Overview

For many adults, continuing education is a worthwhile pursuit that leads to new skills and higher salaries. Whether it’s to shore up any weaknesses or to sharpen existing knowledge, students rely on effective educators who are trained to teach individuals with work experience, families, and higher levels of maturity. While many instructors have a developed pedagogical approach (a method for teaching younger students), a master’s in adult education allows instructors to respond to the needs of adults by developing their andragogical approach (methods for teaching adults).

More specifically, courses in a master’s program in adult education focus on how to teach students who rely on self-directed learning. Courses in curriculum construction and methods of teaching adults prepare instructors to be facilitators of education – degree holders guide students with family and work responsibilities toward effective learning practices and strategies. The approach allows degree holders to help students with a variety of outside responsibilities discover new educational and career opportunities.

  • ? DO I NEED PREVIOUS WORK EXPERIENCE TO GET ADMITTED
  • ? CAN I WORK WHILE I COMPLETE MY ONLINE MASTER'S IN ADULT EDUCATION/LEARNING?
  • ? WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES TO EARNING MY ADULT EDUCATION/LEARNING DEGREE ONLINE?
  • ? HOW TO GET AN ONLINE DEGREE IN ADULT EDUCATION

Like most graduate degrees in education, a master’s in adult education can also lead to higher pay for the degree holder. In other words, graduates can enjoy greater job stability while providing a positive service to others making programs a fulfilling investment.

For more more resources and career information related to this degree, please read our career guide here.

Our Methodology

Our Methodology

Best Online Masters in Adult Education Programs

We took a deep-dive and analyzed every online Masters in Adult Education program in the nation. Below are the results of our analysis and a list of the 26 best online Masters in Adult Education programs.

Read about our methodology here.

Portland State University

1800 SW 6th Ave Portland, OR 97201

Portland State University's Graduate School of Education delivers a master's in adult education degree program in various modes for distance learners. Students can choose to complete the coursework completely online, partially online, through video conferencing and also via correspondence based on their individual needs and schedules.


Program OverviewProgram Name: Graduate School of Education
Available concentrations: Teaching Adult Learners
Accrediting body: NWCCU

DeliveryFormat: Online, Hybrid

Program requirementsCredit Requirements: 18 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time

Admission RequirementsGPA: 3.0

Graduation Rate
42%
School Type
Public
Tuition
In-state: $414 per credit; Out-of-state: $630 per credit

University of Missouri - St. Louis

1 University Blvd St. Louis, MO 63121

The University of Missouri in St. Louis has an online master's in adult education program with a comprehensive curriculum and also specialized seminars to enhance the students' skill set. Distance learners who participate in these seminars are able to network with professionals while learning new teaching strategies and techniques for successful careers in adult education.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Education
Program Name: Master of Education
Available concentrations: Adult Education , Higher Education
Accrediting body: Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

DeliveryFormat: Online, On-Campus, Blended

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Baccalaureate degree in any discipline before beginning the master's program
Credit Requirements: 32 credits

Program LengthProgram Length: 4 weeks

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall: July 1; Spring: December 1; Summer: May 1
GPA: 3.0

Graduation Rate
42%
School Type
Public
Tuition
In-state: $477 per credit; Out-of-state: $1,170 per credit

Northern Arizona University

Flagstaff, AZ 86011

Northern Arizona University has an Educational Technology Master of Education program with a concentration in adult learning for students who want to earn their master's degree online and pursue careers such as school technology coordinators, educational technology consultants and community college instructors. The curriculum includes courses in problem-solving, communication, technology in education and more to prepare students for successful careers after graduation.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Department of Educational Specialties
Program Name: Master of Education in Educational Technology
Available concentrations: Adult Learning and Training, K-12 Teacher
Accrediting body: International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
Credit Requirements: 30 units

Program LengthProgram Length: 1 year
Program start dates: Fall, Spring, Summer

Admission RequirementsGPA: 3.0

School Type
Public
Tuition
$575 per credit hour

Marshall University

1 John Marshall Dr Huntington, WV 25755

The Master of Science program at Marshall University offers a master's in adult education degree for students who would like to work as trainers in government institutions. Graduates develop the skills to train and educate employees on their roles and to ensure the success of both the employees and the institution itself.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Education and Professional Development
Program Name: Master of Science in Adult and Continuing Education
Available concentrations: Adult Education and Evaluation, Career and Technical Center Teaching, Training and Development
Accrediting body: CAEP

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited US institution, or US equivalent
Credit Requirements: 30 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 2 years

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall: August 1; Spring: December 1; Summer: May 1
GPA: 3.0

Graduation Rate
44%
School Type
Public
Tuition
$366 per credit

University of South Florida

4202 E Fowler Ave Tampa, FL 33620

The University of South Florida offers a master's in adult education degree through the Master of Arts program, giving graduates the necessary skills to teach adults in an educational setting. This program is available in a hybrid format, so students will not only have to complete online coursework but also to attend on-campus sessions for meetings with professors and to get invaluable hands-on training.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Education
Program Name: Master of Ars in Adult Education
Accrediting body: SACSCC

DeliveryFormat: Online, Hybrid

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree from an approved regionally accredited institution
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time
Program start dates: Fall, Spring, Summer

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall: February 15; Summer: February 15; Spring: October 15
GPA: 3.0

Graduation Rate
67%
School Type
Public
Tuition
In-state: $431 per credit; Out-of-state: $877 per credit

North Carolina State University

Raleigh, NC 27695

North Carolina State University has an online master's in adult education degree program for students who not only want to advance in their careers but also to pursue their doctoral degree. As part of the Master of Science in Adult and Continuing Professional Education program, students must complete a thesis to graduate, which also helps in future classes when graduates re-enroll to achieve their doctorate.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Education
Program Name: Master's: Adult and Continuing Professional Education
Accrediting body: SACSCC

DeliveryFormat: Online, Hybrid

Program requirementsCredit Requirements: 39 - 36 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program start dates: Fall, Spring, Summer

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall: June 25; Spring: November 25; Summer: March 25
GPA: 3.0

Graduation Rate
75%
School Type
Public
Tuition
In-state: $437 per credit; Out-of-state: $1,245 per credit

Texas A&M University - College Station

400 Bizzell St College Station, TX 77843

Texas A&M University's online master of educational human resource development with an emphasis in adult education prepares graduates for teacher leadership roles in community organizations and other educational settings. Graduates will learn the necessary tools to develop, manage, and monitor performance and skills required by an ever demanding workforce to retain and motivate employees.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Education and Human Development
Program Name: Master's in Educational Human Resource Development
Available concentrations: Adult Education
Accrediting body: SACSCC

DeliveryFormat: Online, On-capus

Program requirementsCredit Requirements: 37 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program start dates: Spring: August 15; Fall: December 1

Admission RequirementsGPA: 3.0

Graduation Rate
79%
School Type
Public
Tuition
In-state: $1,691 per 3 credits; Out-of-state: $3,110 per 3 credits

University of Georgia

Athens, GA 30602

The University of Georgia makes it easy for transfer students who want to enroll in the online master's in adult education program and also to use previous credits from another university to expedite their degree. Students can transfer up to six credit hours for use in this program, helping them to take only the necessary courses to graduate early.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Education
Program Name: Master of Education in Learning, Leadership, and Organization Development
Accrediting body: SACSCOC

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree from any institution accredited by the proper regional accrediting association
Credit Requirements: 33 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 2 years

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall: June 1
Work Experience: 3-5 years of experience

Graduation Rate
79%
School Type
Public
Tuition
$629 per credit hour

Indiana University Bloomington

107 S Indiana Ave Bloomington, IN 47405

Indiana University's online master's in adult education degree is designed for educators who plan to advance into corporate training positions. Once they earn their degree, graduates have the skills to train employees in corporate settings, helping them to maximize their potential in the workplace.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: School of Education
Program Name: M.S.Ed. in Adult Education
Accrediting body:

DeliveryFormat: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 3 years

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall; Juyl 1; Spring: November 1
GPA: 2.75

Graduation Rate
78%
School Type
Public
Tuition
In-state: $498 per credit; Out-of-state: $584 per credit

East Carolina University

E 5th St Greenville, NC 27858

East Carolina University designed the online master's in adult education program for working students who are unable to commit to a full-time schedule either virtually or on campus. Students can work on their own schedule and have the flexibility to finish their degree in two or three years.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Education
Program Name: Master of Arts in Education - Adult Education
Accrediting body: SACSCOC

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Baccalaureate degree from an institution accredited by a regional accrediting body
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 2 - 3 years
Program start dates: Fall, Spring

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall: August 15th; Spring: December 20th; 1st & 11-week Summer: May 5th; 2nd Summer: June 15th
GPA: 3.5

Graduation Rate
59%
School Type
Public
Tuition
In-state: $249 per credit; Out-of-state: $894 per credit

University of West Alabama

Livingston, AL 35470

The University of West Alabama's online master's in adult education degree has a curriculum that covers a wide variety of topics for students who have yet to decide which area in adult teaching is right for them. The coursework covers everything from psychology to school administration and provides graduates with the skills to work as corporate trainers, adult educators for community organizations and more.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: University of West Alabama
Program Name: M.S. Adult Continuing Education
Accrediting body: SACSCC

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsCredit Requirements: 33 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 1 year
Program start dates: 43107

Admission RequirementsGPA: 3.0

Graduation Rate
33%
School Type
Public
Tuition
$429 per credit

James Madison University

800 S Main St Harrisonburg, VA 22807

Students who enroll in the online master's in adult education program at James Madison University have the benefit of working with faculty advisers who help them throughout the program. Whether it's questions regarding admissions or problems with scheduling or coursework, faculty advisers work with students every step of the way and ensure successful completion of the program.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Education
Program Name: Adult Education/Human Resource Development
Available concentrations: Individualized Concentration
Accrediting body: SACSCOC

DeliveryFormat: Online, Blended

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's Degree
Credit Requirements: 36 - 39 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program start dates: Fall, Spring, Summer

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Rolling
GPA: 3.0
Work Experience: 5 years of full-time work experience in the field of Training and Development

Graduation Rate
82%
School Type
Public
Tuition
In-state: $485 per credit; Out-of-state: $1,231 per credit

University of Arkansas

Fayetteville, AR 72701

Students in the online master's in adult education program provided by the University of Arkansas enjoy the same conveniences and benefits of those who attend on-campus sessions. Online students rave about the campus-like experience in the virtual classroom and interact with their professors as much as they would if they were on campus.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Education and Health Professions
Program Name: Online Master of Education in Adult and Lifelong Learning
Accrediting body: HLC

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution.
Credit Requirements: 33 credits

Program LengthProgram Length: 2 years

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall: August 1; Spring: December 1; Summer: April 15
GPA: 3.0

Graduation Rate
64%
School Type
Public
Tuition
$420 per credit

University of Houston - Victoria

3007 N Ben Wilson St Victoria, TX 77901

The University of Houston in Victoria offers an online master's in adult education program and prepares graduates for work in the field thanks to the Project AHEAD internship program. This internship is available as an optional elective and provides invaluable experience that translates to the real world.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: School of Education, Health Professions and Human Development
Program Name: Master of Education in Adult & Higher Education
Accrediting body: SACS/CC

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 36-39 credits

Program LengthProgram start dates: Fall: August 27

Admission RequirementsGPA: 3.0

Graduation Rate
66%
School Type
Public
Tuition
In-state: $342 per credit; Out-of-state: $757 per credit

Penn State World Campus

201 Old Main University Park, PA 16802

Penn State University has offered distance learning since 1892 but has since replaced envelopes with email, chat rooms and streaming video. The coursework is delivered asynchronously, and students can do everything from completing exams to taking part in group activities online anywhere there's an internet connection.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Master's Degrees Online
Program Name: Master of Education in Lifelong Learning and Adult Education
Available concentrations: Adult Basic Education and Literacy, Global and Online Distance Education, Medical and Heatlh Profession
Accrediting body: MSCHE

DeliveryFormat: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution
Credit Requirements: 30 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall: July 1; Spring: November 1; Summer: April 1
GPA: 3.0

Graduation Rate
86%
School Type
Public
Tuition
$886 per credit

Troy University

600 University Ave Troy, AL 36082

Troy University's online master's in adult education program is available in an accelerated format for students who want to commit to a full-time schedule. Students who choose the accelerated path can complete their coursework and earn their degree in only 12 months.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Education
Program Name: Master of Science in Adult Education
Available concentrations: Curriculum and Instructional Design, Instructional Technology, Leadership Studies
Accrediting body: NCATE

DeliveryFormat: Online, Accelerated

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor Degree
Credit Requirements: 33 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 1 year

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Spring: January 4, 2018
GPA: 3.0

Graduation Rate
35%
School Type
Public
Tuition
$494 per credit

Kansas State University

Manhattan, KS 66506

Students who want to receive certification along with their master's in adult education degree should consider enrolling in Kansas State University's online program. Students can choose from one of three certificate programs to enhance their degree and to focus on a specific area of interest, such as academic advising, social justice education or adult learning.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Education
Program Name: Adult Learning and Leadership Master's Degree
Accrediting body: NCACIHE

DeliveryFormat: Online, Hybrid

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 33 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program start dates: Fall: August; Spring: January; Summer: May

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Rolling
GPA: 3.0

Graduation Rate
59%
School Type
Public
Tuition
In-state: $436 per credit; Out-of-state: $568 per credit

University of Idaho

875 Perimeter Dr Moscow, ID 83844

Educators wanting to create and design instructional and educational programs should consider the University of Idaho's online master's in adult education program. This program gives graduates the skills to work in the area of continuing education and to create instructional programs that ensure their students' success in the field.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Leadership and Counseling
Program Name: Adult Organizational Learning & Leadership, M.S.
Accrediting body: NCCU

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's level or comparable degree in another field.
Credit Requirements: 30 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program start dates: Summer, Fall, Spring

Admission RequirementsGPA: 3.5

Graduation Rate
58%
School Type
Public
Tuition
$520 per credit

Seattle University

901 12th Ave Seattle, WA 98122

Seattle University's online master's in adult education program prepares graduates for careers in human resource development. Graduates will gain the skills to improve an organization's performance and to train employees on their responsibilities and roles within the organization.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Education
Program Name: Adult Education and Training (MAED, MED)
Accrediting body: NCCU

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution or U.S.
Credit Requirements: 45 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 2 years
Program start dates: Fall, Spring

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall: March 15
GPA: 3.0
Work Experience: 1 year of work experience

Graduation Rate
78%
School Type
Private, Non-profit
Tuition
$631 per credit

City University of Seattle

521 Wall Street, Suite 100 Seattle, WA 98121

Students enrolled in CityU's online Master of Education in Adult Education program have 24/7 online access to free textbooks, resources, and personalized library support. The faculty at CityU focuses on providing students with the best learning experience possible by ensuring collaboration with students and providing support throughout the program.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Teaching and Education
Program Name: Master of Education in Adult Education
Available concentrations: NCCU

DeliveryFormat: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree and would like to pivot into a certified K-8 teaching role
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Ful-time, part-time
Program Length: 18 months

Admission Requirements

Graduation Rate
48%
School Type
Private, Non-profit
Tuition
$520 per credit

Morehead State University

150 University Blvd Morehead, KY 40351

Morehead State University's online master's in adult education program includes a concentration in teaching English to speakers of other languages, often abbreviated to TESOL. Graduates are prepared to teach English in adult education classes for community organizations, including community colleges for graduates who have teaching certificates in their state of residence.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Education
Program Name: Master of Arts Adult Higher Education
Available concentrations: Survey of Community College, The Community College Student, Seminar in Community College
Accrediting body: SACS

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Master's degree in adult and/or higher education from an accredited college or university.
Credit Requirements: 30 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 12 months
Program start dates: Fall 2018; Spring 2019; Winter 2018; Summer 2019

Admission RequirementsGPA: 3.5
Work Experience: 2 years of relevant professional experience is advisable

Graduation Rate
43%
School Type
Public
Tuition
$570 per credit

Texas A&M University - Kingsville

955 University Blvd Kingsville, TX 78363

Texas A&M University in Kingsville offers an online master's in adult education program with a focus on community college teaching. This program covers subjects in adult education methods and teaching in community colleges, giving graduates the skills to succeed as educators not only in community colleges but also public community organizations.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling
Program Name: Master of Education Degree in Adult Education is Online!
Accrediting body: SACSCC

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 45 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 2 years
Program start dates: Fall, Spring

Graduation Rate
35%
School Type
Public
Tuition
In-state: $222 per credit; Out-of-state: $514 per credit

Cleveland State University

2121 Euclid Avenue Cleveland, OH 44115

Cleveland State University offers a comprehensive online master's in adult education program with a broad-based curriculum covering the theories and practices regarding adult learning. Students learn through written coursework and internships to develop a complete understanding of continuing education and how to teach adults effectively in community and corporate settings.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Education and Human Services
Program Name: Master of Education: Adult Learning and Development
Available concentrations: Organizational Learning, Higher Education, Community Education
Accrediting body: NCATE

DeliveryFormat: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Undergraduate degree
Credit Requirements: 34-35 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Rolling
GPA: 2.75

Graduation Rate
39%
School Type
Public
Tuition
$531 per credit

SUNY Empire State College

Two Union Avenue Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

SUNY Empire State College prepares graduates for successful careers in adult learning through a faculty-approved project. Students in the online master's in adult learning program develop numerous skills in instructional program design and then showcase their abilities in a final project before the faculty.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: School for Graduate Studies
Program Name: Master of Arts in Adult Learning
Accrediting body: MSCHE

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Transfer Credits: 9 transfer credits, including the possibility of graduate prior learning assessment

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 2 years
Program start dates: Fall, Spring

Graduation Rate
19%
School Type
Public
Tuition
In-state: $462 per credit; Out-of-state: $555 per credit

Indiana University of Pennsylvania

1011 South Drive Indiana, PA 15705

Indiana University of Pennsylvania offers an online master's in adult education program based on the cohort model. This model ensures that every student who enrolls at the same time remains together throughout the program and works both individually and in teams to complete various projects.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Department of Adult and Community Education
Program Name: Master of Arts in Adult and Community Education
Accrediting body: MSCHE

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Transcripts from all institutions of higher education previously attended
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Field Education Requirements: Theory-to-practice internship consisting of a total of six hours

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 2 years

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: 43282
GPA: 2.6

Graduation Rate
53%
School Type
Public
Tuition
In-state: $2,200 per 3 credits; Out-of-state: $3,260 per 3 credits

Georgia Southern University

1332 Southern Dr Statesboro, GA 30458

Georgia Southern University's online master's in adult education program is available in a blended format, meaning that students will have to complete work online and on campus. In-state students will benefit more from this program than those who live out of state as they would have to travel to the campus more than once per semester.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Education
Program Name: Adult Education M.Ed.
Accrediting body: SACSCC

DeliveryFormat: Online, Blended, Hybrid

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Students must also complete a capstone practicum experience.
Credit Requirements: 30 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program start dates: Fall 2018, Spring 2019,Summer 2019, Summer 2018

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall: July 15; Spring: Dec 1; Summer: April 1
GPA: 2.5

Graduation Rate
51%
School Type
Public
Tuition
$358 per credit