Degrees & Programs
Learning is a lifelong endeavor. Even as adults, we must learn and adapt. Technological advancements and rapidly changing work environments present challenges which require new skills. Educators who are committed to helping adult learners overcome challenges and achieve their goals are in high demand. Qualified adult education professionals are needed in academic, community, governmental, and corporate organizations.
How do you teach adult learners? How do their needs differ from those of young learners? How do you develop effective instructional programs for adults? What are the components of a learning environment where adults feel safe, comfortable, and able to grow?
We prepare educators to develop these skills and engage adult learners in a variety of learning environments.
Complete course descriptions and degree requirements can be found in the IU School of Education Graduate Bulletin.
M.S. Ed. in Adult Education (online only)
This practitioner-oriented degree offers working professionals the opportunity to build their credentials as a corporate trainer, continuing education professional, or adult education specialist. You’ll get a deeper understanding of how adults learn and how to design effective educational programs for them. You’ll also understand different theoretical approaches to adult education.
If you’re already working as a trainer or educator, you’ll be able to draw upon your real-world experience in course projects. You’ll also gain valuable insights you can use on the job even before you complete your degree.
Students are allowed up to six years to complete their degree, which makes it easy to continue your career as you study. For students who wish to pursue an academic career, there is an optional thesis requirement.
Adult Education Core Courses (23 cr.)
- D500 Introduction to Adult Education Theory
- D505 Adult Learning through the Lifespan
- D506 Adult Education Planning and Development
- D512 Forms and Forces of Adult Education
- D521 Participation Training
- D525 Introduction to Distance Education Systems
- D620 Adult Education Research
- D640 Capstone Seminar in Adult Education
Professional Focus Area Courses (13 cr.)
Choose from the following courses:
- D523 Small Group Theory in Adult Education
- D600 The Teaching-Learning Transaction in Adult Education
- D613 Diagnostic Procedure in Adult Education
- D615 Adult and Continuing Education in Collegiate Settings
- D625 Topical Seminar (variable title)
- Professional Focus Area Courses outside the Adult Education
- If you are teaching a specific subject, you can include graduate courses in a particular content area (e.g., math, computer science, English composition, English as a Second Language). However, no more than 9 credits of the required 13 can come from outside the Department of Adult Education unless you are also completing a graduate certificate program from another department.
- If you find a course that interests you in another Indiana University department, please note that these outside courses may or may not be available online. You are welcome to take courses on any of the IU campuses.
- If you are not close to an IU campus and are unable to find enough appropriate courses for your specific situation and goals via distance education at IU, we will be happy to work with you regarding the transfer of up to 6 credit hours of appropriate course work from other accredited institutions.
- In addition to semester-based courses, the professional focus area can include self-directed learning courses.
- Self-Directed Learning Courses - Self-directed learning courses provide an opportunity to focus on an applied project related to your workplace or a community-based organization, or to do in-depth research on a specific adult education topic.
- D550 Practicum in Adult Education (1-3 cr.)
- D590 Independent Study in Adult Education (1-3 cr.)
- D650 Internship in Adult Education (1-6 cr.)
- D660 Readings in Adult Education (1-6 cr.)
- Master’s Thesis Option (6 cr.)
- If you choose to complete a master's thesis, these hours will replace six (6) credit hours in the professional focus area courses.
Adult Education faculty are instrumental in developing and sharing best practices for teaching adult learners. As practitioners, their real-world experience influenced their approach to skill training and educational program planning. And as teachers, they combine theory with practice in their course instruction to prepare educators who will help adults expand their knowledge and achieve their goals.
- Frank Di Silvestro, Associate Professor and Program Coordinator for Adult Education
- Dr. Marjorie Treff, Lecturer
- Jeani Young, Lecturer
A master’s degree in adult education equips you to provide the instructional and program development skills sought by colleges, corporations, government, the military, and nonprofit organizations. As a graduate, you’ll be prepared to solve instructional problems from new skills training to cohesive group functionality.
For detailed information about our adult education program, please contact:
Frank Di Silvestro
W.W. Wright Education Building, Room 2230
201 North Rose Avenue
Bloomington, Indiana 47405
Phone: (812) 855-6520