Best 8 Masters in Adult Education Programs in 2022

April 11, 2022 | bestvalue

Masters in Adult Education

Enhance Your Career with a Master’s Degree in Adult Education

Getting a master’s degree in Adult Education is one of the fastest-growing fields in the U.S. The Master’s program in education provides students with the tools to learn the theoretical and practical tools required within both a classroom and online courses.

According to the Education Commission of the States, adult education is one the quickest growing educational fiends in the U.S. With the proper credentials and postgraduate training, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests a 15% growth in postsecondary teaching positions over the next few years.

Top 5 Masters in Adult Education Programs

Rank School Location
1North Carolina State UniversityRaleigh, North Carolina
2James Madison UniversityHarrisonburg, Virginia
3Lincoln Memorial UniversityHarrogate, Tennessee
4Rutgers, the State University of New JerseyNew Brunswick, New Jersey
5Auburn UniversityAuburn, Alabama

The Benefits of Getting a Master’s Degree in Adult Education

Those that pursue a master’s degree in adult education have a wide variety of career choices to choose from. A master’s in adult education incorporates student goals, work history, organizational learning, and more. Because there is such a wide variety of options available, educators with master’s degrees can:

  • Work in colleges
  • Adults education centers
  • Community organizations
  • Government agencies
  • Consulting firms 
  • Private companies.

What Can Students Do with a master’s degree in Adult Learning?

Choosing a master’s degree in Adult Education is an extremely popular degree to pursue because of the huge variety of career options that are available to graduates. Some of the many rewarding careers that graduates can choose from include, but not limited to:

  • Directors/ managers of continuing education institutions, adult basic education programs
  • Medical fields like nursing homes, and diagnostic and instructional services
  • Trainers, curriculum developers, and program planners, and administrators in a variety of business and industrial settings
  • Self-employed or freelance positions leading their training and consulting services
  • Work within the educational environment like community colleges, universities, continuing education studies, student services, and academic affairs

Compensation is another benefit to continued education. Among those that have graduated with an advanced degree, the average salary has continued to climb and is now approximately $70,000 per year with the outlook going even higher based on the career path chosen.

Best Master’s Programs in Adult Education and Learning

There are a vast number of schools that offer Master’s in Adult Education, many schools offer online programs for students that are already working, but we are concentrating on universities that offer on-campus learning. We have also created a list of Doctorate degrees in Education.

Here are some of the top schools for master’s degree programs in adult education:

Best 8 Masters in Adult Education Programs


North Carolina State University

  • Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Graduation Rate: 77%

North Carolina State University’s College of Education offers a Master’s in Education in addition to an MS with a specialization in Adult and Continuing Professional Education. The school offers both online and campus learning, making it easy for those that are working while completing their education. The Master’s program provides the student with a variety of different areas of concentration, including:

  • Adult and Continuing Professional Education Community College Teaching
  • Health Professions Education

North Carolina State University was founded in 1887 and part of the University of North Carolina educational system. Today the school has over 35,000 students and specializes in engineering, statistics, agriculture, life sciences, textiles/design, and others. They have 106 fields of study for those working toward bachelor’s degrees, The graduate school offers master’s degree studies in 104 fields and 61 doctoral degrees.

School Overview

Tuition: 9+ hours $5,836.30
Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
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James Madison University

  • Harrisonburg, Virginia
  • Graduation Rate: 82%
Outdoor view of college campus

James Madison University’s, Adult Education and Human Resource Development Master’s program offers students a competitive advantage when they enter the workforce. The program offers theoretical and practical experience giving students the tools to excel upon graduation. Students will have access to curriculums that are developed to ensure students are prepared to work in the field of their choice upon graduation. While the program is offered on-campus, it is also offered as an online master’s degree. The Adult Education and Human Resource Development program prepares students for careers as:

  • Instructional Designers
  • HR Consultant
  • E-Learning
  • Curriculum Development
  • Training and Development Specialist
  • Project Management

James Madison University is a public research university in Harrisonburg, Virginia. It was founded in 1908 and was named the State Normal and Industrial School for Women at Harrisonburg. It was renamed to honor President James Madison in 1977. The university has over 10 different colleges and fields of study.

School Overview

Tuition: Graduate school $499.00 per credit hour
The Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
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Lincoln Memorial University

  • Harrogate, Tennessee
  • Graduation Rate: 55%

Lincoln Memorial University offers a unique Master of Education and Adult Learning program which is created for the student that would like to work with adult students in higher education. Coursework features an emphasis on collaborative learning and programs that utilize strong theories and how they play a role in educational instructional models. The university’s master’s degree program is unique because it was developed for professionals making it easy for those already working while finishing up their education. The program was developed to include an overview or:

  • Educational philosophy
  • Research
  • Pedagogical practices
  • Field experience in higher education in the classroom
  • Best teaching practices
  • Strategies in higher education classroom teaching
  • Includes 36 semester hours of successful coursework

Lincoln Memorial University is a private liberal arts university located in Harrogate Tennessee. In 2019, the school had nearly 2,000 undergraduates and 2,892 graduate and professional students. The university includes numerous different colleges and schools. The Duncan School of Law was the most recently accredited in 2019.

School Overview

Tuition: $22,740
Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
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Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey

  • New Brunswick, New Jersey
  • Graduation Rate: 84%

Rutgers, Graduate School of Education, Adult and Continuing Education Program offers a variety of programs that help those currently working find the time to complete their masters in adult education. They offer a hybrid program that combines online with on-campus classes for those that need variable schedules to complete their degree. The program offers four specialized programs.

  • Adult ESL and Literacy Education
  • Educational Technology
  • Higher Education Teaching Skills
  • Human Resource Development

Rutgers is a public research university with nearly 70,000 students every year. It was chartered in 1766 as Queens College and later changed its name to Rutgers in honor of Colonel Henry Rutgers who made a substation gift to the school. It is home to 175 academic departments and more than 20,00 graduate students.

School Overview

Tuition: $21,000
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
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Auburn University

  • Auburn, Alabama
  • Graduation Rate: 79%

Auburn University has an impressive Department of Education Foundations, Leadership, and Technology. The goal of the Adult Education Master’s degree program is to provide students with unequaled educational experiences that prepare them for work in University departments, schools, and other leadership roles in education. The program covers the field of educating adults at all levels. It also offers high-level instruction and preparation for real-world educational careers. Specializations within this master’s degree may include literacy, community development, and industrial training and development. Assessment of learning environments and institutions to improve them is often a component of this program. Programs of study include:

  • Undergraduate Minor in Adult Education
  • Master of Education
  • Education Specialist
  • Doctor of Philosophy
  • Graduate Certificate: Adult Education

Auburn University is a public research university located in Auburn, Alabama. The school has more than 30,000 total enrolments. The school was chartered in February 1856. Today there are 61 colleges and universities in the state of Alabama.

School Overview

Tuition: $5,752 per 9 credit hours
Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
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Florida International University

  • Miami, Florida
  • Graduation Rate: 57%

Florida International University College of Arts, Sciences & Education is designed for students who wish to pursue a Master of Science in Adults Education and Human Resource Development. The program at Florida International is designed for students that wish to pursue jobs as program coordinators and instructors, directors of non-profit agencies, school administrators, and community and technical colleges. Students that earn their master’s in Adult education will have:

  • Completed a minimum of 36 credit house
  • Taken the required courses, including Adult Teaching Methods
  • Learned the skills necessary to work with Adults with Disabilities
  • Instructional Analysis and Design Studies
  • Computer-based Training Program

Florida International University was founded in 1965 and is located in Miami. The University’s College of Education is one of 26 different schools and colleges. The College of Education offers 15 undergraduate degrees and 40 graduate degrees.

School Overview

Tuition: Graduate school rate $11,106 (This is much lower than many other schools.)
Student to Faculty Ratio: 25:1
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University of South Florida

  • Tampa, Florida
  • Graduation Rate: 69%

The University of South Florida’s (USF) College of Education offers students an opportunity to work toward a Master’s in Adult Education. The program was developed for students that do not currently have educational degrees but work in other careers outside the educational field. Most frequently, students work in healthcare, business, industry, and professional associations. This program is primarily for those that are working in other careers and are now looking to explore other options. The program offered by USF includes a variety of courses, including:

  • The Adult Learner
  • Methods of Teaching Adults
  • Adult Learning and Cognitive Studies

The University of South Florida is a public research university It was founded in 1956 and is the fourth-largest university in the U.S. The current enrollment is 51,646. The school is known for its research department. It is home to 14 colleges and offers 180 undergraduate majors, graduate, and doctoral-level degrees.

School Overview

Tuition: Graduate school rate $25,840
Student to Faculty Ratio: 23:1
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Methodology for Rating Schools Offering Master’s in Adult Education

It is never an easy task trying to determine the right educational venue for a degree. We have reviewed several top educational programs that focus on adult education. 

We have looked at the top schools and then reviewed different criteria, such as the size of the classes, teacher to student ratio, online vs. hybrid and on-campus learning, graduation rate, and cost of tuition. After reviewing all this information, we define a number for each school based on these and other criteria.

Our goal is to take away some of the efforts that fall on students’ shoulders, so they can get down to the business of earning their degree.

If there is a school omitted from this list or if any information is incorrect, please contact us so the appropriate edits and corrections can be made.

Find the program that’s right for you

Whether you’re trying to start your career or make a big change, we can help you find the perfect school to help you reach your goals.

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