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A career in adult education offers you an opportunity to help others redefine what’s possible in their lives. In the online MS in Higher Education, Adult Education* program from Capella University, you’ll focus on current theory and research for teaching adults and college students, including instructional models, assessment strategies, collaborative learning and program development. The curriculum is designed to enhance your qualifications in adult education, give you the tools needed to improve adult achievement and help you understand the learning styles of adults from diverse backgrounds.
*This degree program does not satisfy licensure requirements for K–12 public school teachers or administrators.
Use the code WINTER to waive the $50 application fee.
Enroll in a qualified program and apply for a $2.5K Capella Progress Reward, a scholarship to help fund your master’s degree. Eligibility rules and exclusions apply. Connect with us for details.
Foundations of Adult Education
In this course, learners study the foundations of adult education including the past and present understandings. Learners identify the aspects of the foundation of adult education, the diversity in characteristics of adult learners, the various contexts of adult education, and prominent learning theories as they apply to teaching adults. Learners engage in interactive activities and assignments as they examine the various topics related to adult education.
|4 quarter credits|
Theories and Principles of Adult Learning
Learners assess learning theories, models, and principles and their application to instructional processes for adult learners. Learners analyze the instructor’s role in enhancing adult learning and evaluate their personal philosophy, dispositions, and ethics relative to teaching adult learners. Prerequisite(s): ED5012.
|4 quarter credits|
Multicultural Perspectives in Adult Education
Learners acquire knowledge of cultural diversity in adult education settings by analyzing topics such as cultural self-awareness, demographic changes and projections, problems and issues in intercultural educational settings, theoretical perspectives on multicultural adult education, and strategies for handling diversity in a variety of adult education settings.
|4 quarter credits|
Adult Education Program Development
Learners cultivate and utilize their knowledge of theoretical foundations, policies, evaluation models, and methods and materials for program planning to develop educational programs for adults in a variety of postsecondary settings. Learners also evaluate instructional approaches, engagement strategies, and management of instructional environments. Prerequisite(s): ED5012.
|4 quarter credits|
*Course has prerequisite(s). See catalog for details.
This program is designed to enhance your qualifications in adult education and college teaching. The curriculum emphasizes reflective practice within adult education settings and integration of current theory with best practices in adult learning and teaching. You will focus on the learning styles of individuals from various backgrounds, collaborative learning, and program development for the adult learner. Graduates of this specialization are prepared to pursue careers as educators in community college, distance education, college, university, corporate or other adult education settings.
On successful completion of this program, you should be able to:
Review the Capella career exploration guide to learn more about this program and career opportunities.
The total cost of your degree will depend on academic performance, transfer credits, scholarships and other factors. See GuidedPath cost information below.
A structured learning format with an active peer community and faculty guidance. We’ll set the schedule, you meet the deadlines.
$460 per credit, 48 total quarter credits, 12 max transfer credits
*This is only an estimate, using general program pricing, and it does not include fees (including application and resource kit fees). Your price may be higher or lower depending on your specialization, transfer credits, and tuition discounts. If transfer credits are allowed in this offering, the prices above show what you would pay if you brought in the average number of transfer credits and the price if you brought in the maximum allowed transfer credits.
Questions about cost?
Contact an enrollment counselor.
*Alumni Outcomes Survey, 2021–2022
“The field of education is constantly changing, so as a teacher, I need to constantly be learning as much as I can to stay on the top of my game, and then give my students the best education that I can.”
Michelle Emerson* – Master of Education graduate
*Actual FlexPath graduate compensated for appearing in Capella promotional materials.
Applicants to the Master of Science in Higher Education focused on Adult Education program must provide the following information for admission:
GRE and GMAT are not required for admission.
International student requirements
If you completed your most recent academic coursework, degree, or credential at an institution outside the United States, regardless of your citizenship or where you currently live, you are considered an international applicant.
In addition to the above admission requirements, you will need to submit these materials:
Learn more about international student admissions.
Our programs are designed to meet the unique needs of a master’s student. We’ve structured the experience in manageable pieces to help you earn your degree with support from faculty, staff and online resources.
Your education can help you reach your professional and personal goals. While Capella cannot guarantee that a graduate will secure any specific career outcome, such as a job title, promotion or salary increase, we encourage you to explore potential jobs and employment settings. Here are some ideas and examples for a graduate with a Master of Science in Higher Education, Adult Education specialization.
Job titles to explore
Employment settings to explore
*These are examples intended to serve as a general guide. Some positions may prefer or even require previous experience, licensure, certifications, and/or other designations along with a degree. Because many factors determine what position an individual may attain, Capella cannot guarantee that a graduate will secure any specific job title, a promotion, salary increase, or other career outcome. We encourage you to research requirements for your job target and career goals.
Expand your perspective on academic and career topics with articles and resources from Capella University.
Learn how Capella University supports professionals on their path to advanced degrees in the field of education.
If you’re curious about taking the next step in your education, there are simple ways to help clarify the path forward.