Ed.M. in Adult and Continuing Education

    Program Overview

    The Ed.M. in Adult and Continuing Education program (ACE) at the GSE is designed to equip graduates with both a conceptual and practical understanding of the adult learner and how to create and evaluate appropriate learning opportunities to meet their needs. The ACE program is offered both 100% online or in a hybrid format and incorporates curriculum designed to provide students with exposure to current research in the field, engagement from expert faculty, and practical coursework developed to facilitate active application of the material. Students who enroll in this 30-credit program come from diverse career backgrounds often including educational, non-profit, community-based, corporate, and healthcare settings, and exit the program with fundamental skills needed to pursue a range of careers in various settings and industries. 

    Program Goals as of 2022-2023
    (Last updated: 7/18/2022)


    • Students will develop, expand, and deepen knowledge of the historical, philosophical, theoretical, and social roots of the field of adult education.

    Communication/Community Building 

    • Students will develop organizational leadership, collaboration, and communication skills to build and sustain a learning organization and guide organizational change efforts. 

    Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) 

    • Students will understand the role of social justice and equity in the historical foundations and current practice of adult education. 
    • Students will value the importance of and be able to guide conversations about DEI and social justice within their own educational contexts. 
    • Students will promote educational equity and inclusion in their practice by establishing learning environments that address the learning needs and characteristics of diverse adult learners. 

    Research/Professional Practice 

    • Students will use data to inform planning, design, and ongoing evaluation of adult learning and organizational change initiatives.


    • Students will construct and use instruments to assess learning and mastery of educational content.  

    Professional Development/Self-Reflection 

    • Students will develop a capacity for ongoing reflection about their experiences in formal, non-formal, and informal learning environments, considering the ways that their reflections on learning in adulthood informs their work as adult educators. 
    • Students will capitalize on opportunities to engage in relevant professional organizations. 

    This program does not include coursework resulting in a NJ school personnel license. There are 4 available specializations in which students can earn a certificate concurrently with completion of the Ed.M. ACE program:

    To earn your certificate, the elective courses taken within the Ed.M. in Adult and Continuing Education must all fall within the same area of specialization.

    For more information about this program:

    Program Details

    Application Deadline

    Aug 15 / Dec 15 / May 15

    Entry Term(s)

    Fall / Spring / Summer

    Program Level


    Program Type



    100% Online or Hybrid



  • What You’ll Learn

    Graduates of the Ed.M. in Adult and Continuing Education program will exit the program with a deep understanding of the learning needs and characteristics of diverse adult learners, and the knowledge of the historical, theoretical, and social contexts of the field. Students will develop the ability to plan, design, implement, and evaluate learning opportunities that are appropriate for adult learners, and earn the leadership skills needed to build and sustain a learning organization. Through completion of the program, graduates will learn to use data to inform organizational planning and change initiatives, and how to effectively guide organizational change efforts. 

    For more information about the courses in this program, please visit the course catalog and online schedule of classes.

  • Program Requirements

    This program typically takes 2 years to complete and includes:

    • 30 Graduate Course Credits
      • 9 Credits – Foundational Courses
      • 12 Credits – Application Courses
      •  9 Credits – Specialization or Elective Courses
        • For Students in the Hybrid Program: a minimum of (3) specialization or elective course credits must be earned by completing an in-person course
        • Students who take all three electives in the same specialization area will earn a certificate in addition to the Ed.M. degree
    • Capstone Project
      • The capstone project is completed as part of the final 2 courses of the program
      • The capstone project will require students to demonstrate the ability to plan, design, and evaluate a significant adult learning opportunity specific to their area of specialty

    Accepted students have 5 years to complete the program.

  • Careers and Outcomes

    Earning an Ed.M. in Adult and Continuing Education offers graduates the flexibility to pursue a number of career opportunities across various industries and settings. Students may go on to pursue careers in a wide range of corporate, non-profit, and higher education settings. Roles include trainer, instructional designer, coach, organizer, and human resources developer.  Our graduates also run their own businesses and engage in consulting work. The skills gained equip graduates to work in a wide range of settings and positions that support the growth and development of adults in formal, non-formal, and informal learning settings.

  • Admissions Requirements
    • Personal Statement 
    • 3 Letters of Recommendation
    • Official Undergraduate Transcripts
      • Students with an undergraduate GPA below 3.0 must submit evidence of the potential to successfully complete the program (e.g. GRE scores)
    • Graduate Transcripts (if applicable)
    • Resume (optional; preferred)
  • How to Apply
    1. Collect the materials required for admission
    2. Submit your application online at http://gradstudy.rutgers.edu/
    3. Submit supporting materials online
    4. Any supporting materials that cannot be submitted electronically should be mailed to Graduate Admissions’ New Brunswick office. Their mailing address can be found here: https://gradstudy.rutgers.edu/about/contact-us
  • Tuition & Financial Assistance


    For tuition and fees information please visit the tuition landing page.

    Financial Aid:

    While students are encouraged to apply for federal student aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), there are a number of other merit- and need-based support options, including loans and college work-study programs within and external to Rutgers. For more information, please visit the Office of Financial Aid website.

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