Oct 04, 2023  
2014-2015 Graduate Catalog 

Master of Science in Education in Adult and Higher Education

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Graduate Programs

This 36-semester-hour program offers theoretical and methodological bases for professional development, while providing comprehensive preservice education for persons seeking careers in this field. A required core of learning experiences is supplemented by course work in areas of instruction, administration, and research to prepare both generalists and specialists. The program provides opportunities for individualization to take into account the student’s goals and needs and usually includes a faculty-supervised internship in programming, teaching, counseling, or evaluating. It prepares professionals in adult continuing education, community education, international and popular education, human resource development, student affairs and higher education, to work in contexts such as adult education organizations, higher education institutions, business and industry, and social agencies concerned with community problem solving.

The student learning outcomes for this degree are located at http://www.niu.edu/assessment/clearinghouse/outcomes/index.shtml.


Applicants may submit scores on the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) in lieu of GRE scores. Two letters of recommendation are required from professors or supervisors who can provide supportive evidence of an applicant’s professional qualifications and potential for success in graduate study.

Student-at-Large, Study-Abroad, and Transfer Credit

A maximum of 15 student-at-large and transfer semester hours in combination may be applied toward the master’s degree in adult and higher education. See “Requirements for Graduate Degrees” for limitation on study-abroad credit. The faculty adviser and the office of the dean of the Graduate School have final authority in determining course credit applicable toward the master’s degree in adult and higher education.

Check departmental information for any additional requirements.


Students may focus their study in several professional areas such as human resource development, community education, adult English as a second language, and student affairs in higher education. In each case, students must work with an adviser to make sure that they have completed an acceptable program. Ordinarily, students without a sufficient background in adult and higher education will be required to complete an internship as part of their program of study.

In no case will a master’s degree student be allowed to register for CAHA 598, Issues in Adult and Higher Education, or CAHA 699, Master’s Thesis, or write the comprehensive examination without an official program of courses on file with the department.

Non-Thesis Option

  • A research course approved by adviser (3)
  • Course work approved by adviser (24)

Thesis Option

Same as the non-thesis option except that 6 semester hours of program course work must be in CAHA 699, Master’s Thesis.

Comprehensive Examination

Students in the non-thesis option fulfill the comprehensive examination requirement by successfully completing either a comprehensive writing assignment while enrolled in CAHA 598 or an essay examination. Students in the thesis option fulfill this requirement in conjunction with the thesis defense.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Graduate Programs