Adult and Higher Education

Certificate of Advanced Study in Adult Learning Admissions

Minimum Requirements: Criteria for admission include successful completion of a master’s degree, strong recommendations, documentation of excellent written communication skills, and clarity and strength of professional goals.

APPLICATION MATERIALS – Send in your application and fee as soon as possible!

Application Deadline: Rolling with priority deadlines. May 1 for Fall matriculation, October 15 for spring matriculation, and March 15 for summer matriculation.

NOTE: As of January 1, 2010 admission applications for graduate degree programs will only be accepted online and the fee will be $65.
Candidates should submit all other application materials to the USM Office of Graduate Admissions, 39 Exeter Street, Portland, ME 04104-9300 by the application deadline.

A complete application consists of:

  • A submitted online graduate admission application
  • The application fee of $65.00 made payable to USM
  • Two sets of official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, including USM
  • Three letters of recommendation (pdf) attesting to the applicant’s knowledge of current scholarship, capacity to connect theory and practice in posing and solving educational problems, achievement of excellence in educational practice, and demonstrated capability and motivation to engage in advanced graduate study. Recommendations must be received either directly from the recommender or forwarded by the applicant in sealed envelopes with the recommender’s signature over the seal;
  • Essay (see below)
  • Current resume
  • Certification of finances (international students only)
  • Submission of official TOEFL scores (if English is not first language)

Essay Instructions:

Candidates should provide an integrated essay of approximately 1,000 words that includes:

  1. Brief autobiography, referencing study in master’s degree and related experience, professional training and credentials
  2. Overall goal to be accomplished through the program
  3. Future aspirations and professional development needs
  4. Tentative list of proposed coursework for the 30 credit credential

Note: Candidates whose master’s degree and/or work experiences are not strongly related to adult education will be advised to apply to the master’s in adult and higher education program.

Testing Requirement:   Submit official TOEFL scores of 550 or higher on the paper-based test, 79 or higher on the Internet-based test, or 213 or higher on the computer-based test if the applicant is an international student whose first language is not English. International students who have received their undergraduate degree from an English-speaking institution may apply for a waiver of this requirement.

Transfer Credit:  Candidates may transfer up to 15 credit hours of graduate-level study earned at other universities into the CAS in adult learning if these credits were not used as part of another degree or graduate certificate, relate to the subject of adult education/learning, were earned no more than five years prior to admission, and that students received grades of B or better in the classes. In rare situations and when compelling evidence is provided, the program faculty reserves the right to expand the number and age of credits transferred into the CAS in adult learning program beyond the 15 credit, 5-year rule.