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Section 4.2: Specific M.Ed. Requirements

Section 4.2: Specific M.Ed. Requirements


Program Purpose and Design: The M.Ed. in Adult Education at Penn State is a practitioner’s degree. It is geared toward students who intend to pursue careers in the professional practice of adult education. Graduates are qualified to provide leadership in one or more of the following domains of adult education practice: teaching and learning, curriculum and instructional design and development, program planning and administration, or curriculum and/or program evaluation.

The M.Ed. may be earned through Penn State’s World Campus.  Most students earn their M.Ed. through part-time study over a period of two to three years.  However, full-time students on-line through World Campus may complete the degree within one academic year.

On-line Adult Education courses through World Campus are taught using a blend of Web technology, print, and other media to provide an effective balance of flexibility and interaction.

M.Ed. Minimum Requirements:  M.Ed. students need 33 credit hours to graduate.  This includes 15 credits of ADTED core courses; 9 elective credits; 6 credits of research methods courses, and 3 credits for a master’s paper.  At least 18 of the 33 credits must be taken at the 500 level.  Nine elective credits are chosen in consultation with the student’s academic adviser. They may be taken in ADTED, from one or more Supporting Area(s) within Penn State, or transferred from accredited institutions approved by PSU. The elective requirement affords students the opportunity to select up to a third of their courses from a variety of fields and disciplines outside of adult education, thus creating a fully rounded program designed to meet the needs of each participant.

The 6-credit research methods requirements are: ADTED 507 and a graduate level basic statistics course. To fulfill the statistics requirement, students may enroll in STATS 500; STATS 897; STATS 897A or AEE 521 available through Penn State World Campus, attend the University Park campus during the summer and take a week-long AEE 521 Basic Applied Data course, take another acceptable statistics courses in residence, or transfer credits for a statistics course completed at another accredited institution approved by Penn State.  ADTED 588 is used as a capstone course in which students write their master’s papers.  It is taken as one of the last courses in the M.Ed. program.  Under special circumstances, this capstone course may be taken as an independent study (ADTED 596).  See the Appendix section of this handbook for: a complete list of ADTED courses, with brief descriptions; and samples of the M.Ed. Plan of Studies, Course Sequence and Checklist for World Campus students.


M.Ed. Minimum Requirements (World Campus)

ADTED Core 15 credits; ADTED 460, 470, 504, 506, 510

ADTED Electives or Supporting Areas 9 credits determined by academic advisor in consultation with the student.

Research Methods and Design 6 credits; ADTED 507; One grad-level statistics course

Master’s Paper 3 credits required of all students, and is written during ADTED 588

Total credits 33

While completing M.Ed. credits, a student may simultaneously earn a professional Certificate in Distance Education through World Campus by completing a specified set of courses, totaling 18 credits within the 33 credit requirement and/or a professional Certificate in Family Literacy by completing a specified set of courses, totaling 12 credits.

Master’s Paper: Writing a Master’s Paper is the culminating experience for all M.Ed. students. In keeping with the Graduate School’s thesis requirements the master’s paper is of considerable proportion. It clearly and definitively indicates the M.Ed. students’ capacity to acquire, critical analyze, integrate/synthesize and evaluate information, and draw logical conclusions; and present the experience adequately and professionally in writing. The student’s academic advisor guides her/him through the process.