult education teaching jobs across an array of fields.

UGA's prescribed sequence recommends students take two courses per semester, which translates to a two-year program. The program's curriculum is structured in a manner that allows students to gain both depth in their chosen discipline and breadth in such areas as teamwork, communication, and critical thinking. A maximum of six credits may be transferred into the program. Applicants must be accepted into UGA's graduate school. Distance learning students, regardless of state of residence, pay the same tuition as their on-site counterparts.

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3 University of South Florida-Main Campus 1/5 Tampa, FL

A 36-credit program, the University of South Florida's master of arts in adult education focuses on the core principles of adult learning. Knowledge and experienced gained from the program can be applied to a swath of industries, from hospitals to corporations to nonprofit organizations. And as working adults look to shore up their resumes with new and improved skills, jobs in adult education have--and will--only grown in number. Graduates with an MA in adult education are uniquely qualified for these positions.

The program's hybrid curriculum combines eLearning study with face-to-face meetings once a week. Core requirements account for six to seven credit hours and students take 11 to 18 hours in their chosen concentration and between 12 to 19 in electives. A comprehensive written exam caps the program. To meet program admission requirements, applicants must have earned a minimum grade point average of 3.0 in upper-level division study (applicants with lower GPAs must submit GRE scores). Up to 12 transferable credits may be applied.

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4 Indiana University-Bloomington 1/5 Bloomington, IN

Tailored to guide students through revalent theory while, for example, taking a deep look at the ethics of policy, Indiana University's MSEd in adult education prepares students for future roles as corporate trainers or continuing education leaders. The school's master's in adult education online degree is primarily taught asynchronously.

Most students take three years to complete this 36-credit program. UI's curriculum is split between 20 hours of core courses and 16 hours of electives tailored to support a candidate's professional focus. A three-credit course on strategies for educational inquiry is required for all applicants. The admissions board at IU reviews GPA scores, official transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. For international applicants for whom English is a second language, TOEFL scores are required. Up to nine credits may be transferred into this practitioner-oriented program.

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5 University of Arkansas 1/5 Fayetteville, AR

The University of Arkansas's master of education in adult education and lifelong learning aims to facilitate the needs of emerging scholars and practitioners who are interested in working with adults, including business personnel, military vets, and seniors. Program graduates are prepared to positively impact the learning experience of the increasing numbers of mature learners who are returning to school, acquiring new skills, or transitioning to new careers. In turn, jobs in adult education continue to grow.

A total of 33 credit hours are required to complete the school's non-thesis MEd in adult and lifelong learning. Most students complete these requirements in two years. An applied project for three credits serves as the program's capstone. To graduate, students must maintain at least a 2.85 cumulative GPA throughout their enrollment. Applicants to the program must first be admitted to the University of Arkansas's graduate school, which requires a minimum GPA of 3.0, GRE scores, and a CV for review.

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6 University of Houston-Victoria 1/5 Victoria, TX

Successful graduates of the University of Houston--Victoria 's master of education in adult and higher education leave the program in possession of the skills, insight, and knowledge necessary for adult education teaching jobs in formal and non-formal learning environments. Comprised of 36 or 39 credits, this MEd is offered completely online from UHV and is available with a choice of three specialties or tracks: adult education, higher education, or discipline.

The program's discipline track is structured to provide students with the knowledge to pursue teaching roles at the undergraduate level and requires the completion of 18 credit hours. The program's other two specialized tracks require a total of 15 credit hours. UHV students in the 36 or 39 credit program also take on 15 hours of core courses and three for research. One unique feature of the program is the AHED internship, a real-world elective that can be taken in lieu of one specialty course (three hours). To apply, candidates must meet the school's general admissions requirements for graduate studies at UHV and students must complete a statement of purpose in which they explain why they desire to pursue the program.

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7 University of Idaho 1/5 Moscow, ID

A flexible, 30-credit program focused on preparing tomorrow's educators and managers for a wide range of industries and settings, the University of Idaho's master of science in adult, organizational learning and leadership is a graduate program designed to meet the needs of the working professional with a passion for adult education.

Students must complete a minimum of 30 credits to receive a non-thesis online master's adult education degree. These credits break down to 21 core credits, six electives, and three research credit hours. For electives, students have the option of an internship that can count as one to three credits. Up to 12 approved non-degree credits may be transferred upon acceptance into the University of Idaho. Applicants must possess a relevant four-year degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0.

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8 Kansas State University 1/5 Manhattan, KS

For those who endeavor to work in adult education, this degree makes for a great first stepping stone. Kansas State's master of science in adult and continuing education is designed to prepare students for adult learning in either educational or training settings. The 33-credit program can be further tailored to meet a student's goal through three online graduate certificate programs: academic advising, adult learning, and social justice education.

Students enrolled in KSU's master's in adult education online degree program must complete a minimum of 33 credit hours: 18 hours dedicated to core requirements and 15 total elective hours. Available elective courses include a number of courses focused on 21st century topics (such as, for example, the emergence of self-directed learning). KS's program is available in three varieties: online, hybrid, and face-to-face. To apply, applicants must have a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Letters of recommendation are not required for consideration.

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9 SUNY Buffalo State 1/5 Buffalo, NY

Jobs in adult education are numerous these days. From training new workers to teaching lifelong students, qualified professionals with the proper background to educate adults are increasingly in demand. SUNY Buffalo State's master of science in adult education addresses these needs--and in a flexible, web-based format. Students graduate with the knowledge and skills to train and teach adults in various settings, whether corporate, civic, military, or nonprofit.

This 30-credit program is comprised of 21 core hours and, developed with the help of an academic advisor, nine hours in a field specialization. Example specializations include linguistics, job development, and workplace learning. The culminating requirement for all students is a written comprehensive exam. Delivered asynchronously, this degree program is offered completely online, with no campus visits to Buffalo State required. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree with a 2.5 GPA or better. Candidates with a master's must have a minimum GPA of 3.0.

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10 Pennsylvania State University-World Campus 1/5 University Park, PA

PennState World Campus, Pennsylvania State University's online division, offers students a high-quality master of education in lifelong learning and adult education designed to address the unique needs of today's adult learners. This 30-credit program covers all aspects of adult education, from the strategic design of an effective class to a comprehensive exploration of contemporary coursework delivery. This program requires the completion of an upper-level statistics course. Prerequisites include an undergraduate degree, GRE or MAT, and writing samples. Students can also earn up to 15 non-degree credits before applying.

Penn State first delivered education from a distance via its correspondence courses back in 1892. The letters and stamps of yesterday have since been replaced by email and telecommunications technology, allowing PSWC to provide a robust eLearning experience once relegated to the world of science fiction. The school's online master's adult education degree in lifelong learning and adult education represents another step forward in that progressive tradition. Delivered asynchronously, the degree program is flexible: it works with each student's schedule, employing a combination of self-study and peer-to-peer interaction.

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11 Troy University 1/5 Troy, AL

As mentioned above, an increasing number of adult education teaching jobs are available today. From theory to practice, teachers, trainers, or managers interested in these positions must possess the background and skills necessary to plan and execute course. For those with a passion for teaching, training, or advising adults, Troy University's master of science in adult education provides the background necessary to approach the field with confidence.

Troy University offers students three specific concentrations: curriculum and instructional design, instructional technology, and leadership studies. Students who choose the curriculum and instructional design track will focus on analysis, design, development, and evaluation of curricula, while those in instructional technology will filter courses through the lens of their own field of specialty. A total of 33 credits comprise the non-thesis degree, while 36 are required for the thesis. Both are offered in an accelerated format and can be completed in as little as one year. This is a non-certification program.

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12 Oregon State University 1/5 Corvallis, OR

Oregon State University's master of education in adult and higher education is a two-year, 45-credit program ideal for those in human resources, as well as organizational development professionals. To gain practical experience, OSU's program are requires that students must take an internship during their studies, which many manage to do from their own workplace.

For acceptance into the program, applicants must have earned a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0. This master's in adult education online degree is one of 80 graduate programs from OSU and is taught in a flexible hybrid format, combining online assignments and face-to-face meetings. Each month, a cohort study session is held at a location near Portland. Intended to foster collaboration and networking development, one learning cohort is admitted per year.

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13 Cleveland State University 1/5 Cleveland, OH

As Cleveland State notes, learning is a lifelong endeavor and students hail from a multitude of backgrounds and circumstances. A master of education in adult learning and development prepares educators to effectively assist adult learners as they keep pace with an ever-changing world. Graduates will gain the theories, competencies, and knowledge that shape adult education in the 21st century. From this flexible master's in adult education online degree, students will learn how to plan, teach, and administer programs for a diverse and growing group of adult students.

This 34-35 credit hour degree program is split among three coursework areas: core, specialization, and elective. Students present a professional portfolio for the program's capstone project. Classes are primarily taught in an asynchronous format. To apply, candidates must hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 2.75 and must provide GRE scores. The school accepts up to 12 hours of transfer credit (with the stipulation that a student's grade point average is a B or better).

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14 University of West Alabama 1/5 Livingston, AL

The University of West Alabama's master of science in adult continuing education provides an excellent foundation for students interested in adult learning and yet undecided about an area of focus. The program's broad-based curriculum covers topics such as research, psychology, and historical development and can be applied to a wide range of settings, from civic to corporate. The school's online master's adult education degree is also a good match for those interested in pursuing personal development.

Program courses run for eight weeks, facilitating an accelerated pace for completion and, at 33 credits, the program can be completed in little over a year. Curriculum is broken down into nine hours of professional courses and 24 for core. A graduate-level statistics course is required. To graduate, students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better for all classes taken. A written exam serves to cap the program's coursework. This degree does not qualify students for a teaching certificate in Alabama.

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15 Morehead State University 1/5 Morehead, KY

Morehead State University's master of science in adult and higher education addresses head-on the challenges of meeting the needs of adult learners. A 30-credit program, Morehead State's MS is designed to develop the capacity of individuals to lead education or service programs, from planning to application. As jobs in adult education continue to grow, they must be filled by those who are qualified to teach it.

The English as a second language concentration covers topics like language and culture, theory and practice, and linguistics for teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL). Students may choose between a thesis or non-thesis, and those who work on a thesis may do so in lieu of six hours of coursework. Applicants are asked to provide GRE or MAT scores. Morehead State waves test requirements for applicants with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher.

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16 Western Kentucky University 1/5 Bowling Green, KY

For anyone interested in adult education teaching jobs, it all starts with the right degree. Western Kentucky University's master of arts in education in adult education readies students for careers in the field. At WKU, learners choose from four concentrations: general, higher education, training and development, and community and technical college. All concentrations are structured to afford the student time to also focus on the broader principles of adult learning, course planning, and teaching methods.

WKU's degree program consists of 39 credit hours in total, 18 of which consist of a student's discipline of choice. A six-credit capstone finishes off the program's coursework. WKU's MAE in adult education is one of 90 online degree and certificate programs offered by Western Kentucky, and the school endeavors to accommodate the busy schedules of its online students in particular. WKU conducts orientation online and proctored exams are offered, a service which has grown from a few hundred administered a year to 13,000 annually.

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17 Northwestern State University of Louisiana 1/5 Natchitoches, LA

Northwestern State University of Louisiana's master of arts in adult learning and development is a 33-credit program that offers students three concentrations: adult and workforce development, homeland security, and eLearning. For the spring and fall, fast-track courses of eight weeks are available and even shorter courses are offered during the summer. Out-of-state learners and Louisiana distance students pay the same tuition rates.

The school's eLearning track is particularly relevant today: technology has only increased the reach of distance learning. The technology has opened the door to new teaching tools, methods, and theory. NSU students who choose the eLearning concentration will learn about the computing systems within schools, colleges, and industry, and the latest ways to deliver curriculum. Out-of-state students should be aware that successful completion of this online master's adult education degree does not automatically lead to certification or licensure in their state.

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18 Indiana University of Pennsylvania-Main Campus 1/5 Indiana, PA

Designed for the working adult, Indiana University of Pennsylvania's master of arts in adult and community education is delivered completely online via cohort study. IUP's 36-credit program can be completed in two years' time on a part-time basis. Students choose between a thesis or non-thesis program. Non-thesis students present a portfolio as their culminating ACE experience. All students are required to take a theory-to-practice internship consisting of a total of six hours.

The school's master's in adult education online degree combines a balance of academic courses, individual research, and field experience. Students come away with a solid understanding of what ACE requires from an educator or trainer. Courses cover such topics as the adult learner, issues in distance education, and practice research. As a cohort study program, students are expected to interact with both their peers and professors in order to foster collaboration and expand learning beyond one's own experiences. To apply, prospective candidates must submit academic transcripts, a personal goal statement, and two letters of recommendation.

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19 University of Southern Maine 1/5 Portland, ME

The University of Southern Maine's master of science in adult and higher education is designed to meet the needs of professional adult educators across the nation. As more adults return to the classroom to learn new skills, further their studies, or polish their CV, jobs in adult education continue to grow in opportunity and scope. This degree program answers the call. Offered through the USM's School of Education and Human Development, this MS requires the completion of a minimum of 36 credit hours and a three-credit field course (either an internship or a directed study).

Through electives, USM's MS in adult and higher education can be tailored to the interests of every student. Courses are primarily asynchronous and are conducted 100% online. If desired, students can arrange face-to-face sessions at one of the school's three campuses located in Portland, Lewiston, and Gorham. Instruction is delivered through Blackboard. Applicants must hold an undergraduate degree with a minimum GPA of 2.5. Applicants who do not meet program requirements may request special consideration through written appeal to the department.

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20 SUNY Empire State College 1/5 Saratoga Springs, NY

Blending theory and application, SUNY Empire State College's master of science in adult and higher education offers a pathway for students looking to excel as adult educators in an array of settings, from the workplace to night school. Indeed, adult education teaching jobs today are highly diverse and are in demand like never before. SUNY Empire's master's in adult learning provides the background and skill set students need to make a real impact and contribution to their communities.

This 36-credit program is divided between 12 course credits for core courses and 18 credits for electives. A final, focused project caps the curriculum. Students can earn their degree in as few as two years. In addition to holding a bachelor's degree, applicants of this competitive program are required to convey to admissions the extent of their ability to handle graduate studies. SUNY Empire accepts a maximum of nine transfer credits. This degree does not directly lead to teacher certification.

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