College of Education and Human Development

Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development

Adult education MEd

in Organizational Leadership, Policy and Development

Our world insists on staying informed, adapting to new technology, and adjusting to ever changing social norms. As we age, we continue to learn new information and to change our behavior to better connect with others. Adult Education is the study and practice of understanding how adult learners acquire new knowledge, skills, and abilities in order to interact with our world.

With a Master’s of Education in Adult Education (AdEd) you will be prepared to design and implement a range of effective curricula and programming for adult learners. You will have a sophisticated understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities adult learners face in educational growth, professional development, and personal enrichment. You might help immigrants, refugees, and other displaced people make sense of their new environments, make a difference in the lives of adults and out-of-school youth who struggle with reading, writing, and numeracy, or consult on best practices for employee training and development programs.


M.Ed. students in Adult Education will have the ability to:

  • Design, deliver, evaluate, and improve adult education programs for a range of industries and purposes.
  • Anticipate needs for and calibrate adult education through organizational change.
  • Negotiate and balance the needs of organizations and their stakeholders to ensure positive outcomes.
  • Apply research driven strategies and techniques to improve program efficiency and effectiveness.


Required courses

  • OLPD 5201—Strategies for Teaching Adults (3 cr)
  • OLPD 5202—Perspectives of Adult Learning and Development (3 cr)
  • OLPD 5204—Designing the Adult Education Program (3 cr)
  • OLPD 5296—Field Experience in Adult Education (3 cr required; no more than 6 credits count toward the program)
  • OLPD 5607—Organization Development (3 cr)
  • OLPD 5801—Survey: Human Resource Development and Adult Education (3 cr)
  • OLPD 5819—Evaluating and Using Research in Organizations and Education (3 cr)
  • One additional 3 credit Adult Education course with advisor approval


Up to 10 credits of electives courses with advisor approval to equal the 34 credits needed for this program. The appropriate elective courses may vary depending on whether the student is also pursuing a license as reflected by their optional sub-plan.

M.Ed. candidates in adult education may also add coursework from the following areas to their program:

  • Adult learners, including undereducated adults
  • Adult education as a field of practice and a profession
  • Teaching adults
  • Design of educational activities for adults
  • Evaluation of educational activities for adults
  • Administration or management of agencies, programs, and personnel related to adult education
  • Advising and counseling adult learners

Transfer credits

A maximum of 14 graduate semester transfer credits may be applied to the M.Ed. program. Credits may include any combination of the following coursework:

  • Up to eight graduate semester credits from fully accredited institutions other than the University of Minnesota.
  • Credits completed at the University of Minnesota before admission to the M.Ed. program.

Transfer courses must be completed at the graduate level and approved by a faculty advisor and the college. Contact the program’s faculty advisor for more information.

How to apply

    Application deadline: 

    Applications are due by July 1 for Fall semester start, November 1 for Spring semester start, and March 1 for Summer session start.

    Applications are not complete until ALL required materials and fees have been received. If anything is missing, your application may not be considered until the next review date the following year. It is strongly recommended to apply at least two weeks before any submission deadlines.

    Applications are processed by the Graduate School. A decision for admission notice will be emailed to you once your application is carefully reviewed by the department's admission committee and your transcripts and any credentials (test reports, diploma copies, etc.) are authenticated by Graduate School officials.

    Application requirements:

    Degree: Bachelor's degree

    GPA: Undergraduate 2.8

    GRE scores: Not required

    TOEFL/IELTS Scores (Not required for U.S. students):

    • TOEFL: Internet based = 79 or above
      (21 writing/19 reading)
    • IELTS = 6.5

    Tuition and funding

    Tuition information: CEHD | OneStop

    Financial aid: CEHD | OneStop


    If a graduate student in an OLPD program has become inactive they must follow the readmission procedures.

    Whether you seek reactivation after accidentally being discontinued this term or want to return after a long absence these are the steps needed to re-apply.

    1. Complete the proper online readmission application.

      If you have been away from the program less than five years use the Express Readmission Application and email it to All others must submit the Online Application for Readmission
    2. Once received, the department will forward your application to the appropriate admissions committee. Readmission decisions are normally determined by the program’s admissions committee, not any one individual faculty member.

      Readmission is never guaranteed. Decisions for readmission are based on a review of previous progress toward degree completion, the proposed timeline for completion, the availability of faculty resources, and/or any additional application materials they may request from you. Individual programs/tracks reserve the right to readmit students under the current graduate program requirements, rules, and guidelines. They may also request an applicant to provide additional information prior to making a decision.
    3. Once the committee makes their recommendation, the department’s DGS will sign off on the decision and forward the result to the central Graduate Admissions Office for processing. Once processed, you will be notified of the decision.

    Individual department programs and tracks reserve the right to require readmitted students to retake coursework if they deem it appropriate. Readmitted students are also required to abide by current time-to-degree policies as determined by the University, which may differ from the policy in place when they first started the degree program.

    Individuals seeking readmission to the Ph.D., Ed.D., and M.A. program tracks in the former EDPA, WHRE, and WCFE majors can only reapply to the appropriate program track under the Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD) major name.


    We’re here to help. Simply complete this form and a member of our department will be in touch.