Adult and Higher Education

Supplemental content for Certificate of Advanced Study in Adult Learning

Admission Information

Applicant Qualifications:

  • Successful completion of a master's degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Strong recommendations
  • Documentation of excellent written communication skills
  • Clarity and strength of professional goals
  • Note: Candidates whose master's degree and/or work experiences are not strongly related to adult education may be advised to apply to the master's in adult and higher education program.

Application Procedures and Required Materials

Application Deadline: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and will be continuously reviewed. It is recommended to submit by May 15 for fall matriculation, October 15 for spring matriculation, and February 15 for summer matriculation.

Final deadlines: August 1 for Fall semester, December 15 for Spring semester, April 15 for Summer semester

International Student deadlines: July 1 for Fall Semester, November 15 for Spring semester

Applicants are required to provide the following materials:

  • Application: Online Application
  • Application Fee: Waived for all applicants
  • Transcripts: Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, excluding the seven campuses of the University of Maine System (UMS transcripts are accessible to USM). A transcript is official when sent directly from the institution.  
  • Resume: Submit a resume or CV that outlines professional, volunteer, and community experience.
  • Essay: Candidates should provide an integrated essay of approximately 1,000 words that includes:
    • Brief autobiography, referencing study in master's degree and related experience, professional training, and credentials,
    • Overall goal to be accomplished through the program,
    • Future aspirations and professional development needs,
    • Tentative list of proposed coursework for the thirty-six credit credential.
  • Recommendation: One letter of recommendation attesting to the applicant's knowledge of current scholarship, capacity to connect theory and practice in posing and solving educational problems, the achievement of excellence in educational practice, and demonstrated capability and motivation to engage in advanced graduate study.
  • Students whose first language is not English are required to take one of the following: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Pearson Test of English (PTE) or Duolingo. Applicants must submit official scores as part of the application process. See additional information below regarding test scores and requirements.

Where to send transcripts and application materials

Official transcripts and other supporting documents can be sent to:

Application Processing Center

University of Maine System

P.O. Box 412

Bangor, ME 04402-0412

Colleges and universities that participate in the electronic submission of transcripts can send official transcripts to Resumes, essays, and other documents can also be sent to

For a transcript or recommendation to be considered official, it must be sent by the institution or the person writing the recommendation.

International Applicants 

In addition to the standard application materials, international students must also provide the following materials: 

  • College transcript evaluation: official course-by-course evaluation of college-level transcripts from a NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services) approved transcript analysis agency 
  • Declaration of Finances form accompanied by the appropriate financial documentation 
    • Fully online programs will not meet eligibility for a student visa (I-20). On-campus courses will be required.
  • English proficiency test scores may be required for students whose first language is not English. See below for details.

Applicants whose first language is not English

Students whose first language is not English may be required to provide test scores or credentials for English language proficiency.

USM accepts the following test scores and qualifications for admission into graduate programs:

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOFEL): scores of 79 or higher on the internet-based test, 550 or higher on the paper-based test, or 213 or higher on the computer-based test
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS): scores of 6.5 or higher
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE): scores of 60 or higher
  • Duolingo Test of English:  scores of 105 or higher. Duolingo scores are being accepted on a trial for the 2022-23 academic year.
  • Bachelor's degree taught with English instruction

Questions regarding your experience and the requirements can be addressed with the Office of Admissions (

Transfer Credit

Candidates may transfer up to fifteen credit hours of graduate-level study earned within 5 years at other universities into the CAS in adult learning if these credits were not used as part of another degree or graduate certificate, relating 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 fifteen-credit, five-year rule.

Learn More

For more information about courses and credit hours, view our Program Requirements.