Program Summary

Develop the skills needed to serve adult learners as a teacher, trainer, or leader. This online master's program can prepare you with practical methods to effectively engage and lead in adult education.

How To Apply
Apply by November 1 to start January 19

How To Apply 

Costs and Financial Aid

30 Credits $924 per credit

Costs and Financial Aid 

Nationally Recognized
Badge Online Programs Grad Education
Our graduate education programs are highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report.

Careers in Lifelong Learning and Adult Education Are on the Rise

As businesses and organizations collectively tighten their belts, employers are adding more stringent hiring requirements for new employees, and corporations are placing a stronger emphasis on training in the workplace. Such actions have led to an increased need for qualified adult education professionals in a variety of businesses, community centers, higher education institutions, and corporate training centers.

As a graduate of this program, you can be qualified to provide leadership in one or more of the following domains of adult education practice: teaching and learning for adults, curriculum and instructional design and development in adult education, program planning and administration for adult learners, or curriculum and/or program evaluation within adult education programming.

In addition, Penn State offers an online Postbaccalaureate Certificate in Distance Education and a Postbaccalaureate Certificate in Adult Basic Education (ABE). All of the credits you earn in these certificate programs may be applied toward the requirements for the Master of Education in Lifelong Learning and Adult Education, upon your acceptance into that program.

Why Adult Education Online at Penn State

Penn State's online adult education program is offered in partnership with Penn State's College of Education. As a student studying online, you can expect the same quality education that our residential students experience — high academic standards for courses taught by the same faculty with real-world experience, who have been trained to teach online.

In our program, students from diverse backgrounds and careers can come together to enhance their understanding of the unique needs of today’s adult learners and how they learn best. 

Customize Your Degree with Options

This flexible program allows you to align your degree studies with your career goals by choosing the general master's in education path or selecting a formal option, which will appear on your diploma.

Master of Education (no option): Offers flexibility to register for more electives from several different areas, including ABE, global online and distance education, qualitative research methods, and family literacy. 

Adult Basic Education and Literacy option: Course work is focused on teaching and research in ABE and literacy with electives in distance education, administration, and theory. 

Global Online and Distance Education option: Course work is focused on historical and current procedures, practices, and developments related to distance education both domestically and internationally. Electives include course topics such as theory, program planning, and emerging technologies. 

Act 48 Approved

Penn State is an Act 48–approved provider for Pennsylvania educators, so the courses for the Master of Education in Lifelong Learning and Adult Education may count toward professional development hours.