M.Ed. in Adult Learning

A group of students surround their professor in an M.Ed. Adult Learning classroom in Oliver Hall.

“This program transformed my life and my career, but most importantly, it transformed my thinking. Become what you are with a Master’s Degree in Adult Learning at VCU.”

- Caitlin Bergendahl, M.Ed. ’15

Providing learning and development opportunities and initiatives for adults in the workplace is very different from K-12 education. The M.Ed. in adult learning provides its graduates with the knowledge and skills to be major contributors to organizations, whether in human resource development, as instructional designers, or working in the field of adult literacy.

We realize that learning in the workplace, whether for profit or non-profit, revolves around using technology as a learning tool and format. Each course incorporates the use of – and learning of – current technologies. Students leave the program with theoretical and practical knowledge and experience to aid them in providing learning to adults in the workplace.

Our graduates work in business and industry, healthcare, government, non-profit, higher education, and community and human services agencies. As organizations realize the need for talent development and workforce development, our graduates have been poised to meet their needs, and to help organizations achieve their overall talent and workforce objectives.

Admission to this 33-hour program (which can be completed in two years) is predicated on the "whole person" concept, taking into account life experiences, academic record, references, and the reasons for the student’s interest in the program. As of spring 2020, the MAT or GRE are not required for admission. Successful applicants will have sufficient work experience to enable them to bring relevant experiences into the classroom learning environment, which is encouraged.

Prospective students are encouraged to take a course in the adult learning master’s program as a "non-degree seeking student" before admission to ensure the program is a fit for their career goals. This is not a requirement, but only a suggestion if students have doubts regarding the program. Any classes taken prior to admission into the program will be transferred into the program if the student is accepted.



How to apply: Graduate application
Semester of entry: Spring, summer or fall
Application deadline: Feb. 1 for fall and summer admission, Nov. 1 for spring admission


  • VCU Graduate School requirements
  • Written essay addressing your career goals and interest in adult learning
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Transcripts from previous academic work
  • At least a 3.0 GPA on last 60 hours of coursework
  • Note: As of spring 2020, we no longer require the GRE or MAT for admission
Why Choose the Adult Learning Master’s at VCU?

Program Concentrations

Adult Literacy
Human Resource Development
Instructional Design and Technology

Ready To Get Started?

Jenna Lenhardt, Ph.D.