Skip to main content
Penn State World Campus
A world of possibilities. Online.
adult ed

Lifelong Learning and Adult Education Graduate Programs
Master’s and certificates for educators of adults

Request Information

* required 1/3

I agree to be contacted via phone, email, and text by Penn State World Campus and affiliates. Privacy Policy. reCAPTCHA protected. Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Take the next step in your career teaching or training adults

The modern workplace is in a state of rapid and consistent evolution, creating a sharp increase in the demand for workforce training and professional development. Penn State’s online lifelong learning and adult education program is one of the most established and respected programs in the country, taught by nationally renowned faculty.

Important Update: Applicants are no longer required to submit GRE/GMAT test scores due to COVID-related closures of testing centers.

US News and World Report graduate education

Nationally Recognized

Our graduate education programs are highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report.

Customize Your Master’s Degree

Choose between the Adult Basic Education (ABE) and Literacy or Global Online and Distance Education options or select a general Master of Education, which allows more flexibility for your electives.

  • General option
    Ideal for those interested in teaching or training adults in any sector of the economy, including corporate, health care, or education
  • Adult Basic Education and Literacy option
    Focuses on teaching and research in ABE and literacy with electives in distance education, administration, and theory
  • Global Online and Distance Education option
    Concentrates on the historical and current procedures, practices, and developments related to domestic and international online education
Lifelong Learning and Adult Education (Master of Education)
Apply by November 1 to start January 9
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.
Learn More About Lifelong Learning and Adult Education

Certificate Programs

In addition to our online master’s program in adult education, Penn State World Campus offers two online postbaccalaureate certificate programs. Each program includes three required courses. The adult basic education certificate also includes one elective, allowing you to tailor the program to a specific interest, including program planning and administration, distance and online education, educational technology, or adult learning.

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.

Adult Basic Education (Postbaccalaureate Certificate)
Apply by December 1 to start January 9
Earn a certificate in educating and supporting adults and out-of-school youths who struggle with literacy and number-related concepts. This Adult Basic Education (ABE) certificate includes an elective course that allows you to tailor the program to your interests.
Learn More About Adult Basic Education
Distance Education (Postbaccalaureate Certificate)
Apply by November 15 to start January 9
Meet the rising demand for distance education professionals. The program was designed by the founding director of the American Center for the Study of Distance Education, and it focuses on adult education principles, distance learning course design, and research and evaluation in distance education.
Learn More About Distance Education

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 your professional development hours.

Suddenly realizing that I now was going to make the commitment of working full-time and going back to school, I began to feel overwhelmed. After evaluating several options, it became clear to me that Penn State’s World Campus offered the program that I wanted -- with the flexibility I needed to pursue my master's degree.

Alayne Fessler

We are Penn State Online

This is the real Penn State. You will take the same classes with the same curriculum developed by the same professors who teach courses at our brick and mortar campuses. You can expect the same caliber of academic quality that you associate with Penn State.